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Students/Faculty News Kevin Storr August 06, 2021

Shannon H. Houser, Ph.D., MPH, RHIA, FAHIMA, professor in the UAB Department of Health Services Administration, won an American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Triumph Mentor Award. The national award recognizes those making a difference in the health information management (HIM) profession and Houser was honored with the Mentor Award for a long record of transforming lives and “encouraging individuals to realize their full potential or have helped them find ways to achieve their best.”

“I am truly honored to receive this award – there have been so many mentors throughout my career development,” said Houser, who has participated in the AHIMA mentor program since 2002. “Dr. Donna Slovensky is responsible for me entering the field of health information management. She has continued to mentor through the years. Likewise, others have changed my life by their great mentorship, dedication and caring. I am happy to contribute and continue their legacy to promote the professions. I also want to lead others to change their lives and follow and surpass my accomplishments.”

“One of Shannon’s strongest contributions to the HIM profession has been her consistent mentoring and promotion of the value of the RHIA credential in research,” said Donna J. Slovensky, Ph.D. professor and senior associate dean, School of Health Professions. “She has served as a preceptor for students in the UAB HIM program, in other schools, and from Tsinghua University in China. Her mentoring has demonstrated how HIM skills and knowledge can contribute to research studies.”

In her more than 25-year career, Houser has been known her exceptional efforts to develop students and new professionals as a HIM practitioner, researcher, and educator. She has been a committed mentor at all academic levels – undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral. 

Many of the students and early career professionals she has mentored have been able to contribute to the HIM body of knowledge through research and scholarship. Houser has also guided many individuals and advised them about activities to enhance their personal abilities, thus enabling them to achieve and perform well in professional roles that served to advance the HIM profession in addition to their own careers.

“Dr. Houser is an outstanding contributor to the field of health information management and generous in her time to mentor others,” said Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., chair, Department of Health Services Administration. “She exemplifies our Department, School and University’s commitment to teaching, service and scholarship.” 

This is the second time that Houser has earned an AHIMA Triumph Award. In 2007, she won the AHIMA Triumph Award for Research based on outstanding contributions to original and applied Health Information Management studies. 

Houser has been an active member of AHIMA for three decades. 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.

Houser also received a major award in 2020 from the Alabama Association of Health Information Management. The AAHIM Distinguished Member Award is given to an active member, “marked by distinction, excellence of service and contribution to the profession.”

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