Health Information Management Intern

Program Objectives

The VHA Health Information Management (HIM) Internship Program is designed to further develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of future HIM professional leaders and managers to manage the VHA health information program in accordance with policies, laws, science, technology and federal government rules and regulations. Our goal is that upon completion of the two-year training program, the intern continues his/her career as a valuable member of the VHA workforce who will contribute to the long and short-range administrative and operational needs of VHA.

Under the guidance of the assigned preceptor, the intern has the opportunity to gain substantive work experience, work with leadership at all levels and advance his/her HIM career.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will have broad knowledge and skills pertaining, but not limited to:

• VA regulations and policies pertaining to management of veterans’ health records, veterans benefits, the Privacy Act, the Freedom of Information Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
• Health Information Management, Master Patient Index (MPI), Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), National Patient Care Database and the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS)
• Enrollment, eligibility determination, scheduling, Admissions, Fee Basis (Non-VA Care), Compensation and Pension examination processing and management, beneficiary travel, decedent affairs, revenue cycle processes and practices to include first and third party billing
• The integration, dependencies, inter-relationships and complexities of the diverse operational areas of the largest healthcare delivery system in the United States

In addition, the graduate will have an opportunity to master interpersonal and negotiating skills. He/she will learn and apply accepted administrative management concepts, practices and innovations to develop long and short-range policies and processes to support clinical and executive services.

Candidates for the HIM Intern Program are selected from within VA or from external recruitment at the GS 5 to GS 7 level. The intern must be credentialed as either an RHIA or an RHIT, or attain credentials by the conclusion of the first year of the training period.

Assessment of the HIM intern will be measured using milestones such as:

• After one year of the training, the intern must demonstrate supervisory and management potential before promotion,
• Promotion from a staff position to a supervisor position,
• The quality of the intern’s interaction with peers, subordinates, clinical staff and management, and
• The demonstrated ability to negotiate, lead and influence groups in achieving administrative goals of the agency.

The intern must sign a mobility statement at the time of selection. The intern’s commitment to relocate at the conclusion of the program is a requirement of the program. A candidate for the program may not be formally selected or hired without VHA HIM Program Office and the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) Director or HIM designee approval.

– Intern’s salary is funded for two years
– Intern is allotted $5,000 for tuition and travel annually for training (dependent on budget constraints)
– Intern is expected to travel during the program
– Intern signs mobility agreement
– Relocation is funded if intern accepts position at another VA at the end of the training
– Intern placed non-competitively at the end of the internship
– RHIT or RHIA credentials must be attained by end of the first year in the program
– Intern and Preceptor jointly develop training plan
– Intern and Preceptor track intern’s progress on web based Personal Development Plan

Note: If you do not intend to stay with the Veterans Health Administration after the two-year training, please do not apply for the program.

Intern Locations and Contact Information for how to apply:

Birmingham, AL – Phyllis Sullivan (205) 933-4467         

Long Beach, CA – Melissa Ottem    (562) 826-8000 x2244

Atlanta, GA – Rhonda Wise              (404) 321-6111 x7598

Boise, Idaho – Stacie Stoner            (208) 422-1000 x7204

Central Iowa (Des Moines) – Vickie Macdonald   (515) 699.5999 x5440

Detroit, MI – Margaret Ekaiko-Davis           (313) 576-1000, x63370

Kansas City, MO – Joan Thalken                   ( 816) 861-4700 x54069

Albuquerque, NM – Rebecca Martinez      (505) 265-1711 X5111       

Muskogee, OK – Wanda Logan                 (918) 577-3635                    

Salt Lake City, UT – Cecilia Thomson            (801) 582.1565 x1654       

White River Junction, VT – Clarence Hallmartel   (802) 295-9363 x5748

West Palm Beach, FL – Linda Mizerski           (561) 422-8262                  

For basic intern program information, contact Karla Porter at or 502 241 2822.