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 contributes to the field of nursing informatics in the spirit of Rita D. Zielstorff.

         (Past Recipients and Nominating Criteria below)


2023 Recipient


(L-R Rita D. Zielstorff MS, RN, Diane Menasco MSHI, BSN, RN, CPHIMS, Andrew Phillips PhD, RN)


Diane Menasco is the 2023 recipient of the Rita D. Zielstorff  Nursing Informatics Leadership Award.  

Her academic background is impressive and diverse, signified by an Associate of Science in Nursing from Ventura College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix, and a Master of Science in Health Informatics from Northeastern University, all completed with honors. This strong foundation has been pivotal in her outstanding career.

Since 1999, Ms. Menasco has been an integral part of the Mass General Brigham Salem Hospital, notably excelling as the Director of Nursing Informatics in Patient Care Services. Her commitment to enhancing the MGB Salem Hospital’s nursing vision, coupled with her dedication to representing nursing needs in clinical information systems and medication safety, has been exemplary. Ms. Menasco's ability to foster clinical systems innovation and manage change processes within nursing is a testament to her leadership and deep understanding of the healthcare sector.

Notably, Ms. Menasco has demonstrated remarkable expertise in medication safety, particularly through her role as the IT/medication safety expert. Her contributions to improving medication management processes, including the implementation of the Massachusetts Vaccine Registry and barcode med administration, have significantly enhanced patient safety and care quality.

Ms. Menasco’s leadership extends to numerous committees at MGB Salem Hospital, such as co-chairing the Drug Diversion Task Force and the High-Risk Med Safety Committee. These roles underscore her multifaceted skills and commitment to healthcare excellence. Her involvement in professional organizations like HIMSS and ANIA, along with her recognition with awards like the MGB Pillars in Excellence Award (2021, 2023) and speaker at national conferences (Siemens Innovations, unSummit ) further highlight her contributions to the field.

In addition to her professional achievements, Ms. Menasco is a respected mentor and educator, evident in her previous roles at Scripps Memorial Hospital and Los Robles Regional Medical Center. Her development and implementation of educational programs and patient safety initiatives reflect her dedication to nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

In summary, Ms. Menasco's extensive education, vast experience, and demonstrated leadership in nursing informatics and patient care made her an exemplary candidate. Her commitment to excellence, innovation, and patient safety will undoubtedly be a valuable asset to any organization or role and the future of Nursing Informatics.



Past Recipients

     2022 Sarah C. Rosetti RN, PhD, FACMI, FAMIA, FAAN

     2021 No Recipient (COVID)

     2020 Ardie Henry MS, RN-BC

     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]