Recognizing the Next Generation of Healthcare Leaders

Recognizing the Next Generation of Healthcare Leaders

By Tom Leary, MALA, CAE, FHIMSS, Executive Director, HIMSS Foundation

To help foster the growth and development of the next generation of healthcareTom Leary headshot leaders, the HIMSS Foundation – the philanthropic arm of HIMSS – annually awards scholarships to HIMSS student members.

On behalf of the HIMSS Foundation, I am proud to recognize our 2018 scholarship recipients, who have achieved academic excellence in their respective areas of focus. Their relentless pursuit of knowledge represents the very best of the information, management systems and technology community. These students are our next generation of healthcare leaders; I look forward to observing the thought leadership and innovation they will bring to healthcare transformation.

Nine student leaders, with interests ranging from consumer health informatics to public health, were selected for scholarships this year. To date, the HIMSS Foundation has awarded more than $450,000 in scholarships to 110+ students.


HIMSS Foundation-Supported Scholarship Recipients

H. Stephen Lieber Innovator Scholarship

Aliesea Smith, University of Central Florida

The first year for the H. Stephen Lieber Innovator Scholarship, this scholarship acknowledges a student pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree who embraces the use of digital health or technology-enabled workflow innovation in support of the HIMSS mission. Smith is a current student at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Health Care Informatics and plans to pursue a Doctorate of Public Health degree. Smith hopes to use both her knowledge and passion for health information and technology, and apply them to the work place. In her spare time, Smith enjoys learning new things, spending quality time with loved ones and volunteering in her local community.


HIMSS Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship

Zainab Ali, CCA, University of Central Florida

The HIMSS Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student enrolled in a program related to the healthcare information and management systems field. Ali is a senior at the University of Central Florida, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Health Information and Informatics Management and a minor in Health Service Administration. She is set to begin her professional career with an internship at the Florida Hospital. A full-time, non-traditional student with an international background and mom to three energetic young boys, Ali thrives on challenges and is dedicated to making a difference in the health information industry as a successful professional.


HIMSS Foundation Master’s Scholarship

Vijaya Priya Rama Vijayasarathy, Carnegie Mellon University

The HIMSS Foundation Master’s Scholarship is awarded to a master’s student enrolled in a program related to the healthcare information and management systems field. Vijayasarathy is a graduate student at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University pursuing her master’s in Healthcare Policy and Management with a concentration in Health IT and Analytics. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and later worked as a decision scientist. During that time she helped clients devise analytics-driven business solutions. This experience peaked her interest to undertake graduate studies combining management science, information technology and data analytics to solve challenging problems in the realm of healthcare. She envisions to utilize her diverse academic background, passion for technology and analytics experience to transform healthcare delivery system into a more personalized, predictive model while simultaneously being affordable.


HIMSS Foundation Doctorate Scholarship

Sharon J. Giarrizzo-Wilson, MS, RN-BC, CNOR, Loyola University Chicago

The HIMSS Foundation Doctorate Scholarship is awarded to a PhD student enrolled in a program related to the healthcare information and management systems field. Giarrizzo-Wilson’s professional experience spans over 30 years in clinical practice, leadership, nursing informatics and strategic development for patient safety initiatives. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing, an Interprofessional Healthcare Informatics Certificate, board certification in Nursing Informatics and Perioperative Nursing Practice. She is also pursuing her PhD in Nursing Informatics, Patient Safety and Policy from Loyola University Chicago. Currently an educator at Parker Adventist Hospital, she collaborates on the development of informatics solutions to improve the quality and effectiveness of care delivery.


Richard P. Covert, PhD, Life Fellow Member of HIMSS Scholarship for Management Systems Sindy Chiu, BSN, RN, University of Utah

The Richard P. Covert, PhD, LFHIMSS Scholarship for Management Systems is awarded to a student pursuing a degree from an academic program – undergraduate or higher – that engenders the use of management engineering. Chiu is a graduate student majoring in Nursing Informatics at the University of Utah and a graduate certificate student in Nursing Education and Information System. She found herself interested in improving user experience and clinical workflow to better serve our populations when she worked as a registered nurse at Intermountain Riverton Hospital. Her clinical career has largely centered on women and newborn health; she has also worked in rehabilitation and outpatient clinics.


HIMSS Chapter-Supported Scholarship Recipients


Arizona HIMSS Chapter Scholarship

Hiral Soni, Arizona State University

The Arizona HIMSS Chapter Scholarship is for students of health information technology or informatics and aims to promote the development of emerging leaders in health information technology management. Soni is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Arizona State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from India and her Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics from Arizona State University. For three years Hiral worked in the in-vitro diagnostic industry as a quality executive designing innovative biochemistry and point-of-care technologies. As a biomedical informatician, Hiral’s research focuses on consumer health informatics. She specializes in patient-centered technologies, human factors, human computer interactions and clinical workflows. Her PhD research aims to understand clinical, ethical, policy and information management aspects of implementing patient-controlled electronic health records.


South Florida HIMSS Chapter Scholarship

Krista Riveron, JD, Nova Southeastern University

The South Florida HIMSS Chapter Scholarship is for students of health information technology or informatics and promotes the development of emerging leaders in health information technology management. Riveron is attending Nova Southeastern University (NSU) as a concurrent degree student in both a Doctor of Pharmacy and a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics, where she has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Political Science. Riveron received her juris doctor degree from NSU and is also a registered patent agent. Involved in health informatics research, Riveron has presented several posters at both hospitals and national conferences. She is also the mother of four children, ages six and under.


Virginia HIMSS Chapter Scholarship

Christine Hou, Virginia Commonwealth University

The Virginia HIMSS Chapter Scholarship is given to a student of health information technology or informatics and has the goal of promoting the development of emerging leaders in health information technology management. Hou is a graduate of the University of Virginia and is a current Master of Health Administration (MHA) student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has prior professional experience helping to develop clinical decision making tools and best practice advisories for physicians, implementing new work processes in ambulatory clinics in order to improve care coordination and leading cost center restructuring efforts with drastic changes in professional billing practices. In addition to being an MHA student, she currently works as a project manager for a Virginia start-up whose aim is to decrease cost and improve outcomes for complex patients with multiple comorbidities. As for the future, she hopes to integrate her background in health IT with her degree in Healthcare Management and is excited to be a part of the future of health IT.



About the HIMSS Foundation

The HIMSS Foundation provides support and assistance to HIMSS, its members and the industry. The Foundation also offers financial assistance to students in healthcare and information technology, gives students access to the Dorenfest Institute database and provides financial relief and assistance for special need-based programs.

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