By Tiffany King

College of Coastal Georgia Senior Edward Asanion is ending his time at the College with not only his Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics, but also with the 2021 David Cowan Scholarship from the Georgia Chapter of Healthcare Informatics and Management Systems Society (GAHIMSS). GAHIMSS provides statewide leadership for the advancement and management of healthcare information and technology.

Asanion started at the College in Spring 2019. He moved to the region from the San Francisco Bay Area in California because he wanted a change. Asanion said he was drawn to the College because of "its great tuition rates, and reputation of having one of the best nursing programs in Georgia." His goal is to make the most of his degree in the health informatics field.

"I will try to reach the highest career point that my education and experience will allow and hopefully promote the health informatics program for the College of Coastal Georgia along the way," he said. "I think it's a great career field to be in for those who would like to work in a non-clinical healthcare setting."

The David Cowan Scholarship is a very competitive scholarship. Only eight scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in health information technology or health informatics programs. Applicants submit an essay that focuses on the area of health information management or health IT, and demonstrates a commitment to the future of health information. The essays are graded individually for a maximum of 100 points by a review committee. Essays need to receive a minimum of 80 points in order to be considered for the scholarship. Asanion became a finalist and won the scholarship worth $3,000. He now joins the ranks of other health informatics students from the College who've won the same award. Erika Ward was a scholarship recipient in spring 2020, Felicia Baggs in spring 2016, and Alexis Bell in spring 2017.

Asanion was very surprised that he won. He was shocked that he was chosen out of thousands of students who applied. He said it's a great honor to be a part of Georgia HIMSS and to represent the College by earning the scholarship. Asanion plans to use the scholarship to cover student loan costs and intends to hit the ground running with his degree after graduation.

He believes that the health informatics program is one of the most underrated programs the College has to offer.

"You learn so much about data analytics and the business management side of healthcare. We also have knowledgeable and experienced instructors which gives me confidence with the knowledge that I have gained entering the job market," Asanion said. "It is a very broad degree field with so many job opportunities after you graduate. I am fortunate that I found this degree program and very happy that I will have earned a degree in health informatics."

Asanion is a member of the Health Informatics Association at the College and plans to stay active with the club after graduation to help any prospective students.