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Class of SHSMD Rising Stars

    SHSMD Rising Star Icon Graphic

Recognizing exceptional strategy professionals under the age of 40.

T​​​​he SHSMD Rising Star recognition recognizes health care strategy professionals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated outstanding promise in their respective fields. This recognition shines a spotlight on SHSMD members who have made or are on their way to making significant contributions to their profession and the SHSMD membership.

What do the recipients get?

  • Framed signed certificate of Rising Star recognition.
  • Complimentary registration to SHSMD 2020 virtual conference and SHSMD 2021 Connections conference in San Antonio.
  • Complimentary registrations to three SHSMD Education Online Courses in the 12 months following your receipt of the award.
  • Invitation to participate in a virtual recognition event with the SHSMD Board President and committee leaders which will be recorded and shared with the SHSMD membership.
  • Recognition on SHSMD web site and various communication channels.
  • Ongoing acknowledgement on SHSMD web site along with other prior Rising Stars.


Nominees must be SHSMD members in good standing:

  • Under the age of 40 (as of September 14, 2020).
  • Currently working in the health care strategy professions such as marketing, communications/PR, strategic planning, business development or physician strategies.
  • With at least two years’ experience in a health care provider organization.
SHSMD Awards - Past Recipients


Demonstrated Achievement (40%)
Career progression and documented results of his/her professional work; work is reflective of the implications identified in Bridging Worlds: The Future Role of the Healthcare Strategist.

Exceptional Personal Qualities (25%)
Evidence of the nominee's exceptional personal qualities and integrity, considering the values of our profession and those of SHSMD; engagement in professional service on a local, regional and/or national level. This may also include relevant community service.

Potential for Leadership (20%)
Demonstrated potential for leadership based on their participation in professional and/or community organizations, publication in professional literature, professional public speaking and/or mentoring of other professionals.

Innovation (15%)
Demonstrates curiosity, creativity and nimbleness to exceed the rate of change (identified in Bridging Worlds) through innovative use of solid marketing, public relations and/or planning techniques, including—but not limited to—new product development, product line management, sales, community relations, environmental analysis, competitor assessment, needs assessment, forecasting or network development (e.g., creating new/novel partnerships, drawing and applying examples from other industries, etc.). 

Nomination Process

Self-nominations are encouraged! Nominations may also be submitted by former or current colleagues. 

Up to 3 letters of recommendation may be included to address the nominee’s personal qualities and potential for leadership, providing specific examples of the candidate’s qualifications and achievements. Required letters include:

  • A letter of recommendation from a leader (director-level or above). 
  • If the nominee is not presently working at a health care organization, at least one letter must be from a health care organization leader (director-level or above). 
  • Self-nominations require at least 2 letters of recommendation. 

The nominee’s professional resumé or CV is also required at the time of nomination.

  • Note: Family members or others with a personal connection to one or more nominees, or others with a potential conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest will abstain from providing letters of recommendation.

The application form for 2021 is not yet available.


  1. Who is eligible for SHSMD recognition or awards?
    • SHSMD members in good standing are eligible for recognition. Nominees must be members at the time of nomination. For specific details, please see the criteria. 
  2. Who is eligible to nominate?
    • Anyone can nominate, as long as there is no conflict of interest. Self-nominations are allowed for Rising Stars, but not for the Leadership Excellence award.
  3. Can I make multiple nominations?
    • Multiple nominations are allowed.
  4. Do recipients have to attend the Annual Conference?
    • Recipients are strongly encouraged to attend and are provided with complimentary registration, but it is not mandatory.
  5. What is the conflict of interest policy?
    • Nominators and those providing letters of recommendation must avoid any conflict of interest or perception of conflict of interest. This could include family members or those with a financial business relationship or personal connection to one or more nominees.  
    • Nominators are allowed to nominate supervisors or supervisees but are required to state any relevant reporting information in the nomination.
    • SHSMD staff are not allowed to provide nominations or letters of recommendation and may not assist in the preparing of nominations beyond technical support for logistics of submission.


Past Recipients

Amy Ashford
Sienna Cashin
Terri Flood
Alisha Katz
Mitchell Shusteris
Stacey Sunday

Cristal Herrera Woodley

Rebecca Blanken
Stephanie Roussell

Julia Yoder

Lisa Crockett

Brittany Graffagnini
Kelly Dearman
Erinne Kovi Dyer
Nicole Kleinpeter

Elizabeth Harvill
Laura Pickens