Inaugural Program to Recognize Honorees in the United States and Nine Other Countries
Phil Carroll 202.640.6823 (O) 202.215.6823 (M)
WESTPORT, Conn. (October 8, 2012) — Save the Children has announced the launch of The REAL Awards, a first-of-its-kind global awards program designed to develop greater respect and appreciation for health workers and the lifesaving care they provide globally, as well as in the United States. The REAL Awards is made possible by the support of presenting sponsors Medtronic Foundation, The Merck Company Foundation, and Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare, and supporting partners GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Time Inc.
"Every year, awards are given to recognize the accomplishments of celebrities, actors, singers, athletes and entertainers," said Mary Beth Powers, Campaign Chief for Save the Children's Newborn and Child Survival Campaign. "Alongside the Oscars and Golden Globes in January, we will begin to honor a group of people who rarely receive recognition or accolades — health workers."
By some estimates, the world is short more than 5 million health workers, including one million frontline health workers. This shortage of easily accessible health workers is acute for rural settings in both developing countries and in the U.S. Frontline health workers are often community health workers and midwives who provide access to healthcare locally or in the home, although they can also include local pharmacists, nurses and doctors. In the developing world, where well-equipped doctors and hospitals are scarce, frontline health workers are the first and often only point of contact to the health care system for millions of people.
It is estimated that every 3 seconds, a child's death is prevented thanks to care provided by a frontline health worker. But many don't have all the support and supplies that they need to do their jobs well, and hundreds of thousands more are needed to end preventable deaths and to tackle the challenges of chronic diseases that need to be managed regularly.
The public can read the inspirational stories of the international REAL Awards honorees and nominate a health worker in the United States at www.theREALawards.com until November 29, 2012. Winners will be announced the week of January 13, 2013 during a time when much of the American public is tuning in to traditional entertainment awards shows such as the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
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