The Role of President & President Elect
by Sally Beahan, WSHIMA President
To be honest, when I was asked to run for President Elect 2 years ago, I was scared to death. Fear of the unknown I guess one would say. My first Strategic Planning Board meeting as incoming President Elect in June of 2014 was the first exposure I had to the WSHIMA Board in many years. I had served on WSHIMA committees in the past and had been asked to ‘throw my hat in the ring’ over the years but the time was never quite right for me so I declined. When the call came in early 2014 to run for President Elect I took a couple of days to really think about it and while it scared me to death, I felt the time was right to get involved.
Looking back on my journey in HIM, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Timing is everything! My kids are grown, I finished my Master’s degree, and I have a day job that allows me some flexibility to expand my areas of focus so I finally said ‘yes’! The first AHIMA Leadership Symposium in July 2014 was amazing to say the least. I was so energized to be around other AHIMA Professionals and leaders from all across the United States. We shared ideas and commiserated about our challenges. It was at that point that I knew finally saying ‘yes’ to running for the WSHIMA Board was one of the best decisions I had ever made.
Working with the WSHIMA Board and representing WA State at the national AHIMA level is an enlightening experience. We attended the national convention and House of Delegates in San Diego in September 2014. It was there we received the ‘call to action’ to reach out to our WA State representatives in Congress and the Senate to promote ICD10 and stop any chance of another ICD10 delay. To be honest, that felt a bit daunting, but we did it and quickly became very comfortable talking to our legislative offices. Several of us had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC in March 2015 and participate in AHIMA’s Hill Day to further promote ICD10 with the message of no more delays! We met with some our Congressional and Senate offices. It was so much fun and they really listened to our message about ICD10. I could see we were making a difference!
In June 2015 we held our annual Strategic Planning meeting and welcomed incoming Board members. We put together a robust Strategic Plan and budget for 2015-16 and use that as our guide at our monthly Board meetings. A group of us from the Board travelled to Chicago in July 2015 for the AHIMA Leadership Symposium and learned a lot, got inspired, and came up with some new ideas to support our initiatives to ensure WSHIMA is bringing value to our members. In September 2015 a group of us from the Board descended upon New Orleans and attended the House of Delegates and annual AHIMA conference.
Looking back on the last 18 months in some ways seems like a whirlwind but I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that I’m so glad I finally said ‘yes’ to running for a Board position! My point in sharing my story is to inspire you to get involved. We have a lot of opportunities in WSHIMA to be as involved as you want or can be from serving on a committee, chairing a committee, or running for a Board position. My journey so far has been truly amazing and I’m thankful to have made so many new friends and met so many HIM colleagues that I wouldn’t have gotten to know had I not said ‘yes’. So my wish for you in this coming year is to think about saying ‘yes’, you won’t be disappointed! We are accepting nominations for the 2016-17 Board positions so check out the WSHIMA website and throw your hat in the ring or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering on a committee.