The Rita D. Zielstorff Nursing Informatics Leadership Award


The New England Nursing Informatics Consortium (NENIC) invites and requests nominations of individuals for the Rita D. Zielstorff Leadership Award. This award recognizes a NENIC member who exhibits exceptional leadership and provides an outstanding influence on the discipline of nursing and contribution to the field of nursing informatics in the spirit of Rita D. Zielstorff.

         (Past Recipients and Nominating Criteria below)


2020 Recipient

Ardie Henry MS, RN-BC

 Ms. Henry is a highly experienced Nursing Informatician who contributes extensive time and efforts to advance patient care, the field of nursing informatics and professional development through NENIC.  She has a B.S. in Nursing from Fitchburg State and a M.S. in Health Informatics and Management from the University of Massachusetts (Lowell). She is also ANCC Board certified in Nursing Informatics.

She is an innovative ANCC certified nurse informatics strategist with strong clinical, leadership, process improvement and people skills. She has demonstrated the ability to harnesses the power of healthcare information technology systems to reduce medical errors, promote the practice of evidence-based medicine, improve quality, and safety. Her career has focused on growing the science of analyzing, developing, implementing, and evaluating clinical information systems.

Evidence of these skills are illustrated by the following accomplishments:

  • Facilitating Quality Assurance teams in validating clinical scripts in key clinical workflow areas such as CPOE, Medication Management, Progress Notes, and clinical decision support.
  • Leading a local field team (globally), at Phillips Healthcare, and first of kind customers to optimize clinical information systems.
  • Providing clinical consultation to and direction for R&D and Quality Assurance engineers during the software development lifecycle.
  • Conducting clinical literature reviews for validation of safety and efficacy of healthcare IT products
  • Developing the strategy to manage evidence-based clinical content in a CIS, including CPOE, Medication Management, and Progress notes.
  • Developing clinical content for an acute care CIS, including clinical decision support tools.
  • Supporting > $50 million product lines by introducing a high-quality software test methodology.
  • Facilitating years of global application calls with >100 medical professionals resulting in global cross-cultural best-practice innovations for immediate implementation.
  • Designing and implementing bundles for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) that decreased the length of stay in ICUs at Royal Bristol Infirmary due to AKI by >25%

She has collaborated with respected universities (i.e. Duke University Health Informatics) to bring a 2-day certification program to Philips Healthcare and offer it to employees. 100% of employees that attended the program were certified! She also worked with the Chief Medical Officer at Phillips to advance a proposal to create a Chief Nursing Officer position at Philips Health care which was accepted.  She has developed many skills* over the years which has made her an accomplished leader, educator, and subject matter expert.

She has been a very active member of NENIC over the years. She has been a past President, NENIC Board Member, represented NENIC at ANI governing board meetings, and has been an active member of the Education and Development committee. She is always available for consultation and committee work – even when she was traveling globally. Recently She was instrumental in launching the virtual journal club collaboration with CIN. She made an immense amount of background facilitation seamless. She is also instrumental in managing the virtual continuing education programs (i.e. BCH CE application, Zoom platform management). These innovations and ‘value-added’ services to our members would not be available without her.

Past Recipients

     2019  Karen Bavuso MSN, RN

     2018 - Deb Furlong MS, RN

     2017 - Mark Sugrue MSN, RN-BC, FHIMSS, CPHIMS

     2016 - Mary Kennedy MS, RN-BC

     2015 - Denise Goldsmith MS, MPH, RN, FAAN

     2014 - Patricia Dykes PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI


The award recipient will be selected by the NENIC Board of Directors and will be announced at the Fall Education and Networking Program in October 2020.

The nomination criteria for candidate evaluation include but are not limited to:

  • Served as a Nursing Informatics Leader at a public or private organization, institution, or company;
  • Served as a national or regional Nursing Informatics leader in the greater New England area;
  • Respected and recognized as a role model by Nursing Informatics peers;
  • Active supporter, advocate, and recruiter for NENIC per NENIC's mission;
  • Provides outstanding voluntary leadership to the association and the Nursing Informatics field;
  • Contributed to the NI field through publications and/or presentations

Nominations should include the following: 

  • Nominee Name
  • Title
  • Professional Designations
  • Organization
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Using 500 words or less in total, provide the following information about the nominee:

  • Give a brief biographical summary of the candidate.
  • Explain how the nominee actively supports the NENIC mission and makes outstanding contributions to the educational and leadership principles for which NENIC stands.
  • Describe how the nominee has demonstrated leadership in nursing informatics and/or engaged in the advancement of the best use of information and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.
  • Please include a recent resume or Curriculum Vitae of the nominee.

Please mail to [email protected]