Each year, one WVHIMA member is recognized as a Distinguished Member for their outstanding contribution to the profession. This person has made an exceptional impact through volunteerism to WVHIMA, AHIMA, and other health information management organizations; they have made an outstanding achievement in professional practice, through leadership in education, and also made contributions in research or published materials. This prestigious award can be presented only once in a member’s lifetime.
The 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Member award is LaRonica “Ronnie” Decker-Tomlinson, MBA, RHIA, BCTMB, LMT. Ronnie is currently an Adjunct Instructor at both Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical Center in West Virginia. She has taught courses in Allied Health Administration, Allied Health Careers, and Health Information Management for 16 years. She has also taught courses for Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania.
Ronnie is a graduate of the Health Information Technology Program at Fairmont State University. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Information Management from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and a Master’s in Business Administration with emphasis in Health Services Management from WVU.
She has been an active member of WVHIMA for 30 years. She has served on various committees including Marketing and Recruitment, Membership, and Education. She chaired several committees including Public Relations, Vendor and Scholarship. She served as 1st, 2nd and 3rd year Director and represented WVHIMA in the House of Delegates for six years. She also served as Vice-President, President-Elect, and President of the Association. In addition, Ronnie had the privilege of being interviewed, pictured and published in the AHIMA Journal on behalf of Information Manufacturing Corporation.
Ronnie’s contributions to Health Information Management do not stop at WVHIMA. She has over 30 years of experience in Health Information Management, both as an educator and in various leadership roles. She has been employed at several institutions including WVU Hospital, University Health Associates, and Preston Memorial Hospital.
She has exhibited leadership in education through several professional presentations and lectures with topics including leadership, continuous improvement, staff development, virtual storage, release of information, transcription, HIPAA, ACA, HIM career development, and overcoming the superwoman syndrome. She has created two 100% online courses for FSU, and was even compensated for professional review of several textbooks.
In addition to many interests, Ronnie has been nationally certified as a massage therapist for 13 years, during which time she has owned and operated a successful practice. She is active in several professional associations including AHIMA and AMTA, and served on the HIT Advisory Board for Fairmont State College for many years.
In her free time, Ronnie enjoys photography, traveling, reading, music, outdoor activities, and spending time with her friends and family. She is especially proud of her husband of 11 years, Jason, and her two daughters, Zoe and Skye.
Ronnie has been not only a great mentor but an asset to the HIM Profession and to WVHIMA. She can be described as enthusiastic, motivational to others, and is truly an inspiration to all. It is with honor to name Ronnie as the 2016 Distinguished Member. Congratulations, Ronnie!