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American Health Information Management Association presents IU Northwest professor with Distinguished Member Award

Margaret Skurka, program director for Health Information Management, receives AHIMA’s highest honor


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American Health Information Management Association

On Monday, Sept. 27, Margaret Skurka, an Indiana University Northwest professor and faculty member, was recognized by the national professional association, American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), as a recipient of the Distinguished Member Award for 2010.

At IU Northwest, Skurka is a professor and Director of Health Information Management for the College of Health and Human Services’ Health Information Management (HIM) program.

The Distinguished Member Award is the highest honor presented to an AHIMA member. The award celebrates an individual with a long, exceptional history of HIM contributions.

Skurka said she feels extremely honored to have received this award and understands the true significance of being noted as AHIMA’s Distinguished Member.

“I am very pleased to have received this significant award,” Skurka said. “I was nominated by the Indiana Health Information Management Association (IHIMA) and was totally unaware of the nomination. I was completely taken aback when notified by the CEO of AHIMA. There are 60,000 HIM professionals who are members of AHIMA.” 

Outside of IU Northwest, Skurka is actively involved in the profession and serves as an HIM and coding consultant to numerous ambulatory and other healthcare facilities and physician practices. Skurka is currently the AHIMA representative to the International Federation of Health Records Organization (IFHRO), where she is president-elect of the organization, and will assume the presidency in November in Milan, Italy.

“I first met Margaret (Skurka) through the IHIMA,” said AHIMA past president, Wendy Mangin. “I quickly saw her enthusiasm as she served on various committees such as the Public Relations Committee and Program Committee, was state president, and served on the AHIMA House of Delegates. Her position as a respected educator earned her positions on task forces, including serving as AHIMA’s President.

“Ms. Skurka has also found her true calling in her involvement with IFHRO,” Mangin added. “She has taken a leadership position with this organization. She epitomizes a smart, capable, engaging, involved HIM professional who serves as a role model to all working in the field.”

Skurka said that she considers her selection as this year’s Distinguished Member to be recognition for doing something that she has always considered a part of life’s work: giving back to one’s profession.

“Whether one volunteers at the local, state, national, or international level, you always walk away with more than you gave,” she said.

In 2000, Skurka was the president of AHIMA, and she was on the AHIMA Board of Directors from 1996 until 2001. She served as president of IHIMA and received its Distinguished Member Award in 1989. She is an author of books on HIM topics, including Health Information Management: Principles and Organization for Health Record Services

Skurka received her bachelor’s degree in HIM from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Master’s in Education from Purdue University. She was recognized in 2004 by the University of Illinois, Department of Health Information Administration as the alumnus of the year. She achieved fellowship status with AHIMA in 2008.

To learn more about IU Northwest’s Health Information Management program, go to http://www.iun.edu/health-information-management/index.htm.

For more information on the national trade association AHIMA, go to http://www.ahima.org/.




Additional Article Photos

American Health Information Management Association
Margaret Skurka, an Indiana University Northwest professor and faculty member, was recognized by the national professional association, American Health Information Management Association, as a recipient of the Distinguished Member Award for 2010.