Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Day (or a few…) in the Life of OHIMA’s Executive Director: PART 2

by Lauren Manson, RHIA – Executive Director, OHIMA 

As a non-profit association Executive Director, no two days are the same. Some days, I am an event planner.  Other days, I am a lobbyist.  Today, I am attempting to be a blogger writing this article.  Haha!  Here are a few example days in my life as the Executive Director of OHIMA…(during the autumn 2018 when I began writing this article ha!). 


8:30 AM  As I drink my coffee with pumpkin spice creamer, I begin my day checking emails and posting on OHIMA’s social media accounts.  I keep an ongoing file of posts for our Facebook and LinkedIn pages so I’m not scrambling to find something to post each day.  Thankfully, a volunteer manages our Twitter account because I have no idea what is worthy of a twitter … tweet … whatever ... these days! 

9:10 AM I post this week’s blog article.  It’s quick to post since our Coding Education Coordinator, Dianna Foley, wrote it and her grammar is always pristine.

9:45 AM  A phone call with Krystal Phillips, our Board President, discussing the strategies and agenda for our Board Meeting tomorrow.  I also send a quick email to the Board Members reminding them to review the meeting materials before the meeting. 

10:05 AM  I work on getting my notes and materials together for the Board Meeting.  We will be taking advantage of all the brains in one room and doing some brainstorming for a big project we’ve been working on.  Stay tuned at the OHIMA Annual Meeting for the big reveal!

11:45 AM  Working from home makes meals easier … lunch is leftovers from last night’s dinner!  Eh, I will just leave my dishes in the sink.  Luckily, I don’t have co-workers to frown at my dirty dishes.   More emails … 

12:20 PM  The Fall Coding Seminar is quickly approaching but even 6 months in advance, there are things to do for the Annual Meeting as well.  So I check our timelines to ensure that we are on track for all our meetings.  I can’t sing.  I ain’t crafty.  But I am organized!  My organization skills are key helping the OHIMA Central Office manage the 20+ projects going on at any given time in our association!  I add a few items to my to-do lists and send tasks to our other staff members.

1:00 PM Time for an AHIMA conference call!  Each month, AHIMA hosts a conference call with all the 52 Component State Associations’ Executive Directors.  Sometimes I present … this time, I am just a participant and listen in (trying not to check emails while I do – we are all guilty of this, right!?).

2:00 PM  My eyes are tired from looking at my computer so I print off the Hilton contracts for the OHIMA 2021 and 2022 Annual Meetings and review them in preparation for contract negotiations.  Columbus is becoming quite the popular location for national meetings, and as a result we are having to book venues further and further in advance!  2022!?!?  How can we possibly anticipate what our needs will be in 5 years??  We have to try … otherwise, we will be stuck having our meeting in a field out in the boondocks.

3:15 PM Phone call with Rick Tully from the Ohio Medicaid Office about the Statewide Authorization Form they are creating.  He hopes that OHIMA members will help distribute this form once it’s finalized.  He invites me to a committee meeting next week to discuss the comments submitted on the draft form.

3:30 PM I want to take advantage of the Vistaprint sale ending today so I put on my marketing hat on and design a postcard to advertise the Fall Coding Seminar.  We do have a graphic designer that we pay to design the Annual Meeting Program and Exhibitor Prospectus but with our small budget, we can’t afford to pay her for every little thing that needs designed.  So with some software tools like Canva, I fake it!  Not bad … eh? 

5:15 PM   More emails … I check in with my remote staff (we all work from home and occasionally, we meet up for an in-person meeting to regroup). 

6:00 PM I have book club tonight but I stop by Costco to pick up soup to feed our 40 volunteers attending the Board Meeting tomorrow.  I ordered Subway wraps earlier in the week – but because it is autumn, some soups would be great to go with it!  Again, working in a small budget, we find ways to maximize our funds. 

9:45 PM I get home from book club (whoops, I didn’t get a chance to read the book this month!  Oh well!).  I check emails one last time and then load my car for the Board Meeting tomorrow. 

10:15 PM Getting to bed early so I can be fresh and perky for the Board Members tomorrow! 

DAY 2 (a week ish later …)

7:30 AM  Sipping coffee with vanilla caramel creamer this morning.  As usual, I begin my day with responding to emails and posting on OHIMA’s social media pages.  Today’s social media posts are soliciting nominations for OHIMA’s Board elections!  I check the status of the nominations received and shoot an email to the Nominating Committee Chair.  I send this month’s “OHIMA News” e-newsletter content to Bethany, my Executive Assistant, so she can create and schedule the e-newsletter for this month. 

8:30 AM Because I have meetings outside the home office today, I take a break to shower and put on real shoes.  Working from home, my feet live in slippers most days!  But I do love my heels (does "buying shoes" count as a hobby?)!  

9:30 AM I drive downtown for a committee meeting with Ohio Medicaid about the Statewide Authorization Form.  There are several associations involved in this committee.  I am happy that HIM is represented at the table for this project.  I will be sharing the comments compiled by our HIM members on the draft form which I hope are applied to the form.  More often than not, politics are involved with these governmental agency projects which complicates the process. 

11:00 AM Since I am just across the street, I attend the Ohio House Health Committee Meeting.  Occasionally, there are state bills that OHIMA must get involved in and bills start with hearings in the Ohio House and Senate Health Committees.  

12:00 PM I usually try to schedule my work outings on the same day if I can - I am all about efficiency!  Therefore, I visit several new properties that offer meeting space.  If our Fall Coding Seminar gets any bigger, we will outgrow our space and I will have to come up with an alternative plan. 

2:00 PM Back in the home office and checking emails … I return a few phone calls regarding questions about the Fall Coding Early Bird Registration.  The majority of communication comes via email these days but the phone rings a couple times a day.  

2:30 PM We have been working diligently to finalize the speakers for the OHIMA 2019 Annual Meeting.  Bethany, my Executive Assistant, put together the speaker agreements.  I review and finalize each one and send them out to our 30+ speakers for 2019!  This is always a big project, but it is a good opportunity to touch base with each speaker about details of their presentation, etc.  There is still an Inpatient Coding slot on Wednesday that needs filled.  I reach out to one of my vendor contacts to see if they’d have a fitting presentation for this slot.  

4:45 PM Phone call with our accountant about the year-end tax form.  We talk depreciation… oh fun (I have a business minor but calculating depreciation is not something I have to do every day!  I joke about pulling my college accounting books out of my basement to help me calculate the year-end depreciation. Luckily, we have an outside accountant to help us with this!).  After our phone call, I run financial reports, gather the documentation, and send our accountant the information needed to compile the 990 tax form. 

5:30 PM Back to back conference calls with the Student & New Graduate Committee and the Young Professional Committee.  It’s always refreshing to brainstorm with the new HIM professionals who are our future! 

7:00 PM One of the challenges of working from home is separating your work life from your personal life since they are in the same location!  I close my office door and put my feet up.  Everything else can wait until tomorrow … for now, I am going to watch “This is Us” and probably shed a few tears (if you watch the show, you understand!). 

A Random Saturday …

10:03 AM I update the registration fees on our website since the Early Bird Registration closed at midnight for our upcoming Fall Coding Seminar.

10:30 AM I answer a few emails.  I try not to work too much on the weekends (except when I travel to attend conferences or there are things that MUST get done ASAP!) … but this weekend, I want to take advantage of this beautiful weather and get my jigsaw out for an Annual Meeting décor project!  I recruit my dad because he has a truck and we head to Home Depot to get sheets of plywood.  The pictures tell the rest of the story….

3:30 PM With the letters cut out … I decide that painting them can wait until another day.

(And this is the final result at the OHIMA Annual Meeting!  This was our Hollywood-themed event!) 


If you 'd like to write a “Day in the Life” article about your HIM me at!  We'd love to publish it - and I can assist if you need help writing it!  These "Day in the Life" articles help provide valuable insight into the diverse job roles that HIM professionals can do!

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