KC Arnold suffered two major blows during Hurricane Katrina. Arnold, an advanced nurse practitioner trained in diabetes care, saw her house severely damaged--but fortunately, not flooded. And a week after the storm, she learned the clinic where she had worked was moving. Faced with a near-impossible commute, Arnold sprang into action, determined to maintain a diabetes practice in her home town, Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

It was a shoestring effort--one funded by a home equity loan Arnold took out on a business plan she wrote in one day. "I had no time to agonize over each decision," she said. Her initial electronic health records budget for hardware, software, and implementation was $25,000. Arnold had used an EHR at her former clinic, and wanted to reinstate the technology at her new business venture. She managed to do that--by installing the software herself. Her work won her the HIMSS Davies Award for ambulatory care, an annual recognition for innovative deployment of EHR technology. According to Arnold, who spoke at HIMSS11 in Orlando, she is the first nurse practitioner to win the Davies Award.

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