Awards Season First: REAL Health Worker Heroes Awarded National Honors

Awards Season First: REAL Health Worker Heroes Awarded National Honors

"The REAL Awards" announced by Save the Children and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition Recognize Nine Extraordinary Health Workers as Red-Carpet Worthy

Media Contact:  Phil Carroll 202.215.0638

Donn Kropp, REAL Award winner in the emergency care category, shakes hands with former President Bill Clinton at the Patient Safety, Science and Technology Summit Monday in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Donn Kropp, REAL Award winner in the emergency care category, shakes hands with former President Bill Clinton at the Patient Safety, Science and Technology Summit Monday in Laguna Niguel, Calif. ©2013 Patient Safety Science & Technology Summit c/o Masimo Foundation; courtesy of Bob Ortiz.

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2013) - Sixty miles southeast of Hollywood, the inaugural class of The REAL Awards health worker honorees was announced last night at the Inaugural Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit hosted by the Masimo Foundation, and attended by former president Bill Clinton. The nine winners—who represent a variety of sectors, from newborn and mother care to emergency, hospice and at-home care—were recognized for their extraordinary service in healthcare. Two of the honorees were there in person to accept REAL Awards on behalf of the first-year winners at 7 p.m. on January 14.

"During Hollywood’s awards season, our attention tends to focus on honoring entertainers," said Mary Beth Powers, chief of the newborn and child survival campaign at Save the Children. "This awards program puts a new twist on this phenomenon. It gives Americans a chance to celebrate something deeply honorable—the lifesaving work of countless men and women on the frontlines of healthcare."

The nine U.S.-based honorees include: Kathryn M. Tschiegg (General health care); Dr. Beth Dupree (Chronic disease care); Dr. William Novick and Dr. Robert Clifford (Pediatric care); Carri Butcher (Hospice care); Melissa Courtney and Dr. Joseph Tate (Newborn and mother care); Donn Kropp (Emergency care); and Rhonda Dixon (At-home care). The global winners, revealed in September 2012, include midwives, nurses and community health workers from Africa and Asia.

"Masimo Foundation is delighted to honor the work of dedicated health professionals globally, and here in the United States," said Joe Kiani, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Masimo Corporation, one of the awards' presenting sponsors. "Oftentimes, they do not receive the level of recognition they deserve and yet they continue to dutifully serve millions of communities and families around the world."

"From southern India to northern Kenya, the life-saving work of these unsung heroes often goes unrecognized," added Jacob A. Gayle, Executive Director of the Medtronic Foundation, another presenting sponsor. "Medtronic Foundation supports The REAL Awards initiative because we believe those health workers who serve on the frontlines are key to ensuring that our most underserved communities can be linked to existing health care systems and thereby seek the services they need." Frontline health workers are a main focus of Medtronic Foundation’s work in underserved regions of the world.

"Merck Foundation applauds the honorees for their steadfast commitment to improving access to needed health services, particularly for women and children in vulnerable communities," said Brian Grill, Executive Vice President of the Merck Foundation. "We are proud to be a founding supporter of this program to honor frontline health workers who are the back-bone of primary care for so many in need."

The REAL Awards, created by Save the Children in partnership with the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, is 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, Merck Foundation, and Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare.

The public can read the inspirational stories of the international and domestic REAL Awards honorees at www.theREALawards.com.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in more than 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation that is focused on improving patient care, preserving patient dignity and reducing cost of care, through philanthropic programs and research initiatives that foster an environment of aligned incentives, highest level of ethics for those who take part in the care of patients, and healthy and honest competition.

The Medtronic Foundation is committed to improving the lives of people around the world living with chronic disease, with a majority of grant making committed to expanding access to quality healthcare among underserved populations. In addition, grants support health initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.

Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a global healthcare leader, the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck's chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit, charitable organizations. Since its inception, The Merck Company Foundation has contributed more than $700 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck's overall mission to help the world be well.

The REAL Awards