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Jeannine Rivet National Leadership Award


Established in 2018 in partnership with United Health Foundation, the Jeannine Rivet National Leadership Award enhances community health and healthcare delivery by supporting emerging nurse leaders who integrate their health expertise with new civic and professional opportunities.

This award honors the contributions of trailblazer Jeannine Rivet, RN, MPH, FAAN, retired executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, to healthcare and business by making annual fellowship grant awards available to nurses to foster and integrate nursing health knowledge, leadership development, and expertise in community and business leadership.

The Jeannine Rivet National Leadership Fund provides an annual $10,000 fellowship to encourage more nurses to follow in Rivet’s footsteps as leaders in health care. In 2023 the Foundation was pleased to announce that Jeanine Rivet herself made a generous $250,000 gift to endow the award hence extending the original 10 year award commitment into perpetuity increasing our ability to contribute to the professional development of countless additional nurse leaders. In June of 2023, the Foundation was pleased to bring the first five award recipients together to celebrate the endowment and discuss the contributions the award has made to their careers. Excerpts from those conversations can be found below. For more information regarding the award please email:

Supporters of the Foundation can learn more about the current awardee in this article from 'ANA on the Frontline'.

Jeannine Rivet Award Recipients

Alita-Geri Carter


Public Health Analyst, Health Resources and Services Administration

Alita-Geri Carter is a seasoned nurse practitioner with more than a decade of experience in health care advocacy and leadership - spanning health care, business, and within her community. During her work with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Alita-Geri has directed key programmatic work and managed millions of dollars in federal funds. As the Founder and CEO of The Commission for Health, LLC, she empowers both health care providers and health care consumers through training and educational services. Alita-Geri is also the founder of the non-profit On the MOVE Academy, Inc. an educational program designed to provide leadership development for middle and high school-age students to prepare them for a future career in healthcare.

Ayomidamope (Ayo) Adebiyi


Ayomidamope (Ayo) Adebiyi, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, COHC, CEN presently serves as an occupational health nurse practitioner through Work Health Solutions and the University of California, Merced where she led the startup of the occupational health compliance program for research laboratories. Ayo is the founder of Care for the Unreached, a non-profit community health outreach service for mothers and infants in Nigeria. She earned her Masters of Science in Nursing, Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner Program, at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Maritza A. Lara


Maritza Lara, MS, RN, PHN is the interim Executive Director at Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County. Maritza was selected for the award for her leadership during the pandemic and her commitment to improving the structure that deliver health services to low-income communities.

She used her award funds to patriciate in programs at Yale University School of Management (Women's Leadership Program) and Stanford Graduate School of Business (The Brains and Guts of Decision Making).

Carli Zegers


Carli Zegers, PhD, APRN-NP, FNP-BC, serves as Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, School of Nursing and Health Studies as well as a Nurse Practitioner at Truman Medical Center in the Emergency Department. Carli earned her PhD in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Nebraska and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Creighton University.

Andrea M. Smith


Andrea Smith, DNP, MBA, CRNP, FNP-BC is a nurse leader at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) where she serves as the Director of Clinical Effectiveness leads interprofessional teams in the execution of specific strategic initiatives to improve safety, quality and operational performance at UMMC’s two campuses. Dr. Smith has served as President of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP), AAENP’s Northeast Regional Director as well as a Board Liaison on the American College of Emergency Physicians Workforce Task Force. She earned her Master of Business Administration, Doctorate of Nursing Practice, and Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner all from the University of Maryland.


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