ACDIS Achievement Awards honor nation's top CDI professionals

Press Releases, May 25, 2016

The Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) honored the nation’s top clinical documentation improvement (CDI) professionals at its 9th annual conference in Atlanta. On May 24, ACDIS awarded Candace E. Blankenship, BSN, RN, of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, with the Rookie of the Year award; Susan E. Kohl, MD, of Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, with the Excellence in Provider Engagement award; Jessica M. Vaughn, RN, BSN, CCDS, of Wake Forest Baptist Health, with the Recognition of CDI Professional Achievement award; and Jessica M. Vaughn, RN, BSN, CCDS, also of Wake Forest Baptist Health, as its 2016 CDI Professional of the Year.

ACDIS Director Brian Murphy presented the four awards in the general morning session, before an audience of more than 1,700, to kick off the conference.

ACDIS recently updated and expanded its awards for 2016 to reflect the changes occurring in healthcare and the CDI profession in particular. In recognition of the CDI field’s rapid growth, the new Rookie of the Year award is given to an outstanding professional who has been on the job less than two years at the time of nomination. The Excellence in Provider Engagement award, also new this year, recognizes a professional who has made measurable impacts engaging providers (physicians, nurses, and others) in the need for accurate and complete documentation in the health record. The Recognition of CDI Professional Achievement award is given to a professional who has made outstanding achievements within his or her facility. Finally, the CDI Professional of the Year award is ACDIS’ top honor, bestowed upon a professional who has made significant contributions within his or her organization and in the broader CDI community.

“These four individuals represent the best the CDI profession has to offer,” said Murphy. “Their contributions to the profession in the past year are truly remarkable. All the great work hospitals and providers do cannot be measured without accurate and complete health information in the medical record, including a full accounting of each patient’s diagnoses, procedures, and treatments, and physicians’ medical decision-making and clinical indicators to support diagnosis and treatment. CDI professionals play a critical role in today’s environment of quality and accountability by ensuring that all of these critical data elements are present in the chart.”

To learn more about the ACDIS Achievement Awards, the annual ACDIS Conference, or ACDIS membership, please visit

Now in its ninth year, ACDIS is a community of more than 5,000 CDI professionals who share the latest tips, tools, and strategies to implement successful CDI programs and achieve professional growth. ACDIS’ mission is to serve as the premier healthcare community for CDI specialists, providing a medium for education, professional growth, professional certification, and networking through its annual conference, local chapter outreach efforts, regular webinars, website, and social media outlets.

For more information about ACDIS and its offerings, please visit or call 877-240-6586.