Foundation Insight: CIO Speaks: Chair Sees Growing Demand for Scholarships

By Candace Stuart, Director of Communications & Public Relations, CHIME


CHIME’s Education Foundation Committee helps to manage its scholarship process and allocations. Marianne James, senior vice president of information services and CIO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and chair of the Education Foundation Committee, discusses trends and application tips in this Q&A.


How long have you served as the chair of the Education Foundation Committee? 

I have served as the chair since 2016. I joined the committee in 2012.


Marianne James, Senior Vice President & CIO, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Marianne James, Senior Vice President & CIO, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

What are your responsibilities in this role?  

Twice a year, the CHIME staff manages an application process for scholarships related to Forum attendance and Boot Camp. Funds are also provided in the names of John Glaser, Rich Correll and  Stoltenberg. The CHIME staff contacts me to ask for suggestions on any process improvements that could be made. They look to me to facilitate phone calls with the committee members as we review the scored applications.


What have been the trends in scholarship applications? Has demand been increasing? If so, why?

Over the years that I have participated with the committee, the number of applications submitted has more than quadrupled. I think there are three reasons for this:

  • Our industry continues to struggle with becoming more affordable to patients and families. Healthcare costs have historically been way out of line with other industries. As reimbursement drops, all of us are in cost-cutting mode. Most institutions are struggling to maintain education and conference budgets, particularly events that require travel expense on top of attendance fees. This has contributed to the increase in need.
  • The CHIME staff has done an amazing job in highlighting and advertising the value of CHIME programs. This has gotten the word out.
  • The CHIME staff has done a great job in advertising the availability of the scholarships.


Which events draw the most applicants? 

The CIO Boot Camp is a very big favorite. Many attendees have gone on to successfully accelerate their careers. Many recruiters and companies are looking for this type of education when doing placement. The CHIME CIO Forums, both Spring and Fall, continue to be very positive networking events. I have found that the Spring Forum, in conjunction with HIMSS, allows attendees to leverage travel costs for two major industry events.


What makes an applicant stand out? What can an applicant do to increase his or her chances of getting a scholarship? 

Applicants who really demonstrate a thirst for knowledge and experience with healthcare IT can stand out. Applicants who lay out a vision for healthcare IT can distinguish themselves. Demonstrated financial need is an important consideration. We try very hard to understand how the scholarship can really make a difference and if the scholarship is the only avenue whereby an individual can attend the programs. Additionally, engaged CHIME membership matters. We see that as a positive attribute. Lastly, tenure matters. We want our young up-and-comers to gain from the experience of those with greater tenure.


Do recipients share how a scholarship impacted their careers? Do you have a favorite example?   

We have not historically asked for this type of follow up. It is a great idea!


Editor’s note: More information about CHIME’s Education Foundation and scholarship opportunities is available here. To donate to a scholarship fund, go here.

More Foundation Insight Volume 1, No. 3: