2023 Award Recipients

Living Legacy Award Recipient


ArHIMA presented Chris Merle, MS, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, CRC, CIC, with the Living Legacy Award. This award is the highest honor bestowed upon a member. Chris has been an ArHIMA volunteer since 1993. She has served on the board as president and treasurer, chaired numerous committees, and has represented Arkansas as a delegate to the AHIMA House of Delegates many times. She is currently chair of the legislative committee and recently coordinated the update to the Arkansas HIM Legal Manual. Chris is a senior inpatient consultant with Administrative Consultant Service providing assistance and education in coding, clinical documentation integrity, and HIM workflow analysis.

Vendor of the Year Award Recipient

Administrative Consultant Service, LLC

Administrative Consultant Service, LLC, received the Vendor of the Year Award for their outstanding contribution to our association. ArHIMA recognizes that our organization would not survive without successful partnerships with our vendors. This award is to recognize a vendor that has shown significant dedication and commitment to building a strong relationship with ArHIMA. Administrative Consultant Service has been such a partner by being an active exhibitor at the ArHIMA annual convention for over 20 years. They additionally sponsor breaks at conventions and provide expert speakers for education. ACS was established in 1985 to help hospitals achieve optimal reimbursement and cost-efficient, high-quality patient care by uniting the efforts of physicians, coders, CDI specialists, and other members of the healthcare team. Those services have expanded from hospital inpatient to hospital outpatient, as well as professional fee services.

Candace Roberts, President of ACS, accepted the award at the annual business meeting.

Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient

Tina Cikanek, MBA, RHIA, CCS

ArHIMA presented Tina Cikanek, MBA, RHIA, CCS, with the Volunteer of the Year Award. The award was established to recognize those members who have devoted extraordinary time to the HIM profession through volunteering at the state and local levels in Arkansas. Currently, Tina is the first year director of ArHIMA and serves as the membership liaison and chair of the budget and finance committee. She recently served as president, representing Arkansas in the AHIMA House of Delegates and at Hill Day in Washington, DC. Tina is the Health Information Management Program Director and Instructor at NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville.