The DISTINGUISHED MEMBER
AWARD celebrates the individu-
al who has an extensive history
of exceptional contributions to
HIM. The Distinguished Mem-
ber is awarded to an outstand-
ing member who has made sig-
nificant contributions to the field
through dedicated volunteer service, innovative professional
practice, education, research, presentation, or publishing.
AHIMA presents Cassi L. Birnbaum, MS, RHIA, CPHQ, FA-
HIMA, with the 2019 Distinguished Member Triumph Award.
Birnbaum is the system-wide director of HIM/revenue integrity
at University of California San Diego Health.
Throughout her career, Birnbaum has demonstrated exceptional
leadership, volunteerism, and talent. Birnbaum’s use of contempo-
rary methods and technology highlight her invaluable contribu-
tions to the profession and to AHIMA. She was an early proponent
of e-HIM, leveraging healthcare technology, revenue integrity, data
governance, CDI and HIM strategy development, and innovation.
A dedicated and exceptional volunteer for over 30 years,
Birnbaum rarely says no when asked by AHIMA, the California
Health Information Association (CHIA) and its local associa-
tions, or other groups and organizations to write articles or par-
ticipate in various committees and task forces. As board presi-
dent/chair of AHIMA, Birnbaum was a tireless leader, guiding
its members, the profession, and the industry to realize AHIMA’s
vision of a successful transition to ICD- 10, information gover-
nance, analytics, informatics, and CDI strategies. As an AHIMA
director from 2011 to 2013, Birnbaum chaired the Governance
Committee and the Advocacy and Alliance Task Groups.
During her tenure as president and board member of CHIA,
Birnbaum led the way in increasing membership and aligning
CHIA’s strategies with AHIMA’s stated goals. Birnbaum received
CHIA’s prestigious Distinguished Member Award in 2009 and
Professional Achievement Award in 2002. She continues to serve
on various committees at the national, state, and local levels and
in IFHIMA. She has received numerous awards for her leadership,
business experience, and broad understanding of the profession
and industry at large, including 3M’s Innovator of the Year Award,
the Distinguished Health Professions Alumna Recipient for the
University of Kansas, the Outstanding Member Award from the
San Diego Health Information Association, and the YWCA’s Trib-
ute to Women and Industry (T WIN) Award.
Birnbaum is an adjunct faculty member for San Diego Mesa
College and UCSD Extension academic programs, teaching
strategic planning and leadership, human resources, and proj-
ect management for HIM professionals. She assisted in estab-
lishing the first bachelor’s program for HIM at a community
college in California, where she also taught. She also actively
mentors those pursuing future careers in HIM at all levels.
AHIMA congratulates Cassi L. Birnbaum on her 2019 AHIMA Distinguished Member Triumph Award and thanks her for her work to
advance the HIM profession.
AHIMA has a long and cherished
tradition of honoring the
excellence, dedication, and service
of those professionals whose
steadfast efforts have enriched the
health information management
(HIM) field. This time-honored
celebration of outstanding
accomplishments continues with
the 2019 AHIMA Triumph Awards.
The AHIMA Triumph Awards
are national awards designed
to recognize those special
individuals who have made a
difference in the HIM profession.
The AHIMA Triumph Awards honor
today’s HIM leaders, rewarding
those contributors who build
our knowledge base, recognize
excellence in preparing future HIM
professionals, and encourage the
development of fresh talent and
Congratulations to the 2019
AHIMA Triumph Awards