eHealthcare Leadership Awards: Delivering Benefits to the Entire Awards Community

June 1, 2023

// By Susan Dubuque //

susan-dubuque From the Michelin Stars for culinary arts to the Tony Awards for Broadway productions to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show honors for our canine friends, every industry sector has its most coveted awards. For healthcare marketers, it’s the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

I am honored to serve as co-chair once again for the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. In reflecting on my experience last year, it is apparent that the awards program offers significant benefits to everyone involved — the owners and producers of the show, hosts, sponsors, judges, and, of course, the winners. But even the organizations that enter and don’t take home a prize stand to gain from the process.

Emilie Ansel, chief executive officer of Private Health News

Emilie Ansel, chief executive officer of Private Health News

Let’s see what some of the participants have to say about the awards show’s importance and the positive impact it has on various members of our industry.

“The eHealthcare Leadership Awards program has grown into an amazing community event. This is a passionate group of people who enter, who volunteer significant amounts of their time to judge the awards, and who sponsor and help make the program possible every year,” says Matt Humphrey, president of Plain-English Health Care, which owns and produces the awards.

Emilie Ansel, president of Private Health News, a Diamond Sponsor for the awards, notes, “We appreciate the collaborative spirit that the awards foster, bringing together healthcare professionals from various fields and specialties to celebrate and share their successes.”


Ben Dillon, chief strategy officer, Geonetric

“We’re excited to play a role as a Diamond Sponsor and recognize the groundbreaking work being done by digital marketing and communications professionals in healthcare,” says Ben Dillon, chief strategy officer for Geonetric.

Lessons to Be Learned

Since 2000, the eHealthcare Leadership Awards have been hosted by Greystone.Net’s Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) — the leading educational symposium for marketing, digital health, and patient experience professionals. Kathy Divis, president of, says, “The award show is an extension of our educational offerings as attendees learn about best practices and bright ideas by seeing the winning entries and mingling with the winners.”


Jane Weber Brubaker, executive editor for Plain-English Health Care and past co-chair for the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Jane Weber Brubaker, executive editor of Plain-English Health Care and former co-chair of the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, observes, “The best part of the awards for me is getting the backstory behind the entries.

“What was the goal? What was the strategy? What tactics did the marketer use? How did it work? So many of the entries make great articles because they tell those stories, and others can learn from them,” she says.

“Through the awards, I’ve learned how much the industry evolves,” adds Humphrey. “Each year we review the articles we’ve published in eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, talk to advisors and contributors, survey past judges, and consider what categories should be added, changed, updated, or removed. There’s constant change. Whether it’s a new, urgent purpose like fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, new technology like AI, or new frameworks like the digital front door that combines a vast array of tools and tactics into a strategy, I learn a ton, every year, from the work that’s turned in, and from the insights of the judges.”


Danny Fell, senior strategist at Optum

Every submission to the awards program is carefully evaluated and scored by a panel of judges. Danny Fell, a senior strategist for Optum and industry thought leader, says, “I look forward to participating as a judge because I always walk away with some insight or idea that someone has shared. By committing a small amount of time, I get an insider’s look at new strategies, implementations, and results.”

On a Mission, Together

Twenty-four years ago, when the eHealthcare Leadership Awards were established, the focus was on websites — which were primarily seen as promotional devices. “Today, the awards showcase the evolving sophistication of digital platforms and web applications,” notes Divis. “Many of these tools are vitally important in growing market share, enhancing the value and effectiveness of marketing, and improving healthcare customer and patient experiences.”

“Healthcare digital marketing was never more important as a tool to educate and guide health consumers and the healthcare workforce than it was during the pandemic,” remarks Dillon. “Over the past year, as our industry finds its new normal, we’ve expanded that focus to transform the healthcare industry. The eHealthcare Leadership Awards are the ideal place to tell those stories, share those successes, and applaud the individuals and organizations leading the way.”


Linda Ho, executive director of marketing, UCLA Health

“We enter the eHealthcare Leadership Awards because it gives us a chance to look back at our year and recognize our team’s amazing accomplishments,” says Linda Ho, executive director of marketing for UCLA Health.

“So often we finish one project and move on to the next and then on to the next. It’s valuable to bring the award categories — and any new categories — up as an agenda item during our team meetings. We go through them one by one to ask for input on which projects we’ve worked on that meet these requirements. It’s truly amazing the list of options we end up with and must whittle down. Then comes the task of writing up the submissions and gathering the documentation and data needed.”

 A Time to Celebrate


Kathy Divis, president, Greystone.Net.

The awards show shines a bright light on healthcare marketers for their efforts, innovations, and achievements, and the promotion that follows adds to the richly deserved recognition. “Presenting the awards at HCIC adds a factor of anticipation to the conference,” says Divis. “People are excited to see who the winners are and what amazing work they produced in the past year.”

“Seeing the excited faces of the winners when we announce their names is always a highlight for us,” says Ansel. “Being able to congratulate them personally is an added bonus.”

“Our entire team is always happy when we bring back an award or awards. We feel our work was recognized and valued. It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment,” says Ho. “We also find it helpful to share these awards with our leadership so they can participate in celebrating these accomplishments with the team and with our entire organization.”


Matt Humphrey, president of Plain-English Health Care and co-chair for the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

“People love to see their team’s work recognized by their peers,” says Humphrey. “This may be a digital awards program, but every year I am reminded of the human side of healthcare. There is always at least one entry that tells a story so powerful that I sit at my desk and fight back tears. It is important work to get these stories out. And it’s very humbling and makes me feel honored to help recognize the dedicated people who do it so well.”

As for the future direction of the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, Humphrey says, “Wherever healthcare and digital communication are headed, we will be right there with them. And I can’t wait to see where that takes us.”

There is still time to join the community and participate in the 2023 eHealthcare Leadership Awards — and be honored for your contributions to healthcare digital marketing and communications. Entries close June 30, 2023.

 We look forward to seeing you as the winners are announced at HCIC, November 5-8, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Susan Dubuque is a cofounder of NDP Agency, a marketing and advertising firm based in Richmond, Virginia, and a nationally recognized expert in behavioral marketing. She literally wrote the book on marketing’s role in health improvement, Gearing Up for Population Health: Marketing for Change, published in 2018 by the Society for Health Care Strategy and Market Development of the American Hospital Association. Susan serves on the editorial advisory board of Strategic Health Care Marketing and is co-chair of the 2022 eHealthcare Leadership Awards.