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Carla J. Funk Governmental Relations Award

The Carla J. Funk Governmental Relations Award was established in 2008 through a contribution from Kent Smith, FMLA, to recognize a medical librarian who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the area of governmental relations at the federal, state, or local level, and who has furthered the goal of providing quality information for improved health. The award is named in honor of Carla J. Funk, Executive Director (1992-2015) of the Medical Library Association, who worked diligently and passionately to provide visibility for the association and profession, and to further the association’s governmental relations agenda. 

Learn more about Carla Funk in MLA News and MLA Oral Histories.


The Funk Jury will review nominations and award points based on accomplishments in the area of governmental relations, impact of work, service to the profession, and major undertakings. 

  • Nominees must be current members of MLA and a MLA member at the time the governmental relations activities occurred. Membership dates may be confidentially confirmed by MLA Member Services
  • The nomination must be made for contributions to the governmental relations program including:
    • developing information policies affecting existing or pending legislation that are submitted or presented to local, state, or federal governmental bodies;
    • organizing effective campaigns to increase awareness of the views of the medical library community and association on legislative and information policies;
    • testifying before governmental bodies and/or meeting with policymakers to articulate important concerns facing the health information community that affect the provision of quality health information to healthcare providers and the public; and
    • developing new approaches to strengthen the association’s governmental relations network and its voice in the governmental decision-making process.
  • Accomplishments - The nature and quality of work, noting special achievements, innovation, initiative, special strengths, and demonstration of abilities.
  • Impact of Work - The effect on furthering the work of the association and the profession in the area of governmental relations to provide quality information for improved health.
  • Service to the Profession - Service to the association, to other professional organizations, and evidence of professional leadership role in the area of governmental relations.
  • Major Undertakings - The work and other activities which demonstrate outstanding endeavor, contributions, and involvement in association governmental relations activities that benefit the profession and the public.


  • The online nomination must be completed and all supporting documents uploaded no later than October 15.
  • Nominations are accepted from the membership-at-large; self-nominations are encouraged and accepted.
  • Nominations should include documents or web links verifying the criteria noted above, plus any other pertinent information regarding the suitability of the nominee for the award.
  • Up to three letters of support may be included with the nomination.
  • Late and incomplete nominations will not be considered.


  • The Award recipient will be notified in March and will receive a cash award of $500 in June, after the annual conference.
  • The recipient will be asked to share a photo and video for the virtual awards ceremony held in April. 
  • If there are no appropriate candidates, the association may elect not to present the award in a given year.

Ready to Submit a Nomination? 

  • The award application process is now closed.
  • Applicants and award recipients will be notified in March 2024 with the results.
  • The virtual awards ceremony will be held in April 2024.
  • Nominations for the 2025 award will open in August 2024.

Award Recipients

  • 2024: Margaret Ansell, AHIP
  • 2023: Ruby L Nugent and Aidy Weeks, AHIP
  • 2022: Sandra L. Bandy, AHIP
  • 2021: Barbara A. Epstein, AHIP, FMLA
  • 2020: none awarded
  • 2019: none awarded
  • 2018: Julie A. Schneider
  • 2017: Betsy L. Humphreys, FMLA
  • 2016: none awarded
  • 2015: Karen M. Albert
  • 2014: Donna Timm, AHIP
  • 2013: Hope Barton
  • 2012: Lynne K. Siemers
  • 2011: J. Michael Homan
  • 2010: Logan Ludwig
  • 2009: Marianne Comegys

Have a question?  Contact MLA