Catherine M. Albanese CHTS-IM, CHTS-PW
Lead/Business Analyst/LinTech Global, Inc.
VA New England Health Care System
Catherine Albanese manages and leads a dynamic team of Business Intelligence Analysts, SQL Developers and SharePoint Developers. They design and develop a wide range of clinical healthcare data analytics for the Veterans Administration of New England. Catherine is very proud of the team, the work and the Veterans they serve.
Like so many HIM professionals, it took Catherine a while to get here but she is happy to say “I have arrived.” She started her journey in the military, Army specifically. Her position was Medical Technologist, back when all information was paper driven, with print-outs from the various machines. That information would then be packaged up to be placed, manually, in patient’s charts. “I was always trying to figure out a better way to manage and care for the data that was being handled and realized the importance of the data!”
After finishing her education in Medical Technology her path changed from Healthcare to Financial Services. She still worked with data, and rudimentary technology. As time progressed, so did technology, in both Healthcare and Financial Services. Catherine found herself working with technology and really passionate about implementing new applications, processes and systems. “Seeing the forest through the trees, as they say, and how the dynamics of technology and data are a co-enhancing relationship.”
Catherine says “There are never coincidences, back in 2012 I was at a cross-road in my career path, by chance a friend told me about a federal grant called the HITECH Grant program, and I applied to the program and was accepted. This program provided the opportunity to attend online classes through Bristol Community College and sit for certification as a Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist, from that moment of getting two certifications; Implementation Manager and Practice Workflow and Information Management Redesign Specialist I knew what my path and purpose was to be – Health Information Management.”
We asked Catherine, what advice she would give to her younger self? “That is a provocative question; I guess my response would be – follow your heart and then listen to your mind. My direction was a bit distorted early in my career; I was following my mind and not listening to my heart. I have always had a passion for information and the sharing of that information. I was also drawn to and thrived within a healthcare environment. But, because I followed my mind, I found myself within the financial services industry, not healthcare where my heart was for many years. You will learn a lot along your journey … take that knowledge, those passions and to live and perform with a purpose. Bottom line, don’t look back always look forward and know that your heart and yes, even your mind will guide you to where you should be, as I am now.”
What does the future hold for Catherine? “With my knowledge and experience, I look forward to continuing to make a positive impact within the HIM and Healthcare communities, to continue learning and growing. Healthcare is a very dynamic and ever changing industry, by thinking outside of the box and continually learning, I am making a difference by identifying and initializing change, but more importantly embracing change, which can sometimes be difficult. I have committed myself to the importance of Health Information, personally and professionally. In my tenure as a health information professional, I have seen great progress made with electronic health information and the importance of data, the integrity and the integration of that data across many disparate systems. I have seen the impact that good and bad data can have and I continually challenge myself to ‘think outside of the box.’ I am looking forward to what the future holds for HIM and me!”