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)

Nominations are open now through September 14, 2020 . 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.

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] 


2019 - Karen Bavuso MSN, RN

Karen Bavuso MSN, RN is the 2019 recipient of the Rita D. Zielstorff Nursing Informatics Leadership award.

     Ms. Bavuso is a nursing leader in the field of clinical informatics and skilled in Clinical Knowledge Management, Clinical Decision Support, Clinical Informatics, Clinical Content and Application Development, Clinical Data Analysis, Clinical Terminology, and EHR Implementation.

     Ms. Bavuso received her AD in Nursing from Gulf Coast Community College, her Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts (Boston) and her Master of Nursing Science, with a specialty in Informatics, from Duke University.

     Ms. Bavuso has a broad clinical background with experience as a practicing clinician, manager and educator in settings ranging from acute care, V.N.A., hospice, assisted living and community development (Head Start). Recently she was a Clinical Informatician and Corporate Team Leader, at Partners HealthCare System, supporting the Partners eCare initiative.  

 As a Nurse Informatician, she was responsible for identifying opportunities to maximize the utility and applicability of clinical knowledge assets and for establishing strategies to improve clinical processes. She led her team in the creation and management of enterprise clinical knowledge assets for computerized clinical documentation and     clinical decision support.

   Ms. Bavuso is certified in EpicCare Ambulatory and Clinical Decision Support (CDS) .In 2016Ms. Bavuso, with Denise Goldsmith MS, MPH, RN, FAAN,   presented  Nursing Clinical Decision Support (CDS): Governance,Life Cycle and Implementation at the Bedside.  The program provided an overview of the implementation of Nursing Clinical Decision Support (CDS) in the Electronic Health Record (EHR). CDS governance structure, processes, and lifecycle, as well as the communication, roll out strategy and the impact of nursing CDS at the bedside.

She has participated in a multitude of system implementations over the last 10 years, focusing on different aspects of patient care and provider practice. Currently Ms. Bavuso is a senior biomedical informatician at Semedy, Inc in Cambridge, Ma.

Ms. Bavuso was key in the development of a new graduate, inter-professional certificate for Nursing Informatics at Northeastern’s Bouve College (2018-2019).  She actively collaborated with curriculum development and taught the inaugural Health Informatics and Operational Informatics classes.

Ms. Bavuso is very active professionally with active memberships in AMIA, ANIA, Sigma Theta Tau, and the Medical Reserve Corps. She has been active in the NENIC community since 2006, and has served NENIC in many capacities, including past President, Board Member (2013-2017) and ongoing membership on the Education and Development Committee.  She has authored many abstracts, poster presentations and exhibits at regional and national meetings in the areas of decision support, pain management and pressure ulcer risk plan of care among others. Finally, Ms. Bavuso has also collaborated and published on similar topics.

She has contributed to many positive, professional innovations in her contributions to nursing informatics, the profession of nursing and advancing patient care.

Past Recipients

     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