June 2022 Member Spotlight
Brenda Huntsinger, RHIT, LNHA
Where do you work, and what is your job title?
ATU-Ozark; HIT Faculty
How long have you been a member of ArHIMA?
1982 AHIMA since 1970
What certification types have you received or are you seeking to obtain?
RHIT and Licensed Nursing Home Administrator license
Which college/university did you attend?
What made you decide to pursue a career in HIM?
Margaret Mortimer, RHIA was a consultant at the facility where I worked. She turned me on to a medical record class she was teaching. So, I enrolled and realized I could help patients by working on medical records.
What other jobs and/or titles have you held before the present one?
I am an entrepreneur at heart. In 1972, with $200.00 and a dining room table, I started a company, the company provided compliance consultanting/training to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. According to the company records, it became the most prominent medical record consulting firm in the United States.
In 1994, the company was sold, and I was tired of traveling. After that sale, I decided to start another company, working only in the state of Arkansas. In 2011 that company was sold. I was going to retire with plans to go back to college. I started college at ATU-Ozark in 2011 and, in 2012 accepted a position as HIT adjunct instructor. In 2013 I took a position as a full-time faculty member in the HIT Department. I am still working.
What are some of your responsibilities in your current position?
For example, as an instructor, I can use my skills as a medical record consultant and manage a corporation. In addition, the networking skills acquired as a company president have helped secure clinical sites for our students. My current responsibilities are to assist with CAHIIM Accreditation, teach Health Data Content and Structure, Health Information Management, and coordinate the students Professional Practice Experience.
What is a typical day like for you?
My philosophy is to handle one piece of paper one time. That is a challenge. Each morning, the first thing I do is clear the email, review my schedule, and check off any tasks possible before teaching a face-to-face class. The majority of my courses are online, so I spend time grading and ensuring feedback to each student. At the end of the day, I plan the next day’s tasks. Does every day go as planned, absolutely not.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Developing curriculum and working with the students.
Any other professional tidbit(s) you want to include?
I qualified to sit for the RHIT exam by completing the AHIMA Correspondence Course – several years ago. To manage a corporation without formal training, I read every management book I could lay my hands on. Two books that helped were How to Dress for Success and Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.
What is your favorite food?
Anything with coconut. AND, ice-cream!
What’s something about you (a fun fact) not many people know?
There is not a lot that people do not know about me, I think I am a very transparent person. Most people do not know because of my job and a desire to spend time with my children that my children traveled with me most of the time, with the nanny. Now my children have grown up and travel in their jobs. Runs in the family, I guess.
What’s your favorite family tradition?
Christmas Eve. All the family gets together for Christmas Eve, and of course, Santa Claus arrives right on time.
Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My father. He taught me to always keep my word, integrity. He also taught me the value of a handshake and looking the person in the eyes when greeting/talking to them.
What was the first concert you ever attended?
Kenny Rogers. Our family was sitting on the grass at the Orange County Fair Grounds.
What’s something you want to do that you’ve never done before?
I have learned if I desire to do something, I do it. Make it happen.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
When you start to remember “when,” it may be time to retire.
Do you like to cook?
I like to bake.
If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?
If you could get on a plane tonight and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Colorado and tickets are already in my hand.
Where is one place in Arkansas you would suggest people visit?
Eureka Springs and take the time to learn the history before you get there. The history of the Mudd Street café is awesome; same for all of downtown. After taking many trips to Eureka Springs I did not appreciate the area until I learned the history.
Any other personal tidbit(s) you want to include?
My parent’s education was limited, I never thought I would have the opportunity to attend college. College was not in my vocabulary. When I started the corporation, I became self-taught. I read every management book available, how to dress for success. how to write a business letter, how to negotiate contracts etc., communication skills, were just a few. Only after selling the corporations did I take the time to go to college. Learning is a life-time experience.