Dear MHIMA Members and Colleagues:
I write with a heavy heart the news that our sitting MHIMA Board Member, Erika Bailey, also an educator at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), passed away the morning of March 25th at the age of 39 years young. Amongst many things that made Erika so remarkable, and so endearing to the rest of us: she continued to attend and contribute at all our Board meetings, including serving as Chair for our Annual Meeting Committee, and as a member of our Strategic Planning group, as recently as last week. In addition to her GVSU teaching responsibilities, her MHIMA Board Service and her MHIMA Committee duties, Erika also served as the Board Secretary for West Michigan Health Information Management Association (WMHIMA).
While Erika had openly shared she was undergoing treatment for cancer, starting with her diagnosis around the time of Christmas 2019, it appears she held quietly the knowledge of how far and aggressively the cancer continued to spread during treatment. In speaking to her, I know Erika wanted to give her two boys as much normalcy as possible for as long as possible. Her sudden passing, therefore, was a surprise to all. Erika will be greatly missed by her MHIMA Board colleagues, her WMHIMA Board colleagues, GVSU colleagues, current and former students, friends and of course her husband, Todd, and their two boys, Louis “Lou” and Hunter.
In the coming weeks, MHIMA Board of Directors will discuss ways we can honor Erika’s contributions, memory and legacy. We are also holding our friends at WMHIMA in our hearts, as we know they must be equally feeling our loss today.
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Laura Shue, MPA, CHDA, CPHIMS