CHIA Recognition Awards


CHIA has a long and cherished tradition of honoring the excellence, dedication, and service of California's health information professionals whose steadfast efforts have enriched the HIM field and/or have contributed to the professional development of others. As part of CHIA's commitment to encourage, nurture and celebrate exceptional volunteer and professional leadership, the CHIA Recognition Awards honor exemplary service, reward contributions that build the HIM knowledge base, recognize excellence in preparing future HIM professionals, and encourage new talent and leadership.

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View past CHIA Recognition Awards Recipients who make a world of difference in the health information community. 

Nomination Details
Nomination Process

Nominations must be submitted by the annual March 1 deadline and include:

  1. Complete CHIA Recognition Awards Nomination Form - Form progress can be saved, enabling users to return and edit.
  2. Resume/CV
  3. Two to four letters of support from someone who can elaborate on:
    • Nominee’s specific accomplishment(s);
    • How Nominee has met the guidelines for the award, based on the award category criteria; and
    • Why Nominee is worthy of an award


Nomination Guidelines
  • Nominees must be CHIA members (Active, Student, Emeritus, Honorary) or Corporate Partners,
    • With the exception of the HIM Industry Champion award which may be presented to an organization, group or individual. 
  • Individuals who have previously won a particular award are not eligible to win that award again, even if it has been reformatted. They may, however, be nominated for a different award.
  • The nominator is responsible for ensuring that all required documentation is collected for the nominee. Missing material does not automatically remove a nominee from consideration, although incomplete submissions may adversely impact the committee’s ability to adequately and fully evaluate a nominee.
  • All supporting documentation must have relevance to specific criteria requirements. The volume of material submitted is not important. Documentation should support what the nominee accomplished and specifically why the nominee is deserving of an award.
  • All nomination materials become the property of CHIA. Materials cannot be returned.
  • The CHIA Awards and Scholarship Committee may give a nominee an award in a category for which s/he was not nominated so long as the nominee meets the criteria for the award given. In this case, the CHIA Awards & Scholarship Committee will notify the nominator that such action was taken.
  • CHIA Awards and Scholarship Committee and the CHIA President are ineligible for awards during their term of office. CHIA Board of Directors members, except the CHIA President, are eligible for awards during their term of service. CHIA staff members are eligible for awards during their term of employment.
  • Nominees not selected will automatically be included for consideration in the first year following their original nomination. If not selected for an award in that next year, a new nomination will be required for the nominee to be considered for any award in any following year.


Selection and Notification Process

The CHIA Awards and Scholarship Committee will review all eligible nominations and evaluate based on the materials provided with the nomination and the award category criteria.

CHIA will notify each nominee if he/she was selected to receive the a CHIA Recognition Award in April. Award presentations and distributions are made at the annual CHIA Convention & Exhibit in June. Award recipients are encouraged to be present to receive their award, but recipients may designate an individual to accept the award on their behalf.


Recognition Award Categories
Distinguished Member

The Distinguished Member Award is CHIA’s highest honor. The purpose of this award is to recognize a member who has shown exemplary leadership within the Association and has made outstanding contributions to the HIM profession. Eligible candidates must have made meritorious and sustained contributions to the profession in more than one of the following areas:

  • Exemplary service to the Association. Have held various elected and appointed volunteer positions within CHIA and their Component Local Association, and have made meaningful and lasting contributions through their service to elevate the practice of HIM;
  • Outstanding achievement in professional practice. Evidenced by their role and impact in leading change in health care that is aligned with HIM practice. Represented CHIA and the profession at the local, state and perhaps the national level in bringing awareness and education to HIM and related health care issues;
  • Leadership in education. Through mentoring and inspiration, has guided emerging leaders in their participation in CHIA’s volunteer structure and have built meaningful experiences. Have made significant and sustained contributions to the advancement of the discipline of HIM education, and advancement of the profession through innovation and knowledge sharing;
  • Contributions in research or published materials. Have made considerable contributions to the state and national association through original research or authorship, editing, or service on editorial boards for journals, books, monographs, and other publications that advances the HIM profession.

The Educator Award honors those who demonstrate excellence in preparing the next generation of professionals for HIM careers and the field depends on a continual influx of well-trained new talent. Those who qualify are instructors who teach in a formal health information administration or health information technology program that grants associate, baccalaureate, or master’s degree, and who:

  • Exemplifies excellence in teaching;
  • Develops and implements creative teaching tools and methods;
  • Demonstrates high standards of excellence and high expectations of students;
  • Impacts students as a role model through instructor role;
  • Shows commitment to student mentoring in the classroom and beyond; or
  • Has provided outstanding contributions in the research base of the HIM field.
HIM Industry Champion

The HIM Industry Champion Award recognizes those who have worked tirelessly to support the HIM profession by advancing CHIA’s leadership position. Nominees need not be CHIA members; they may be individuals, organizations, or companies that worked for CHIA on a contractual basis. Documentation of the nominee’s support of CHIA must be submitted. Examples of commendable services include:

  • Advancing legislative initiatives that promote the interests of the HIM profession;
  • Serving the needs of CHIA members through advocacy of patient’s rights and confidentiality, educating the public on health information, or support and promotion of professional practice standards;
  • Significant financial support of key CHIA initiatives through sponsorship of special programs, scholarships, or grants.

The Literary Award recognizes a member’s contribution to the published materials available to the HIM profession.Candidates must be an author, co-author, editor or co-editor of published material that meets the selection criteria:

  • Published materials must be:
    • Available to the HIM community through publication in a recognized professional journal, recognized professional association, or recognized publisher; or
    • A book or book chapter, journal article, monograph or instructional guide.
  • Materials other than books must be published within two years of the time of nomination.
  • Material must make a significant contribution to the health information/informatics use or management as it relates to any aspect of the health care delivery system in one or more of the following ways:
    • Presents new concepts
    • Presents an expansion, further development or revision of old concepts
    • Presents practical ideas and information on a current area of health information practice.

The Mentor Award honors individuals that have demonstrated excellence in mentoring and encouraging students or colleagues to realize their full potential or have helped them find ways to achieve their best. The candidate should have made contributions to the profession in more than one of the following ways:

  • Encouraged professionals to become involved with CHIA/AHIMA activities as well as local activities of their Component Local Association;
  • Fostered enthusiasm for the profession;
  • Provided ongoing, long term career guidance to one or more HIM professionals;
  • Supported the training process for new professionals through teaching, serving on panel presentations, and advising individual students or new professionals in the profession;
  • Demonstrated a record of motivating individuals to enter the HIM profession;
  • Professional Practice Site Supervisor.
Rising Star

The Rising Star Award recognizes and encourages the best of the fresh new talent being trained in health information administration or health information technology degree granting-program. It honors a gifted student or promising new professional who embodies great hope as we look to the future of the HIM profession. Candidates must be CHIA members who are students enrolled at the time of nomination in an approved HIA or HIT degree program; have graduated in the last three months; or HIM professionals who have been credentialed within the last seven years.

Nominees must demonstrate significant potential for future leadership, innovation, creativity, and administrative capacity. Criteria includes:

  • Willingness to change tradition, take risks, think critically and to lead others in these processes;
  • Exceptional problem-solving ability with the capacity to envision the “big picture” in HIM and to make decisions accordingly;
  • Demonstrates excellence in the management of personnel, finances, or information systems;
  • Demonstrates commitment to the HIM profession through active participation in local, state, and national AHIMA activities-especially those that promote HIM education.

The Volunteer Award honors members who have served as a consistent and exemplary volunteer supporting the mission of CHIA. Candidates have exceptional and consistent (minimum of three years) volunteer service that has contributed to the advancement of the profession. Criteria includes:

  • Provided exemplary volunteer services and made significant contributions to the profession while consistently serving in a variety of volunteer positions at the CHIA level as an officer, director, committee chair, task force chair and/or member;
  • Frequent presentations in local or CHIA workshops, meetings, seminars or conferences on a volunteer basis.