January 2024 Member Spotlight

Vicki Buchanan

Professional Shares

Where do you work and what is your job title?
I am a faculty member at Northwest Arkansas Community College in the Health Information Management program.  I’ve been teaching there for the past 10 years and have just recently changed my status to adjunct professor.

How long have you been a member of ArHIMA?
I’ve been a proud member of ArHIMA since around 1986.

What certification types have you received or are seeking to receive?
I hold RHIA and CHPS credentials.

What made you decide to pursue a career in HIM?
I attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I had originally planned to go into Physical Therapy but after hearing about the HIM program, with my interests in business and science, it was a perfect match for me.  I have never regretted that decision!

What other jobs and/or titles have you held prior to the present one?
Director of Health Information Management at Willow Creek Women’s Hospital
Director of Health Information Management at Northwest Medical Center
Director of Health Information Management at St. Mary’s Hospital
Area Review Coordinator, Oklahoma Foundation for Peer Review

What are some of your responsibilities at your current position?
I have taught courses in Disease Pathology, Medical Terminology, Electronic Health Records, Legal and Ethical Issues in HIM, and Quality and Performance Improvement.

What is a typical day like for you?
As an adjunct teacher now, my day is pretty laid back. I may have an occasional meeting with a student or other faculty, grading, and prepping for classes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
When I started teaching at NWACC I was looking to take on more of a mentor role to help develop the next generation of HIM professionals. The thing I love most about my job is seeing a student work hard with the new knowledge and tools we give them in our program and then go out at become successful in their new career.  That is fuel for me to keep doing what I do.

Any other professional tidbit(s) you want to include?
I believe that as leaders in our profession, a great leadership model to use is one of servant leadership. I have always tried to put it into practice.  I love the principles of effective servant leadership: listening skills, empathy and understanding, fixing problems so your team can move on, self-awareness, guiding your team, helping your team see the big picture, foresight, stewardship, helping your team grow, building collaboration and engagement.

Personal Shares

What is your favorite food?
I’m always up for Mexican food.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) not many people know?
I once played golf with Arnold Palmer.  I’ve journeyed to Malawi, Africa 5 times.

What’s your favorite family tradition?
I love the family reunions that my dad’s side of the family puts together.  I think it’s important to put an emphasis on keeping your family together in every way that you can.

Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My parents.  My mom and dad have always encouraged and supported me 100% in everything I pursued. They also instilled a strong sense of “family” in me.

What was the first concert you ever attended?
I was invited by a friend to go see Elvis Presley in 1973 at the Myriad in Oklahoma City. Not an Elvis impersonator, but the “real” Elvis Presley!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
Always do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Integrity matters.

Do you like to cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?
I do like to cook, but my favorite activity is having family or friends over for a cookout.  My husband, Joe, is a pretty good grill master!

If you could get on a plane tonight and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’d like to see Greece.

Where is one place in Arkansas you would suggest people visit?
Crystal Bridges in Bentonville is world-class!  Take time to appreciate the amazing collection of American art right here in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Any other personal tidbit(s) you want to include?
Maybe it’s the stubbornness in me, but I like this quote attributed to Henry Ford: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”