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AMIA honors informatics professionals who are improving health, changing the world

AMIA, the association for informatics professionals, honors four leaders in biomedical and health informatics with Signature Awards to be presented during AMIA's Annual Symposium, Oct. 22-26, an event expected to draw 2,500 informatics professionals to the Washington Hilton over the coming week. The Signature Awards highlight extraordinary informatics professionals, whose contributions to the health sector have had significant, positive impact.

"Signature Awards are AMIA's highest honor," explains AMIA Chairwoman Nancy M. Lorenzi, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "The 2011 recipients are innovative individuals who focused on sociotechnical integration, clinical documentation, policy formulation, and decision support. We owe each one of them thanks for the benefits their contributions have made to biomedical informatics, as well as to the improvement of different components of our healthcare system."

The Signature Awards and recipients are:

New Investigator Award

Recognizes an individual for early informatics contributions and significant scholarly contributions of scientific merit and demonstrated research excellence.

Kai Zheng, PhD, assistant professor, University of Michigan Schools of Public Health and Information, draws upon techniques from the fields of information systems research and human-computer interaction to study the use of information, communication and decision technologies in patient-care delivery and management. Dr. Zheng's recent work has focused on topics related to interaction design, workflow and sociotechnical integration, and diffusion and evaluation of health information technologies.

Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award

Recognizes a distinguished career that has made significant impact on the care of patients and the discipline of nursing. Recipient must demonstrate: use of informatics as transformative in patient care; visionary leadership; and enduring contribution to professional practice, education, administration, research, and/or health policy.

Rita D. Zielstorff, an internationally recognized expert in clinical informatics and a registered nurse, began her career working with medication order entry, clinical documentation and clinical terminologies. In 2000, she became a clinical designer and product manager in e-health systems; her products included a patient portal and a referral management system. More recently, she has audited the implementation of a clinical information system, evaluated a web-based portal for clinicians, and assisted an academic medical center to achieve promised benefits from their clinical information systems. Ms. Zielstorff has authored more than 70 publications in nursing and healthcare informatics, dating back to 1975.

Don Eugene Detmer Award for Health Policy Contributions in Informatics

Recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution over the course of a career in health policy, conducted in accordance with the philosophy that all citizens and populations deserve a state-of-the-art health system that provides safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable health care services. The recipient exemplifies visionary leadership in the health policy realm, action-oriented advocacy work producing a regional, national or global result, advancement in thought leadership, that generates a sustainable contribution to the health system.

Julie McGowan, professor and chair emeritus of the Department of Knowledge Informatics and Translation at Indiana University School of Medicine, is also a research scientist at Regenstrief Institute. During a career that spanned nearly 40 years, Dr. McGowan's work has had national impact, not only affecting the four medical schools where she served as an administrator with excellence, but also through her research on the effect of health IT and HIE on health care, and through her work in policy formulation related to the medical informatics agenda. Throughout her career, Dr. McGowan's passion has been public policy and its effect on clinical informatics.

Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics

Recognizes an individual for a specific technological, research, or educational contribution that advances biomedical informatics. The recipient's work will have been conducted in a nonprofit setting, and the adoption of the particular advance will be on a national or international level.

R. Scott Evans, senior medical informaticist consultant in the Department of Medical Informatics at Intermountain Healthcare and a professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at University of Utah, has applied his interests in computerized decision support, the selection and management of anti-infective agents, and computer methods to produce clinical tools that help reduce adverse drug events, help reduce adverse medical device events, and help reduce venous thrombolytic events. He has also used computerized methods to identify patients who need isolation, to reduce hospital-acquired infections, and to report notifiable diseases. A number of these computerized tools are clinically operational at all 22 hospitals at Intermountain Healthcare. Dr. Evans is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI).


Contact: Nancy Light
American Medical Informatics Association

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