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Clinical Center News
Fall 2021

NIH Clinical Center wins 2021 Grace award

Hospital earns the highest honor of the American Health Information Management Association

Dr. James Gilman
Dr. James Gilman, Clinical Center CEO said "[We] have transformed the way health information is managed."

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center will have to get a bigger awards shelf.

In September, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) awarded the NIH Clinical Center its 2021 Grace Award. AHIMA serves as a leading voice authority in health information. The award honors organizations that demonstrate excellence in health information management.

AHIMA noted a number of impressive accomplishments from the hospital, including its innovative strides in recent years to use social determinants of health (SDOH) data. Social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of life-risks and outcomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the data can be a catalyst for improving community health and well-being.

For example, people who don't have access to grocery stores with healthy foods may find it harder to purchase nutritious food, which can raise their risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and obesity and potentially lower their life expectancy relative to people who have access to healthy foods.

The Clinical Center's Health Information Management Department was credited with ensuring SDOH data are tracked, which led to a significant increase in codes being captured in 2021 compared to the previous five-year average. AHIMA representatives said the focus on health data is particularly important for a government entity like the NIH that serves all Americans.

"It's an honor to award the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center with the 2021 Grace Award for their visionary advances in both health information management and public health initiatives," said Grace Award Committee Chair Diana Flood. "Their innovation and passion for services that bundle high quality data and superior care for every life they serve, while simultaneously developing and nurturing leaders within the organization, sets the stage for a bright future [for] each person who walks through their doors."

Flood also said the health information team is involved in a new project that is establishing measurement protocols to help inform effective interventions that can reduce health disparities.

Dr. James K. Gilman, CEO of Clinical Center, said that he is "immensely proud" of the award.

He added that the hospital's "Health Information Management Department is a highly motivated, high performing group that are extremely well-led. Collectively they have transformed the way health information is managed on behalf of the patients who participate in clinical research protocols here at the NIH Clinical Center," added Gilman.

For more on the award and past winners, visit

- Donovan Kuehn

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