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Updated on: March 17, 2016

AHIMA Awards Bonnie Cassidy its Highest Honor: Distinguished Member Award

Original story posted on: September 25, 2014

Editor’s Note: Former American Health Information Management (AHIMA) President and Chair Bonnie Cassidy was awarded the Distinguished Member Award by AHIMA during the association’s 86 conference in San Diego yesterday. Much will be written about Cassidy and her long list of achievements and honors. ICD10monitor caught up with her for an exclusive interview:


Where did Bonnie Cassidy grow up?

I grew up in Western New York State, outside of Buffalo.

As young girl, who were your role models?

My mother was always my role model. She was a beautiful, smart woman who was an independent thinker. I was very proud of her and was always so excited when she came to school to visit with teachers. My mom was a college-educated school teacher who was recruited by the State of California school system and relocated to La Jolla, Calif. for a few years. She went back to Buffalo for love and family! She prepared me to study hard, go to college, be involved as a volunteer, and love your friends and family. As a result, she was way ahead of her time in terms of supporting and promoting professional women!

At the age of 17, what kind of life was Bonnie Cassidy envisioning for herself?

When I was a freshman in college, I was 17 (as the oldest they thought I was ready for kindergarten at the age of 4!) And all I wanted and could think about was to be 18! 

Where did you go to high school?

I went to Bishop Neumann High School in Williamsville, N.Y., and thanks to Facebook, I am able to keep in contact with classmates that live all over the country.

Where did you attend college?

Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y.

What was your major?

Medical record administration. I was president of the Student Medical Record Administration (Association) and vice president of the senior class. 

What prompted you to enter healthcare?

From a young age, I always knew that I wanted to be in the healthcare industry and explored several areas to discover where I thought I would belong.

What was your first job in healthcare?

I was recruited by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation after I graduated from Daemen College to be the first data coordinator there. A year later I was the associate director of medical records and statistics at the Cleveland Clinic.

While working, I attended graduate school at night and graduated with my master’s degree from Cleveland State University.

What personal attributes do you ascribe to high achievers such as yourself?

  • Don’t ever forget to say “thank you.”
  • Achieve a life balance and know your priorities: commitment to God, family and friends, and work/career.
  • Freely share your knowledge with others.
  • Always give 200 percent and commit to doing the best you can

What leisure activities do you enjoy (when you have time)?

I love spending time with my family and our family pets (we are Boston Terrier lovers); love to watch movies with my husband and daughter, to listen to Steve Tyrell, and to attend smooth jazz concerts, especially during the holidays. I DVR Downton Abbey to watch when I am at home; we watch Auburn University football games on Saturdays; and I escape to Hilton Head a few times a year and I enjoy traveling throughout Europe with my family and friends.

Where is home these days?

I live outside of Atlanta in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

What’s the latest book you’ve read?

A book called “Cherished” is a book that I am reading now.

In “Cherished: 21 Writers Celebrate Animals They've Loved and Lost,” writers put into words the depth of grief felt after their animals' deaths, the lessons learned from their lives, how these animals changed them, and the joy they left behind.

My 4-year-old Boston Terriers, Butch and Beau, enthusiastically escaped from our backyard Friday night, as they have done several times since we got our new fence. Beau would and could strategically find a good place to tunnel under to get out. Around 10 p.m. Friday night, we realized that they got out again, so we went to their favorite spot just around the corner from our house. Butch was fine. We found our poor little beautiful Beau was a victim of a hit-and-run. They were not out long, but it does not take but a second for this to happen and suffer the devastating shock of losing a pet. Beau is gone now, but he left us with so many wonderful memories. I worry so much for Butch, who is grieving the loss of his brother and best friend.

What three nouns best describe Bonnie Cassidy?

Wife. Mother. Friend.

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.
Chuck Buck

Chuck Buck is the publisher of ICD10monitor and is the executive producer and program host of Talk Ten Tuesdays.

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