Email information is followed by @css.edu unless otherwise noted.
Phone: (612) 325-9742
1. Introduction / Background
PhD, Capella University in Information Technology with a focus in Information Assurance and Security in 2015
MA in HIM from The College of St. Scholastica in 2006
BA in HIM from The College of St. Scholastica in 2003
BA in Computer Science/Information Systems from The College of St. Scholastica in 2003
2. Current Roles, Associations, Affiliations
Danika started her career as a Director of Health Information in a LTC Facility in Minneapolis, MN. Next, she moved to Allina Hospitals and Clinics where she worked as a HIM Supervisor, Manager of Revenue Cycle Improvement, and a Regional Manager of Health Information Management. In 2010, she joined the CSS HIIM Faculty as an Assistant Professor and a HIT Consultant for the REACH Program. Danika has served as the subject matter expert for healthcare Privacy and Security for The College of St. Scholastica and REACH. The REACH program has been successful in educating over 200 individuals on privacy and security requirements in healthcare as well as supporting with different tools.
Professionally, Danika has served on the MnHIMA Board of Directors in many different role, most recently Past-President of MHIMA from 2014-2015 and Past President from 2014-2015. Danika served as a Director on the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) from 2016 - 2018. Danika currently server as a Director on the AHIMA Foundation Board of Directors.
3. Interests / Specialties
Danika's interests include anything Privacy and Security related, specially related to HIPAA and HITECH. She also is very interested Information Governance, EHR implementation and Optimization, workflow redesign, physician engagement with an EHR, project management and Meaningful Use.
4. Recent Publications, Presentations and Recognitions
Co-author with Janelle Wapola, MA, RHIA, of the chapter titled: Electronic Health Record: Applications in Practice. Health Information Management: Concepts, Principles and Practices (4th Ed) published by the American Health Information Management Association. This text is scheduled for publication in 2012.
2010 Recipient of the AHIMA Triumph Award in the Rising Star Category
5. Teaching philosophy
Danika's is still working on developing her teaching philosophy
A Personal Note
I married my college sweetheart in October 2004. Together we are on the adventure of raising two little busy girls, Taylor (12) and Piper (10). I love watching my children grow and learn more each and every day. Taylor is a competitive dancer at a dance studio in Maple Grove, MN.
Ms. Oachs is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Informatics and Information Management. She earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Information Management and Master of Arts in Management at the College of St. Scholastica. Prior to beginning a career in education, she spent over fifteen years in the healthcare industry in the areas of clinical quality improvement, patient access, and information technology.
Ms. Oachs teaches both in the classroom and online. Courses taught consist of content related to management tools and strategies, workflow and process redesign, data analytics, and US healthcare systems. Ms. Oachs is currently the undergraduate program director in the Department of Health Informatics and Information Management.
Ms. Oachs is an active member of AHIMA and MHIMA and has served on the board of directors at both the regional and state levels. She was previously a commissioner on the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM), serves on the editorial board for Perspectives in HIM, and is a peer reviewer for the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management education (CAHIIM). She has been a speaker at regional and state HIM association meetings as well as at AHIMA’s national educator’s conference, the Assembly on Education. She has been a co-editor for the 4th, 5th and upcoming 6th edition of the premiere HIM textbook, Health Information Management: Concepts, Principles and Practice.
Ms. Oachs teaching philosophy is to bring theory and academic principles into practice successfully by teaching students to think analytically and critically in the practical setting.
Gwen Smith, MEd, RHIA is an advisor to students in our online undergraduate Health Information Management Program. In addition to her advising duties Gwen also occasionally teaches in both our undergraduate and graduate programs.
Ms. Smith received her undergraduate degree in Health Information Management from The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, in 1999. She received her Masters in Education with a concentration in Online Teaching from The College of St. Scholastica in December 2012. Her final project for her graduate degree was "The Impact Community has on Student Retention: Developing a Sense of Community Outside the Classroom Setting".
Prior to becoming an advisor to online HIM students in 2004, Gwen worked as a Health Information Services and Reimbursement Supervisor, overseeing the medical records and billing staff of SMDC Home Health (now Essentia), based in Duluth, MN. Ms. Smith played a key role in preparing the department for the conversion to the Medicare prospective payment system for home health as well as leading the Quality Improvement Committee and department QI projects. Gwen also worked for a durable medical equipment supply company in Duluth, MN. In that position she was responsible for the human resource management of the billing staff as well as participating in the quality improvement projects for the organization.
Ms. Smith is a member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Wisconsin Health Information Management Association (WHIMA).
Introduction / Background
BA College of St. Scholastica in 1995 - MA College of St. Scholastica in 2006
Current Roles, Associations, Affiliations
Janelle started her career holding these types of jobs: HIM consulting, operations manager and release of information specialist. Upon her arrival at St. Scholastica in 2003, she became a Technology Lead, helping to implement the academic electronic health record into the Health Sciences curriculum (The ATHENS Project). After the grant-funded, ATHENS Project was complete; Janelle became a full time faculty, teaching classes in the undergraduate program, both online and face to face.
At the College, she currently serves as the faculty advisor to the Student Health Information Management Association (SHIMA) and in the past has been on various College and department committees such as undergraduate admissions, faculty/student group and IRB.
Additionally she has been a HIT Consultant for the REACH program, serving Minnesota and North Dakota. She is also a member and regularly attends AHIMA, MHIMA and NEMHIMA.
Interests / Specialties
As she continues to be interested in the various areas associated with the (EHR): implementation, workflow redesign, privacy & security and meaningful use, she would like to seek out more opportunities for international travel in the HIM arena.
Recent Publications, Presentations and Recognitions
Co-author with Danika Brinda, MA, RHIA, of the chapter titled: Electronic Health Record: Applications in Practice. Health Information Management: Concepts, Principles and Practices (4th Ed) published by the American Health Information Management Association. This text was published in 2013.
Co-author of the textbook entitled, Using the EHR in the Physician Office Practice with two colleagues: Shirley Eichenwald-Maki, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA and Bonnie Patterson, Ph.D., RHIA. This text was published in 2013.
Co-authored Case Study: The ATHENS Project: Advancing Technology in Healthcare Education Now at St. Scholastica published in Nursing and Informatics for the 21stCentury: An International Look at Practice, Trends and the Future, Second Edition. Edited by Charlotte A. Weaver, RN, PHD, FHIMSS; Connie White Delaney, PHD, RN, FAAN, FACMI; Patrick Weber, RN, MA, and Robyn L. Carr, RGON. Published by the Health Information Management Systems Society, Chicago, IL. 2010.
Speaker, AHIMA's Assembly on Education Annual Meeting, HIM, Meaningful Use and Extension Centers: A View from the Frontline (July 2012)
Speaker, Northeast Minnesota Health Care Forum, Personal Health Records. (June, 2012)
Participant, AHIMA Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC. (March 2012)
Co-recipient along with the College of St. Scholastica’s ATHENS Project Team of Health Data Management Editor’s Choice Award for Innovator of the Year for the ATHENS Project, presented at the World Health Innovation and Technology Congress (WHITv4.0) Washington, DC in 2008.
While developing my teaching philosophy, I believe in emphasizing a healthy balance to life, school and work. I encourage optimism, compassion and advocacy for those in need.
A Personal Note
My personal joy is in being a mother to Tyler and Daniel and capturing life through pictures. My boys are a whirlwind of energy and knowledge and they teach me many things. The most importantly has been to stop and be in the moment! I am also excited to be a part of international travel with CSS and the HIM Department. My travels to India in January 2011 and Germany 2014 were extraordinary; visiting hospitals, villages, schools and universities. I was very fortunate to be a part of something so unique and interesting!
Dr. Watters has a doctorate in Education from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She completed her master's and bachelor's course work in Health Information Management, including a Certificate in Healthcare Informatics, from The College of St. Scholastica. Before moving into academia, Dr. Watters spent over 10 years in the HIM industry, working in the areas of release of information, HIM and admitting management in acute care settings, product management at a software and consulting firm, and HIPAA security at a multi-specialty physician group. She is credentialed as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and was awarded Fellowship of AHIMA in 2011.
As Director of the Health Information Management Graduate Program, Dr. Watters coordinates the activities and leads the ongoing development of the graduate program. In her role as Associate Professor, she teaches courses at the graduate level, such as Foundations of Management in HIM, and Applied Project Research and Writing. She is an active member of the Minnesota Health Information Management Association, and is past-president of the Northeastern Minnesota Health Information Management Association. She has served on the AHIMA Foundation Scholarship Committee and is currently serving a 3 year term as a member of the Health Information Management Accreditation Council for the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Dr. Watters' personal interest lies in life-long learning, and the impact sense of community has on the learning process. She enjoys assisting students in their growth both educationally, and professionally, as each strive to reach their own personal goals. She is also interested in online learning principles, and incorporating technology in education.
Dr. Watters is co-editor and chapter co-author for the 5th edition of the textbook Health Information Management: Concepts, Principles & Practice. She previously served as editor of the Instructor Manual for the 4th edition of the textbook, and in the 3rd edition, she and her colleague, Pam Oachs, co-authored the chapter Informatics in Healthcare. She also co-authored a chapter in the textbook Data Analytics in Healthcare Research, and most recently co-authored an article in a refereed journal on the impact of the EHR Incentive Program on cultural competence in healthcare.