Shannon H. Houser, Ph.D., MPH, RHIA, FAHIMA, professor in the UAB Department of Health Services Administration, will receive the 2020 AAHIM Distinguished Member Award from the Alabama Association of Health Information Management. The award is given annually to an active member with at least 10 years’ experience “marked by distinction, excellence of service and contribution to the profession.”

“This is a great privilege to join my colleagues, many of whom are my mentors, or my former students that I have taught through the years,” said Houser. “I appreciate the opportunities that have been afforded me and that allowed me to grow and provide service and leadership while transitioning along with the profession. I owe the honor of all my achievements to the profession.”

Houser graduated from UAB School of Health Professions with a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management (HIM) in 1993 summa cum laude. That same year she earned her Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). She received her Master’s in Epidemiology in 1998 and Ph.D. in Health Behavior in 2004, both from UAB School of Public Health. Houser has maintained her professional credential and been an active member of AHIMA for the past 28 years and in 2015, she was awarded the lifelong honor of Fellowship designation in recognition of “significant and sustained contributions” to the HIM profession by the Association.

“One of Shannon’s strongest contributions to the HIM profession has been her consistent promotion of the value of the RHIA credential and communicating to research investigators that RHIAs can be valuable members of their team,” said Donna Slovensky, Ph.D., senior associate dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs, UAB School of Health Professions. “She also ‘walked her talk’ by hiring HIM professionals in one of the largest national studies at UAB in which she lead five HIM professionals in tracking medical records for outcome event adjudications.”

After working in research in preventive medicine at UAB, Houser received a faculty appointment in the HIM program. She has been promoted over the years and recently achieved the rank of professor with tenure. In 16 years as a faculty member, she has designed and taught courses in HIM program at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and mentored numerous HIM students for their career choices and professional development. She is well published author in peer-reviewed journal articles, technical reports and textbooks related to HIM research, education, and field of practice.

In recognition of her career contributions, she earned the AHIMA Triumph Award for Research in 2007.

Midge Ray, Ph.D., first met Houser when she was one of her students. Today, they are faculty colleagues in the Department of Health Services Administration. She says it has given her so much pleasure to watch Houser mature into a nationally and internationally recognized, well respected HIM professional.

“I have acquired a profound appreciation of Shannon’s talent, work ethic, and professional contributions to the health information management (HIM) and health informatics (HI) professions,” said Ray. “Her expertise in HIM and HI is evident by her presentations at annual meetings, publications in peer reviewed journals, and authoring of three book chapters and six books on HIM and/or HI.”

Houser will be presented the Distinguished Member Award during the AAHIM Annual Meeting scheduled for August 12 – 14, 2020, in Birmingham.

The Distinguished Member Award has been given annually since 1973. Some past winners of this prestigious award connected to the UAB MSHI and HIM programs include alumnae Kayce Dover, Joan Hicks and Lakesha Kinnerson; former faculty members Kay Clements, Sara Grostick and Robert Garrie; and current faculty member Slovensky. Click here to see a list of all past winners, many of whom are alumni of the SHP HIM program.