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The Social Health Awards, previously known as the WEGO Health Awards, are kicking off to celebrate patient leaders from across all platforms.
Though we’ve made some exciting enhancements to this year’s program, our goal and intention remain the same: to empower and celebrate those leading the online health community – because the work of patient leaders is something to celebrate!
Health Union’s extensive research into social health has found that 95% of individuals use social resources for support and guidance. Even more impressive? Thanks to patient leaders, 86% of patients better understand their condition, and most importantly, 62% of patients feel less alone.
Year after year, this program has proven to be one of the best ways to honor, recognize, and celebrate the work of patient leaders. As we’ve grown our community and implemented member feedback, we’re eager to present the next evolution of the awards program.
New This Year
Thank you to all community members who have provided ideas and insights about the awards program. We’ve taken these suggestions into consideration to make the following enhancements:
Timeline: You asked, and we listened! We’ve streamlined the nomination and endorsement period to make it more efficient and less time-consuming for nominees. Nominations will run June 13-July 1st, and endorsements will run June 27th – July 1st.
Categories: We’ve narrowed down our award categories to 10 different areas. From Advocacy Trailblazer to Caregiving Champion, these categories are designed to showcase the vast diversity of the patient community, and the various forms of advocacy across all condition areas and platforms. See the full list here:
Celebration: This year, all Social Health Awards finalists will be invited to Connexion, a Health Union virtual event created to connect and empower patient leaders. Winners will be announced during the Health Union virtual Connexion event and invited to be honored in person on stage at the Social Health Awards celebration in Philadelphia, PA this October.
The Full Breakdown
The Social Health Awards are split into four different phases:
Nominations | June 13-July 1st
- Endorsements | June 27th -July 1st
- Judging | July and August
- Celebration | September & October
June 13-July 1st
Think of nominations as a way to recognize your favorite patient leaders for the work they are doing. With 10 award categories, it’s easy to show your appreciation for all the patient advocates in your life. To start nominating, simply click here.
🏆 Tip for Nominees: Share out your patient leader profile and ask your community to recognize you for the Social Health Awards. Don’t be afraid to post on social, reach out to foundations, and include them in any email correspondence. Your work deserves to be recognized! Once you’re nominated, you’ll receive a Nominee Media Kit for easy social sharing.
June 27th -July 1st
This period provides a community-choice aspect of the program. Endorsements are a way to give nominees a visual show of support for a specific nomination, think of it as “liking” a post or photo on social media. For instance, if a nominee is nominated for Community Cultivator, and you believe they deserve this recognition, your endorsement is the perfect way to show your support.
The top three most-endorsed nominees in each of the 10 categories will automatically become finalists. However, it’s not the only way to become a finalist. Three additional finalists will be selected through numerous rounds of judging where endorsement count and community size are not considered.
🏆 Tip for Nominees: Grab Your Endorsement Badge | Once endorsements open on June 27th, navigate to the ‘Awards’ tab of your patient leader profile. Here you will be able to download images and badges to put on your sites to gain endorsements. We invite you to keep your badge up once endorsements are closed to proudly display your accomplishment.
July – August
Health Union hosts multiple rounds of judging, after all, we receive thousands of nominations! Judges will be using the information provided in the nominee’s patient leader profile to review and score.
There are six finalists in each award category. To ensure the integrity of the program, half of the finalists will be determined through endorsement count and half will be selected through the Health Union judging process. Finalists are selected in two ways:
The top three endorsed nominees within a Social Health Awards category automatically move on as finalists.
The subsequent three finalists in each category are selected by fellow patient leader judges. Finalists will be selected based on their relevance to that particular award and the information provided in a nominee’s profile – NOT follower or endorsement count. The finalist judging panels are composed of past award winners, foundations, and organizations.
Once the top six finalists in each Social Health Awards category have been selected, we’ll announce the finalists on the Health Union blog and then move into the final round of judging.
Selecting the Winners
Healthcare industry thought leaders and experts convene to review the six finalists in each category based on their use of social media, their fit for the award for which they’ve been nominated, and how effectively they engage their online community. Judges score individually, and then Health Union tallies these scores to identify the winners. The winners will be announced at the virtual Connexion event in August.
Note: A nominee’s community size (number of fans, followers, readers, members, etc.) will not be considered. The nominee is judged based on their content and fit for the award category.
🏆 Tip for Nominees: Update your patient leader profile. Having a completed profile allows judges to gain a comprehensive understanding of your mission.
August & October
This year, all Social Health Awards finalists will win access to the virtual Health Union event Connexion.
This annual patient leader conference brings together over 100 patient leaders from across the globe and from over 30 online communities to attend a week long event to advance their advocacy efforts. Past sessions have included social media advocacy, mindfulness meditation, gentle chair yoga, connecting with patient leaders, vulnerability and mental health with Tyler Campbell, and our keynote on resiliency in the midst of chronic burnout with Rebekah Taussig.
Winners will be announced on the last day of Connexion for a special patient leader celebration!
Winners will be invited to the Fierce Pharma Marketing Awards, an exclusive in-person award ceremony in Philadelphia, PA in October.
Health Union and FiercePharma are partnering to celebrate the Social Health Awards this year. This year’s winner prize pack includes:
⭐ Attendance to the Social Health Awards presentation and networking reception
⭐ Transportation and accommodations for up to two nights in Philadelphia, PA for the Social Health Awards celebration and Digital Pharma East event this October
⭐ Access to the Digital Pharma East conference and networking events
⭐ Invitation to join as a compensated 2023 Health Union Patient Leadership Council (PLC) member
⭐ A personalized Social Health Awards plaque
⭐ A shipment of the latest Social Health Awards swag
The prize pack value is not transferable for cash or additional travel if participants are unable to attend.
The prize pack includes transportation and attendance for one individual aside from the Best Team category, which includes accommodations for up to two team members.
To be considered as a finalist and ultimately a winner, individuals must be 18 years of age or older. Nominees under the age of 18 can be recognized but will not be eligible to be a finalist.
COVID Precautions: It goes without saying, health and safety is our number one priority, especially when many of our participants are at risk for COVID. We will continue to invite all winners to attend an in-person celebration in Philadelphia at the FiercePharma event this October if they feel comfortable. FiercePharma is ensuring their event is a COVID-safe environment and recently announced those who attend must be vaccinated. You can learn more about their guidelines here. Of course, winners are not required to travel and are encouraged to do what’s best for them and their health.
Stay tuned for further details regarding this year’s celebration, opportunities, and prizes for winners. We encourage you to view all of the current Social Health Awards nominees in the nominee directory.
Cheers to another season of celebrating patient leaders! More questions? Please feel free to refer to the Social Health Awards FAQ page.