2020 HIMSS WA Student Scholarship

The Washington Chapter of the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) is pleased to present the recipients of its 2020 Scholarship Program to help educate the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Dennis Alvin David, HIMSS Health Information Technology Graduate Scholarship Recipient

I am about to finish my third quarter of my Master of Health Informatics and Health Information Management program at the University of Washington and I still have three more quarters to go. So far, my time as a graduate student has further increased my interest in leveraging technology and data analysis in healthcare while applying concepts of information technology and information security.

I am currently working as a Data Specialist at the WA Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. I am in my entry level work involving writing SQL codes, mining data, and visualizing data for research and data analysis regarding state educators. I also worked as a Program Data Systems Analyst at the Department of Health where I supported the surveillance phase of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program of the Public Health Sciences and the maintenance of the Washington Disease Reporting System database for the said program. Prior to that, I was a medic for the US Army stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord for the Military Police Brigade where I leveraged my data analytics skills to provide summary of my organization’s health status to supervisors. I was a high school mathematics teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools prior to joining the military.

Joining HIMSS has given me a plethora of health informatics-related knowledge from more than the areas I mentioned. All webinars I have been attending are worth time spent. It is always good to hear from the experts in the field and ask them questions. I will continue my involvement in the association and share it with other professionals and early careerists.

I plan to continue studying after graduating from the program. One of them is in the convergence of data analytics and artificial intelligence that will enable innovation in healthcare. Further developing my interest in cybersecurity applied in healthcare is another option. Either one, the scholarship award will prepare me a step or two more into seeing myself as an expert in health informatics field and helping other professionals and the organization as a whole in achieving their personal, professional, or organization mission and goals. It will fund my knowledge-hungry mind by taking short online courses in either of the fields.

Diana Whitaker, HIMSS Health Information Technology Graduate Scholarship Recipient

I am a Master’s degree candidate, having completed my Bachelor of Science in Business and Information Technology Management in fall of 2018. I joined HiMSS shortly before graduation, and began by taking a course in Data Analytics for Health Care. That comprehensive project is what gelled my idea of working with data in the medical field, and I continue to seek an internship working with Population Health Data. My previous career in electronics and supply chain did not give me the relevant experience necessary for entry-level employment, having only a Bachelor’s degree. The M.S. Data Analytics degree program at Western Governors University is flexible, and I expect to complete the program in late 2021. I enjoy all of the HiMSS Washington programs, and the opportunity to use the HiMSS Learning Center for items such as TIGER and Blockchain in Healthcare. Last year, I became a volunteer on HiMSS-WA’s Clinical Informatics Committee and helped the team at a few of its events. I plan to continue in this path during 2020 and beyond. This scholarship would be gratefully received!

Hallie Hansen, Tacoma Community College Undergraduate Scholarship Winner

I am current enrolled and plan to graduate from Tacoma Community College with my Health Information Technology Associate in Spring of 2021. This scholarship will help me pay for that degree and classes necessary to continue my career path without any bumps in the road. It will cover my tuition and resources that I will need this Summer quarter of 2020. Being awarded this scholarship was amazing news and I am truly grateful for the networking resources and all the learning opportunities that the HIMSS provides for HIT students.

Scholarship Chair, Erika Hjalseth