July 2024 Member Spotlight

Jennifer Wiedower, RHIT

Professional Shares

Where do you work and what is your job title?
Senior Coder, Moffitt Cancer Center

How long have you been a member of ArHIMA?
Since January 2014.  I didn’t realize it had been 10 years, wow.

What certification types have you received or are seeking to receive?
I currently have my RHIT.  I’ve considered the RHIA as well, but currently the RHIT has served me well.

Which college/university did you attend?
My Bachelors is from Evangel University, and my Associates in HIM is from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

What made you decide to pursue a career in HIM?
After a long career in the corporate world, I knew I was ready to make a change.  I wanted to find a career where I felt like I was making a difference and felt a calling to do something in the world of medicine.  I knew clinical jobs wouldn’t be a great fit, and after a lot of research it felt like HIM was the perfect career path to obtain a career where I could use my skills and experience, find a job working from home, and earn a similar or better salary than in my corporate career.

What other jobs and/or titles have you held prior to the present one?
Prior to HIM – Call Center Representative, Retail Sales Rep, Quality Assurance Analyst (there were more, but those work to summarize lol) In the medical world I worked as an Access Coordinator for a year in a cancer Infusion Center, worked as an HIM Specialist in the Medical Records department, and was a Coder I and II.

What are some of your responsibilities at your current position?
Currently, I’m responsible for coding mostly radiology charges for an extremely busy Cancer hospital.  We are responsible for the diagnostic and CPT portions of coding.  I also work special projects for the department and assist with mentoring newer coders. 

What is a typical day like for you?
I typically like to start my day around 5am to be off early.  Check zoom/email to see if there were any updates/changes from the previous day.  Then I start coding.   Occasionally I will have a meeting to lead or join, but the average day is primarily spent coding.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I absolutely love working from home, and especially with the flexible schedule we have. We have to work 40 hours but are able to do it however we want to within a pretty wide hour range, so we can always go to kids functions, appointments, and have days off when needed.  It’s pretty wonderful!

Any other professional tidbit(s) you want to include?
I’ve always tried to stay focused on the big picture and long-term goals.  Sometimes you have to do things beyond your work scope, without complaining, to have a long-term gain.  The only difficult, awful boss and working environment I’ve ever had in 20+ years was in my entry-level job in the HIM field, but I knew the situation was temporary to gain needed experience to move to a role that I wanted.  Rather than complaining or leaving right away, I stuck it out.  Because of that I was able to move on to a position that I absolutely love! I also attribute a lot of my success to being willing to ask for what I want, to do what other people don’t always want to do, and to always provide a suggested solution when I have a complaint.

Personal Shares

What is your favorite food?
I think I’d have to say Mexican food.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) not many people know?
I’ve lived in 7 different states and have moved away from and back to Arkansas three times now – I think I’m here to stay…. for a while anyway I also was a journalist in High School and College and interviewed several famous people and bands, people are always surprised to learn that.

What’s your favorite family tradition?
Christmas Eve my dad makes this specific special meal that we’ve had since childhood – it’s so good and he only makes it once per year.  Then on Christmas morning we all go to a big country breakfast at my aunt’s house.  It’s such a fun and special time where we all just get together and enjoy each other’s company. 

Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My grandma. I’ve been so blessed to have her in my life.  She’s originally from New York so she’s a bit of a firecracker.  She’s in her 90’s and on Facebook!

What was the first concert you ever attended?
When I was really little, my mom took me to see Barry Manilow.  I’m sure most people reading this have never heard of him!

What’s something you want to do that you’ve never done before? 
Travel to Europe

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard? 
I’ve had so many incredible mentors, so I’ve gotten a lot of good advice.  I think two cliches that are actually pretty impactful are “other people’s opinions of you aren’t your business” and “If it’s not going to matter in 5 years, it doesn’t matter”. 

Do you like to cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?
I love to cook! I was one of those people who started baking bread during the pandemic, and I’ve stuck with it, so I guess that’s my favorite right now.  But I really like creating different meals, too.

If you could get on a plane tonight and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Where is one place in Arkansas you would suggest people to visit?
Go camping at Dam Site Park on Greers Ferry Lake.  It’s pretty great!