When she retired from SUNY Polytechnic Institute from her work as Associate Professor, Dr. Donna Silsbee might have thought about many of the students she had taught during her more than three decades in higher education. But what she may not have realized was that a number of her colleagues in the Health Information Management (HIM) department had already come together to nominate her for a national education award to honor her for her consistent and superior service in education.

As part of the virtual Assembly on Education (AOE) General Session organized by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Dr. Silsbee found out she was not only nominated for, but also received the “2022 Making Dreams Come True Award,” a testament to her successful career inspiring students.


Recognizing excellence in education, the Making Dreams Come True Award, “is designed to recognize distinguished educators who have made a difference in their students’ lives.”


“The fact that our HIM department collectively nominated one of their colleagues, Dr. Donna Silsbee for a National award, is a great example of the unique camaraderie that makes being part of SUNY Poly so rewarding, and I congratulate Dr. Silsbee on her retirement after making a difference in the lives of countless students and fellow faculty,” said Interim Dean of SUNY Poly’s College of Health Sciences Dr. Joanne Joseph. “This award, along with the efforts of the HIM department to recognize one of their own, is an outstanding example of collegiality and mutual respect, and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone who came together to honor her.”


Dr. Silsbee taught at SUNY Poly since 1980, and most recently taught courses in the baccalaureate Health Information Management program. She also taught graduate courses in Health Informatics and in Health Services Management, managed a baccalaureate program in health services management, advised students in the MBA Health Services Management Program, and advised students in the MBA in Technology Management Program with a concentration in Health Informatics.


Notably, she is a also a recipient of two SUNY Chancellor’s awards. She received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000 and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service in 2010.

AOE, the annual symposium on education from AHIMA where Dr. Silsbee was honored, was held at the end of July. Members of the health information educator community came together to learn, network, and uncover opportunities to impact health. For more information, visit: https://aoe.ahima.org/.


AHIMA touts itself as the leading voice and authority in health information, wherever it is found. AHIMA-certified professionals ensure that sensitive health stories remain accurate, accessible, protected and complete—at all times. For more information, visit: https://www.ahima.org/who-we-are/about-us/.

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