GIC HIMSS Scholarships

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2019 - 2020 Scholarships!

J.R. Signe

Unique life experiences have taught me that we are in more control of our lives than we may come to truly realize.  When a door presents itself, it is up to the individual to choose whether or not they want to open that door and take a step forward.  As someone who has made the decision to go back to school as a second career student., I wanted to know more about an area of healthcare that I knew was still in its adolescence; Healthcare Technology.  I am currently enrolled as a senior in the University of Illinois at Chicago, studying for an undergraduate degree in Health Information Management (HIM).  Graduating year of 2020 this upcoming Spring.  I am excited to grow alongside HIM and learn about all the benefits that come with healthcare technology.  And although I consider myself new to the realm of HIM my health care career started in 2012 when I graduate and got licensed as a Physical Therapist Assistant.  Since then, I have been working in a Skilled Nursing Facility.  This background will help guide my career in HIM, where I can apply my clinical skills with my HIM skills.  My goal is to help provide high quality clinical care to those who seek a better quality of life.  With HIM I believe I will be able to continue to fulfill that goal.  I want to personally thank the Greater Illinois Chapter HIMSS for providing me the opportunity for this undergraduate scholarship and the chance to work with those within the organization.


Matthew Howard

Matthew Howard is an informatics nurse and graduate student in Chicago, Illinois. He earned his B.A. from Kenyon College in Biological Sciences and soon after completed a post-baccalaureate program, earning his B.S.N. from Cleveland State University. Matthew’s experience as a professional registered nurse, which include staff RN positions at the Cleveland Clinic and The University of Chicago Medicine, gave him foundational clinical knowledge that has been invaluable to his most recent informatics roles. While providing medical device education and workflow consultation as a clinical specialist for Philips Healthcare, he developed an appreciation for the necessity of clinical informaticians in the evolving healthcare ecosystem. Currently serving as an educator and informatics nurse specialist at The University of Chicago Medicine, Matthew focuses on staff education for the EHR and integrative technologies. He maintains nursing certifications in critical care (CCRN-K) and informatics (RN-BC) and is currently completing his MSc in Biomedical Informatics from The University of Chicago.


GIC HIMSS Scholarship Program

Purpose: To provide financial assistance and recognition to qualified students in accredited programs in health management, health information technology, management programs with a health focus, or technology programs with a focus in healthcare information technology. 


Objective: Present two (2) scholarship awards to deserving applicants 


Program Structure:

A two thousand five hundred dollar scholarships ($2,500) will be offered to two selected students.  One in a graduate program (to include Masters or Doctorate) and the other in an undergraduate program.  


Scholarships will be offered to students in the following types of programs:

a. Health information management/technology

b. Health management, with a focus in information management/technology

c. Clinical programs with a focus in information management/technology

d. Health science programs with a focus in information management/technology

e. Business management programs with a focus in health information management/technology

f. Management science programs with a focus in health information management/technology

g. Other types of degree programs which emphasize health information management/technology



Participation is open to students who are enrolled in a degree program in an accredited college or university who reside in Illinois within chapter boundaries. Certificate programs are not eligible for award. Students must have completed at least one quarter or semester in their currently enrolled Healthcare Information Technology related degree program.


Award Criteria

a) Submission of a scholarship application and related documents via email to no later than midnight on Sunday, October 27, 2019

b) Two to three letters of professional recommendation must accompany the application. These should include letters from superiors for whom the applicant has worked with and/or college professors with whom the applicant had studied under.

c) A minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0. A most recent transcript(s) must be included with the scholarship application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable

d) A short essay (500 - 750 words double spaced) that addresses the following questions:

  • Why is information management/technology important in healthcare today
  • Why have you chosen the field?
  • What is a major issue facing the health industry and how can information technology address the issue?


Criteria for Evaluation of application and award of scholarship will include

  • Meets or exceeds grade point criterion
  • Quality of recommendations
  • Quality of applicant essay


Requirement: The recipients of the scholarship will be required to serve as a volunteer on Professional Development Committee from January – December, 2020.   Meetings are held via conference call.


Recognition of awardees:

  • Will be invited to the awards gala at the National Conference
  • Will be formally recognized at the Career Development Event, spring 2020
  • Will be recognized on web site, newsletters, and in person events


Questions? Questions or concerns about the scholarship application process can be directed to:

Aaron Becker

Student Liaison

Or email

Greater Illinois Chapter