Wiregrass Health Information Graduates Win State Awards

Wiregrass Health Information Graduates Win State Awards

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Abby Watkins and Stephanie Mercer
Wiregrass Tech Health Information Management Technology Graduates, Abby Watkins (L) and Stephanie Mercer (R) receive state awards for their outstanding work in the field of Health Information.

Valdosta, GA – Recent graduates of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s Health Information Technology program received awards from the Georgia Health Information Management Association (GHIMA). Health Information Technology is the business and billing side of health care.

Abby Watkins, a December 2016 graduate, received the GHIMA New Graduate Award. Watkins works at Colquitt Regional Hospital in Moultrie as a Certified Coding Specialist. She was nominated for the award by Denese Davis, her former Wiregrass Health Information Technology Instructor. This award recognizes graduates from a CAHIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management) accredited Health Information Management associate or baccalaureate programs in Georgia. To be eligible for this award the candidate must be a member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and GHIMA, be in their last semester or graduated within the last 6 months, have a 3.0 GPA, and have shown commitment to the health information management profession by being involved in school or Health Information Management association activities.

Stephanie Mercer, a December 2011 Wiregrass graduate, currently works at Tift Regional Hospital and was awarded the Outstanding Professional Award. She is an active member of the West Georgia Health Information Management Association and serves as outgoing President. To be a candidate for this award you must have been credentialed within the last five years and demonstrate significant potential for future innovation, creativity, and leadership ability. Stephanie has demonstrated her ability to think out of the box and be proactive in leading others through changes, and has actively participated in local and/or state Health Information Management activities.

GHIMA is the Georgia component state association of the national organization, the AHIMA. The mission is to lead the health informatics and information management community to advance professional practice and standards in Georgia.

Wiregrass offers Health Information Technology at the degree, and diploma levels. For students in high school taking dual enrollment classes, the college offers Health Information Specialist Certificate of Credit that will lead them to a diploma or degree. The diploma-level program qualifies for the HOPE Career Grant where, if one qualifies for the HOPE or Zell Miller Grant, they could be eligible for additional monies to pay for college. Wiregrass will be accepting new students for this program for Spring Semester. Classes begin January 9, 2019. Free Application Day for Spring Semester is November 8, and if you apply in person on that day your application fee will be waived.

The awards were given out at the GHIMA Annual Meeting at Calloway Gardens. The meeting was also attended by two current Wiregrass students, Jana Hutto and Darchelle Downing.