New York, NY - WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD), the leading source of health information, today announced its 2010 WebMD Health Heroes award winners. Now in its fifth year, WebMD’s annual Health Heroes program presents awards to extraordinary Americans who raise awareness and promote solutions for better health and wellness.
“When faced with personal challenges, WebMD’s 2010 Health Heroes championed health-related causes and established practical solutions that are helping families and their children live healthier lives,” said Nan Forte, editor in chief, WebMD the Magazine.“
New York City Supermodel Raises Awareness for Better Maternal Healthcare Worldwide
Former supermodel Christy Turlington Burns has dedicated her time to raising awareness for maternal healthcare— specifically, for the women who die every year from preventable pregnancy or childbirth complications. Turlington Burns has traveled to Central America as a CARE ambassador and met with pregnant women who had to walk miles just for clean water. Her work was documented in the film No Woman, No Cry, which debuted at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival last May and is slated for general release next spring. She also launched a website, www.everymothercounts.org, to help spark a worldwide maternal health movement.
Visionary Creates Solutions to Improve Children’s Health
T. Denny Sanford has devoted himself to funding healthcare initiatives and institutions, especially those dedicated to children. Sanford believes health is an area where an individual can make the biggest difference. The Sanford Health healthcare system is now building a network of Sanford Children’s Clinics around the world in communities lacking pediatric care. Sanford is also establishing the Sanford Project, a cutting-edge initiative to cure type 1 diabetes. In addition to his work building Sanford Health, he has devoted resources to projects across the country focused on improving children’s health. (Sanford Health is a sponsor of WebMD.)
Health Advocate Educates Parents on Chemical-Free Environments for Children
Christopher Gavigan says he was inspired to make the world a cleaner place for children after working with teens who had emotional and behavioral disorders. In 2005, Gavigan became executive director of Healthy Child, Healthy World, a nonprofit that works to improve children’s health by eliminating toxins from their environment. The organization, headquartered in Los Angeles, identifies small steps parents can take to make a difference in their children’s health. Gavigan’s work through Healthy Child, Healthy World has reached hundreds of millions of parents via an award-winning website, DVDs, an iPhone app, and guides to local, state and federal policy initiatives. As of October, Gavigan is no longer working with Healthy Child, Healthy World, but plans to continue focusing on healthier environments for children in his next project.
Massachusetts Teenager Creates Cancer Club to Raise Money for Sick Children
Caren Hoffman was inspired to work with sick children after her brother, who suffers from a genetic disease, needed a bone marrow transplant. She began by helping sick children with art projects at the Ronald McDonald House in New York City and later became a leader at a camp for chronically ill children. At only 15, Hoffman started a school-based club called Bromfield Against Cancer in her Massachusetts hometown. Her group eventually raised more than $20,000 for cancer-related causes. Hoffman is a senior in high school and hopes to one day work as a family counselor for children who have cancer.
Tennessee Woman Brings Pet Therapy to Kids and Adults in Need
Tiffany Denyer loves animals and was always interested in emotional and behavioral issues. After earning her degree in psychiatric nursing, she began doing pet therapy—using her dog Maddie— with Alzheimer’s patients, the mentally ill and children. Denyer eventually established Wilderwood Service Dogs, which specializes in training dogs to be companions to kids and adults with neurological conditions, including autism, dementia and mild mental retardation. Over the last six years, Wilderwood has trained and placed 43 dogs. Wilderwood is also working with the University of Tennessee on research about how people with service dogs communicate, cope and fare in the world.
Former Intensive Care Nurse Becomes Advocate for Muscular Dystrophy Patients
Patricia Furlong became an advocate for patients affected by muscular dystrophy after her two sons were diagnosed and eventually died from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Furlong established Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy in 1994 to bring parents, researchers and doctors together to fundraise and promote better care for Duchenne patients. Her lobbying work on behalf of the organization resulted in Congress’s passing legislation in 2001 which creates additional funding for muscular dystrophy research.
WebMD’s Health Heroes are featured online at www.webmd.com/healthheroes. Nominations for the annual WebMD Health Heroes Awards are accepted online from January through mid- August.
WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals and health-focused publications. More than 80 million unique visitors access the WebMD Health Network each month.
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