Interviews with notable educators, practitioners and researchers across the healthcare industry

Martha Jones

Martha Jones is a recent graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.  After serving honorably in the United States Air Force, Martha decided to pursue her bachelor’s in health administration, with a concentration in health informatics, because of her desire to make a difference on the healthcare system we depend on. In her last semester of her bachelor’s program, Martha had the opportunity to intern with the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Office of Health Informatics, where she learned the importance of leadership, management, research, and communication in the field of informatics. Martha continues to cultivate these skills in her internship with HL7 International and hopes to utilize the skills and knowledge gained from HL7, to continue working towards her goal of a better healthcare system for all.

Hope G. Gray, MTS, RBC

A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Hope G. Gray, MTS, RBC, is a PhD student in Administration – Health Services with a concentration in Health Informatics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Hope received a Master of Theological Studies from Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Stillman College. Her first career was as a Systems Engineer. Then, Hope completed Clinical Pastoral Education at both Presbyterian Hospital (Albuquerque, NM) and Princeton Baptist Medical Center(Birmingham, AL). She is a licensed, ordained minister who is a Board Certified Chaplain and has served as a hospital, hospice, and corporate chaplain. She is endorsed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Hope worked as a Staff Chaplain then as a Systems Analyst at Children’s of Alabama (hospital). 

During 2020, Hope was awarded the American Medical Informatics Association LEAD Fund Scholarship. Then she was selected as a 2021-2022 Center for Clinical Translational Science TL1 Trainee.  Presently, Hope has been awarded a competitive Health Informatics Internship with Health Level Seven (HL7®) International. Her academic advisor is Dr. Sue Feldman. Hope enjoys providing compassionate pastoral care to people of all ages. However, while pursing the PhD, she is doing nascent research at the intersection of health information technology and spiritual care by utilizing health informatics. Hope is the proud mother of a beautiful daughter, Iman Grace Bell, who is nineteen years old.

In honor of Black History Month, CAHIIM would like to spotlight our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  We currently accredit 12 HBCUs including: Alabama State University, Bishop State University, Shelton State Community College, Florida A&M University,  Albany State University (West Campus), Southern University New Orleans, Southern University Shreveport, Coppin State University, Hinds Community College, Tennessee State University, St. Phillips College and Texas Southern University.

Hear from Dr. Mona Calhoun, a Professor at a CAHIIM Accredited HBCU, on her experience as an educator at a Historically Black University and what she believes the future looks like for HBCUs.  

Interview Slides (5)

Q: Why did you choose to teach at a HBCU (Historically Black College or University) over a PWI (Predominately White Institution)? 
A: "I have always wanted to be in education, but felt it was important to have work experience to bring more to the academic and teaching experience.  My undergraduate and graduate work was at PWIs, and I said if I ever had the opportunity, I want to teach at a HBCU. Because I felt then, and still do, that is where I could have the greatest impact.   I was President of the MDHIMA board at the time and serving on an advisory council to bring the baccalaureate degree in Health Information Management to the State of Maryland through Coppin University.  So, it was a win-win for me and the school.  Coppin University has offered the only accredited baccalaureate degree in the state of Maryland since 2006."
Q: What impact do you see HBCUs making over the next 10 years?
A: "It pains me to have to say but racism is still prevalent in this country.  HBCUs have afforded an opportunity for students of color access to education, and I don't see that changing in the next 10 years.  If anything, it will be more important.  Students of color need a safe space to express themselves, grow and thrive academically, while learning how to live in a society that does not favor them; and be around people who can teach them how to be the opposite of what they experience and create diverse and inclusive environments, despite the barriers.  Those on PWI campuses will argue they provide those spaces, and that they are diverse and inclusive, but in my opinion, it is often because they have to be and not because they want to be.  When we look at history we don't see or hear of HBCUs not allowing Caucasians, Asians, or Latino students to come to their institutions.  No laws needed to be passed. HBCUs have always accepted all without being forced to do so.  We can be diverse, equitable and inclusive, while holding on to our heritage and not forgetting our past, so our students know by example how to move forward, be successful, accepted and understood without having to change who they are."
Q: What are the most unique aspects of a HBCU education?
A: "A supportive environment.  Students come to HBCUs and see peers and people that look like them, people who can relate to their struggles, there is a sense of community, and energy unlike no other.  There is a sense of pride when they see people who look like them who have achieved and overcome.  And I have found that faculty on HBCU campuses, no matter the race, want to genuinely see their students succeed.  Faculty on PWIs want their students to succeed as well, but on a HBCU campus, I think it is more important because these kids are so often disenfranchised.  We want a win for them to boost their self-esteem, guide them to professional success, and encourage them to go to greater heights."
Q: What impact do HBCUs have on society as a whole?
A: "HBCUs impact society as a whole because of the opportunities they have afforded to students of color particularly African American students, who may not have otherwise had those opportunities.  HBCUs, paved the way for African Americans to not only get a postsecondary education, but to get into STEM and a variety of other careers.  By educating more students of color, HBCUs have helped to drive the economies in their communities, regionally and nationally."

Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to teach at a HBCU?

A: "Just do it!"

Susan H. Fenton, PhD, MBA, BS, RHIA, CPHI, FAHIMA

Susan H. Fenton, PhD, MBA, BS, RHIA, CPHI, FAHIMA has a Masters degree in Education and a PhD in Education and also in Information Systems and Technology from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Fenton is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs at the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics in Houston, TX. She is responsible for their graduate certificates, master’s and doctoral degree programs. She recently led the development of the nation’s first practice doctorate in health informatics (DHI). Dr. Fenton has received more than $7 million in grant funding and serves on a variety of regional and national professional association committees and boards. Dr. Fenton is a recipient of the University of Texas Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and is a UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor. She has more than 30 years’ experience in health informatics and health information management. Dr. Fenton holds a B.S. in health information management from UTMB in Galveston, an MBA from the University of Houston and a PhD in health services research from Texas A&M.

Sue Feldman, RN, MEd, PhD

Sue Feldman, RN, MEd, PhD currently serves as Director of Graduate Programs in Health Informatics in the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Feldman is a Professor in the School of Health Professions and in the School of Medicine as a Senior Scientist in the Informatics Institute. Her research focuses on health information systems. Dr. Feldman also serves on the Health Informatics Accreditation Council for the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM), leads Graduate Health Informatics accreditation site visit teams, and has studied and developed graduate level health informatics curriculum. As a Registered Nurse (RN) for over 30 years, she brings a unique blend of clinical and informatics blend to everything she does, grounding policy and theory with practice. Dr. Feldman has published in a variety of top-tier peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and served as program chair for several national forums. Dr. Feldman has a Masters degree in Education and a PhD in Education and also in Information Systems and Technology from Claremont Graduate University.
Copy of Interview Slides (1)

Interviews with AMIA Signature and Leadership Award Winners

Informatics leaders recognized for accomplishments in practice and research, health policy, nursing informatics, visionary and transformative thought leadership, and significant scholarly contribution.

Karen A. Monsen, PhD, RN, FAMIA, FAAN
Recipient of the Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award

Maxim Topaz, PhD, RN
Recipient of the New Investigator Award

Recipient of the Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics