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The AHIMA Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides information to guide personal health decisions, research to develop healthcare system policies and continuous training to equip inspiring and current health information professionals.

As one of the biggest advocates for the health information management (HIM) profession, the Foundation’s AHIMA20 events are among the best ways HIM students and professionals to engage with and learn more about the field. This year is no different.

In this behind the scenes spotlight, Anisa Tootla, MBA, executive director of the AHIMA Foundation, offers a preview of the Foundation’s presence at AHIMA20 and ways attendees engage with it at the event.

AHIMA20: What is your role at AHIMA and AHIMA20?

Anisa Tootla: As the executive director of the AHIMA Foundation, I am responsible for developing a programmatic agenda that reflects the commitment of the Foundation to the interests of public health.

In this process, I evaluate the needs of the healthcare consumer as it relates to the various facets of the wellness journey and identify areas of support that the Foundation can provide. Additionally, I oversee the development of funding opportunities, communications initiatives, and collaborative ventures in alignment with our strategic direction. 

AHIMA20: How has planning for this year’s conference differed from previous AHIMA conferences?

Tootla: This is my first AHIMA conference. Like so many others, this is also my first virtual conference. It’s an interesting dynamic in that we’re in the midst of rebranding the voice of the Foundation, and at the same time, our industry is being rebranded for a virtual world. While this has been challenging, it is also a unique opportunity to position the Foundation on the virtual global stage and to share our message with our national and international audience. 

“This is my first AHIMA conference. Like so many others, this is also my first virtual conference. It’s an interesting dynamic in that we’re in the midst of rebranding the voice of the Foundation, and at the same time, our industry is being rebranded for a virtual world.”

AHIMA20: What should attendees be most excited about in your area of the conference?

Tootla: Because we’re rebuilding, we’re asking for input from attendees to help shape the framework of our upcoming programs. During AHIMA20, we’re asking attendees to visit our virtual showcase to share their ideas, and also, to learn more about the Foundation, our wins in 2020, our goals for 2021, and most importantly, how to get involved.

AHIMA20: What are some of the hidden gems of AHIMA20 that attendees may overlook?
Tootla
: An interview with our Foundation president, Diann Smith, will air during a Conference break time which will provide additional insight on our new vision and voice—and some of the wins of 2020 in technology, collaborative ventures, and proposed programming. The virtual platform provides so many opportunities for health information professionals to learn, grow, and network, and to do so alongside colleagues from around the world. With access to all sessions for 60 days after Conference, attendees can enjoy all sessions rather than those that simply align with their schedules. 

AHIMA20 attendees who want to learn more about the Foundation can do so by stopping at the Foundation’s exhibit all booth during the following times to interact with the Foundation Virtual Showcase:

  • Wednesday, October 14: 12:15p – 1:15pm
  • Thursday, October 15: 12:45p – 1:45pm
  • Friday, October 16: 1:00p – 1:45pm

AHIMA20: You’ll also be promoting the Foundation’s GOT A STORY initiative. Can you tell us about that?

Tootla: The AHIMA Foundation’s GOT A STORY movement develops new programs with a focus on public health, greater access, health equity, and consumer empowerment. We want to hear from health information professionals. Attendees can visit the Foundation’s Virtual Showcase during AHIMA20 to share their stories of how health information has made a difference in their lives. One winner from a random drawing will be selected at each showcase. Join us for a chance to win! If you’re unable to join us, please send your stories to: info@ahimafoundation.org.

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