Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Congratulations to the 2022 New Graduate Scholarship Recipients!

OHIMA’s New Graduate Scholarship recognizes stellar graduates from each of the CAHIIM-accredited HIM associate or baccalaureate degree programs in Ohio. This scholarship program reimburses the certification examination fee for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) or Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Learn more about each of the scholarship recipients below.


Best of luck to the scholarship recipients and all the HIM/HIT new graduates as they sit for their certification exams and embark on their careers in health information! 

Leslie Bunton

Zane State College

Leslie Bunton worked for 23 years as a STNA. She received her high school diploma/office management certification in 2019, and then went to Buckeye Career Center for Medical Office & Billing Specialist.  That certification allowed her to get a job in registration at Genesis HealthCare System in Zanesville, OH.  Working at Genesis created a hunger to learn more about the HIM profession, so she decided to get her Associates degree in Health Information Management at Zane State Collage. She currently works at both Genesis hospital (PRN) and Southeastern Medical Center (fulltime), in registration.  Her long-term goal is to get her bachelor's degree in Integrated Healthcare Studies, and study legal courses that will allow her to move into the legal side of healthcare.


Julie Erlandson

Sinclair Community College

Julie Erlandson has worked in the past in various HIM-related positions. She became interested in the HIM field, specifically in medical coding, as she watched a relative's career blossom in the HIM profession. Julie wanted to combine her past medical experience as a respiratory therapist with her administrative skills and she knew the HIM profession was a perfect fit.  Julie graduates from Sinclair's HIM program in May 2022 and she will complete the program with a remarkable GPA.  Julie's future professional plans include pursuing a medical coding position with an acute care facility.  She is also looking forward to watching her daughter play college soccer and she is hoping to complete some section hikes along the Appalachian Trail.


Julia Evans

Owens State Community College

Julia Evans is a graduate of the Health Information Technology program at Owens State Community College. Julia will be graduating with honors this spring. During her time at Owens CC, Julia obtained her Medical Coding Certificate while pursuing her Applied Science Associate degree. Julia completed her professional practice experience at The Toledo Hospital. Julia has an excellent work ethic and perseverance. Owens CC HIM faculty and staff found Julia very responsible and dedicated to achieving her educational aspirations. Julia plans to become an RHIT and continue her education at Lourdes University. Julia is interested in having a career in coding and HIM department within a behavioral health facility. Congratulations Julia!


Megan Gerstner

Lakeland Community College

Megan Gerstner is the Lakeland Community College outstanding student award winner. Megan has her R.N. from 1997 and decided to return to school after 23 years to study Health Information Management.  Megan plans on becoming an inpatient coder then move on to CDI.  In addition to earning a 4.0 GPA, Megan is a dedicated band mom. Megan volunteered for her daughter's high school band program.  Megan demonstrated excellent teamwork and leadership skills as a student at Lakeland.  She always helped her fellow classmates.  She was a great mentor to some of our younger students as well.


Hallie Levine

The Ohio State University

Hallie Levine has worked for three summers at Prosperity Behavioral Health in the Accounts Receivable Department, allowing her to understand healthcare billing as a whole while working through both the front-end and back-end of the healthcare revenue cycle.  She has continued her interest in the revenue cycle by working as a Revenue Cycle Assistant at the Wilce Health Center at The Ohio State University.  As a student, Hallie served as the vice president of the OSU HIMS Student Organization.  Hallie has accepted a position after graduation with Deloitte as a Business Technology Solutions Analyst, working with healthcare technology implementation projects for the state of Ohio.


Karla Lupson

Cuyahoga Community College

Karla Lupson is a natural leader.  She is the President of the HIMT Club at Cuyahoga Community College and she plans to pursue a career in coding or data analytics.  She has maintained high grades throughout the program.  She recently volunteered to speak at the NOHIMA annual meeting in May.







Gerald McCullough

Mercy College of Ohio

Gerald (Jerry) McCullough is a lifelong learner. With a clinical background in respiratory therapy, Jerry has worked in all areas of the medical field from labor/delivery and NICU to adult ICU. Over his career, he worked his way from the patient bedside to department manager. Jerry then decided to pursue a different career path. After 16 years in respiratory therapy, Jerry resigned his position and entered the world of electronic medical records (Epic Systems) and has spent the last ten years traveling and working in many different places to assist in their implementations. Having never regretted learning something new and believing that education is an important part of succeeding in your profession, Jerry made the decision to return to school and pursue a degree in Health Information Technology. Already having a clinical background, Jerry feels the HIT Program and curriculum has helped him see a more complete picture of healthcare. Jerry is always willing to share his knowledge and experience, especially with his fellow classmates. He has served as the HIT Student Representative on the Mercy College of Ohio HIT Advisory Committee for the past two years. Since starting the HIT Program, Jerry has been on the Honors List every semester and most recently earned the top honor of being named to the Presidents List. Jerry is employed as an Application Coordinator for Bon Secours Mercy Health. One of his greatest accomplishments is completing his Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Information Technology while working full-time. Jerry's future plans are to utilize his new degree and knowledge in his current career and to possibly expand into project management opportunities.

Cecilia Ngoc Nguyen Navarra

University of Cincinnati - Clermont

Cecilia graduated from the Health Information Systems Technology Program, Spring, 2022.  Cecilia has been a thoughtful, hard-working student throughout this associate degree program, all while juggling work and family, including two small children.  Cecilia lives in Chicago, Illinois and plans to work towards her bachelor's degree in Health Information Management following the successful attainment of her RHIT credential.



Stephanie Sabo

Stark State College

Stephanie Sabo is an exceptional student.  She was very active in her class serving as an officer in the Student Health Information Management Association.  Stephanie also participated in the Interprofessional Collaborative Education (ICE) project.  She also attended all three days of the OHIMA annual meeting.  Stephanie understands the importance of networking and being an active participant in her education and the HIM field.




Susan Stephens

Cincinnati State Technical & Community College

Susan has worked diligently to excel in all aspects of the HIM program. She supported her classmates as a leader and a mentor to others.  She plans to pursue a coding position upon graduation.







Roberta Teramana

Eastern Gateway Community College

Roberta's exceptional work and active participation in HIM courses deserve mention as she is a dedicated and serious student. Her verbal skills are also commendable. She is an effective speaker with a professional and positive attitude. Her courteous manner in conversation shows a high degree of respect for others. Roberta plans to obtain both the RHIT and the RHIA. She also wants to utilize her bachelor's degree in Communication and head up an HIM department. She would also like to be an adjunct HIM instructor because of her passion for helping others succeed. She loved participating in our student mentor program where she was able to do this. Roberta plans on taking the RHIT in June.


Audra Weiker

Terra State Community College

Audra Weiker is very deserving of this award. She has been a wonderful student excelling in all her coursework. She is president of our student organization and the liaison for our HIT advisory board. She has her CPC credential and decided to further her education and complete the HIT degree at Terra State Community College. Audra plans to obtain a job in the field after graduation with an interest in the Release of Information aspect. She will sit for the RHIT exam shortly after graduation. Congratulations Audra!