CHIA Director Candidate Monica Thurston

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Monica Thurston


Relevant Health Information Professional Positions

  • Department Chair, Allied Health Department; East Los Angeles College, August 2016 - Current
  • HIT Program Director; East Los Angeles College; August 2013 - Current
  • Project Manager; Caban Resources; May 2012 - Current

Academic and Professional Degrees or Training Received

  • Doctoral of Education Candidate; Adult Education; Walden University; 2020
  • Master’s Degree; Business Administration; American InterContinental University; 2015
  • Bachelor’s Degree; Health Information Management; Norfolk State University; 1993

Association Board Activities

  • CLA; Past President; 2018-2019
  • CLA ; President; 2017-2018
  • CLA; President-Elect; 2016-2017
  • CLA; Past President; 2016-2017
  • CLA; President; 2015-2016
  • CLA; President-Elect; 2014-2015

Association Committee/Task Force Activities

  • Academic

Five Adjectives That Describe Personality and Leadership Style

Committed, Productive, Diligent, Caring, Professional

Position Statement

The Director candidates were asked to respond to the following question: As a CHIA Director you will help oversee and guide the Association. How can CHIA best pursue its mission via an “innovative approach” to develop health information professionals and advocate for practice excellence?

The mission of CHIA is “develop health information professionals and advocate for practice excellence.” I have demonstrated experience in instituting program innovations that result in developing health information professionals. I am the Department Chair of the Allied Health Department and Program Director of the HIT Program at East Los Angeles College (ELAC). I sought and secured over $1.1 million dollars in grant funding to create the only Registered HIT Apprenticeship Program in California and have recently been awarded additional funding for a Medical Assistant Apprenticeship. The Registered HIT Apprenticeship has supported the development of health information professionals by providing free tuition and fees, books and registration fee for the RHIT exam. As a CHIA Director, my experience and viewpoint can guide CHIA in an “innovative approach” to pursue its mission.

As an educator, it has always been my passion to help students become the best health information professional they can be. Once a student decides to enroll at ELAC and the HIT program, my primary focus and commitment has been on ensuring student success. CHIA can be innovating in developing health information professionals by offering free webinars and workshops to all students enrolled in a California HIT or HIM program. By providing free seminars to students, CHIA would demonstrate its willingness and commitment to invest money and time to support students and their mission. The show of good faith by offering these resources and using CHIA funding in this manner would promote loyalty and positive relationships, thereby encouraging students to become lifelong members of AHIMA and CHIA. Students will have a sense of belonging and support from their professional organization, which
will carry over into their professional life. Providing free seminars also addresses important inequity issues that many of our students face while attending a college or university.

Another way that CHIA can pursue its mission via an “innovative approach” is to advocate for practice excellence by offering its active members a set number of free seminars each year. Members will realize the benefit of belonging to a well-respected organization where they can learn best practices from other CHIA HIM professionals. This practice will encourage HIM professionals to attend more CHIA events, rather than attend events offered by other organizations. This innovative practice will demonstrate to members that CHIA is committed to them and is willing to invest in their continuous life-long learning process. This investment will see its rewards in more significant commitment, loyalty, and support to by the members it serves.

As a member of AHIMA and CHIA, I know we, as health information professionals, will always have to be life-long learners. It is CHIA’s responsibility to determine how we are going to continually educate our members, so our members can provide excellent performance in the workplace.

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