Danita Forgey is one of the IU School of Informatics and Computing’s (SoIC) most dedicated alumni, not only through her service as a former lecturer and program director for what was then the Health Information Administration (HIA) program, but also as a loyal donor, program advisor, and fundraiser. For Danita, the inspiration to provide financial support came early on in her experience with the school.
“When I was in the Health Information Administration Program, Mary McKenzie, the program director at the time, and Jan Ashton, a faculty member, both let us know the importance of supporting a HIA education and they established a culture of program support by its graduates,” says Danita. “When I became the interim program director, we were facing closure of the program under the School of Allied Health Sciences. I was so grateful to SoIC for accepting our program, and I wanted to show my appreciation for their support…. I saw the impact that philanthropy had on our students. We were able to offer several scholarships because of the contributions made by program graduates and corporate supporters.”
Danita was honored by many last year through the establishment of the Danita H. Forgey Scholarship in Health Information Management (HIM), which provides a renewable award to an HIM student. In the spirit of Danita’s record of service, volunteer service is a requirement of this scholarship. This follows Danita and her husband Robert Forgey’s establishment of the Ruth Walker Health Informatics Graduate Scholarship, dedicated to Danita’s former colleague and long-time friend.
Danita reflected, “Ruth Walker was very involved in the health information profession when I graduated from the Health Information Administration Program and was very visible throughout her career. She was also a great supporter of the HIM program; she recruited students, was a guest lecturer and was a professional practice instructor before she became a faculty member in SoIC. When she was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years ago, I wanted to find a way to let her know how appreciated she is by me and others in the profession whose lives she has touched.”
Danita believes alumni giving is vital to enhance and expand programs. “I hope that our alumni will continue to support the HIM program and the SoIC. The HIM program has grown tremendously since our move there and has been greatly supported by SoIC with faculty resources, student advising, office and classroom space, and technology, among many other things. Graduates can also honor former faculty by contributing to the Gertrude Gunn, Mary McKenzie, Jan Ashton, Elton Ridley, Danita Forgey, or Ruth Walker scholarships.” Danita and Rob Forgey are members of the President’s Circle at Indiana University and we thank Danita and Rob for their continued dedication to and support of IU.