Minute with a Member
Cynthia D. Kelly, RHIT
HIM Director & Privacy Officer
Kittitas Valley Healthcare
Tell us a little bit about how you got into HIM, what you’re done during your HIM career, and where you work now.
I learned about HIM many years ago when my mother told me about an article in Women’s Day Magazine. I took a course by Mail and then sat for the certification and got my RHIT in 1976. Since them I have been a Director in several small facilities and one 300 bed facility; Quality Assurance Coordinator; Utilization Management; Director in 2 Psychiatric Facilities; Supervisor in an Occupational Health Clinic on a constructions site (had to have an M40 mask at my side at all times); and Consultant for 4 years with Care Communications – several Operational Assessments, Special Projects and Interim Management. I currently work at Kittitas Valley Hospital in Ellensburg as HIM Director and Privacy Officer.
What is your involvement with WSHIMA or one of the local chapters – INHIMA, TAHIMA, SHIMA?
I have served on the WSHIMA Board as Delegate, Lead Delegate, President Elect, President and now, Past President.
What certification(s) do you possess and how have they helped you along your career path?
I have the RHIT certification. The Certification opened lots of doors. I had my first job as Director at age 22 while I was completing the course. I’ve been in many roles since then. I was fortunate to have many opportunities for education in Management, Privacy, Leadership etc. along the way. Attendance of the National Convention and State Annual Meeting has been a tremendous help.
Do you have an advice for those new to HIM and/or those looking for jobs in the field?
When I went into HIM, I knew I wanted to work in Management. I also thought that the ultimate goal would be to become a consultant. I made choices about training and jobs with those goals in mind.
What have been your biggest challenges in your HIM career?
- I had to learn to be neutral about what others did, what they said and my attachment to the outcome.
- I had to learn to show up and do my job even if others didn’t know what my job was or doubted my competence. In time, they have appreciated the value I bring to the table.
If you could do any other job, what would it be?
I would train horses, care for horses and/or anything that would get me out and around nature.
How do you spend your spare time? Tell us about your hobbies, family, etc.
I’m an artist and a writer. I enjoy movies, reading, time with my grandkids, time with my horses, my family and friends. I go to the gym and I love bird watching and hiking. And the hot tub is great!