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Professor Stacey Murphy teaches in the CUNY SPS Health Information Management program and shares her thoughts on motivating students to learn and health care systems.

Stacey Murphy Health Information Management Faculty

1. Who or what inspired you to join the health care field?

During my junior year of high school I had a job where my supervisor, a clerk, gave me the opportunity to code some records. At that time, everything was on paper so I learned completely from scratch.

2. How do you get your students excited about subject matters such as medical billing and coding in an online learning environment?

In the classroom, we share real life experiences with students and ask them to do the same. In our discussion boards, everyone participates and has unique questions. Students find ways to engage with one another in order to answer each other’s questions. I also always advise my students to not become frustrated with the work. Coding takes time; it’s not something that can be memorized.

3. Are there any attributes of other countries’ health care systems that you would like to see adopted by the U.S.?

The World Health Organization (WHO) developed the ICD-10 Coding System. Approximately 25 countries currently use the ICD-10 Coding System. Some use it for morbidity/mortality statistics and others for resource allocation and reimbursement purposes. Australia, Sweden and Netherlands began using it as early as the 1990’s. Canada, China and France began using it in 2000’s. Of record, the most recent country to adopt ICD-10 is Dubai in 2012. The U.S. was scheduled to adopt ICD-10 on October 1, 2011. The implementation date was delayed to 2013, 2014 and again to October 1, 2015. Physician medical associations nationwide have asked Congress for yet another delay, which will delay implementation to October 1, 2017. What is the future of ICD-10 in the U.S.? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

4. As a health care professional, which piece of technology do you think has most benefitted the field?

The online class platform. For me, as an adult learner and professor, I wasn’t initially sold on the benefits of online learning. However, I was faced with certain adversities in life so I went online and realized how much this platform has to offer. Of course, the person running the class makes all the difference in student learning outcomes.

5. What changes do you foresee occurring in the U.S. health care system within the next decade?

Electronic medical records across the board would be a great thing, especially for the consumer since it gives greater access to information.

Professor Murphy also shares some personal information.

1. Favorite spot vacation (so far): Las Vegas. It reminds me of NYC; another city that never sleeps.

2. Best song to listen to after a long day: Mary J. Blige.

3. Greatest piece of advice you have received: Don’t set high expectations for others. You’ll always be upset and disappointed if they don’t meet them.

4. What you’re reading right now: ITTIO PCS Resources (for my January prep class).

5. The person you most admire: Maryanne Rice, my mentor and the first person that inspired me to get involved in the HIM field.

6. If I wasn’t a professor, I would be a: Nurse, but I don’t like blood and needles. 7. Best part of living in NY: It’s the city that never sleeps! And, all of the employment opportunities.

7. First thing you would say to the Queen of England upon meeting her (Stacey aspires to meet the Queen one day): I would start crying first and then gain the courage to say, “It’s truly a pleasure to meet your acquaintance.”

Thanks, Professor Murphy! So many of the HIM faculty who we’ve spoken with have shared the importance of a strong mentor. I’m sure you are fast becoming a mentor to CUNY SPS students.




Let’s talk about the Freshman 15.  I know we have all heard about the extra pounds that college students tend to gain during their 1st year, but what I don’t understand is why am I gaining weight. Technically I am not a freshman and isn’t the Freshman 15 for students living away at college, in a dorm?

Or so I thought.


I really believed that because I am an older college student who is online and not on campus that I was immune to it.



The Freshman 15 is real and it is not partial to any particular age, sex, or college standing. 🙂

I have officially gained 10 lbs since August 28th. So my message today for my fellow older classmates is the Freshman 15 is real and it applies to all college students not just the young ones who live on campus. I am finding that I have to make exercise a priority again because since starting school I traded regular exercise for homework, computer research, and Oreo cookies.

I’m almost back on track. I started going back to Bikram yoga and I walk 2 miles during lunch twice a week. So far I have lost about 4 of the 10 lbs I gained. I have not officially given up the Oreo cookies but I have been incorporating more proteins, fruits, and veggies back into my diet and I use exercise as comfort, not food.

Xan Bullock is student in the HIM program. She is 40+, loving life and surprisingly school too!

Hello All,

This is my second post. I had to work through the kinks.  Well it’s officially week 5 and although it’s a lot of work but I am actually loving school.  I feel so academically inclined these days.  Tonight I am going to rush home to do some schoolwork and get ready for the season premiere of Vampire Diaries and Scandal.  Two of my favorite shows.  I have to admit I am a television enthusiasts.  Thank God for DVR, now I tape my shows just in case I am too busy to catch them.

I don’t know about other working adult students, but I’m so busy.  Dinner will be Cap’n Crunch cereal.  Speaking of cereal.  For those of you who don’t know, since starting school my dinner options have been pared down to cereal, canned soup, and the occasional sandwich with a protein shake.  I have to admit school is giving me more of a reason not to cook (I hate cooking). It’s just easier to say I’m a busy college student and I don’t have time, then to say I hate cooking and I have always hated cooking.  LOL!  That may be one of the reasons I am still single but OH WELL, I AM A BUSY OLDER (but fabulous) WORKING COLLEGE STUDENT.  As you can see I am going to milk this older college student excuse for all it’s worth. 🙂

Pssst…  Gotta go and do some work, work. I don’t think the whole college student excuse is going to fly on the job.  So goodbye for now.  Stop by and say hi, and if you have any other easy dinner ideas feel free to share. 🙂

Until next time!

Xan Bullock is student in the HIM program. She is 40+, loving life and surprisingly school too!

Hello All,

I have no idea what I am doing and this is a test as I try to keep up with the 21st century by starting a blog. This is from a woman who does not indulge in social media. I don’t tweet or Facebook, but I decided to join the Community Blog to discuss being an older (47), single, and fabulous college student. I also plan to write about the ups and downs of trying to hold down a full-time job, attend college half time, and the perils of being single and dating in this technologically inclined world we live. Today marks my first blog post so wish me luck.  LOL!

A little more about me: this is my first semester as an undergraduate student at SPS, and I am majoring in Health Information Management. I currently work full-time as an Administrative assistant in the Radiology Dept at NYU Medical Centers.

I decided to start writing for the blog because there has to be other students trying to walk through the murky waters as an employed, busy, single, older (but should I say fabulous), college student. Other students who also happen to be looking for love, while trying to gain and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA, of course. Not to mention the whole social media thing is enough to drive one into early menopause. It’s all so exhausting. So here I am joining the millions of bloggers in the hopes of venting my stress away while updating my skills as a computer savvy, multimedia goddess.  LOL!

Feel free to stop by and say hi and wish me well on my new adventure.

Xan Bullock is student in the HIM program. She is 40+, loving life and surprisingly school too!


The SPS Scholarship Committee has identified six scholarship recipients for the 2013-14 academic year. After careful deliberation, the Committee selected these students from an impressive pool of approximately 70 submissions—the most SPS has received to date.

Vearlane Edge and Velma Felix have been selected as 2013-14 Bob Martin Scholars. Vearlane is a student in the Online B.A. in Communication and Media program, and she anticipates graduating in 2014. For the past 20 years, she has organized and hosted Girl Scout troops of all ages, and has been especially active in an event providing children in need with backpacks and school supplies. With her help, this event has grown from 150 to over 300 participants in just three years. Velma, a student in our Online B.S. in Business program, is on track to graduate in December 2013. Velma returned to SPS after discontinuing her college education because of financial hardship. The Bob Martin Scholarship will allow Velma to finish her degree with SPS.

Tiffany Garcia is our inaugural Timothy Meade Scholar. A student in our Online B.A. in Disability Studies program with a Spring 2014 anticipated graduation date, Tiffany was led to the degree through her work as a special education teacher’s assistant in New Jersey. Tiffany has always worked hard for her education. Following an associate’s degree at LaGuardia Community College, she chose to finish her undergraduate education at SPS. She is on her way to becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college, which has inspired her older sister to return to higher education as well.

Nooria Nodrat and Merrilee Robinson have been awarded Founding Dean’s Scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year. Nooria is an in-person student in the M.A. in Disability Studies program, and anticipates graduating in May 2014. Nooria, who is blind, decided to come to SPS to pursue Disability Studies in order to give back to her community. Merrilee is currently pursuing a B.S. in Health Information Management with an anticipated graduation date in Spring 2014. Born in a “third-world country,” Merrilee has overcome hardship and prioritizes her education. Her goal is to enter the workforce, earn certification in RHIA and RHIT, and find employment as a compliance officer

Elmo Paige will be receiving the 2013-14 Stephen M. Rossen Memorial Scholarship. Elmo, a single father of four teenagers, is guiding them through their educational journeys as he embarks on his own. With the full encouragement of his employer, this scholarship will allow him to reduce his work hours and focus more closely on his studies: he anticipates graduating from SPS in 2015 or 2016 with the M.S. in Data Analytics.

The webinar Maximizing Microsoft Excel© for HIM Professionals: Transforming Data Into Actionable Information presented by Michael Gera, was recorded on June 18, 2013 in conjunction with the CUNY School of Professional Studies online degree in Health Information Management. You can access the presentation files here.

Great news!  Our BS in Health Information Management is now in the candidacy phase of the CAHIIM ( accreditation process.  Our students can now register as students with AHIMA (  using our SPS Educational Program Code (#159).  This will allow students to reap the benefits of membership and get a member discount on books!

For questions, contact Academic Director, Ellen Shakespeare at

Please join us in welcoming our new Academic Director for the Health Information Management program, Ellen Shakespeare. Ellen joined CUNY School of Professional Studies in August from her last position as a faculty member and the program coordinator for the health information technology programs at Raritan Valley Community College.

Prior to her position at RVCC, she was a health information management department director and consultant at hospitals in Florida, New York, and New Jersey. Ms. Shakespeare recently achieved Fellowship with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), an honor only bestowed on 116 fellows out of over 60,000 members.

Ellen also serves as a panel reviewer for CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management), as past president of the New Jersey Health Information Management Association, and is a member of AHIMA’s Council for Excellence in Education and Health Information Exchange Practice Council.

She received her MBA with a concentration in health administration from the University of Miami, and a B.S. in health information management from the University of Central Florida.

The CUNY SPS Online B.S. in Health Information Management prepares students for careers in this dynamic and rapidly expanding field. Students learn to develop, implement, and manage health information and data systems for quality care, reimbursement, research, planning, and evaluation.

Find out more about this and other SPS programs by visiting our website,, or by attending an in-person information session. The next Online Baccalaureate Info Session will be held Wednesday, September 12th 6-8pm at the CUNY Graduate Center. Click here to register.

Hi all:

A few of you know that I was at University of Maryland during the last week in August to participate in a workshop on the applications of social media and emerging technologies. All of the speakers were excellent, but there are two that I wanted to point out to the health information management crowd. But the more I thought about it, these presentations should be of interest to many more SPS students, especially anyone interested in communication and culture, sociology, serving people with disabilities, and the business of healthcare.  And for sure, anyone who wants to learn more about practical research.

The first was a talk by Sylvia Chou, a program director and research fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Chou gave a broad overview of how social media is being used to connect patients with patients, patients with providers, and providers with each other. She points to a number of challenges, but also shows the successes of online communities such as Dr. Chou is a linguist and behavioral scientist.

The second presenter, Dr. Brad Hesse, is Chief of the Heath Communication and Informatics Research Branch in the Behavioral Research Division at the National Cancer Institute.  Dr. Hesse, a psychologist by training, conducts research in human computer interaction, health communication, medical informatics, and computer-supported decision making.  In his presentation, he discusses the value of technology mediated social participation and the resulting opportunities in information studies for improving healthcare.

Much more to come.

Paul Russo
Interim Academic Director, Health Information Management Programs and

Director of Online Programs

Dr. Sylvia Chou

Research Area: Patient-provider communication, social media, mixed methods research, health literacy, qualitative methods, health disparities, community-based participatory research


Sylvia Chou from Summer Social WebShop – UMCP on Vimeo.

Dr. Brad Hesse

Research Area: Health communication, informatics research, human system integration


Brad Hesse from Summer Social WebShop – UMCP on Vimeo.