Clinical Associate Professor
Director, Health Information Management Programs
Karen Patena has worked in hospital medical record management, as well as systems planning and implementation, for nearly 20 years. She served as a vital member of the team to implement a Cerner patient-care information system at the University of Illinois Medical Center. She is a frequent contributor to the Journal of AHIMA* and a regular presenter at the meetings of local, state and national health information management professional associations. Patena now serves on the Panel of Surveyors of CAHIIM (the Council on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management), for which she travels around the country to evaluate new and continuing HIM academic programs for accreditation. She is also a Commissioner on CCHIIM (the Certification Commission for Health Informatics and Information Management) and served as a past-chair of the AHIMA Educational Strategy Committee.
Patena has received numerous awards for teaching excellence, including the AHIMA Triumph Educator Award, the UIC Silver Circle Award, the Teaching Recognition Award from the UIC Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences Excalibur Award, which is decided by student votes.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in health information management from UIC, Patena went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration, concentrating in management information systems, awarded with distinction in 1986 from DePaul University.
* American Health Information Management Association
“It’s always exciting to see how our students progress and mature between the first and second years of the program. All of a sudden they ‘get it’ and become much more committed to their studies.”