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September 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgIt was all smooth sailing in San Diego and the 37th AHIA Annual Conference was the highlight of my term as Board Chair to date.  It was a pleasure being face to face with so many old friends and new ones – and an honor to witness the efforts of so many talented individuals benefit the AHIA community and the healthcare internal audit profession.  Our total attendance was 660 attendees, a NEW record.

Planning an event the size, scale and specificity of the AHIA Annual Conference takes a wealth of dedicated leadership. Chase Whitaker led the 2018 effort with consensus, humor and top-tier research/development. On behalf of all of us at AHIA, I wish to express our gratitude to him for the delivery of our best reviewed and most well attended conference to date!  Thank you to Chase, and all the members of his committee:

Terri Allen Tim Marshall
Suzanna Applegate Linda McKee
Michelle Elliott Greg Newton
Katherine Fore Darryl Rhames
Lisa Litwiller Jackye Thompson
Ginger Manwell Alicia Capps, Board Liaison

The evaluation and anecdotal feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. For myself, I especially enjoyed the spirit of laughter and fun that echoed throughout the learning.  We have very serious jobs and responsibilities – and these are serious times. Don McMillan’s humorous opening presentation, wherein he relentlessly made fun of AHIA leadership, reminded us all just how important the ability to laugh is to both our personal and professional development. The tone was set and carried through beyond the conference. AHIA Board members and staff continue to refer to me as Anchorman, for those of you in on the joke.

From the very impactful sessions to the networking functions, featuring some spicy dance moves from our Intuitional Award winners, Board Members and new attendees, AHIA’s finest meeting in America’s finest city, is in the books.  We thank all those who made contributions; our presenters, sponsors, exhibitors and staff and more – too numerous to list, but you know who you are.

Planning is underway for next year in Nashville, Tennessee, September 15-18, 2019. We welcome the leadership of Jackye Thomson as the chair of the Annual Conference Committee.

A hot topic of discussion at the conference was AHIA’s certification effort.  Much progress has been made over the last year under the oversight of Debbie Radke and David Richstone. If you were not able to join us in San Diego, I would like to share our Certification FAQ information sheet.  The Certification Program is a step toward greater recognition of the standards of our work and will help better demonstrate the unique value healthcare internal auditors bring.

The caliber of our volunteers is second to none. We acknowledged this at the conference.  See below for more details on the generosity of the 2018 Awards Recognition Program winners.

We also recognized 236 individuals who have actively contributed their time and talent to AHIA over the past year.  That is almost 15% of total membership and a significant achievement.  All will receive a $50 AHIA gift certificate for their efforts.

Finally, the 2019 AHIA Board of Directors Election is in full swing.  Voting ends on September 28th.  I hope you’ll contribute your voice to selecting our Association’s future leaders!


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair
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August 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgIn just over a week, AHIA members and stakeholders will descend on San Diego to do some knowledge sharing and networking at our biggest event of the year- the AHIA Annual Conference. DJ and AHIA member Frank Estala will be back, by popular demand. I am looking forward to connecting with old friends and making scores of new ones.
With AHIA membership at an all-time high, our 2019 election ballot full, the certification effort being realized and our education offerings attracting more internal auditors than ever, I reflect on our progress and what makes it all possible. 

It comes down to our members and our volunteers. AHIA could not achieve its vision "To be the premier association for healthcare internal auditing” without the active, ongoing support of its volunteers who spend countless hours meeting, brainstorming, organizing and implementing programs to provide valuable resources, education and support to our community. 

Because so many give so much to AHIA, we strive to find ways to recognize those individuals who have gone above and beyond to make our association great.  Annually, we request nominations to recognize the significant accomplishments for individuals and organizations that have contributed to our advancement through the AHIA Awards Recognition Program

I am pleased to report that we received more nominations than ever before – making the recommendation process for the AHIA Membership and Awards Committee a welcome challenge. I look forward to recognizing these individuals and organizations at the Annual Conference. In addition, we will recognize approximately 150 volunteer contributors with an AHIA gift card for their contributions.

Finally, The AHIA 2019 Board of Directors election will open on August 28 at 11 am EDT.  Email ballots will appear in your in-box and ballots will be available for those in San Diego. The success of AHIA is realized through its volunteer leadership.  We are very fortunate to have so many fine professionals step up to serve our membership. Your voice and vote matters – please participate.


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair
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July 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgWe are five weeks away from AHIA 37th Annual Conference, and the excitement is building!  Our trending data tells us we are on track for the most highly attended event in our association’s history.  This is due to extraordinary efforts of the Annual Conference Planning Committee and the subject matter expertise of our presenters.

Relevant content is the key to a successful meeting. While we have presented a well-balanced program, the Board and Education Committee pay special attention to those sessions that garner the highest attendance through the registration process. This allows us, along with survey data, to hone in on the hot topics for additional resource development. The following sessions are the top ten most popular to date:

1) G2: Top 10 Emerging Healthcare Audit Issues by Glenn Wilson, Deloitte
2) A7: Data Analytics: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words by Terence Giblin and Danielle Milner, Ochsner Health Systems
3) E6: Data Analytics in Revenue Compliance - Strategy, Development and Visualization by Andrew Kins at Mayo Clinic
4) A1: To Catch a Thief by Sherry McLendon and Jolyn Carter, Well Star Health System
5) A10: Audit Reports That Command Attention and Get Results by Liz Meyers, Focus on Risk Enterprises, LLC – 85
6) C9: Auditing and Monitoring Emerging Compliance Risk Areas by Debi Weatherford at Piedmont
7) E4: Charge Capture - Using Data Analytics to Stop the Bleeding by Kathy Langley and Tom Stec, Crowe
8) D3: Assessing and Addressing the Risks of Community Partners' Access to Patient Data by Ian Sterrett, Duke University
9) D7: Auditing Identity and Access Management: Protecting Patients, Systems & Data by Jason Shanks, Atrium Health
10) D8: Auditing a Medical Device Security Program by Nick Sikorski, Terry Corcoran, Penelope Chuah and Mark Manning, Deloitte

Data, data security and data analytics appear to be of the highest priority for our members.

If you will be joining us in San Diego, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of one of the AHIA Roundtable opportunities on Sunday, August 26.  AHIA Roundtables are the hallmark of our focus on education, networking and resources – peer-to-peer sharing experiences. Attendance is complimentary, as is the buffet provided.

This year, we will have four CAE Roundtables, staggered throughout the day, and an IT Auditor Roundtable and Managers/Directors Roundtable are also offered for your consideration.  All are 3 hours long, valid for 3 CPE credits with full participation, and are expertly facilitated by our generous sponsor partners.  The schedule is as follows:

CAE Roundtable - 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (Deloitte facilitated)
CAE Roundtable -  12:30 pm to 3:30 pm (Moss Adams facilitated)
Managers and Directors Roundtable -  12:30 pm to 3:30 pm (Moss Adams facilitated)
IT Auditor Roundtable -  12:30 pm to 3:30 pm (Eminere Group facilitated)
CAE Roundtable -  2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Crowe facilitated)
CAE Roundtable - 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Protiviti facilitated)

*Note that there is some overlap with start and ending times on the CAE.  This could affect the amount of CPE awarded for back-to-back sessions.
To request an invitation form, click here or email mcunningham@kellencompany.com with your request.

If you are in a CAE role, you are welcome to select more than one.  Different facilitators, different perspectives and voices, different experiences offer additional insights into today’s most pressing and challenging issues.

We always encourage our members to attend the Annual Business Meeting on the Tuesday evening to get up-to-date on the progress AHIA is making in meeting your needs and bringing us into the future.

I looking forward to seeing you next month in San Diego to wind down the summer in America’s Finest City!


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair

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June 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgSan Diego is referred to as “America’s Finest City.”  I think there’s a good reason for that.  Having been born and raised in San Diego, I confess I’m a little biased, but you can’t beat the weather, the ocean, the sights, sounds and smells of our nation’s furthest southwest corner.  I’m always excited when my involvement with AHIA brings me back home for the Annual Conference.

Beyond the fact that it’s in America’s Finest City, here are some of the top reasons why I believe you should attend AHIA’s 37th Annual Conference:

Stay Current:  No matter how long you've been in the healthcare internal audit profession or what position you hold, there are always new things to learn.  Emerging trends, new strategies and innovations in healthcare are taking place continuously.  To stay up-to-date, you need an educational opportunity custom-made for your needs.  We all manage risk to some degree – whether it’s operational, financial, regulatory or strategic – it’s important to stay current with the latest changes.  AHIA is the only membership association dedicated to healthcare internal audit – our conference is a reflection of this, offering the most focused, intensive content in this subject matter area.

Learn from the Experts:  The presenters at the AHIA Annual Conference are proven business leaders, strategists, practitioners and peers.  They are healthcare internal audit stakeholders and professionals; well-respected industry leaders who know what you need to know.  Our selection process for presenters is as rigorous and we make sure that you're hearing from the best. You'll get a solid grounding in time-tested fundamentals and distinctive insight into the new practices that will change how we do business.

Services/Solutions Access in the Expo Hall:  Our exhibitors are industry authorities and solution-providers who have tools and insights to help you in your role.  Invest time in the exposition hall – it is an education unto itself.  Staying abreast of innovative services and products is critical to stay competitive in this evolving business environment.

Network for Business and Fun: The Annual Conference is a lot of learning packed into a short amount of time.  While we ensure the highest quality of concentrated education, at its core AHIA is about professional connections.  When you meet with your peers, you have an opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, and validate or enhance your perspectives.  Learning from what your peers have done and being inspired to implement something similar is possibly the most valuable reason to attend.  Networking with my fellow peers is one of the greatest benefits I gain from attending the conference.  Beyond the learning and educational value, we offer a little “off campus” fun as well.  On Tuesday, August 28, from 7:00pm to 10:00 pm, you can explore San Diego with us and make new friends – or cut loose with your team members for an evening out on the town.  And what a town it is! 

Registration is now open for the following reasonably priced offerings:

  • San Diego BITE Food Tour: Explore the growing food scene in America’s Finest City via a guided walking food tour.  Go inside San Diego’s exceptional restaurants and sample the cuisine.  Along the way, learn about the history, insights and stories that have shaped the city and restaurant scene. Taste the reasons why San Diego is becoming a culinary mecca for locals and world travelers alike.
  • San Diego Padres Game:  Join us at Petco Park as we watch the Padres take on the Seattle Mariners. Watch the game from The Point, an exclusive seating area located in left field, with stunning views of the field.
  • Pub Crawl through the historic Gaslamp District: Join this walking pub crawl in the historical Gaslamp District and enjoy drink specials, no lines and no cover charges. This tour will stop at four local bars, showcasing vibrant nightlife including live music, swing dancing, games and more. This tour will be guided and will include a lot of walking so please wear comfortable shoes.
  • Dinner Cruise along the scenic waterfront:  Celebrate a memorable evening of dinner, dancing and incredible views of San Diego's most scenic waterfront sights. Enjoy a three-course gourmet dinner, freshly prepared onboard the ship, made with locally sourced ingredients, sustainable seafood and premium contemporary California flavors of the region.

At no other event will you meet as many people in your area of expertise.  You can experience an array of educational opportunities that enhance job readiness and address day-to-day work challenges while advancing your broader institutional and professional development goals – and have a little fun along the way!

Hope to see you there!


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair

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May 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgYour AHIA network continues to grow.  Membership is at a new record level – 1621 members strong.  This is quite an accomplishment and speaks to the commitment of our volunteer leadership in attracting and retaining the stakeholders of healthcare internal audit.  There is strength and opportunity in numbers.

AHIA was built on a foundation of knowledge transfer and sharing. Nowhere is that core value more evident than within the AHIA Connected Community. I am always intrigued to see how our members are utilizing this collaboration tool and supporting each other.  The larger our network grows – so does the level of support and expertise you will find in the Connected Community.  Our volunteer leadership is paying close attention to the dialogue and needs that are communicated within that environment – in an effort to stay on top of the most pressing needs for resource and continuing education development.

Continuing education is imperative to the success of all professionals, in any industry – but especially in our field.  Through our webinar program, AHIA provides participants with high-quality education and training without leaving the home or office. We offer a broad range of programming hosted by experts to help keep participants up-to-date on the latest information, applications, trends, best practices, hot topics and subjects of special interest.  I would like to call your attention to the efforts of the AHIA Webinar Subcommittees, chaired by Russell Harder, Dieu Tran and Paul Douglas, with oversight from Susan Smoger and Todd Havens.  Earlier this year, the Board made the decision to provide all AHIA webinars to our members at no charge.  Here is the catalogue of the ten offerings planned for 2018:

We invite you to submit a proposal to conduct a webinar presentation. Interested parties can submit at any time here.  Once submitted, your programming idea will be forwarded to AHIA’s webinar team for consideration.

Finally, I invite everyone to join us for the Annual Conference - just three short months away. This is our largest in-person educational and networking opportunity. Be sure to register before July 10 to get early-bird pricing.  AHIA is not “all work and no play” at the conference.  We will soon be announcing the social events for the Annual Conference in San Diego – we will offer the opportunity to purchase tickets to a San Diego Padres baseball game, a dinner cruise and more.  This is an opportunity for you to explore the host city, unwind after a full day of learning and network in a more relaxed environment outside the conference space --- or you can use this as a team building opportunity.  Stay tuned.

As our membership grows, the more you contribute, the more you get out of your AHIA membership. Come to the conference, join or present a webinar, ask a question of your peers or share a document on the Connected Community and enjoy the rewards of active membership.


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair

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April 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgOver the past year, we’ve seen a growing trend in mergers and acquisitions.  This isn’t just large organizations picking up smaller ones.  We’re seeing large organizations combine with other large organizations with the goal of achieving economies of scale and garnering better negotiating power with suppliers and payers.  For those of us who have gone through mergers, even on a small scale, we know how challenging they can be as two organizations strive to merge their operations, information systems, policies and culture into a single cohesive whole.  Some mergers take years to fully realize the benefits of these transactions.  With such change in the marketplace comes an increase in variability and subsequently an increase in risk.  The need for audit knowledge and capacity has never been greater!

That is where AHIA comes in. I encourage you to make an investment in yourself, and your continuing education by joining us for the AHIA Annual Conference in San Diego (August 26-29, 2018).  This year’s conference is appropriately themed, “Weathering Change and Keeping Risks at Bay.”  This conference will touch on some of the latest trends in the market and how to address them from an audit perspective.  Registration is now open.

The 2018 Planning Committee has been working since July 2017 to develop a program that will be interesting and engaging.  We have listened to our members’ feedback which is a driving factor in the development of this year’s program, as well as regular environmental scans of the healthcare climate.  Special thanks to our dedicated committee members.  Without their hard work and tireless efforts, this conference would not be possible:

Chase Whitaker, Chair
Terri Allen, Preconference
Suzanne Applegate, Special Projects
Alicia Capps, Board Liaison
Michelle Elliott, Compliance Track Leader 
Katherine Fore, Information Technology & Security
Lisa Litwiller, Care Settings Track Leader
Ginger Manwell, Revenue Cycle Track Leader
Tim Marshall, Social Events
Linda McKee, Keynote Presentations 
Greg Newton, Health Plan Track Leader
Jim Passey, AHIA Board Chair
Darryl Rhames, Emerging Topics & Practices
Jackye Thompson, Core Skills Track Leader

I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the only conference dedicated to healthcare internal auditing.  I was born and raised in San Diego so I may be a little biased when I say we couldn’t ask for a better location to hold this year’s conference.  The sand, sails and sunset await us!


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair

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March 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgSpring always holds the promise of new beginnings and the dawn of a new era of optimism and growth.  AHIA is keeping with the season and “springing” into action with membership growth, robust educational offerings and the dawn of a new era of offerings for our members.

AHIA membership is back to record levels.  Our extensive month over month trending shows membership almost exceeding our historical highs.

At the time of this writing, we had over 175 members taking the 2018 AHIA Membership Needs Assessment SurveyIf you have not done so yet, I encourage you to take 3 to 5 minutes to share your input regarding key aspects of your membership to help us focus on the services that will benefit you most.

Also available for your input is the AHIA Editorial Board’s bi-annualAHIA/LSU Healthcare Internal Auditing Salary and Trends Survey.  In even-numbered years, AHIA partners with the Louisiana State University Center for Internal Auditing (LSUCIA) toconduct its bi-annual survey on healthcare internal audit practices.  The results of this survey will allow us to share and benchmark practices and trends.  Our appreciation to AHIA member Jared Soleau for leading this undertaking.  The survey results and relevant comparisons will be shared through New Perspectives and other vehicles.  You have until April 15, 2018 to contribute your valued input to this effort.

Under the direction of Alan Henton, AHIA White Paper Subcommittee chair, we released this year’s first AHIA-issued guidance in partnership with Jackson Health System.  Be sure to check out “Securing Data & Delivering Value,” authored by AHIA member, Rubensky Calixte, MBA, CISA.

Educational offerings are in full bloom this spring, with two CAE Roundtables next month in Nashville and Phoenix and Regional Seminars in Memphis this May and Orlando this June, a plethora of FREE-TO-MEMBERS webinar offerings and the early launch of registration for the 2018 AHIA Annual Conference in San Diego.  Visit the AHIA calendar of events for more information.

I hope you will take part in all of the above.  As you can see, no spring break for AHIA.  Things are just heating up!


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair

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February 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgAfter engaging in a very successful two-day meeting with the Board of Directors in San Diego last month, I’m continually impressed by the work and care my fellow Board members, and all the AHIA volunteers give back to our professional community.  From overseeing the high quality education, networking opportunities and resources to spending countless hours deliberating on how we can best deliver these offerings in a meaning and affordable way.

A few highlights:

  • The Board is currently reevaluating the organizational committee structure. We need to ensure a strong governance foundation toward the success and support of new initiatives.  New project development includes certification, and the educational alignment needed to support that effort, an emphasis in working in synergy with other professional, like-minded organizations and utilizing social media to expand our reach and broaden our network.   Some existing subcommittees may be consolidated or repurposed and many new volunteer opportunities will come from these efforts.
  • We’re always looking for ways to add value to your membership.  It was determined that ALL AHIA webinars will now be free to AHIA members.  I invite our membership to get involved in AHIA knowledge-sharing by presenting a webinar.  If you are interested, click here to submit. Once submitted, your idea will be forwarded to AHIA’s Webinar Team for consideration. AHIA will notify you of acceptance.  AHIA webinar presenters receive additional CPE – double the time of the presentation accounting for prep time.  No time to present?  Consider joining the Webinar Subcommittee to help the educational offering you would like to see.
  • I was particularly impressed in the efforts of the AHIA Membership and Awards Committee, and the success of their innovative recruitment efforts. I would like to thank the 45 members who have participated in the Direct Member Connect Program – AHIA’s rewards-for-member referrals program so far this cycle (July to June). It has resulted in 59 new members joining our very specialized network.  If you are not aware of the program, we offer rewards for your efforts in recruiting new members. Invite your colleagues, staff and others in your professional community to join the nation’s only association focused on healthcare internal auditing. No one knows how beneficial AHIA membership is to the professional development of healthcare internal auditors better than AHIA members. 
  • Thanks to the robust knowledge sharing on the AHIA Connected Community, we have decided to discontinue the Audit Library.  It has served its purpose and we thank all who contributed to its past success.  The Connected Community’s document library is growing every day. The Open Share File feature is a great vehicle to share documents, presentations and templates with your peers quickly and independently. With the expanded capabilities of a list serv, all attachments posted to discussions are archived in a dedicated Open Share File Library. You can also add documents to share anytime you wish. This allows you to solicit advice and opinions, share updates and revisions and participate in ongoing conversation.

I hope you will consider getting involved with AHIA this year – on any level in which you can contribute.  From committee service and presenting a webinar to referring a new member or sharing a resource document, the opportunities abound. It has been my privilege to work with leaders in our profession who are always giving back to the industry and to the next generation of health care internal auditors.


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair

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January 2018: From the Chair

JimPassey2018.jpgHappy New Year!  2018 signals a fresh start, accompanied by resolutions toward achieving goals and making improvements.  I am honored to begin this year as the Chair of the AHIA Board.  I take this privilege very seriously and am resolved to ensure our truly remarkable association continues to provide invaluable tools, information and insight to support you in assessing and evaluating risk within the complex and dynamic healthcare environment. 

A considerable amount of groundwork was laid last year to allow us to hit the ground running with ambitious plans to increase AHIA’s offerings to our members:

  • In December 2017, the Board approved a comprehensive budget and will be making considerable investments in infrastructure, staffing and certification development.  We are grateful to those who have led AHIA in the past for their careful financial management which allows us to further invest in programs and resources to support our members and take our association to the next level.
  • In late 2017, our members approved changes in the Bylaws that would allow us to add needed manpower at the governance level to oversee the growth of AHIA’s offerings.  Three additional staff resources are now dedicated to education and certification development.  The association is growing in its complexity of offerings and these new resources will help lead these efforts.
  • The Board will assemble in San Diego, site of the 2018 AHIA Annual Conference, in January 2018 for our first in-person meeting of the year.  We will be orientating new Board members, evaluating the current committee structure and looking to the future.
  • We have approved the formal charter for a Certification Development Committee and will be actively seeking volunteers to assist with this effort.

We will resolve to expand AHIA’s offerings while improving upon the trusted and time honored services and benefits we’ve always relied upon.  AHIA will continue to need strong volunteer support for the AHIA membership community in order to keep these resolutions.  While our association is a model of best practices and impressive outcomes, this success is only possible through the generosity of our members and volunteers.  I invite you to contribute to our efforts by any means available to you.

It is my pleasure to announce the winner of the official theme contest for AHIA’s 37th Annual Conference (August 26-29, 2018):

Alan Henton, Director of IT Audit, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Healthcare Auditing: Weathering Change and Keeping Risks at Bay

He will receive complimentary full conference registration and two free hotel nights at the Sheraton for his contribution.  Thank you to all who submitted a proposal for the theme.  It was a delight to see our members’ creativity.  Everyone who submitted an idea was entered into a drawing to receive a free conference registration.  The winner of the drawing was Sheila Limmroth, Privacy Officer/Legal Services Specialist DCH Health System.  Congratulations to both and I look forward to seeing all of you in San Diego as we weather change and keep risks at bay in late summer.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve you and AHIA.  It is going to be a great year!


Jim Passey
AHIA Board Chair

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December 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017We are almost through with 2017, with just over a week to go before the New Year.  It has been an interesting year from a healthcare perspective – at this point, who among us can determine how reform efforts and policy will affect thefuture of care delivery, our work and the way we do business? Those of us in healthcare internal audit have long understood the complexities of care delivery models and policy; this year, the rest of the country received a crash course on a few of them, in real time. 

What we do know is that healthcare is continuing to transform. We continue to see industry consolidation amongst providers, insures, and drug store chains. Consumerism and price transparency is taking a stronger hold. Healthcare providers are continuing to take on more risk for care provided (i.e.:” volume to value”). , And the world of technology continues to significantly influence healthcare which includes, EHR’s, telehealth, artificial intelligence and block chain technology. The implications are significant. Yet, our profession is well positioned to deliver value and insight to those we serve.  We are trusted and integral and serve as risk advisors, internal control leaders, objective evaluators, and technical experts. 

While that future of healthcare is being written, AHIA membership becomes more important than before in assisting with the navigation of the changing environment, while giving you access to a wealth of peer information and experience sharing – moving our field toward to keep pace with greater efficiencies, scalability and outcomes.

Much more within our control, is the future of AHIA, which has been evolving as well. 2017 has been a year of development and change for AHIA, with the exploration of certification, as well as new learning concepts, a bylaws retool, expansion of the Board, potential committee restructuring and so much more.

I am pleased with the progress that we have made as a board and have enjoyed my time as the Chair in 2017.  In fact – I am proud of our evolution over this past decade.  Here are a few highlights:

  • AHIA membership grew 40% from January 2010 to January 2017 (1149 members to 1608).
  • AHIA’s sponsorship program significantly added to the bottom line – allowing us to give more benefits and offerings our members. By working with industry partners and allowing the customization of benefits to suit sales goals, our sponsorship program has grown from $0 in 2011 to over 92K in 2017.
  • Annual meeting attendance is up 42%, from 441 in 2010 to 627 in 2017
  • Total assets have grown by 111% between 2010 and 2017.

This is phenomenal progress by all association standards – which we plan to build upon. We will welcome our next AHIA Board Chair, Jim Passey, at the start of 2018 to lead us through. After working with Jim closely for several years, I can say that we are in very capable hands and I look forward to his service in the chair’s seat. At that time, I will rotate to the role of immediate past chair. In this role, I will be charged with leading the AHIA Nominations Committee and looking for next generation of leaders to take over the reins.  If you are interested in serving AHIA in a Board leadership capacity – please reach out at any time to discuss.

2018 will bring some new leadership opportunities for AHIA members.  The Board recently approved the official Certification Committee charter and will be seeking volunteers to provide content and program guidance/recommendations as specifically related to the Healthcare Internal Audit Professional Certification program of the AHIA. As the certification process matures and strategic objectives are operationalized, the Certification Committee will evolve to strategic, oversight and reporting.  Those that serve on the Certification committee will be tasked to provide strategic guidance and input into developing, reviewing, evaluating and approving all policies and procedures related to all AHIA certification and credentialing programs, eligibility requirements, alternate eligibility criteria, standards for certification and recertification; exam content, development and administration; examination scores and passing determinations; ethics, grievances, appeals and disciplinary processes; Certification Committee Governance rules, including agenda, frequency and related procedures; appointments and work assignments and more.  If you are interested, please contact Michelle Cunningham at mcunningham@kellencompany.com or standby for the official “call” in early 2018.

As the year and my term winds down, I would like to express appreciation for each and every AHIA Board member, committee chair, committee member, presenter, author and volunteer that worked over the past decade to make 2017 exceptional.  And a thank you in advance to those willing to come forward and get involved as we grow and change.

And finally, thank you for the opportunity to serve as AHIA Board Chair.  It has been an honor.  I wish you and your families the happiest of holiday seasons, and a prosperous 2018.

No matter what the future holds for healthcare and for your association, all of us at AHIA are glad that you are a part of it!


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

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November 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017As 2017 rushes to its final months, and we look toward the holiday season, vacations and year end responsibilities,  AHIA leadership continues to be focused on the future of the healthcare internal audit profession and what 2018 will bring. While the year ahead holds many uncertainties from a healthcare policy and reform standpoint, it remains our collective goal to ensure we are delivering high quality care to those we serve.  

On the AHIA front, we have a bit more control of the future, it is always our goal to equip our members with the resources they need to be a critical and valued part of the healthcare delivery system.  To that end, I would like to share a few updates that will position us to continue to do just that.

  • The AHIA Bylaws have been officially ratified by the membership. Thank you to all who reviewed and voted.  Through this process the membership has agreed to accept the Board’s recommendation to allow for the appointment of two additional voting at-large Board positions, as well as two non-voting appointments.  We believe it is imperative that the size of the association’s governing body be expanded to distribute the work plan so that we may accomplish our ambitious goals, on your behalf.  It was determined that the voting positions will be tasked with Board-level oversight of the certification program and in formalizing affiliation agreements with like-minded associations.  To that end, the Board has appointed two AHIA past Board chairs, David Richstone and Cavell Alexander to support these major initiatives, as voting members of the Board for a one-year term, beginning January 1.  David will be leading certification and Cavell will be developing a new affiliation strategy.
  • November brings us special deals after the Thanksgiving holiday, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  This year be sure to put AHIA on your shopping list and get a 3-year return on the investment at a substantial discount. The Membership and Awards Committee will be offering an online Membership Flash Sale promotion from November 16 to November 28. Renew your existing, current AHIA membership for three years and take $100 off the total price. Your new membership will begin upon expiration of your current one. Lock down 2017 pricing through the decade.  In addition, during this period, new members will receive $100 off the price of a one-year membership. Visit the AHIA LinkedIn site for details.
  • The AHIA Call for Presenters deadline was November 6 for those wanted to receive first round consideration to present AHIA’s 2018 Annual Conference and other educational opportunities throughout the year. Under the direction of Chase Whitaker, the 2018/19 Annual Conference Committee will be heading to San Diego tomorrow to review these submissions and visit the host property,  Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.  I would like to announce the members of the 2018 Annual Conference Committee members; these individuals will dedicate the better part of their year to developing a world class educational event and networking spectacular just for us:
    • Terri Allen
    • Suzanne Applegate
    • Alicia Capps, Board Liaison
    • Michelle Elliott
    • Katherine Fore
    • Lisa Litwiller
    • Ginger Manwell
    • Tim Marshall
    • Linda McKee
    • Greg Newton
    • Jim Passey, Incoming Chair
    • Darryl Rhames
    • Jackye Thompson
    • Chase Whitaker, Conference Chair

The Conference Committee would like to invite you to be part of the process and get creative in developing the 2018 conference theme. If you deliver the winning idea, you will receive a complimentary full conference registration, a $250 Visa Gift card, two free night's lodging at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina and formal recognition! Submissions must be received by midnight, on November 30, so there is still time.  In addition, each person who submits an idea will be entered into the drawing for a complimentary conference registration. See below for details.

Finally, I wish you and your families all a wonderful Thanksgiving!  All of us at AHIA are thankful that you are part of our community.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

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October 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017A membership organization, such as AHIA, is by default a group of individuals who have shared interests and values. Behind every good professional membership association, is an assembly of volunteer leaders working to advance the mission and effectiveness of all that mission endeavors. Association leaders have the exciting, yet daunting, tasks of setting purpose, attracting and engaging members, providing value and organizing a volunteer workforce. 

I have learned, in my tenure as your Board Chair, that the leadership of a professional association is the main driver for getting others to act and making things happen in the organization.  How do you get other people to want to follow you? To move forward together on a common purpose? To mobilize in the pursuit of shared aspirations? It starts with passion leadership at the highest level and the AHIA Board of Directors does not lack for that, but with several forthcoming major initiatives, we need all the help we can get.

To that end, the Board will be in touch with a membership bylaws ratification.  While most of the recommended changes to the bylaws are editorial in nature or are simply to clarify current realities and/or current practice, I would like to call your attention to the Board’s recommendation to expand its size – while we do not lack passion and purpose, we have identified the need to reshape the governance structure of AHIA to meet new challenges – more hands make quick work. Size matters. 

Currently, the Board of Directors is comprised of nine voting members.  Due to AHIA’s growth, need for capacity building and development of additional resources to accommodate the diverse needs of healthcare internal auditors, the Board is recommending two additional voting at-large Board positions be added to distribute the work plan to accomplish the associations ambitious goals, in the best interest of membership.  In addition, the Board may currently appoint up to two non-voting members to serve a one-year team, beginning January 1, at its discretion.  The intent of limiting to a one-year with a start of January 1 has proved limiting and the original intent is unknown.  The Board is recommending the removal of the term limit and date of affiliation, so that advisory Board members can be appointed as the need arises.

The four new positions will be tasked with Board-level oversight of the certification program and in formalizing affiliation agreements with like-minded associations. If approved, candidates with voting rights will be sought for the election of 2019 Board members.

Speaking of elections, the 2018 AHIA Board of Directors election has concluded.  I am pleased to announce that the following individuals will join the AHIA Board in January 2018:

  • Mary Jo Flynn – Secretary/Treasurer
    VP, Compliance and Internal Audit, UCare
  • Deborah Pazourek Mendel – At Large Member
    VP Internal Audit, MedStar Health
  • Scott Stevenson – At Large Member
    Chief Audit Executive, Emory University

I look forward to recognizing their contributions and celebrating their victories.

2018 will be here before you know it.  In the meantime, AHIA committee leadership has begun preparing their budget “dream lists” for consideration, the Membership and Awards Committee is developing the next membership needs assessment survey and the 2018 Call for Presenters is open and available for YOUR submission.

We are all working behind the scenes on the Certification effort. The extensive job task analysis is complete and a “body of knowledge,” a complete set of concepts, terms and activities that guide the practice and work of healthcare internal auditing, has resulted and is being integrated into the AHIA infrastructure.  As aforementioned, the current Board and AHIA volunteer leaders has its hands full – full of work, but also appreciation – great appreciation.

As Dale Carnegie’s put it in his Golden Rules of How to Win Friends and Influence People, “start with sincere and honest appreciation.”  I appreciate each and every member of the AHIA community, we all share a vision and a vested interest in our profession – and your leadership is ready to take this to the next level.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

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