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Recognition Awards - Past Recipients
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Rising Star Award

Julissa Avila - pic Julissa Avila, RHIT
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

Bio coming soon!







Legacy Award

Shawna Ridley - pic Shawna A. Ridley, MBA, RHIA, CPC, COC, CPMA
UT Southwestern Medical Center

When asked, “What does it feel like to be the TXHIMA Legacy 2020 Recipient? Shawna Ridley smiles and says, “It is truly an honor to be recognized for my contributions to the HIM profession over the decades and for my fervent passion to invest the gift of time in others. It is even more of an honor to be added to the distinguished rank with former Legacy award winners. My career in HIM has been everything I hoped for plus some. I started this great career path 33 years ago under my then, professor and mentor, Dr. Barbara Odom-Wesley at Texas Woman’s University (TWU). Dr. Wesley is now a dear friend, and I cherish everything she instilled in me. She truly cemented my HIM beginnings and foundation.”

Shawna Ridley is the Health System Director of the Health Information Management (HIM) Department at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) and has been employed there for the past 22 years. Prior to joining UTSW, she was a General Manager for Maxim Health Care. She has served as adjunct faculty at The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP), DeVry University, Sanford Brown College (SBC) and at various local junior colleges where she was voted as Instructor of the Year five times. She has been an educator for 23 years and has worked in the health information management profession for over 30 years. Her most recent honor was the Dallas Health Information Management Association (DFWHIMA) Hall of Fame induction.

Ms. Ridley was the Past President for DFWHIMA and served as the Finance Chair for the Texas Health Information Management Association (TxHIMA). Prior to these elected positions, she served as the DFWHIMA treasurer and was a former TxHIMA Volunteer Award recipient. She was appointed as the first Employee Advisory Chair (EAC) for UT Southwestern Medical Center. She currently is an Aspiring Leaders mentor at UTSW and former Employee Engagement Speaker for newly onboarded leaders. In 2012, she was one of Governor Rick Perry’s Texas Women Hall of Fame nominees. Ms. Ridley also served as Chair for the UTSW Chapter for Executive Women in Texas Government (EWTG)-Dallas Affiliate Office and was nominated as EWTG Woman of the Year. She has been an active American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) member for over 30 years, Through the decades, Ms. Ridley has mentored over 200+ students/mentees and will not pass up an opportunity to serve as a resource to anyone. She is a participant in many HIM forums, sits on metroplex and state advisory boards and serves as a local commencement speaker.

Shawna Ridley is an honors graduate from each of the following institutions: Texas Woman’s University; Amberton University; and UT Southwestern School of Allied Health. She is an accomplished Registered Health Information Management Administrator (RHIA) and holds two coding certifications: Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) and is a Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA).


Volunteer Award

Mika Ayers - picMika Ayers

Mika Ayers is a student at San Jacinto College in Houston, TX. While at San Jac she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and will be graduating soon with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Management. Mika also plans to continue her education and pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Information Management. She is an active member of several student and professional HIM associations. She was a student volunteer at the 2019 TxHIMA Annual Convention and served as President of San Jac’s Student Association of Health Information Management. Most recently she was appointed to the HAHIMA Board of Directors as the new Student Liaison and was awarded their 2020 Student Scholarship. In addition to being an active student she has a full house; she is a single mother of 4 amazing children and 2 rambunctious dogs!

Rising Star Award

Christina Turrietta - pic Christina Turrietta, BSHIM, RHIA, CCS
Community Health Systems

Christina Turrietta, BSHIM, RHIA, CCS is a full-time outpatient coder with CHS and adjunct instructor in the El Paso Community College HIM program. She is currently working towards her MHIM at Texas State University and aspires to go for her Ph.D. after. She has served as the student liaison for TxHIMA since September 2017 and plans to continue finding positions to volunteer with TxHIMA when her current service is complete. Christina looks forward to continuing towards a bright future in HIM.


Legacy Award

Susan H. Fenton - pic Susan H. Fenton, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA
University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics

Susan H. Fenton, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics in Houston, TX. She is responsible for their graduate certificates, master’s degree and doctoral degree programs. Dr. Fenton has received more than $7 million in grant funding during her academic career. Dr. Fenton received the AHIMA Triumph Award for Research in 2012. Dr. Fenton also serves as the Past-President of the Texas Health Information Management Association (TxHIMA) and the Chair for the AHIMA Council on Excellence in Education. Dr. Fenton earned her B.S. in health information management from the University of Texas Medical Branch, an MBA from the University of Houston, and her PhD in health services research from Texas A&M.

Rising Star Award

T. Mowe Simpson - pic T. Mowe Simpson, MS, RHIA, CPHIMS
Children's Health

T. Mowe Simpson, MS, RHIA, CPHIMS is a full time EHR Analyst with Children’s Health. He supports HIE and HIM EHR Applications. Mowe has authored Identity Management Beyond the EHR published in the Journal of AHIMA. He is the President of the Dallas Ft. Worth Health Information Management Association and an Adjunct Instructor with Alabama State University and Dallas County Community College District. Mowe also serves on the HIMSS Concert Committee to support efforts to standardized testing to improve HIE interoperability.


Legacy Award

Katherine Lusk - pic Katherine Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA
Children's Health System

Katherine Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA is the Chief Health Information Management and Exchange Officer for Children’s Health System, Texas. As an active AHIMA member her attention is focused on patient identity, health information exchange, standard development, and information governance. Accolades include: TxHIMA Legacy Award 2018, AHIMA’s 2012 Pioneer Triumph, HIMSS Level 7 Analytics, HIMSS Davies, and the AHIMA Grace Award. She’s enjoyed the privilege of serving as the President of TxHIMA, on AHIMA’s House of Delegates and multiple work-groups. Learning more than giving! She speaks locally and nationally on interoperability, clinical documentation improvement, patient identity, and the promoting the HIM profession.