From working as a maid at the Holiday Inn…Margie White, Instructional Services Manager of Allen School’s new online Medical Insurance Billing & Coding program, stepped out of the shadows to make a differenceFor almost 75 years, millions of children have been reading Nancy Drew mystery books which feature a teen detective whose independence, bravery and personal drive enable her to solve crimes. The series encouraged women to be pioneers and to employ persistence and strength in pursuit of their goals, notable in light of the male-dominated times in which the authors wrote the series. An avid reader of Nancy Drew detective books, as a child growing up near Toledo, Ohio, Margie White, Manager of the Instructional Services Department of Allen School’s new online Medical Insurance Billing & Coding program has found her life defined by courageous real life women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, and former United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright, women who, according to Margie, “made a difference and didn’t live in the shadows.” Margie’s life has been a testament to stepping out of the shadows and making a difference. Margie was working as a maid at the Holiday Inn and then applied for a job as a nurse’s aide. She worked in a hospital setting for fifteen years, did home care and hospice work, as well. She planned to be an RN, but had to drop out of the technical college program required for admission to nursing school because of a challenging pregnancy with her first son. Coincidentally, at just that time, Margie received a flyer from AHIMA (the American Health Information Management Association, a professional organization that provides professional credentialing) about independent studies in health information management (medical records). She immediately enrolled in AHIMA’s distance learning just before the program was discontinued and became a Registered Health Information Technologist (RHIT). Before graduating, she found a job in a nursing home as a Medical Records Clerk. After finishing the RHIT program, Margie enrolled in distance learning again and got a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration. That led to her certification as a Registered Health Information Management Administrator (RHIA) and a licensed nursing home administrator. After that, still from home, Margie obtained a Masters degree in Health Sciences. With those credentials in hand, she decided to teach full time and has been an online instructor and an on-campus instructor for the last five years. An active member of AHIMA, Margie has served on several committees related to the implementation of electronic health records and the exchange of health information between health care providers. Her passion remains with health information management and helping others to become successful in the MIBC field. Margie joined the Allen School full time last summer. With her husband of thirty-three years, Jim, Margie raised two sons, John, now 28, a former Marine working on his Masters degree in Library Science and, Mike, 24, who just graduated with a Masters in Instructional Technology. “We are very close and we do a lot of laughing,” Margie says about her family, a verification of her ability to juggle career and family while focusing on the mandates involved in acquiring extensive professional education and credentialing from home. “Coding is like solving a puzzle, like working with crosswords,” Margie explains, “I tie it to the detective work that Nancy Drew, teen detective, used to do to solve mysteries. She got a sense of satisfaction when she solved the cases and I get one when I am able to find the clues in the medical records and apply the right numbers to them!” “What gives me even greater satisfaction,” she continues, “is that ‘Aha!’ moment when it clicks for a student. Some students struggle and then, they get the moment that is more rewarding than anything else for me, mainly because that student who, at first, struggled and could easily have dropped out, gets it. To keep that student in the program and then, to have them succeed, it is so, so fulfilling.” Margie White’s “independence, bravery and personal drive,” qualities she shares with fictional detective Nancy Drew, continue to play a major role in making a difference in the lives of her students.
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