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History of AHIMA Foundation

AHIMA Foundation was originally founded in 1962 as the Foundation of Record Education (FORE). Originally, FORE provided a vehicle for individuals and organizations to donate books to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

With the assistance of FORE, the health information management (HIM) resource collection of books, journals, and other publications grew, so in 1965, the FORE Library was founded. In addition to maintaining and growing the library, the Foundation also provided loans to HIM students, ensuring the next generation of highly trained professionals.

As the HIM community grew, in 1991 FORE responded to the needs of the professionals in the industry by establishing the AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship Program.

As the health information industry continued to evolve through the decades, so did AHIMA Foundation.

The Foundation began to fund research, discovering best practices and ensuring policy reflected the latest research findings.

In 1996, to represent the ever-expanding role of the Foundation in the advancement of HIM, FORE become the “Foundation of Research and Education.” At this time, FORE established itself as a fully self-sufficient Foundation to attract individual and corporate support ─ with a mission to offer more scholarships, fund research projects, and expand the Library's collection. In this same year, FORE began raising funds through a silent auction and other fundraising initiatives.

In 1997, AHIMA Foundation’s Board of Directors established the foundation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a separate legal entity from AHIMA.

Today, we believe health information is a force for the greater good – with the consumer at the heart of our work and partnerships.

Seismic changes in the healthcare industry — technology advances, consumerism, and a renewed focus on information access and sharing — have all amplified the urgency for the Foundation to reimagine its role within AHIMA and the broader healthcare industry.

We empower consumers and communities to be engaged and activated participants in their everyday health and wellness journey, using trusted health information from traditional and emerging sources.

Through our Health Literacy for Health EquityTM initiative, we offer an interactive path forward to increasing health literacy and empowering every person with the tools and resources to manage their health.

Because…Health Information is Human InformationTM

AHIMA Foundation Timeline

  • 1962: Organization founded as the “Foundation of Record Education” or “FORE”
  • 1965: Creation of the FORE Library
  • 1991: Merit Scholarship Program established
  • 1996: Name changed to “Foundation of Research and Education in HIM;” established as a fully self-sufficient Foundation to attract individual and corporate support, with a mission to offer more scholarships, fund research projects, and expand the library’s collection.
  • 1996: First Silent Auction held at AHIMA’s National Convention
  • 1997: Foundation’s Board of Directors established as a separate entity from AHIMA Board
  • 1997: Triumph Awards established by Foundation
  • 2001: HIM Body of Knowledge (BoK) launched by the Foundation
  • 2004: Foundation holds first annual Corporate Partner Industry Briefing
  • 2009: Foundation established a vision of "Better Health Information for All."
  • 2013: A new Foundation study, described in the July issue of the Journal of AHIMA, revealed computer-assisted coding (CAC) could help code inpatient records quicker and did not reduce accuracy when paired with credentialed coding professionals. The study was made possible through a collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and supported by a charitable contribution from 3M
  • 2013: The Foundation’s webinar series, National Rural Health Webinars, focused on the health information technology for rural healthcare providers by addressing current topics in information governance, and informatics including opportunities in mHealth, health information technology, health information management workforce, ICD-10 implementation, and health analytics. 
  • 2015: The Foundation received a $4.9 million U.S. Department of Labor American Apprenticeship Grant to fund the “Managing the Talent Pipeline in Health Information apprenticeship program.” This program targeted 1,200 recent college graduates and working learners, providing on-ramps to healthcare data management careers. AHIMA Foundation worked with employers ranging from Banner Health to Seattle Children's Hospital using a competency based, on-the-job apprenticeship training program in healthcare informatics.
  • 2016: The Healthcare Workforce Consortium, a joint project of the AHIMA Foundation, American Hospital Association, American Medical Informatics Association, and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, received a $7.1 million award from the U.S. Department of Labor. Given by the Employment & Training Administration, the award positioned the Healthcare Workforce Consortium as the so-called Health Sector Intermediary in a larger $20.4 million program aimed at 14 industries nationwide. For its part, HWC funded apprenticeships in health information management, health informatics, health information technology, and other fields in the healthcare industry. 
  • 2018:  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recognized AHIMA Foundation as a “National Program for Apprenticeship.” The recognition of the Foundation's National Standards of Apprenticeship helped provide a centralized approval process and streamline the route to employers to become registered apprenticeship employers with the DOL. 
  • 2019: The Foundation announced a $12,000 donation from the Walter Reed Society. This was the second gift from the Society to support the Foundation's Veterans Scholarship program.  The generous donation allowed the Foundation to stay true to its mission of expanding educational opportunities to all, especially veterans and spouses. 
  • 2019: The Foundation met an apprenticeship milestone with more than 1,000 apprentices helping close the healthcare skills gap. Four years after the inception of the program, interest in the apprenticeship resulted in the registration of 1,035 apprentices --- exceeding the grant's goal of 1,000 registered apprentices a full year before the grant end date. The benefits of the program should not be overlooked by employers: creating more qualified professionals, helping upskill existing employees, and increasing retention rates. 

Health Information History Center logo

The Health Information History Center, founded in 2022, is housed within AHIMA Foundation and is dedicated to preserving the history of medical records and the evolution of the health information profession in the United States.

Published 08/22/2022
Last Updated 05/01/2023
Source AHIMA Foundation (Copyright © 2022)