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Planning a global healthcare conference isn’t easy even under the best of circumstances, so when it became clear that AHIMA would need to navigate the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic the staff geared up to tackle the challenge. As AHIMA prepares to bring its members an annual conference virtual event like never before, we’re taking you behind the scenes to learn how staff and volunteers are working to create this unique and interactive show. You’ll also learn helpful navigation tips and uncover the “hidden gems” behind AHIMA20!

In this behind the scenes spotlight, we’re talking to Julie Pursley, MSHI, RHIA, CHDA, FAHIMA, director of health information and thought leadership at AHIMA.

Question: What is your role at AHIMA and AHIMA20?

Julie A. Pursley: I am the director of health information thought leadership at AHIMA. I am so looking forward to AHIMA20, where I will be attending, engaging, presenting, and networking!

Q: What have been some of the challenges of converting a massive in-person conference into a virtual event? How has planning for this year’s conference differed from previous AHIMA conferences that you’ve prepared for in the past?

Pursley: The planning has been much like we have planned in the past leading up to the event. We will have a great time virtually!

“A focus on SDOH was a new area of emphasis for AHIMA this year and this track will help HIM professionals better understand their role in using, collecting, and interpreting this critical data.”

—Julie A. Pursley, MSHI, RHIA, CHDA, FAHIMA, director of health information thought leadership, AHIMA

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

Pursley: On Wednesday, October 15, there are two dedicated tracks highlighting the need for accurately identifying, matching, and treating the whole person. The patient identification and matching (PIM) track and the social determinants of health (SDOH) track are both new this year.

The SDOH track includes a session presented by two speakers who are working on The Gravity Project, an organization that is working to determine how to identify and utilize social determinants of health (SDOH) data. A focus on SDOH was a new area of emphasis for AHIMA this year and this track will help HIM professionals better understand their role in using, collecting, and interpreting this critical data. The track will also include a presentation from Joe Nicholson, DO, who will be talking about how COVID-19 widened the gap in healthcare disparities and underscored the inequities minorities face within the US healthcare system.

Q: What advice do you have for people who may be attending a virtual conference for the first time?

Pursley: Stand, hydrate, and network!

Register for AHIMA20

The AHIMA20 Virtual Conference is the premier educational, exhibition, and networking event for health information professionals. Whether you are seeking cutting-edge education, evaluating the latest market innovations, or are seeking new professional connections, the AHIMA20 Virtual Conference is the place to be. Register today.

Hear from past attendees why they attend the AHIMA conference every year.

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