Thelma B. Massarini passed away at age 86 on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 after a brief sudden illness. She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Harold W. Massarini, Jr (2002) and her daughter-in-law, Gale (1984). Survived by her son, John Massarini, RHIT, daughter-in-law Kathleen Massarini, RN and grandson, Michael P. Massarini.
Thelma was a founding member of GNOHIMA and LHIMA in 1949, serving as president of both groups. In her last term with LHIMA, Thelma saw the passage of the Edie V. Cooksey, RHIA Scholarship, named for another founding LHIMA member and former (AAMRL) AHIMA president, her friend Mrs. Cooksey.
Thelma or Tootsie as she was more usually called, hosted HIM students almost every year that she served as HIM Director at Hotel Dieu Hospital in New Orleans (32 years). Tootsie completed her career as an HIM Supervisor at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans.
In addition, Thelma served as president of the Hotel Dieu Credit Union. She taught Medical Terminology and Coding classes at Hotel Dieu for thirty years. She was a recipient of the LHIMA Distinguished Member Award. In 1964 she testified before the Warren Commission following President Kennedy’s death (regarding the behavior of a Hotel Dieu patient).