Alum inspired by life’s challenges
We are honored to feature Linda Monusko ’13 as our Alumni Success Story this week. Linda serves as the Michigan Health Information Management Association (MHIMA) Central Office Coordinator, where she is responsible for managing and developing the mission of the MHIMA to be Michigan’s expert voice on health information. She develops programming for the 3,100 members, manages communications, advocates, and acts as a liaison between the members and the board.
As an Eastern Michigan native, Linda started her journey with Davenport University in Dearborn, then Detroit College of Business, right out of high school. Davenport’s flexible degree program conformed to her full-time busy work schedule and gave her the tools and support she needed to succeed. She took classes part time for 10 years before her job at an automotive plant was transferred to Grand Rapids.
Then, life dealt her a whole new challenge. “My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the end of 2010,” Linda explains. “My company was going through reorganization. I wasn’t sure what our future held between job and health concerns. I offered to take the layoff package to be a caregiver for my husband. At that time I also decided to return to school at DU in Grand Rapids.”
Linda met with an advisor and was inspired to change her degree to something in the health field. “My husband’s diagnoses influenced my decision to pursue my Health Information Management (HIM) bachelor’s degree. I wanted to help people but I knew I couldn’t start at the beginning of a program, like nursing. I took what I had already learned while pursuing my HR degree and transferred it to HIM. I was helping people in my own way,” stated Linda.
Once at DU, Linda excelled in the classroom. “The instructors shared real-life examples that allowed me to translate what I was learning from the textbook to hands-on experiences,” expressed Linda.
Linda obtained her RHIA credential the first time she took the test. While working at an internship at Hackley Hospital in Muskegon, she learned more about MHIMA and their volunteer opportunities. Later while volunteering to help prepare for the 2015 MHIMA Annual Meeting she learned the current Central Office Coordinator was retiring and mentioned they were looking for applicants. Lucky for Linda, she applied and got the job and has been working at MHIMA just over 7 months. Her volunteer work paid off!!
In her free time, Linda enjoys spending time with family, golfing, and biking.
Linda adds, “The opportunity to network within my HIM classes were priceless. I want to encourage people to get outside of their comfort zone and volunteer, join the program’s association, network and connect with your professors.”