NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD), the leading source of health information, today announced its 2011 WebMD Health Heroes award winners. WebMD's annual Health Heroes program presents awards to extraordinary Americans who raise awareness and promote solutions for better health and wellness.
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"We are proud to honor four health heroes who are changing the health landscape for all of us," said Colleen Paretty, Executive Editor, WebMD the Magazine. "WebMD's sixth annual Health Heroes are men and women who can inspire all of us to do more to promote health and wellness in our own communities."
The Florida Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior
Kelly Young, received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after years of pain. She noticed discrepancies between what patients said about RA and how doctors described the disease, so she did something about it. In 2009, the home-schooling mother of five in Coca, Fla., launched the website Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior (rawarrior.com) to educate and encourage patients while helping researchers and doctors learn more about what RA is really like. Tens of thousands of people have accessed her site since she started it two years ago. This year, she also set up the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, the first nonprofit devoted to improving the lives of people with RA through research, public awareness, patient education and advocacy.
Alabama Prostate Health Champion
Urologist Thomas E. Moody, MD, created a nonprofit to educate physicians about prostate cancer. In 2006, he renamed it the Urology Health Foundation and changed its mission to promoting public awareness about the disease and providing statewide free screenings, especially in underserved communities. Dr. Moody's team has screened more than 3,500 men and found numerous cancers. Dr. Moody also worked to get the state to pass a 2007 law requiring insurance companies to cover screenings. Dr. Moody himself goes to most of the weekend screenings.
California Physician Creates School for Doctors
Ellen L. Beck, MD, set up Student-Run Free Clinics in 1997 and they have helped more than 7,500 underserved and uninsured patients in San Diego. The clinics, which operate at four sites, are staffed by students training to go into health professions as well as law and social work. They provide primary care services, 17 areas of specialty care (including cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, ophthalmology, acupuncture, and psychiatry), plus health education, referrals to legal and social services, medications, and restorative dental work—all for free. Dr. Beck, a clinical professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego's School of
Medicine, set up the programs to provide humanistic learning environments for both patients and students. More than 1,000 UCSD medical students have taken free-clinic electives where they learn this philosophy and the skills needed for high-quality respectful care. And more than 135 doctors from across the country have taken her three-week national faculty development course, which includes guidance for establishing student-run clinics. About 15 student-run clinics have been set up based on her model.
One Washington, D.C., Man's Movement to Save Play
Darell Hammond, the founder and chief executive officer of KaBOOM!, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., is devoted to saving play for children. Hammond says the lack of play is causing kids profound physical, intellectual, social, and emotional harm. When he read about two children who had died while playing in an abandoned car, he established KaBOOM! and set a goal of providing a play space within walking distance of every child in the country. To date, KaBOOM! has helped volunteers in 700 communities across North
America build 2,000 playgrounds for some 5.5 million kids. The organization has also created an online "Map of Play" that helps parents find local playgrounds and community leaders identify where more playgrounds need to be built.
WebMD's Health Heroes are featured in the November/December issue of WebMD the Magazine. WebMD will begin accepting nominations for the 2012 Health Heroes in January. The nomination form and this year's winners are featured online at www.webmd.com/healthheroes.
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