Karen Patena to retire

I write to you to share the news of Karen Patea’s retirement.  During my five months with BHIS, I have come to know her as being very knowledgeable, and have relied heavily for her input on numerous department activities and about all aspects of the HIM Program.  I will miss her experience and contributions to BHIS.

Karen Patena, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA joined the UIC faculty in 1993, and assumed the role of Program Director of the Health Information Management undergraduate and graduate programs in 1996.  Beyond teaching a number of courses in the program over the years, Karen has contributed to the education of future professionals through the development of multiple book chapters and book reviews of health information management content.   She has presented at many educational sessions of the American Health Information Management Association and the AHIMA Assembly on Education.  Karen was recognized by AHIMA with the Triumph Award for Education (2004) and Fellowship (2009) at the national level.

Locally, Karen has presented at the Illinois Health Information Management and Chicago Health Information Management conferences on health records and technology.  Karen has authored more than a dozen articles published in the Journal of AHIMA, Topics in Health Record Management and Perspectives in Health Information Management.  She was selected by the Illinois Health Information Management Association for the Professional Achievement Award in 2004 and the Distinguished Member in 2007.  The Chicago Health Information Management Association honored Karen with the Distinguished Member award in 1998.

Karen is the nine-time recipient of the Excalibur Award for Teaching Excellence from the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences Student Council, two-time recipient of the UIC Silver Circle Teaching Excellence Award, and the College of AHS Educator of the Year (2010).  The College of Applied Health Science recognized Karen with the Outstanding Academic Leadership Award (2015) and the Alumni Loyalty Award (2019).  She served on multiple committees during her tenure, currently serving as Chair of the BHIS Academic Affairs Committee, Chair of the CAHS Academic Affairs Committee, and the CAHS representative to the UIC Senate and UIC Senate Executive Committee.

She was instrumental in the development of the online undergraduate and graduate programs in health information management.  When the department needed her leadership, she took on the role of Associate Head in 2016, assuming responsibilities for Student Support Services.  More recently, she has been instrumental in the transition for online learning from Pearson to UIC’s Extended Campus.

Karen has created a legacy in Health Information Management and helped sustain a highly successful and top-ranked program.  We will terribly miss her leadership and wisdom.  Please join me in congratulating Karen on her retirement!

Details about HIM Program leadership and reporting for Student Support Services is forthcoming.

Kal Pasupathy