Dirkschneider Earns 40 Under 40 Award

Clarkson College alumna Carla Dirkschneider, M.S., RHIA, strives to live life according to the Napoleon Hill quote, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” With this motto leading her way, it’s no wonder why the Clarkson College Health Care Business and Health Information Management (HIM) Program Director was selected as a 2017 Midlands Business Journal40 Under 40 award winner.

The 40 Under 40 award honors entrepreneurs, executives and professional men and women under the age of 40 in the Greater Omaha, Sarpy County and Council Bluffs area. Award winners must demonstrate strong leadership and management skills as well as a dedication to their profession. College leadership nominated Dirkschneider for her unwavering commitment to carrying out the Clarkson College Mission and Values.

“I am honored to be selected as a 40 Under 40 award winner,” she said. “I feel blessed to work at Clarkson College because I know that I could not achieve anything without the wonderful people around me.”

Dirkschneider exemplifies the 40 Under 40 award through her dedication to improving the HIM field and educating new generations of health care students. “I try to put 100 percent into everything I do,” she said. “If I see a need or something that requires improvement, I don’t stop until I achieve what I want to do.”

Growing up on a farm near Dodge, Neb., Dirkschneider knew early on that she wanted to pursue a health care career. “I chose the HIM field because it combined different topics that interested me, including accounting, business, science and computers,” she said. “I wanted a career that would last for years, but also offered diverse job opportunities.”

Dirkschneider earned a Bachelor’s degree in HIM from College of Saint Mary in 2003. After graduation, she worked as a Coding Specialist at the Nebraska Medical Center until a former Clarkson College professor informed her of an open faculty position at the College. The teaching experience inspired an education career that continues to this day.

“At that time, I was ready for a new adventure so I applied,” she said. “I love every minute of it, and I can hardly imagine going back to a practice setting.”

In 2007, Dirkschneider earned a Master’s degree in Health Care Business Leadership from Clarkson College. She served as the HIM Program Coordinator until 2008 when she became the Health Care Business and HIM Program Director. In her role, she oversees four Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs. Along with developing curriculum, she manages faculty, develops integrated marketing and strategic plans, and serves as advisor to more than 160 Health Care Management and Administration students.

Overseeing two academic programs does not stop Dirkschneider from volunteering her time. She joined the Clarkson College Alumni Association in 2008 and currently serves as the organization’s Vice President. As the National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS) co-advisor, Dirkschneider provides professional leadership training to students. Last year, the NSLS recognized her outstanding achievements as a chapter advisor.

Beyond campus, Dirkschneider devotes herself to organizations that work to advance the HIM profession. She is an American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and Nebraska Health Information Management Association (NHIMA) member. In 2017, she was an AHIMA Triumph Educator Award Nominee for Nebraska.

Dirkschneider, along with other 40 Under 40 award winners, will be honored at an awards breakfast on Dec. 15 at Embassy Suites-La Vista Conference Center.