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Class of SHSMD Rising Stars

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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.

To see what former Rising Star recipients have to say about their careers and their involvement with SHSMD since they won the Rising Star Award, click here.

What do the recipients get?

  • Framed signed certificate of Rising Star recognition.
  • Complimentary registration to SHSMD Connections in-person conference the year of the award.
  • Complimentary registration to one SHSMD Education Online Course in the 12 months following your receipt of the award.  
  • Recognition on SHSMD website and various communication channels.
  • Ongoing acknowledgement on SHSMD website along with other prior Rising Stars.
  • Opportunity to contribute their story to SHSMD via blog or other channel.


Nominees must be:

  • Under the age of 40 (as of September 11, 2022).
  • Currently working in a health care strategy profession (e.g. marketing, public relations/communications, strategic planning, strategic analytics or physician relations).
  • At least two years experience in a health care provider organization.
  • A current SHSMD member in good standing.
SHSMD Awards - Recipients


Demonstrated Achievement (40%)
Career progression and documented results of his/her professional work, including work that has benefited a health care provider organization. Work is reflective of the themes identified in Bridging Worlds: The Future Role of the Healthcare Strategist, including:

  • Be Nimble to Exceed the Rate of Change
  • Design Consumer Experiences. Tell Powerful Stories.
  • Integrate and Co-create
  • Erase Boundaries of Business
  • Generate Data-Driven Insights

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. Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in alignment with SHSMD through proactive engagement with diverse groups. 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, diversity of thought 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

Nominations may be submitted by former or current colleagues. Nominators need not be SHSMD members. Self-nomination is encouraged.

Nominations must include:

  1. A completed online nomination form.
  2. A resume or CV for the nominee.
  3. Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be provided by a senior leader (director or above). The second letter may be provided by a senior leader or by a peer, colleague, collaborator, client or someone from another organization.

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.


  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.


Award Recipients

2022 Recipients

The year of the SHSMD member

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