Tarek Matar, a senior studying for a B.S. in Health Information Management (HIM) recently received the Indiana Health Information Management Association (IHIMA) Rising Star Award at the annual IHIMA meeting. Matar also won the IHIMA annual meeting theme naming competition for 2024. “I was honored that my theme “The Legacy of Health Information” was selected for the 2024 IHIMA Annual Event and I hope that this theme will give HIM professionals a chance to reflect on our many achievements,” he said.
Matar noted that reflection is one of the most valuable tools for development as one can analyze the progression, successes, or setbacks of something. The HIM field, like many others, has gone through significant advances these past decades, so taking the time to reflect on growth felt like an excellent opportunity to spark motivation and recognize the individuals who are involved.
IHIMA President Necole Coots said, “Tarek has created opportunities for himself. Tarek’s passion and enthusiasm for HIM are evident in his willingness to assist with any endeavor. Tarek is looking to make an impact in the healthcare field. We are excited to have Tarek in the health information profession.”
Upon starting college, Matar was interested in studying health information and found the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering a prestigious school for this respective field. He also spoke with current students to learn about their experiences within different programs in Luddy. Ultimately, he was able to gauge potential opportunities that aligned with his goals and found the committed faculty in Luddy to be very reassuring.
“Being able to make a difference in healthcare has always been a passion of mine. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, I worked as a personal care assistant in an assisted living environment and found my experience extremely rewarding. The patients on the receiving end were a major influence, and through my experience, I utilized various technologies that aided in the management and use of their health information. This led me to choose an HIM major as I would still be able to support patient care and the technologies involved,” Matar said.
Nicole Van Andel, lecturer in the HIM program, said, “Tarek is an exemplary student who loves the health information profession. He brings an enthusiastic spirit to everything that he does. He is highly deserving of this amazing honor at this point in his career. He will be a true asset to the profession.”
Being a part of his major’s affiliated club, HIM Connections, has been one of Matar’s many highlights while at Luddy. He has been able to take on the role of vice-president within the club and gain valuable leadership experience. He said another highlight is fostering terrific relationships with his fellow students, faculty, and academic advisor who have supported him these past years.
Matar plans to pursue a career in information security for a healthcare or pharmaceutical organization and to continue his education at IUPUI. Through his internship experiences, he has found that this field will allow him to support a vital role of healthcare delivery: securing an organization’s information assets.
Matar’s advice to students who may be interested in Health Information Management is that it is a versatile major that will allow them to seek an array of career opportunities such as health IT, data management, analytics, healthcare reimbursement coding, and others. He recommends that students assess their career goals and passions to locate areas of interest in the HIM field, and speak with the HIM faculty as they have a wealth of knowledge in the field and will support students throughout their journey in the program.