Greetings from the College of St. Scholastica!
Ryan Sandefer, MA, CPHIT

Greetings from the College of St. Scholastica! We hope this newsletter finds you doing well. Spring seems to have come to the northland somewhat early this year, so I'm writing this newsletter with my office window open, watching the snow literally melt off the sprawling lawn in front of St. Scholastica's Science Building. Much like the lawn that is being opened to the opportunities that spring brings, the HIIM profession is being introduced to new programs, initiatives, and the various roles and responsibilities that they offer. As a Department, we have had an amazing year, full of examples of how we are trying to keep pace and stay current given the unending changes. As always, please stay in touch and thanks for all you do for the profession and for the CSS HIIM Programs. 


Warm regards!

Ryan Sandefer

Chair & Assistant Professor

The College of St. Scholastica
Department of Health Informatics and Information Management

New Statues in Front of Science
New Statues in Front of Science
New Statues in Front of Science
New Statues in Front of Science
HIIM Alumni -- Triumphant!

CSS HIM Alumni and Friends at Convention
CSS HIM Alumni and Friends at Convention


At this year's AHIMA National Convention in San Diego, four HIIM Alumni were awarded AHIMA Triumph Awards. 

Megan Munns -- Rising Star Award
Joanne Valerius -- Educator Award
Pat Shaw -- Literary Legacy Award 
Susan Scully -- Mentor Award

Triumph Awards recognize professionals for demonstrations of extraordinary leadership, volunteerism and talent. To learn more about the Triumph Awards, click HERE. Please join me in congratulating these alumni on their amazing achievement! 


Student Achievements at AHIMA Convention



Two CSS HIIM Students had major achievements at this year's AHIMA National Convention in San Diego. John Mashikian, MS HIM student, was one of three students selected to present his research project at the Convention. John's research was focused on designing and implementing an electronic tracking system, including an EHR interface, for a hospital hospitality house.   Congratulations, John! 

Kate Gray, BS HIM student, was selected to participate on AHIMA's Student Advisory Council. As part of this Council, Kate was able to attend the National Convention and participate in the proceedings of the body. Kate co-presented with students from two other Colleges regarding. Good work, Kate!

Student Athletes in HIM having major success



Congratulations to all of the student athletes in in our traditional undergraduate HIM program. Student athletes represent and increasing proportion of our classes. 

Kortney Morrin - UMAC Volleyball player of the year
Tiffany Hudack - UMAC Softball player of the year
Mariah Hovick -  CSS basketball team captain 

Also, I think it is safe to say that Tiffany Hudack is the first professional stock car driver to ever be accepted to the HIM major at St. Scholastica. Hudack also won a points title this summer, " becoming the first female racer to earn a points championship at the ABC Raceway in its 50-year existence." For more on Tiff's racing title, click HERE. Congrats!
Tiff Hudack -- Racing Title
Tiff Hudack -- Racing Title

LaTour Eichenwald Forum
LaTour Eichenwald Forum

The fourth annual LaTour Eichenwald Forum on HIM Leadership and Innovation will be held Monday, June 1, 2015


And at this year's forum, Kathy LaTour, Shirley Eichenwald-Maki and two other current and former chairs of The College's HIIM Department (Ryan Sandefer and Sr. Kathleen Hofer) will share their thoughts regarding the history of the program. Through a panel discussion moderated by CSS President Dr. Larry Goodwin, and numerous networking opportunities, you'll learn all about where HIIM has been, where it is and, most importantly, where it's going.

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Mitchell Auditorium 
College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN
Light refreshments will be served!

To RSVP to the event, click HERE.

Save the Date!
Graduate Poster Session June 1st, 2015
Graduate Students Presenting Research at Poster Session


The HIIM Department is holding its annual Graduate Capstone Poster Session on June 1, 2015, directly preceding the LaTour Eichenwald Forum on HIM Leadership and Innovation. The event will be held in the College's new Benedictine Commons. Please join us to learn about the extraordinary research and applied projects that our students engage in as part of their studies in the program.

The Poster Session will be held in the Benedictine Commons/Science Center on the Duluth campus of the College of St. Scholastica (2nd Floor of the Science Building). Light refreshments will be served.
Free SNOMED CT Course -- Earn 12 AHIMA CEUs



The HIIM Department is offering a free online course titled "Exploration of SNOMED CT Basics." The course starts April 20th and must be completed by June 15th. This eight-week course explores the basic structure and uses of SNOMED CT. Instructional materials are featured from the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) and supplemented with learning activities, discussion forum for information exchange and instructor support.This course provides information about the use of SNOMED CT in healthcare technology applications leveraging the recently published Starter Guide from IHTSDO.


HIIM Department is Blogging -- Register!

The HIIM Department has started blogging. In an effort to engage alumni and current students regarding timely, interesting and important issues facing our department and the profession generally, we are taking to the pen (so to speak). To register for our blog and read the first blog post, click HERE.


LeBlanc Awarded AHIMA Fellowship
Madonna LeBlanc, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA
Madonna LeBlanc, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA


M adonna M. LeBlanc, Assistant Professor for the Department of Health Informatics and Information Management, was awarded the designation of Fellow of the American Health Information Management Association (FAHIMA). The Fellowship program is a program of earned recognition for AHIMA members who made significant and sustained contributions to the profession and to advancement of the Health Information Management (HIM) discipline through meritorious service, excellence in professional practice, excellence in HIM education, and advancement of the profession through innovation and knowledge sharing.  For additional information regarding the Fellowship, click HERE






Marc Earns CHDA Credential 
David Marc, MBS, CHDA

David Marc, Assistant Professor and Health Informatics Graduate Program Director, has successfully passed the Certified Health Data Analyst examination. The credential represents professionals who possess the knowledge to acquire, manage, analyze, interpret, and transform data into accurate, consistent, and timely information, while balancing the "big picture" strategic vision with day-to-day details. Please join me in congratulating David Marc, MBS, CHDA, on this achievement. For additional information regarding the CHDA credential, click HERE




New Graduate Program -- MS in Health Informatics 


The Department of Health Informatics and Information Management began offering a Master's of Science in Health Informatics in January 2014. The degree is offered entirely online and has a primary focus of providing students hands-on informatics experience, including the design of computer information systems, data analytics, research, and project management. 


For more information about the program, visit the website by clicking HERE

CSS Health Informatics
Niznik, HIM Undergrad, Publishes about ICD-10  


Mollie Niznik, CSS HIM Senior, is partnering with ICD Monitor to publish a series of articles focused on HIM practice and ICD-10 from a student's perspective. The first in the series of articles can be accessed HERE. Congrats, Mollie!


Mollie Niznik Article
Mollie Niznik Article


HIIM Faculty Create Health Information Focused Websites  


Over the past year, HIIM Faculty (Ryan Sandefer, Pam Oachs, David Marc, Danika Brinda, Janelle Wapola, and Amy Watters) have worked with REACH (Regional Extension and Assistance Center for MN and ND) to create two educational websites--one focused on health data analytics and the other focused on health information privacy and security. The websites contain educational content, tools, and resources. 


To access the data analytics website, click HERE


To access the privacy and security website, click HERE 


HIIM Involved in CSS SSHIP


In 2010, the School of Health Science chartered the St. Scholastica Health Interprofessional Program (SSHIP) to bring awareness of each other's programs at CSS to students in health professions through educational and social events and to advance interdisciplinary teamwork and future healthcare relationships.  This year's SSHIP president is HIM senior John Dickey, there are HIM representatives from each class level and Madonna LeBlanc is the HIM faculty advisor.


There are over 3,200 Minnesotans waiting for life-saving organ transplants with nearly 75% of them waiting for kidneys according to LifeSource and Donate Life Minnesota. SSHIP had the distinct honor of hosting an evening with LifeSource ambassador Katelyn Wilson, Wednesday, November 19, 2014. LifeSource is organ procurement, tissue recovery, donor family services and public education for Minnesota. Katelyn brought two donor parents who shared their stories about the circumstances of their family's experience with organ donation of their loved one. There was an opportunity to register to be an organ donor after the powerful evening.


HIIM in the Community

HIIM students participated in the College's Spring Community Day and were highlighted on Duluth's local news. Watch the clip HERE

HIIM faculty also volunteered. Amy Watters and Janelle Wapola volunteered at St. John's Catholic School, helping to complete various projects in support of the teachers and students. 
HIIM in the News

David Marc and Ryan Sandefer co-authored an article for the Journal of AHIMA regarding the changing workforce. The article highlighted  two CSS HIM graduates, Tanner Viola and Joy Selleck. Read the article HERE.
Ryan Sandefer was quoted in a Journal of AHIMA  article regarding the gaps between educational programming and professional practice. Read the article HERE .   
Amy Watters, Krist Lundgren (alumnus), and John Mashikian (MS HIM graduate student) were highlighted in an AHIMA Journal web exclusive focused on innovative academic programs. Read the article HERE
Shirley Eichenwald-Maki, HIIM Faculty Emeritus, was highlighted in a Journal of AHIMA  article titled "HIM After Retirement." Read the article HERE
Ryan Sandefer co-authored an article in the Journal of AHIMA related to a survey of HIM professionals perceived competence regarding updated academic curricular competencies. Read the article HERE
Upcoming Events
April 29-May 1, 2015
(Red Wing, MN)
MN HCH Spring Learning Days
May12-14, 2015
(St. Cloud, MN)

LaTour Eichenwald Forum
June 1, 2015
(Duluth, MN)

Minnesota eHealth Summit 
June 16-17, 2015 
(St. Louis Park, MN)

Faculty Development Regional Meeting 
June 18-19, 2015 
(Wilmington, DE)
Learn More

Faculty Development Regional Meeting 
June 25-26, 2015 
(Minneapolis, MN)
Learn More

With the economic financial crisis today, students and families are stretched to afford a St. Scholastica education. 

As one of our treasured alums and/or friends, we are reaching out to you to support the College with a gift to the Sister Loretta Scholarship Fund and/or the LaTour Eichenwald Forum.

Sister Loretta Sheehan Scholarship Fund
Includes the Patricia Pierce Memorial Graduate Scholarship and Sue Watkins Progression Scholarship
Give Now
"Donating to the Sister Loretta Scholarship has become one of life's good habits!  The [Sr. Loretta] Committee knows how important even small contributions are to the scholarship and encourages wider giving so students continue to benefit in this outstanding educational program." READ MORE
CSS Alumni, Monica Pappas, RHIA

LaTour Eichenwald Forum
Annual event on HIM Leadership and Innovation
Give Now  
Job Openings
Contact Us 
If you would like more information about our program or financial aid contact:

Ryan Sandefer
Chair, Health Informatics and Information Management Department
+ Email Ryan
+ (218) 625-4931