Joni Wyatt Beyond the HJoni Wyatt, president, Alabama Chapter of HIMSSThe Alabama Chapter of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has established a travel award for students in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsGraduate Programs in Health Informatics.

The Alabama Chapter of HIMSS Sponsored Travel Award will provide support for registration fees, travel and lodging for UAB HI students attending the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition or HIMSS International Conference. There will be an emphasis placed on those students who have had posters selected to present at either conference.

“A key goal of Alabama HIMSS is to encourage advancement in the field of health care management systems,” said Joni Wyatt, president, Alabama Chapter of HIMSS. “Support of the UAB HI students not only allows us to meet that goal, but also ensures that our next generation of Health IT professionals will be more prepared to enter a rapidly evolving field.”

HIMSS 2017Students with alumnus at HIMSS17“This award gives students the chance to experience first-hand, the exciting and rapidly changing field of health informatics,” said Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., chair, Department of Health Services Administration, “which is particularly important because travel to meetings is something many students simply cannot afford to do. We are grateful for this generous commitment from Alabama HIMSS.”

The UAB Graduate Programs in Health Informatics include a Master of Science in Health Informatics – offered in a blended format with only two three-day residential requirements each year – and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Informatics that is offered totally online.

Both are designed for the busy professional juggling career, family and time. But maybe even more importantly, both speak to the core of HIMSS – advancing the field of health care management systems through development of highly qualified and specialized professionals.

“On behalf of the faculty and students, we are so grateful to Alabama HIMSS for this generous gift which will allow us to support student travel to HIMSS. It is at HIMSS, when students are in sessions and at networking events, where they realize how much they know about health informatics,” Sue Feldman, RN, Ph.D., director, Graduate Programs in Health Informatics. “Students are able to see their course knowledge in real world use and those learnings become tangible. This fund will help get more students in the right environment with the right colleagues at the right time in their health informatics education and careers.”

himss logo 670The Alabama Chapter of HIMSS Sponsored Travel Award will be given to students based on merit, academic promise and achievement in the field.

Wyatt, who serves as healthcare advisor at Kassouf & Co. in addition to being the Alabama HIMSS president, has spent more than 15 years in the healthcare industry.

She is a long time HIMSS member and has attended the annual HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition numerous times. Each year she walks away with new insights to problem solving and the latest best practices to implement. It is an experience she believes will improve the HI students today in the classroom and tomorrow in the field.

“Attendance of the national HIMSS conference is an excellent way to better gain perspective of the healthcare IT industry as a whole,” said Wyatt. “Through support of travel funds, we are able to help provide the means necessary to give a student that opportunity.”