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STCC Health Information Technology Graduate Wins Award

SPRINGFIELD — Maria Mitchell, a Springfield Technical Community College graduate of the newly accredited Health Information Technology program, is the first person from STCC to receive the MaHIMA Student Achievement award.

The Massachusetts Health Information Management Assoc. (MaHIMA) offers the award to an outstanding student from any accredited health-information technology or health-information management program. STCC’s program received accreditation in December, making a graduate of the program eligible for the first time this year.

Walter Houlihan, senior director for Health Information Management and Clinical Documentation at Baystate Health and past president of MaHIMA, presented Mitchell with the award on May 16.

Tracey McKethan, department chair and professor of Health Information Technology, said Mitchell was an excellent student who served as a good role model for others in the program. “She was always available to mentor students.”

Mitchell said she was honored by the recognition, adding that “it was because of all the hard work of the faculty in gaining accreditation that I was even eligible for this award.”

Mitchell received a certificate of achievement and one-year membership to the national American Health Information Management Assoc. (AHIMA), free full-day registration for MaHIMA’s fall and winter meetings, and free MaHIMA webinars for one year.

Mitchell is seeking a position as a health-information technician or coding specialist and hopes to eventually return to school and earn her bachelor’s degree.

Graduates of STCC’s Health Information Technology program receive associate degrees. The program prepares students for certification and practice as registered health-information technicians, who typically work with patient medical records at healthcare facilities. Technicians focus in areas beyond coding, including data analytics, compliance, and more.

The associate degree program at STCC is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

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