Health Information Technology

CAHIIM Accredited* Two-Year Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) Degree Program
Available in State College and Altoona

The South Hills Health Information Technology program trains students in ICD-10 and CPT coding, EHR (electronic health records), healthcare quality improvement, reimbursement systems, and more. Students in our HIT program will hone the high-tech skills needed to manage and analyze information for both patients and the facilities where they receive care. You’ll find career opportunities at hospitals, physician offices, nursing homes, government agencies, and other healthcare facilities.

Our HIT graduates are in demand for positions including Inpatient and/or Outpatient Coder, Health Data Analyst, Abstractor, Medical Records Manager, Health Information Management (HIM) Supervisor, and HIM Manager.

Successful students in this program are detail-oriented, enjoy working with computers and technology, analyzing data, and working in a team setting. Leadership skills are a plus, as many of our HIT graduates become supervisors or managers in a wide variety of healthcare environments.

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* This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Upon successful completion of the HIT program, graduates are eligible to apply to take the Registered Health Information Technology (RHIT) examination.

"The Health Information Technology program (HIT) prepares graduates for a career in many different settings in the healthcare field. They are exposed to current applications and processes being used in the profession. Graduates receive extensive hands-on training in pertinent areas such as ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS, CPT-4, electronic health records, encoders, etc. The small class size along with faculty who remain current in their field of expertise allow us to provide the latest information in the class setting. The students are eligible to sit for the national RHIT (Registered Health Information Technician) certification exam as well as several coding certification exams."

Kay Strigle
HIT Program Coordinator / Instructor at the State College Main Campus

HIT Graduates Can Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Only Two Years with St. Francis University!

South Hills students graduating with the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree in Health Information Technology are eligible for a bachelor degree completion program in Healthcare Management or Health Studies through St. Francis University Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies.

Finish your Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management or Health Studies in only two years or less through online, weekend, and evening classes in State College or Altoona. South Hills students will be guaranteed acceptance with a 2.0 GPA and up to 64 credits from our HIT program will automatically transfer into the program. Students and alumni may transfer in additional credits through military or other colleges as applicable, accepting up to 98 credits. The customizable curriculum allows you to take as few or as many classes as you want so you can balance work, family, and life. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. This program can also be completed fully online. Both programs are also fully online.

For more information about Bachelor's degree completion, visit the St. Francis website or call the Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies at 814-472-3012.

Complete Course List

Health Information Technology Course List for 2017-18

This program information appears in the 2017-18 school catalog. Click here to download all course descriptions.

CodeCourseCreditsClock Hours
MD102Anatomy & Physiology I5.560
MD103Anatomy & Physiology I Lab0.510
GE207Applied Psychology in Health Care336
GE183Business English I460
GE179Mathematics for Health Care Professionals460
MD108Medical Terminology I336
PD110Professional Development224
MD106Anatomy & Physiology II5.560
MD107Anatomy & Physiology II Lab0.510
GE184Business English II460
HI228Introduction to the Health Care Field4.060
MD109Medical Terminology II336
CP287Microsoft Excel4.560
IT223Advanced Microsoft Excel230
GE210Business English III3.560
HI103Health Data Content and Reimbursement4.560
HI226ICD Coding I4.560
HI234Principles of Supervision336
HI231Health Care Quality Improvement4.560
HI238Health Care Statistics224
HI227ICD Coding II4.560
CP286Microsoft Access4.560
HI235Advanced Coding348
HI230Electronic Health Records2.536
HI233Health Records in Other Settings2.530
GE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
CD207Job Search Skills224
MD241Medical Insurance Forms4.560
HI229Medical Legal Aspects336
GE213Oral Business Communications224
HI236Health Information Seminar4.548
HI237Professional Practice Experience 11330

Careers in Health Information Technology

With two years of hands-on training and strong skillsets, our HIT graduates are prepared for a variety of healthcare career options, including:

  • Abstractor
  • Coding Manager
  • Health Data Analyst
  • Inpatient and/or Outpatient Coder
  • Medical Records Manager
  • Medical Records Specialist
  • Health Information Management (HIM) Manager
  • Health Information Management (HIM) Supervisor

Each HIT student completes a semester-long internship before graduation, providing real world experience invaluable to a career in the healthcare field. We have placed interns at locations including:

  • Central PA Podiatry Associates
  • Centre Crest
  • Drayer Physical Therapy
  • HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Geisinger- Lewistown
  • Homewood at Martinsburg
  • James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center
  • Jersey Shore Hospital
  • Mount Nittany Medical Center
  • Mount Nittany Physician’s Group
  • State Correctional Institute at Rockview
  • Susquehanna Health Systems
  • Tyrone Hospital
  • University Orthopedics

Graduates of the HIT Program at South Hills are well-trained and in demand for their up-to-date knowledge of today’s medical technology, versatility, and work ethics. Some of the many locations employing our graduates include:

  • Blair Medical Associates
  • Brookline Retirement Village
  • Cardiology Associates
  • Centre Medical and Surgical Associates
  • Cornerstone Family Eye Care
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates
  • Medical Billing and Management Services
  • Nittany Eye Associates
  • Meadows Psychiatric Center
  • Penn State Family Medicine
  • Penn State Hershey Medical Center
  • Pyramid Health Care
  • State College Orthodontics
  • Valley View Nursing Home

Kay Strigle, RHIA

HIT Program Coordinator / Instructor
State College Main Campus

Kay Strigle, RHIA has been an instructor with South Hills since 1986 when she started the Health Information Technology program. She serves as the Director of the program.

Kay graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Medical Records Administration and maintains her RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator) credentials.

She has worked as a Supervisor of Medical Records in an HMO in the Dallas area, as well as Director of Medical Records and Director of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review in an acute care setting. Kay brings her management skills and knowledge of the healthcare field into the classroom environment.

Recognized as an outstanding member of PHIMA for her work in HIT education, Kay is an active member of AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association), PHIMA (Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association) and CPHIMA (Central Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association).

Pam Meister

Full-time Instructor
State College Main Campus

Pam Meister has taught at South Hills for 18 years. Pam is an instructor of anatomy and physiology and other health-related classes. She is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania with a BSN in Nursing. Pam has practiced throughout the U.S. in the areas of Medical-Surgical, Psychiatric, and OR Nursing. She is a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International which promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. She is also a member of the Anatomy & Physiology Society, Inc., which is dedicated to promoting excellence in the teaching of human anatomy and physiology.

Jamie Ellison, RHIA

HIT Program Coordinator / Instructor
Altoona Campus

Jamie Ellison has been an instructor at South Hills School of Business & Technology since 2014 and currently serves as Director of the Health Information Technology program at our Altoona campus.

A graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, Jamie earned her B.S. in Health Information Management. She has been a Registered Health Information Administrator since 2000. She started her career as an Oncology Registrar at the Cancer Center at St. Clair Hospital, and has since been Director of Medical Records in a Long-Term Care Facility, State Correctional Institution, and an Intellectual Disability Center. She is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association (PHIMA) and the Western Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association (WPHIMA).

Mary Prorok

Full-time Instructor
Altoona Campus

Mary Prorok is the Administrative Medical Assistant advisor for South Hills Altoona campus. Mary specializes in allied health education for Medical Assistant, Administrative Medical Assistant, and Health Information Technology students. Mary earned her RN Associate’s degree from Mount Aloysius College and continued her education from Saint Francis College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania earning a Bachelor's and Master's degree in nursing.

Her nursing experience includes staff nursing on a medical-surgical unit, mental health instructor in a hospital school of nursing, and adjunct faculty at Mount Aloysius College. She is also currently an instructor of CPR and First Aid classes through the American Heart Association.

Mary has interest and experience in complementary medicine and that adds a holistic approach to the student and to the classroom.

Program Advisory Committees

State College Main Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Lynn HallConsultantCentre Crest
Dana PriceDirector, Health Information Management DepartmentThe Meadows Psychiatric Center
Lisa WittHealth Information ManagerPenn State University Health Services
Kristen AlexanderMOAIIPenn State Hershey Medical Group
Betsy ForsytheCoordinator of Software Systems and Technology SupportUniversity Orthopedic Center
Diana SimpsonMedical Records SupervisorSCI Rockview
Altoona Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Jennifer McClaren, RHIADirector of Quality AssuranceAdelphoi Village
Kelly Ferguson, CCSSupervisory MRT (Coder)James E. VanZandt VA Medical Center
Diane Harris, RHITDirector of ITUPMC Altoona
Kelly Harris, RHITHIM ManagerTyrone Regional Hospital
Faith Neal, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CHP, CPHQ, CPHRM, CPEHR, HIMSenior ConsultantnThrive
Pamela Starr, RHITCompliance & Privacy OfficerBlair Medical Associates
Betsy Susko, RHITInformaticsJames E. VanZandt VA Medical Center
Mary Walker, RHITSupervisory HITJames E. VanZandt VA Medical Center
Brian Hyde, RN, CHCAHealth Care AdministratorSCI Somerset
Michele Gonsman, RN, BSNOwner/Nurse ConsultantGonsman Group Legal Nurse Consulting, LLC
Lisa Young, RHIT, CRCQuality Coding and Documentation EducatorGeisinger Health Plan/Gray Woods
Brady Stout, ACMPEPractice Management CounsultantPhysician Revenue Management Services

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please view the Health Information Technology Disclosures page on our website.