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Penn College Health Information Students Advocate on Capitol Hill


U.S. Rep Tom Marino (back row, second from left) meets with the Penn College group: Back row from left, Debra J. Lupert, Daniel K. Christopher and Brittany Temple, and, front row from left, Alia M. Smith, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran.
U.S. Rep Tom Marino (back row, second from left) meets with the Penn College group: Back row from left, Debra J. Lupert, Daniel K. Christopher and Brittany Temple, and, front row from left, Alia M. Smith, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran.
Gathering in the Capitol are, from left, Daniel K. Christopher; students Alia M. Smith, Brittany Temple, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran; Margarita Valdez, AHIMA's manager of congressional relations; and Wannetta Edwards, PHIMA president.
Gathering in the Capitol are, from left, Daniel K. Christopher; students Alia M. Smith, Brittany Temple, Erin L. Waltz and Tiffany M. Farran; Margarita Valdez, AHIMA’s manager of congressional relations; and Wannetta Edwards, PHIMA president.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson meets with, from left, Daniel K. Christopher, Alia M. Smith and Erin L. Waltz.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson meets with, from left, Daniel K. Christopher, Alia M. Smith and Erin L. Waltz.

More than 200 members of the American Health Information Management Association gathered in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 19, to deliver important advocacy messages about health information management. Along with members from 41 other state associations – and Daniel K. Christopher, assistant professor and department head for health information at Penn College – students Alia M. Smith, of Centre Hall; Brittany Temple, of Elysburg; Debra J. Lubert, of Northumberland; Erin L. Waltz, of Muncy; Kayleigh M. Stonecipher, of Lamar; and Tiffany M. Farran, of Drums; met with their representatives and senators to  discuss key advocacy issues.  Lubert is enrolled in the health information management bachelor’s-degree major; the others are two-year health information technology students. AHIMA members understand the need and benefit of sharing their expertise with policymakers, Christopher said, adding that attendees from the Pennsylvania Health Information Association discussed Recovery Audit Contractor program reforms, the need for uniform patient identifiers and the importance of the HIM profession for achieving quality health care through quality information. “Being at our nation’s capital and meeting personally with our congressmen was an amazing experience,” Farran said, “and AHIMA and our state association, PHIMA, helped make it happen!”
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