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January 2020: From the Chair
MJFlynn-2019.jpgWelcome to 2020! I am very humbled to be your AHIA Board Chair this year. It is an honor to serve you, this wonderful association, and the profession of healthcare internal auditing.

Your board has been hard at work! A new budget has been approved, orientation for new Board members conducted, and year end financials are in process. All the usual new year activities are in full swing and on track.

Right now, we are prepping for our in-person board meeting that will be held later this week in Seattle, the site of the 2020 AHIA 39th Annual Conference. While there, we will discuss future strategies and tactics to continue to strengthen the benefits AHIA brings to our members.

You can expect to see some exciting changes from AHIA this year, specifically at the Annual Conference. We will implement badge scanning, online CPE tracking/certificates and more to modernize our technologies for attendee and presenter ease of use. Gone is the flurry of the five-page, duo-carbon CPE tracking form stapling frenzy that traditionally ended the conference. We will keep you posted on the improvements and hope you will join us there. Save the dates, September 20-23, 2020 at the Seattle Grand Sheraton.

I also encourage you to get involved this year. It takes a village to make any association evolve. I have been enriched personally and professionally from my engagement with AHIA. There are so many ways to contribute... You can volunteer on a committee, write an article, present a webinar, “like” an AHIA social media post, get advice on the Connected Community or get CHIAP certified. Your participation is very welcome in any way that works for you. Reach out to our Executive Director, Michelle, at 303-919-4585 or info@ahia.org to discuss the opportunities anytime!

Thank you for the privilege of being your Board Chair. I have been in leadership long enough to know that leaders don't always get to pick the issues that come across our desks. No matter what challenges present, I want our members to know that the Board of Directors is here to make decisions in the best interests of you and the profession. Your opinions and concerns always matter. Please reach out to us at any time.

Mary Jo Flynn
AHIA Board Chair

December 2019: From the Chair
Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(8).jpgServing as your AHIA Board Chair over the past year has been a source of incredible enjoyment and a source of incredible responsibility. An opportunity and an obligation; the opportunity to serve, develop and transform AHIA for optimal relevancy to the membership, and the obligation to advance the interests and perception of value of healthcare internal auditing to the stakeholders we serve.
With the help of this year’s very active and hardworking Board, volunteers and staff, AHIA has been able to accomplish a great deal.  I have been trying to capture our major accomplishments in my e-News column along the way, so I will spare you the laundry list of things that went well (again), which also allows me to leave out discussing the few that I wish could have gone better (we auditors are perfectionists, you know).
I would instead like to use this time and space to share my gratitude for those along the way that have gone over and above. As I have been winding down my term, I have been asked what is the most enjoyable part of being the AHIA Board Chair.  I would answer that it has been the people.  When a group of dedicated individuals puts their mind to something, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished.  Before I hand over the reins to Mary Jo Flynn, I would like to personally thank the following groups whose support was invaluable on my AHIA journey:

  • My fellow Board Members – Jim Passey, Mary Jo Flynn, Cavell Alexander, Todd Havens, Alicia Capps, David Richstone, Debbie Pazourek, Scott Stevenson, Amy Greenhoe, and Eric Kristofic.  Their leadership and support have allowed this organization to thrive.  But what I value even more is their friendship.  Best wishes to Alicia Capps as she completes her 3-year term.  I have a feeling we will see her again in some capacity with AHIA.  Best wishes to Todd Havens as he continues his adventure by serving as our new Secretary/Treasurer in 2020.  And a big welcome to Angelle Granier and Beth Schindler as they join this great group. 
  • All the AHIA Committee Chairs – Bob Michalski, Darryl Rhames, Alan Henton, Sue Smoger, Lael Holloway,, Latha Sharma, Mark Stacey, Dieu Tran, Russ Harder, Jackye Thompson, Mary Thomas, Mike Michalowicz, Debbie Radke, Renee Jaenicke, and Valla Wilson.  You have some of the hardest jobs within AHIA.  You must continually motivate volunteers to work towards a common goal.  I can’t thank you enough for all your efforts.
  • And lastly, our “support” team from Kellen – You may not see this group everyday or even know that they exist but everything that we do here at AHIA has been touched by the team from Kellen.  I want to thank 3 of the many Kellen team members that support AHIA daily:  Michelle Cunningham (Executive Director), Andrew VanWasshova (Assistant Executive Director) and Linda Arcangeli-Story (Manager, Meetings and Expositions).  Their calmness under pressure and their dedication to AHIA is admirable.  They are AHIA’s biggest fans and staunchest protectors of our members.  It has been a privilege to work with them as Chair this past year.

You have not seen the last of me! We do not kick our Board’s chair to the curb on December 31. You can count on me to remain involved and engaged in my role as Immediate Past Chair, long-standing member of the Membership and Awards Committee and as a fellow AHIA volunteer committed to seeing our new strategic plan to fruition.  I hope I can twist some arms in 2020 and get some commitments for folks to run for our open Board seats.
Thanks again for your friendship and support, and most of all for the hard work of so many, who made this a great year for me and AHIA! It has been a wonderful experience.  I encourage you all to step up, experience all you can from AHIA – the opportunities and obligations both will allow you to grow professionally in ways you may not expect.  Seize it and embrace it all!
I wish you all a gentle “yearend,” joyous holiday season and a very prosperous and productive New Year!  I hope you will join us to advance AHIA in 2020 and beyond.  We are all part of a truly amazing association and community.  It has been my privilege to serve you.
Mary Jane Schroeder
AHIA Board Chair

November 2019: From the Chair
Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(7).jpgHard to believe we are in the “November” of my term as your AHIA Board chair. November brings with it a season of gratitude, the reason for our Thanksgiving holiday. When I assumed the reigns of the AHIA Board in January, I might have imagined the glamour, prestige, status and power associated with such a position…leading healthcare internal audit leaders to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. (Your laugh here). But in reality, I knew it would be challenging, often demanding work, requiring a significant price of attention. 

I was right. It was the latter. It has not always been easy, but has been worth it and I am grateful to all of you! The best compensation you get in this life is happiness and satisfaction. AHIA Board service has given me that and more.  The opportunity has allowed me to refine and further develop innumerable leadership skills, including conflict resolution, cultural intelligence, communication, expectation setting, team dynamics and professional advancement. I have learned a lot about myself and had some great fun along the way.

In associations, the wheels of transitional leadership turn consistently, by design.  Each leader is “developed” to stand on the shoulders of those that came before to arrive at the destination of our goals.  The success of any association, large or small, depends on it.  To that end, I am pleased to announce the results of the 2020 AHIA Board of Directors Election. I thank Jim Passey, Chair of the Nominating Committee, and the committee members for their time and diligent efforts in developing a strong slate of candidates for the election. The newly elected officers are:

  • Todd Havens, Vice President, Office of Internal Audit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center was voted in as Secretary/ Treasurer.
  • Angelle Granier is the VP & Chief Audit Executive at Ochsner Health System joins the AHIA Board as an at-large member.
  • Beth Schindler, Internal Audit Director at Houston Methodist, has been elected to an at-large position. We look forward to your leadership and continued contributions to AHIA.

Thank you to all the candidates who generously volunteered their service and congratulations to the newly elected members our leadership team!  Their service will begin in January 2020 and I believe we are in very good hands.
Next year, as your Immediate Past Chair and Nominating Committee Chair, I will be looking for a few good leaders to run in the 2021 Board election. Feel free to reach out any time to discuss your interest and ways to build your AHIA service to position yourself to lead the Board.

Thank you for allowing me to lead AHIA during a year of strategic development, the launch of our new certification program and record-breaking outcomes in membership and conference attendance, has been an honor.  To work with the other volunteers leaders of the AHIA Board and Committees continues to be a privilege. 

As we enjoy our turkey with family and friends next week, I will be reflecting on all AHIA leadership has brought to me personally and professionally and all we have accomplished TOGETHER over the past year. The motivation for leading people is always about the people and AHIA is stuffed with good people!  Thank you for being a part of our special community and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Mary Jane Schroeder, AHIA Board Chair

October 2019: From the Chair
Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(6).jpgThere is nothing more gratifying in the association world than to see engaged members actively committed to a common cause – in our case, professional development of the healthcare internal audit function. As the dust settles from our adventure in Nashville, and we distribute hundreds of AHIA Bucks to all those that volunteered over the past year, we are critically reminded how important our “human capital” has been to AHIA’s wealth and health.
Speaking of wealth and health, it is budget season for AHIA. Many leaders consider the budget as the moral document of an association – inclusive of everything and anything the association spends a single member’s dues on. How we spend your money matters and we continue to maintain healthy reserves, despite the major investments in developing our certification program over the past three years. Currently, AHIA Committee leadership is focused on 2020 budget requests – due by the end of this month.  The Board will approve the 2020 budget in mid-December, and will ensure it is carefully aligned with the new strategic plan. The budget will be built to ensure coverage and enhancement of existing services – including the availability of FREE-TO-MEMBERS webinars, by popular demand.  As an AHIA member, you should always feel empowered to reach out to any Board member with your comments, suggestions and ideas on how AHIA can best meet your professional and educational needs. Your thoughts and input do make a difference – especially as we create the operating budget.  It is about YOU!
Tomorrow is the deadline to cast your ballot in the 2020 AHIA Board of Directors election.  I encourage all AHIA members to take the time to vote if you have not done so already. Leadership is the key to the success of any organization.  A qualified and committed Board of Directors, acting at all times in the best interest of its membership, is essential in our ability to manage sustainable growth. My thanks to Jim Passey, AHIA Past Chair, for his leadership of the Nominating Committee in identifying a robust slate of talented individuals – each one I would be proud to serve next to.  Election results will be announced next week.
Not a CHIAP™ yet? The AHIA Certification Management System is NOW accepting applications for the second CHIAP exam window, which will be open from February 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020. As a special promotion to AHIA members and all AHIA 2019 Conference registrants, those who apply for the CHIAP Certification in the month of October will receive a $100 discount. Simply click here to apply and use the 'OCTOBER100' discount code during checkout!  Also I look forward to the roll out of the CHIAP webinar series in November that will provide some further knowledge for those preparing for this next exam.
October is also when the AHIA Conference Planning committee begins work on the AHIA 39th Annual Conference (September 20-23, 2020 in Seattle).  The presenter Call for Submissions is open and we are, once again, inviting members to get in on the fun and help us create the theme of the conference. The winner, as selected by the Conference Planning Committee, will receive a complimentary full conference registration and two free nights lodging at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel. Submissions must be received by December 10 for first round review consideration.
Have you purchased your 2019 Annual Conference Session Recordings yet?  One of the best investments I have made this year. Just when I thought I have received every benefit the AHIA conference could offer by being present at the event, there is so much more to gain through access to a myriad of session I could not be present for.   I have also shared these recording with other members of my health system.  I was very impressed with the quality of these recordings and felt like I was actually sitting in these sessions.  You get to hear the questions asked by the attendees and the content of the slides was enhanced by the recorded commentary.
We thank those of you who so generously offered your time to AHIA over the past year, and those who will step up to lead the way in 2020. As we position ourselves for the year to come – we want to custom fit your interests to our existing and new opportunities.  Membership continues to grow, thereby expanding your network and AHIA resources. It has been a productive year so far with more to come as we embark on the last quarter of 2019. Stay tuned!
Mary Jane Schroeder
AHIA Board Chair

Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(5).jpgSeptember 2019: From the Chair
In our busy, electronic, social media crazy world, we often forget the importance of being in a live face-to-face setting with others from our professional community.  If you were able to join us in Nashville last week for the 38th AHIA Annual Conference, I hope you were reminded of the intrinsic value of doing just that.  There is so much to gain by attending the AHIA Annual Conference, from gathering new insights into the work we do every day and learning from the experts, to sharing your own successes, and taking home some very tangible resources, plans and topics to start working on.
I am pleased to report that the 38th AHIA Annual Conference made history – record setting attendance with 732 attendees (unaudited) participating, on the heels of achieving our highest ever membership at 1655.
I would like to again publically acknowledge our dedicated committee members for their incredible work in determining and delivering the Conference’s education program.  Their thought-leadership, organization made this year’s achievement possible:

  • Jackye Thompson, Chair
  • Terri Allen, Preconference Leader
  • Michelle Elliott, Compliance Track Leader
  • Katherine Fore, Keynote Leader
  • Amy Greenhoe, Board Liaison
  • Lisa Litwiller, Care Settings Track Leader
  • Ginger Manwell, Revenue Cycle Track Leader
  • Greg Newton, Health Plan Track Leader
  • Michelle Piranio, Core Skills Track Leader             
  • Darryl Rhames, Emerging Topics Track Leader
  • Jonathan West, Information Technology & Security Track Leader    

The highlight of the conference is recognizing those volunteers that have contributed at widely esteemed levels.  See this edition of e-News for a recap of award-winning volunteer service recognized by AHIA in 2019.

EVALUATION: If you were in attendance, please take the time to complete the 2019 Evaluation and share your thoughts on AHIA's 38th Annual Conference. Please remember - you must complete the evaluation for CPE credit verification. Also, your input will help us plan and improve future conferences. Click here to access the 2019 Annual Conference Evaluation.
SESSION RECORDINGS: Whether you were with us or not in Nashville, we are proud to expand access to the beneficial education offered for all! Over 45 sessions were recorded and are available for purchase for the special price of $295 before September 30 and $395 thereafter. To learn more and place your order, click here.  Recordings are not valid for CPE.
SAVE THE DATE: I hope to see you all in Seattle for AHIA’s 39th Annual Conference in Seattle, September 20-23, 2020.  Planning is already underway. We will soon announce the 2020 annual conference theme contest – wherein if your proposed slogan is selected, you will receive FREE registration, and complimentary hotel nights.  Stay tuned for details.

Lastly, I would like to remind you to vote in the 2020 AHIA Board of Directors election.  The AHIA Nominating Committee has presented a roster of qualified candidates who have expressed their dedication to the profession of healthcare internal auditing and AHIA.
Click here to review candidate biographies. Your ballot must be received no later than 6:30 pm, Eastern Time, on Thursday, October 17, 2019.
Thank you for your part in making our Association a success.

Mary Jane Schroeder
AHIA Board Chair

August 2019: From the Chair
Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(4).jpgWe are just weeks away from a wealth of live music, learning and my favorite networking event of the year as AHIA takes the center stage in Nashville for the 38th Annual Conference.  In addition to “Harmonizing the Complexities of Healthcare Internal Auditing” together, we have added a few new numbers to our repertoire that will extend beyond our time in the music city.
TAKE SOME CHOICE NOTES FROM THE CONFERENCE BACK WITH YOU: The quality, variety and relevance of the educational programming at the AHIA Annual Conference is second to none.  Just look at the schedule!  Since the inception of our conference, our offerings have only available to those in attendance at the live event. And even while in attendance, from personal experience, I always encounter time slots where there are multiple sessions I want to attend and I have to make the difficult decision on what to miss. Exhaustion is a very real problem at conferences, too. After spending hour after hour in sessions, brain saturation happens. There is no shame in this – it happens to us all. Imagine having the ability to re-watch a particularly meaningful session at a time when you are fully awake, aware, and caffeinated?
I am very pleased to announce, at the behest of membership demand, that we will be offering 48 select session recordings for the first time to attendees and those that cannot join us this year!  Look for more details soon. We offer packages inclusive of all the sessions that are recorded and the option to purchase sessions a la carte.  While CPE credits are only available for the live delivery, now you can share the advice and wisdom of the presenters with those that could not attend. So while I realize session recordings cost extra, in my opinion, they help bring even more value to the conference. I think they’re worth it.
CHIAPs™ MAKE THEIR OFFICIAL DEBUT: The Inaugural Class of CHIAP™ Certificants MAKE THEIR OFFICIAL DEBUT: Later this month and throughout the conference, you will start seeing use of the AHIA CHIAP™ certification designation, as some 275 individuals, whether through the grandfathering program or by exam, will be the first to demonstrate an elevated expertise specific to healthcare internal audit and corporate governance.  We encourage all the new CHIAP certificants to add this significant achievement to their professional bios and listings.  Not a CHIAP yet?  It is never too late.  The next application window will be open this fall.  Stay tuned for more details.
HELP US MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC ON SOCIAL MEDIA: In today’s world, online networking is becoming as essential to professional development as face-to-face interactions.  The AHIA Connected Community is our private, secure platform for members to exchange knowledge, but what about the rest of the social media universe? Leveraging social media to strengthen and expand the AHIA network is within the power of every member as well as a representation of the association’s members – it is an affordable way to spread the word about AHIA products, services, and initiatives.  At this year’s conference, we will looking to engage attendees in the following ways:

  • Posting photos of you and fellow colleagues and friends at the annual conference and be sure to tag AHIA on LinkedIn or Facebook and use our hashtag #AHIA2019 in your post for a chance to be featured in future AHIA promotional material.
  • Email Lillian Kaufman (AHIA social media manager), at lkaufman@kellencompany.com, with why you love attending AHIA’s Annual Conference or your favorite AHIA memory using the subject line: testimonial. Please be sure to include either a headshot or a fun photo of you at the annual conference or another AHIA event. We will use the testimonials on our social media platforms and website to promote why our members love attending the annual conference and being a member of AHIA!
  • In your welcome bag, you will receive a survey about your experience with AHIA. Fill it out and turn it in to the registration desk for your chance to win a free 2020 AHIA Annual Conference registration. The survey will help us find out what you love most about AHIA and what you think the highlights are of becoming a member. Our goal is to share a few of these comments on social media to increase our conference attendance and membership.

Looking for more of a traditional “in-person/off-line” discussion group?  AHIA is still very much in the business of providing those face-to-face options. If you are joining us for AHIA’s 38th Annual Conference, it is not too late to request an invite to a Roundtable discussion forum – we have a few slots remaining.

Like Tennessee Williams said, “In memory, everything seems to happen to music.” While the 38th Annual Conference has already smashed records, it is our goal that it “plays on” to include and advance all those in our AHIA community beyond the actual show!
Mary Jane Schroeder
AHIA Board Chair

July 2019: From The Chair
Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(3).jpgLook out Nashville! AHIA will be descending upon Music City in record numbers for the 38th Annual Conference! Our early registration numbers are trending at a 20% increase over last year.  I encourage you to join us as we harmonize through the complexities of healthcare internal audit – together! 
Be sure to register by August 6 to take advantage of the “early bird” discount.  I am most proud that AHIA offers one of the highest quality continuing education programs – at a very cost controlled price.  There are few meetings in our industry that you can register for under four figures.  Take advantage of that early bird discount and get yourself and your team registered by August 6.

As we assess our registration metrics (as auditors, we are always analyzing), our digital marketing campaign data tells us that IT Technology and Security topics are a major draw – more so than ever before.  So far the hot topics that are of importance/relevance to our members and attendees, by preregistration stats, have emerged:

  • G6: Designing a Fraud Risk Management Program
  • G4: Agile Auditing: Transforming Internal Audit
  • B5: Drug Diversion
  • D3: Biomedical Device Risk Management - Highest Impact and Least Managed Risk in Healthcare
  • B1: The Opioid Epidemic: An Important Auditor Update
  • D9: Vendor Management in the Era of Big Data and Machine Learning
  • D8: The Rise of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and the Role of Internal Audit
  • D10: Top 10 Emerging Healthcare IT Audit Issues
  • E2: Revenue Analytics
  • C2: Effective Risk Assessment Collaboration Between Internal Audit and Compliance
There is so much to see, hear, taste and explore in Nashville, apart from the conference.  As is our tradition, we are offering opportunities to help you “get social.”  We have selected three, varied events to ensure you get the Nashville experience – you can register now.  We will have some tickets available for purchase onsite, while supplies last.  All events are scheduled for Tuesday evening, September 17, following the AHIA Business Meeting as follows:
  • Big Machine Distillery Tour – Start Time: 7:00 pm Experience the only working distillery on Nashville’s famous Broadway strip, the Big Machine Distillery. Guests will get a 30-minute guided tour to learn about the history and processes that make this distillery unique. After the tour, guests will have the opportunity to sample four of Big Machine’s most popular products. Guests will also walk away with a Big Machine Distillery goodie bag! $55.00 per person.
  • Nashville Hearse Ghost Tour – Start Time: 8:00pm (second tour to start at 9:30pm, if needed) Depart on a journey to some of Nashville’s most eerie sites in a converted New Orleans hearse. Sit back and relax (if you can) while your driver uncovers the hauntings surrounding the ghosts of Union Station, the infamous “Murder on Music Row,” Nashville’s oldest cemetery, and more. Written by the authors of Haunted Nashville, this unique tour is an experience sure to haunt your memory for years. Nashville Ghost Tours Haunted Hearse Tours are a great way to see the haunted side of Nashville! $50.00 per person.
  • Grande Ole Opry – Start Time: 7:00 pm What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today a live entertainment phenomenon. Dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present, the Grand Ole Opry showcases a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps. The Opry, an American icon and Nashville, Tennessee’s number-one attraction, is world-famous for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences for audiences of all ages. It’s been called the “home of American music” and “country’s most famous stage.” Every year, hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages across town or around the world to the Grand Ole Opry to see the show live. $65.00 per person.
While the conference is AHIA’s premier event – we are so much more than a fabulous conference. Your current Board has spent the first part of 2019 taking a critical look at AHIA’s ambition for the future; where we have been, where we are and where we would like to go.
We spent January with a facilitator for a two-day intensive strategic planning session, and subsequent months evaluating the outcomes and assessing objective measures for our long-term goals. We now have a roadmap and a destination.
For the next 2.5 years, AHIA will be focused on the following goals and strategic commitments:
  • Launch and sustain CHIAP™ program – The main Strategic Initiative for the next couple of years for AHIA will be to launch and sustain our certification program, which establishes the career benchmark for our profession. The certification is symbiotic with other efforts to increase the influence and reach of the association.
  • Expand membership to 1800-2000 – There is strength in numbers and more beneficial networking and knowledge sharing. 
  • Grow Revenue streams by 5% annually – A very common association goal.  More revenue, and financial efficiency, means more new benefits and services we can deliver
  • Enhance Education Programs: Increased attendance/ utilization of educational programs - increase 2% per program year over year. We have very specialize educational content and countless volunteers working to deliver it. The more, the merrier!
  • Collaborate with Like-minded Stakeholders

Objectives and ideas have just been communicated to committee leadership.  Join us in Nashville for the full “unveiling” at the AHIA Business Meeting on September 17.  We will be toasting AHIA and its current successes and those to come!  I hope to see you then and there.

June 2019: From the Chair
Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(2).jpgAppreciation is a fundamental human need. We all want to be respected and valued by others for our contributions. Volunteer recognition is the embodiment of AHIA’s appreciation. It is taking the time to acknowledge a person’s effort that supports the organization’s goals and values, and which has clearly been beyond normal expectations.
Auditors are so used to working behind the scenes – sharing thought leadership generously with colleagues, contributing silently – so much so that we do not often take time recognize each other.  Let’s take some time to give a ‘pat on the back’ to make some of those hard working AHIA volunteers feel good, by submitting a nomination to AHIA’s Annual Awards Recognition Program.  We invite YOU to nominate those volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to AHIA over the past year. Not sure who to nominate? You may also identify the service area that has been most beneficial to you. Click here to participate.   Deadline is July 10.

Speaking of AMAZING volunteers  – I would like to call out a few by name. Because of the following individuals, AHIA has achieved its goal of developing the CHIAPTM certification, questions to support two versions of the exam and enough candidates to sit for the initial exam to establish the much-needed cut score.  In addition, over 200 AHIA members have applied for and have been granted the CHIAPTM via the one-time grandfathering process.  The Certification Committee and sub-committees (listed below) have worked tirelessly to achieve these goals and will be formally recognized – with a conference discount, special commemorative gift and a special lunch in Nashville.  I personally thank each and every one of you for bringing our dream into reality by creating the first and only certification specific to healthcare internal auditors:
Certification Committee
Chair: Debbie Radke
Salim Alani
Mark Eddy
Renée W. Jaenicke
Jennifer McGill
Adam T. McKenery
Sherry McLendon
Valla Wilson
Candidate Application Review Subcommittee
Chair: Renée W. Jaenicke
Holly Atkins
Mary Jo Gray
Catherine Hicks
Megan Schwarte
Thomas Shick
Angie Stuckey
Charles Wright
Item-Writer Subcommittee
Chair: Valla Wilson
Suzanne Applegate
Jill Baron
Kyle Brewster
John Byrd
Sabine Charles
Pamela Duncan
Darlene Fitzpatrick
Stephen Ford, Jr.
Evan Gatian
Bruce Kincaid
Joseph Kuruc
Johan Lidros
Eric Palmer
Kathryn Patterson
Sri Ramamoorti
Beth Timmerman
John Tsantakis
Beth Vilches
Debi Weatherford
Appreciation is important and so is leadership within a membership association. We have another “call for nominations” for the 2020 AHIA Board of Director’s election. If you have been a member of AHIA for the last 12 months and are currently or previously employed as an internal auditor or in a related position in healthcare, you are eligible to serve your professional organization as a Director or Executive Officer. If you or someone else is open to being nominated, completed nomination applications must be submitted by July 2, 2019 for considerationClick here to access the nominee application form.  We are grateful for the interest of every member who is prepared to support our mission: To provide leadership and advocacy to advance the healthcare internal audit profession globally by facilitating relevant education, certification, resources and networking opportunities.

Education, resources and networking are AHIA’s core values and the foundation on which your association was built – by people like you. While we gather together in person once a year at the Annual Conference for face-to-face networking – we would like to do more on the regional level to bring healthcare internal auditors together more frequently, and a little closer to home.  I would also like to give recognition to the dozen AHIA members who have stepped up to lead this effort.  At the time of this writing, we are strategizing how best to put their talents to meaningful and rewarding use!!!

AHIA has no shortage of committed and generous leaders within its ranks.  I am grateful to serve among you all.  So send us those Board and Award nominations, and reach out to us ANYTIME to determine where YOU can best serve AHIA to enhance your professional and leadership development.
Mary Jane Schroeder
AHIA Board Chair

May 2019: From the Chair
I believe it was the Beatle George Harrison that paraphrased Alice in Wonderland author, Lewis Carroll, in saying, “If you don’t know where you're going, any road will take you there.” New government regulations, changing workforce demographics, advancing technology and economic uncertainty affect every business differently. As healthcare internal auditors, we know this better than anyone!
I have learned in my role as your AHIA Board Chair – associations operate from the foundational to the aspirational as a matter of daily course.  The association “model” is built on intentional, transitional, volunteer leadership. As new leaders step up, it is critical that those who came before leave systematic processes and targeted, current strategic guidance. While the mission of the association tells us where to go… a good strategic plan is the roadmap.  As auditors, naturally, we are going to map this out!
Association management strategies are constantly adapting to change, especially in a digitally-led economy. The purpose of strategic planning is to flag out potential internal/external shocks and prepare AHIA to be more effective in adapting. Overall, strategic planning helps to increase operational efficiency, market share and creates the necessary foundation and boundaries to determine resource allocation and efficient decision-making.
Your current Board has spent the beginning of this year taking a critical look at AHIA’s ambition for the future; where we have been, where we are and where we would like to go. We spent January with a facilitator for a two-day intensive session, and subsequent months evaluating the outcomes and assessing objective measures for our long-term goals. The result is a roadmap on how we will get there. 
The new AHIA strategic plan is a written document that lays out AHIA’s goals and explains why they’re important.  But it more than just a lens to look through, it ensures that everyone is on the same page.  We are in the process of developing the communication plan to capture the Board’s deliberations and decisions, so we can work with Committee leadership, staff and other stakeholders in defining how the work is going to get done.  Stay tuned for the “official” release to the full membership.  We welcome any and all membership input.
In other AHIA news, the launch of the CHIAP™ certification program has exceeded our expectations! The “grandfathering” period is over.  I would like to thank all AHIA members who applied - whether grandfathered or sitting for the exam – we have achieved over 200 individuals who will soon wear the designation of CHIAP™ later this year.  I am hopeful I will be among them – so we can all celebrate together in Nashville for the 38th AHIA Annual Conference.
AHIA could not achieve its vision "To be the premier association for healthcare internal auditing" without the active, ongoing support of its volunteer.  The spring months are when AHIA looks to identify its future leaders and recognize its most generous volunteers. 

  • Board of Directors Election: If you have been a member of AHIA for the last 12 months and are currently or previously employed as an internal auditor or in a related position in healthcare, you are eligible to serve your professional organization as a Director or Executive Officer. If you or someone else is open to being nominated, completed nomination applications must be submitted by July 2, 2019 for considerationClick here to access the nominee application form.
  • Awards Recognition Program: We invite YOU to help us honor those volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to AHIA. To make a nomination, please visit  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZWHCSWR

Alice in Wonderland and the bass-playing Beatle didn’t necessarily have associations or AHIA in mind when they suggested that an ambiguous destination is right around the corner if you just start walking. While all roads lead somewhere, AHIA is on a firm path to continually elevate the quality of healthcare internal auditing and advancing the profession and its members – and ensuring we recognize all those contributions all along the way.

April 2019: From the Chair

Mary-Jane-Schroeder-(1).jpgNASHVILLE HERE WE COME!!! Looking forward to “harmonizing the complexities of healthcare internal auditing” with ya’ll in a few months.  Registration is now open for the 38th AHIA Annual Conference and the Planning Committee has compiled all the greatest “hits” with a well-balanced schedule spanning those key issues we are facing together; something to tickle everyone’s ear. The AHIA Annual Conference is THE place where we all connect, collaborate and learn together.
The AHIA Annual Conference showcases the best thinking in healthcare internal audit and compliance. With carefully vetted and relevant content on what matters most to you and our profession, it’s the largest gathering of your peers…people you can relate to, learn from, and stay connected to throughout the year.

To build an event as expansive as the Annual Conference – you need highly productive and thoughtful volunteers.  I would like to give a shout out to those volunteers that have assembled an outstanding 2019 program:

  • Jackye Thompson, Conference Committee Chair
  • Terri Allen, Preconference track leader
  • Michelle Elliott, Compliance track leader
  • Katherine Fore, Keynote leader
  • Lisa Litwiller, Care Settings track leader
  • Ginger Manwell, Revenue Cycle track leader
  • Greg Newton, Health Plan track leader
  • Michelle Piranio, Core Skills track leader
  • Darryl Rhames, Emerging Issues track leader
  • Jonathan West, IT/Security track leader
These individuals have been working extensively to deliver the only conference specifically for those in healthcare internal audit and compliance functions, which includes: 
  • Over 80+ sessions and roundtable discussions where healthcare IA/compliance stakeholders engage in peer-learning on relevant and key issues for the field 
  • Six pre-conference workshops and six complimentary roundtable discussion forums
  • Inspiring keynotes
  • Opportunities to network with colleagues who are leading strategy in our profession

The education isn’t the only star of this show.  Nashville is a musical, visual, magical and flavorful place.  They do not call it the “Music City” for nothing, and no one does live music better!  The Board and Conference Committee have spent some time there prepping for the conference and we can attest that you will hear music in the street at 6 am outside the doors of the hotel, and everywhere you go. While country is KING, country music isn't the only game in town. Venues offer rock, jazz, gospel, folk, rap concerts and more every night. You can see Elvis' golden Cadillac and Johnny Cash’s boots at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum without leaving the hotel (entrance is in our hotel) or take in a performance at the Grand Ole Opry. Honky-tonks along Broadway do not stop until late into the night. The Conference host hotel is beautiful and in the heart of it all.

Do not delay and make plans to join us in the Music City this September. Let’s enjoy Nashville’s creative spirit while we harmonize on some compelling healthcare internal audit notes. 
Mary Jane Schroeder
AHIA Board Chair

March 2019: From the Chair


Mary-Jane-Schroeder.jpgSpring has sprung!  AHIA’s new CHIAP™ certification program is in FULL bloom! But don’t worry.  It is not too late to join in on the fun now!  We have extended the deadline to apply for the inaugural exam.  And we have tried to make it easier for folks to take the leap into Certification. 


·       Be one of the first 50 people to apply to take the exam and we will refund you $100 of the application and exam fees after you sit for the exam during the first exam window. The application deadline is extended to April 15, 2019.

·       If you go through the whole application process for the first exam window and your application is denied, we will refund you the entire application fee.

·       While your best preparation for the exam is your years of experience working in healthcare internal auditing, should you sit for this first exam and don’t pass – don’t worry.  Your first retake attempt is on us!  And, you will be able to see your scores by each major category to help you prepare for your next attempt.

So, what are you waiting for!  To find out more, check out the AHIA website to apply and be a part of the first class of CHIAP™ professionals.

Also cropping up – a new White Paper! I encourage you to take advantage of the latest issuance, presented in collaboration with Crowe on Healthcare Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery — No Longer an Afterthought in Today’s World.  I want to send a special thanks to Crowe’s Scott Gerard and Robert Malarkey for authoring this resource.  AHIA is always seeking to share the latest ideas, concepts, case studies, and proven methods with the AHIA healthcare internal audit community.  If you have interest in getting involved and sharing your knowledge, our White Paper Subcommittee chair, Alan Henton, would love to hear from you.


In the spirit of the season of growth, the AHIA Board is considering the best way to leverage social media to expand and support our network of healthcare internal audit and compliance stakeholders. We recently engaged in an online digital conversation analysis to understand the volume, distribution, sentiment and themes of the conversation related to the healthcare industry and healthcare internal audit and compliance risks. 


It is a fascinating process – and as auditors, we love data.  Our main objective was to determine additional social platforms that would be complimentary to AHIA’s existing profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook and what our stakeholders are talking about in the public social networking space.


The total amount of healthcare audit posts in 2018 was 34,889 (25% increase compared to 28,222 posts in 2017). The majority of posts on this subject matter comes from those over the age of 35 and are split evenly between men and women. The most prominent topics of the conversations were focused on:

  • Financial audit & statement review
  • Risk management & regulatory compliance
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Cyber security (e.g. identity & web access management)
  • NIHC and Hospital audit process

We have identified that most of all online conversation on the internal audit and compliance processes in healthcare belongs to online news (79%) with Twitter owing the next 11%. The conversation on Twitter breaks down into the following major topics: job postings and retweets or reactions to various news (e.g. new compliance regulations, new tools, etc.). Cyber security has become of the major drivers of the conversation (e.g. web access management, health records security, etc.).  We will be recommending the creation of an AHIA Twitter account to join in on these conversations.


Ongoing consideration will be given as the AHIA Board finalizes its new Strategic Plan at the end of the month.  Stay tuned.  Like the birds of spring, it looks like AHIA might be tweeting and re-tweeting soon!


Happy spring!


Mary Jane Schroeder

AHIA Board Chair


February 2019: From the Chair

MaryJaneSchroeder2019.jpgThe #1 responsibility of the AHIA Board of Directors is the management and execution of the organization’s strategic commitments. Every so often, we take stock of these commitments and do what we do best, we audit and adapt!

In late January, your Board gathered in Nashville, site of 2019 Annual Conference, for our first board meeting of the year. The key agenda item was a strategic planning session facilitated by an independent facilitator to help guide us through planning activities; setting priorities and establishing focus areas for development. Our members’ feedback from the 2018 membership needs assessment survey was central to this process. Thank you and please keep your feedback coming!

Your Board will unveil the official plan in the next several months. As we complete the last step in this systematic coordination and alignment of AHIA’s resources and actions with mission, vision and strategy, we need is to refine how we will approach this work. There are some obvious committee assignments and many actions to parse out to our volunteer leadership.

In the meantime, I would like to offer a very high level overview of “the path” that hasemerged. The main Strategic Initiative for the next two years for AHIA will be to launch and sustain our certification program, CHIAP, which establishes the career benchmark for our profession. The certification is symbiotic with other efforts to increase the influence >and reach of our members through AHIA. Over the next two years, AHIA will engage more meaningfully with our members and vendor partners (while increasing our network), improve our top-line financial position, and enrich the value of AHIA membership, with an emphasis on our educational programs (our “bread and butter”).

Our volunteer base is robust, and as we realign our committee and workgroups, there will be many new opportunities to engage many members in moving the organization forward, from content development to establishing new content delivery methods and so much more that we are defining now, along with the actions needed to make and measure progress. I am excited and there is so much more to come!

As we move toward the deadline our first CHIAP exam, I want to make you aware of a very special, time limited opportunity. Because we want a very robust “FIRST CLASS” on this first exam, the best and the brightest among us to be our standard bearers, we are offering a $100 REFUND on your application and exam fee. Refunds will be processed upon verification of exam completion. Visit https://ahia.org/certification/chiap/ to learn more about the program eligibility requirements and application process. Sign up by March 15 to take advantage.

And don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE for our Annual Conference in Nashville September 15-19, 2019. Planning is well underway and another great AHIA event is beginning to take shape.

As certification launches and the organization’s current strategic development process is in the final stages of formulation, 2019 is off to a very productive start and your Board of directors is committed to strengthening your network, resources and the value of all things AHIA!


Mary Jane Schroeder
AHIA Board Chair