Chapter News

The South Dakota HIMSS chapter held elections this summer for the following positions.  Congratulations to the professionals who were elected.  We look forward to your leadership and contributions.  

• President Elect; Eli Seeley

Benjamin “Eli” Seeley currently serves as a Project Manager for Avera Health Clinical Intelligence. Before his role with Avera, Eli served in various healthcare roles for over 25 years, including numerous leadership positions with the United States Army Medical Department, before his retirement from active duty in October 2018. He has served as the Regional Chief Health Information Officer for Regional Health Command Europe in Sembach Germany, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Regional Health Command Atlantic at Ft. Belvoir, VA and Chief Medical Information Officer for Joint Task Force National Capital Medical Command, Bethesda, MD, Pacific Regional Health Command and Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI. He served as the Clinical Informatics Consultant to the Army Surgeon General from 2014-2018. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from the University of Iowa. He is board certified as a Clinical Informaticist and holds certification as a Certified Professional in Health Information Management Systems. He is an active member of the Health Information and Management Systems Society and is a published author.

• Treasurer; Julia Althoff

Julia Althoff is a Registered Nurse since 2004 with experience in Med/Surg, ICU, pediatrics, and long-term care including experience with nursing management of a Med/Surg unit. She is an expert in the field of analytics and has extensive knowledge of Meditech on multiple platforms since 2009 which included dictionary builds, implementations, education, troubleshooting, and report writing. SQL report development experience in multiple platforms and databases since 2015. Julia holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Presentation College.

• Secretary; Renae Spohn

Renae Spohn PhD, MBA, RHIA, CPHI, CPHQ, FAHIMA, FNAHQ, Secretary: Renae serves as Director of HIM Programs, Dakota State University and Coordinator of the MSHIIM program- Renae has been employed at DSU since January 2013 after having about 30 years of experience working in HIM, Quality, and clinical applications in acute care, long term care and home health corporate office level. She has served in many volunteer capacities including serving on the AHIMA Board of Directors from 2008-2010. She has also served as President of SDHIMA. She is a member of HIMSS, AHIMA, and NAHQ.

• Membership Director;  Patti Brooks

Patti Brooks is the former Director of Quality and Accreditation for Avera Health Plans. Her roots are in Health Information Management where she spent over 10 years working in various roles in hospitals and nursing homes. She then spent close to 23 years on the IT leadership team for Avera. She has served as an adjunct instructor and Assistant Professor at Dakota State University teaching courses in health information management, healthcare informatics, and information systems. Patti holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Information Administration from Dakota State University, an MBA from the University of South Dakota, and a Masters and Doctorate in Information Systems from Dakota State University. Patti is a past President of the South Dakota Health Information Management Association (SDHIMA) and was the first president of the South Dakota Chapter of the Health Information Management and Systems Society (SD Chapter of HIMSS). She has also served as the SDHIMSS Director for two years and has been involved in the SDHIMSS Program Committee since the beginning of the Chapter.

• Communications Director; Erica Knippling

Erica Knippling has been in IT for over 20 years, specializing in healthcare IT for the last 15 years. Currently she serves as a Systems Engineer II for Avera Health. Her previous roles include Clinical Information Specialist with the FSST Health Center and the Clinical Informatics Specialist at the Brookings Health System. In these roles she and her team were responsible for the design, implementation, and security of both the EMR and network infrastructures. Erica has been a member of SDHIMSS since 2012 and has served as President, President Elect, Past President, and Program Director. Erica received the SDHIMSS Leadership Award in 2014 and again in 2018 as well as the Distinguished Service Award from SDAHO in 2016.


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