IFHIMA & the World Health Organization (WHO)

IFHIMA is a non-profit organization with official relations to the World Health Organization (WHO) as a recognized non-governmental organization (NGO). IFHIMA sends representatives to WHO meetings and works closely with WHO on specific projects of particular concern or interest to WHO in the field of health records and health information.

WHO-FIC Implementation and Information Tracker (IMINT)


The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an online product to capture and display comprehensive and up-to-date information on the implementation status of its Family of International Classifications (FIC) at global, regional and country levels.


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IFHIMA was in full force at the 2022 in-person and virtual WHO Classifications and Terminologies meeting in Geneva October er 18-23. Our thanks to IFHIMA members Vicki Bennett, Mary Stanfill, Kathy Giannangelo, and Joanne Valerius for sharing their perspectives and time. Special thanks to Kathy for creating the poster that illustrated IFHIMA’s commitment to ICD-11adoption.

WHO Collaboration Standards

Introducing IFHIMA’s new appointments to WHO FIC

The IFHIMA Board of Directors is excited to announce two new appointments to the WHO Family of International Classifications (FIC) committees and workgroups. These appointments were made mid-year and cover the Education and Implementation (EIC), Morbidity Reference Group (MbRG), and Informatics and Terminology Committee (ITC).

Mary Stanfill, MBI, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA

Mary replaces Margaret Skurka as the “voice and vote” of IFHIMA on EIC and MbRG. She hails from Pocatello, Idaho in the United States. Mary leads the coding consulting business with UASI and previously worked at AHIMA as their Vice President of Professional Practice. She has decades of experience in the health information profession, primarily focused on clinical classification of healthcare data.She holds a master’s degree in biomedical informatics and is currently pursuing a doctorate in health informatics.

Kathy Giannangelo, MA, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA

President of Kathy Giannangelo Consulting, LLC, where her work involves clinical terminology feasibility assessments, adoption methodology appraisals, and implementation support. She has held several previous positions including Map Lead for SNOMED International and as an adjunct professor teaching a graduate level course on clinical vocabularies and classification systems. Kathy has decades of experience in the field of clinical terminologies, classification, and data standards and has authored numerous articles, created online continuing education courses, and presented worldwide.

These two ladies demonstrate incredible career accomplishments and the bright future of our profession. They clearly have careers that have continually demonstrated the value of data, and its importance to analytics and improved health.

IFHIMA thanks the many individuals from around the globe who submitted applications.

FIC annual and mid-year meeting

WHO-FIC Network Mid-Year Meetings 2023

From 8 to 11 May 2023, the Australian Collaborating Centre (ACC) for the World Health Organization Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) Network welcomed many of the Committees and Reference Groups to Sydney, Australia for their mid-year meetings.  Read article here.

WHO-FIC Network Annual Meeting 2022

The theme of the 2022 annual meeting of the World Health Organization Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) Network was “interoperability and mapping of health information.” Read article here.

WHO Family of International Classifications 2021 Annual Network Meeting

The WHO- Family of International Classifications (FIC) Network Annual Meeting was held virtually from 18-22 October 2021. Read the summary of the Annual Meeting notes prepared by Vicki Bennett, CHIM, FAIDH, CHIA, here.

WHO FIC 2021 Annual Meeting-Morbidity Reference Group (MbRG)

For my last time, I attended via Zoom, the Annual Meetings of the Education and Implementation Committee and Morbidity Reference Group. Read the summary of the Annual Meeting notes prepared by Margaret A. Skurka, MS, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, here.

WHO FIC EIC holds 2020 Annual Meeting

On 20 October 2020, WHO-Family of International Classifications-Education and Implementation Committee (WHO-FIC-EIC) met via Zoom, with over 95 participants from across the globe. Read the summary of the Annual Meeting prepared by Marci MacDonald, IFHIMA Past President and Membershio Chair, here.



World Health Organization’s Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC)-Education and Implementation Committee (EIC) Mid – Year Meeting Report, Thursday 23 April 2020, Vera Dimitropoulos Co-Chair, WHO-FIC Education and Implementation Committee.

WHO-FIC Network Annual Meeting 2019: Health Information Meets Health Informatics, 2019, Sue Bowman, MJ, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, and Margaret A. Skurka, MS, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, IFHIMA WHO FIC EIC and MbRG representative.

IFHIMA Report on the WHO-FIC Education and Implementation Committee (EIC) Annual Meeting 2019, Vera Dimitropoulos Co-Chair, WHO-FIC Education and Implementation Committee

IFHIMA participated in The Who EIC meetings in Banff, Canada October 2019. Here’s the report from the MbRB participants. Sue Bowman, MJ, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, and Margaret A. Skurka, MS, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, Indiana University Northwest (USA)

Update from the 2019 Morbidity Reference Group (MbRG) Meeting (Update from the Morbidity Reference Group (MbRG) Meeting April 3-5, 2019, Malmo, Sweden, Margaret A. Skurka, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA

WHO FIC EIC Functioning and Disability Reference Group (FDRG), April 4-5, 2019, Kuwait, JoAnne Valerius

Congratulations, Margaret Skurka!  IFHIMA thanks Margaret for her service to WHO FIC EIC and MbRG.

The WHO & ICD-11
International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 2022

IFHIMA is working on a project with the WHO Family of International Classifications (the WHO-FIC IFHIMA Joint Collaboration) to develop and promote an international training strategy and explore development of international certification strategy for coders. More information about WHO activities regarding coding and classification can be found here.

WHO: Revision of ICD-11 – questions and answers (Q&A)

Dr Robert Jakob, team leader for Classifications Terminologies and Standards at the World Health Organization discusses the revision of the new ICD-11. (6:09 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pE_Mai4A9U

The WHO announces the release of the 2020 update to the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 11th Revision. View article here.

Reference and resources:

  • World Health Organization. ICD- 11.  https://icd.who.int/en
    Landing page – provides links to the WHO browser and coding tool to use ICD-11 and additional information to learn more.
  • World Health Organization. (2021, May). ICD-11 for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics Browser. https://icd.who.int/browse11/l-m/en
    This is the WHO ICD-11 MMS browser. This tool allows you to browse the code set to see what content is included and how it is organized in the hierarchy.
  • World Health Organization. (2021, May). ICD-11 Coding Tool Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (MMS). https://icd.who.int/ct11/icd11_mms/en/release
    This is the WHO ICD-11 MMS Coding Tool. This tool is designed to be used to find specific ICD-11 MMS codes. It includes a keyword search as well as coding tips and links to an integrated browser.
  • World Health Organization. (2021, June 5). ICD-11 (Foundation). https://icd.who.int/dev11/f/en
    This is a link to the maintenance platform for the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO FIC). You can search and explore the WHO FIC Foundation and could submit a proposal for changes to the content in the Foundation.
  • World Health Organization. (2019, April 11). International Classification of Diseases for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics Eleventh Revision Reference Guide. https://icd.who.int/icd11refguide/en/index.htm
    This is a link to the ICD-11 Reference Guide. The Reference Guide is an excellent source of information on ICD-11 code structure, conventions, and instructions. It explains new ICD concepts such as the Foundation component, stem codes, extension codes, post-coordination, etc.

The WHO and COVID-19

Below is the link to the WHO COVID 19 update issued April 28, 2021. This content reflects the February 9 meeting exploring almost one year of the pandemic and the post COVID conditions.

COVID-19 vaccine development landscape and deployment plan

Below is a recent announcement from WHO that may be of interest.For your reference, please see the presentation here that was delivered. We hope you and your colleagues find this information useful. (March 2021)

In addition to the references within the PowerPoint, we would also like to highlight the following:

At least once a week WHO provides updated information to their NGO partners. Below you will find the latest which is particularly important as it discusses transmission, as well as the link that you may want to bookmark for the series.

EPI-WIN update #21

Please find previous copies on the EPI-WIN update here.

Get the latest information from WHO about COVID 19 by visiting the following sites:

The EPI-WIN bulletins found on EPI-WIN.com are particularly useful in seeing the latest information at statistics, trends, and important actions.

Digital Health

G20 First-time Released Report on Digital Health Interventions for Pandemic Management.
Read report here.

Global strategy on digital health 2020–2025.
Read article here.

The IFHIMA NGO Status with WHO reaffirmed 2022

IFHIMA is pleased to receive official notification from WHO that, during the triennial review at the 150th session in January 2022, IFHIMA was reaffirmed as an NGO in official relations with WHO. IFHIMA’s official status will be reviewed again in 2025. The IFHIMA Board thanks the many IFHIMA members who contribute to WHO work through various workgroups, task forces, and committees of the Federation of International Classifications (FIC). 

Read the official letter here.