Celebrating Health Information Professionals

Health Information Professionals Week is April 18–24, and it’s a time to celebrate the individuals who make an impact within this vital field. The award-winning Clarkson College Health Information Management program graduates individuals who are prepared to use their skills to work in a variety of settings. In honor of Health Information Professionals Week, current student Blanca Vasquez, LPN  and recent graduate Elizabeth Morgenroth, RHIA, CPC (’20) took a moment to reflect on the journeys they took to enter the field.

Vasquez is currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Health Information Technology, although she has several years of experience within the health care arena. She earned her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) diploma in 2007 and began working in nursing homes and clinics while attending school. During this time, she was introduced to the billing and coding aspects of the institutions and fell in love with the revenue management side of health care. After completing her diploma, she went on to become a Certified Professional Coder, Certified Professional Medical Auditor and Certified Ambulatory Surgery Center Coder.


“I always knew I wanted to be in health care, and my original intent was to be a nurse,” she says. “When I got a glimpse at billing and coding, however, I realized I had a stronger calling to go this route, which is how I ended up going into the health information field.” 

The online, part-time flexibility of the Clarkson College program is ideal for Vasquez who works as a Medical Coder at OrthoNebraska. She hopes to utilize her education to continue with the organization and become a denials coordinator, an area she has a particular interest in exploring.  

“I enjoy doing the research to find out why something was denied,” she explains. “Was it a coding issue or was it a billing issue? Was it an authorization issue or was the denial based on a payer specific policy, a clinical policy or was it something else? Every day brings different challenges and new learning opportunities. These learning experiences allow us to improve our processes by creating or restructuring our policies and procedures to be more efficient and more effective in what we do.” 

Morgenroth also has years of experience in the health care field, and she recently earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Information Administration. While attending school, she worked as a health care consultant and was recently appointed the Director of Ambulatory CDI at Curation Health. Before deciding to earn her Bachelor’s degree, Morgenroth worked in a variety of health care roles, her first being a temporary placement at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. She went on to become a certified coder and worked in provider’s offices as well as emergency departments before becoming a consultant.


Her decision to return to school after more than 20 years was prompted by a colleague who completed a similar program. “I was blown away by my colleague’s professionalism, knowledge, technical skill – everything that she brought to her job,” she says. “She blew me away, and I thought ‘I want to be like that.’ That’s what got me started along the path to my education.” 

Even though she had years of experience in health care, returning to school was not easy for Morgenroth who was working a full-time job and had three children in school. She chose the Clarkson College program because she knew it would offer her the best education for her professional goals. “I wanted to set myself up for success, and I had an idea about the kind of education that I wanted to have,” she says. “I didn’t want to focus too heavily on one area, and Clarkson College has a fantastic, well-rounded program that doesn’t place too much emphasis on any particular area.”

Throughout her coursework, Morgenroth had the opportunity to apply what she was learning to her career. “I was applying what I learned in class everyday out in the field,” she says. “My finance class allows me to speak to CFOs, my anatomy, physiology and pharmaceutical classes allow me to speak with doctors and nurses, and my strategic management class gives me the ability to think like leaders.”

Being able to use her classroom knowledge in her career was just one of the benefits of returning to school after working in the field. Morgenroth encourages people who are considering enrolling at Clarkson College to begin the journey with determination. “The number one thing is to have a strong ‘why’,” she says. “It has to be strong enough to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably come your way. When you feel like giving up, you remind yourself of your why you started this journey.”

To learn more about our Health Information Management program options, visit clarksoncollege.edu/academics.