Achievement Awards

Each year, the Nominating Committee seeks recommendations for individuals deserving of being recognized within the categories of our recognition program. Nomination is a way to recognize excellence at every level within our association, and we welcome all eligible nominations.

For questions or to submit a nomination, contact the MNHIMA Past President, MNHIMA Executive Director or your Region’s President.

Nominations are accepted during the Winter and awarded at the Annual Meeting in the Spring.

Distinguished Member

Objective: To identify and honor outstanding members of MNHIMA for their loyal service to the state association and their contributions to the profession.

Eligibility: Candidates must have been an active member of MNHIMA for five (5) years or longer and whose record of contributions to our field is truly exceptional. Qualified nominees must be MNHIMA members at the time of nomination, and have made an outstanding contribution to our profession in one or more of the following leadership areas:

  • Volunteer service to our association, as an officer, director, Committee Chair or member, project or task force chair or member, or representative of the HIM field at governmental or state healthcare associations
  • Outstanding achievement in professional practice through leadership in a specialty area or innovative approaches to methods improvement
  • Leadership in education through regular presentations at HIM conferences or other educational events, respected instructor in academic HIM programs, or development of teaching strategies
  • Contributions in research or published materials such as authorship, editing, or service on editorial boards for journals, books and other publications that advance the HIM profession

2024 Distinguished Member Recipient

— Kristi Lundgren, MS, RHIA —

Distinguished Member Recipients
1984Shirley Eichenwald
1986Karel Weigel
1989Sr. Anna Hillenbrand
1990Carolyn Valo
1991Legal Manual Authors (Mary Lambert, Joanne Yohn, Sandie Helgeson, Sue Gentilli, Irene Meier, Anne Tollefson)
1992Kathy LaTour
1993Stella Townsend
1994Pat English
1995Lorraine Hoogeveen

Michelle Dougherty

LTC= Sr. Anna Hillenbrand

1998Diane Holmgren
1999Betty Myers
2000Elaine Yaggie
2001LaVonne Wieland
2002Joanne Valerius
2003Colleen Malmgren
2004Mark Dietz
2005Mary Lambert
2006Therese McCarthy
2007Suzanne Powell
2008Karyn Mikel
2009Myrna Wells-Ulland
2010Anne Tegen
2011Diane Larson
2012Stephanie Luthi-Terry
2013Carolyn Gaarder
2014C. Jeanne Solberg
2015Gina Sanvik
2016Vicki Zeman
2017Marsha Holey
2018Sue Nathe
2019Diana Warner
2020Danika Brinda
2021Jean MacDonell
2022Laura Blabac, MA, MS, RHIA, CHDA
2023Michelle Dick, RHIA
2024Kristi Lundgren, MS, RHIA

Mark Dietz Rising Star Professional

Objective: To identify and honor MNHIMA members new to the profession who demonstrate leadership and commitment to the HIM field.

Eligibility: Candidates for the Rising Star Professional award must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an active MNHIMA member at the time of nomination
  • Be employed in a HIM-related field
  • Have earned and maintained at least one AHIMA-approved credential
  • Have received their first credential within 7 years or less
  • Demonstrated leadership and commitment to the future of the HIM profession through participation in state related HIM activities

2024 Rising Star Award Recipient

— Mikaela Vadnais, RHIA —

Mark Dietz Rising Star Professional Recipients
2017Brandi Bierbrauer
2019Nick Procaccini
2020Sandra Rasmussen
2021Jera Van Damme
2022Nicholas Buelow, RHIT
2023Elise Depew, RHIA, CCS-P
2024Mikaela Vadnais, RHIA

Shirley Eichenwald-Maki Outstanding Student

Objective: To identify and honor MNHIMA student members who demonstrate exceptional promise in leadership and commitment to the HIM field.

Eligibility: Candidates for the Outstanding Student award must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a member of MNHIMA at the time of nomination; (may be new grad by the time the award is given)
  • Currently enrolled and beyond the first 2 quarters/semesters in a CAHIIM-accredited program or AHIMA-approved coding program
  • Maintained a grade point equivalent of 3.0 out of 4.0, or higher (as confirmed by verification from an educator or school official. Verification must be in the form of a written letter or unofficial transcript)
  • Demonstrated leadership and commitment to the future of the HIM profession through participation in HIM-related activities or volunteer work

2024 Outstanding Student Award Recipient

— Solyana Negash —

Shirley Eichenwald-Maki Outstanding Student Recipients
2017Emily Jansen
2018Amy Haney
2019Emma Peters-Axtell
2020Emily Kiemele
2022Madeline Warner
2023Cheryl Zimmerman
2024Solyana Negash