8th Annual WEGO Health Awards

Nominations for the 8th Annual WEGO Health Awards are open! Each year, WEGO Health turn to the Patient Leader Network to recognise and celebrate the engaged patients and carers who are making an impact with their advocacy activities around the world.

Originally coined the “WEGO Health Activist Awards,” the WEGO Health Awards were created to embody the mission of WEGO Health: To empower Patient Leaders. WEGO Health connect with countless patient advocates, influencers, and healthcare collaborators who are helping others and transforming healthcare – often without any formal recognition.

About the WEGO Health Awards

Since its inception in 2011, the WEGO Health Awards have proven to be one of the best ways to connect the healthcare industry with top patient influencers. The WEGO Health Awards offer a way to introduce new Patient Leaders to the online community, allowing network members the opportunity to recognise and say “thank you” to the leaders they look up to. The WEGO Health Awards are the only awards that recognise Patient Leaders across all condition areas and platforms. With 15 award categories, there’s truly something for everyone!

I was thrilled and honoured to be announced the winner of a WEGO Health Award in 2017, within the ‘Healthcare Collaborator: Patient’ category. I certainly didn’t expect to be shortlisted as a finalist, let alone to win, so it was certainly a shock! The award has helped me on my advocacy journey in so many ways; most notably, by connecting me with so many amazing patient and carer advocates around the world. Having the support, understanding and encouragement from other people who share your vision and mindset certainly helps you to keep going and fighting for positive change.

Here’s what another past winner and pain Patient Leader, Barby Ingle, said about her award:

Being recognized by my peers in the health community on different levels by other patients and organizations has been extraordinary. It is always nice to be recognized for sharing my story, helping create tools and resources for others in similar situations to my own. During the past 20 years of living with pain I am so happy to be seen as a leader and taken seriously as an advocate, author and motivational speaker. Even being nominated for many awards has been an unbelievable experience and then actually winning ones like WEGO Ms. Congeniality 2012, Lifetime Achievement 2016, and contributing to the International Pain Foundations’ Best Team Performance 2016, was absolutely breathtaking.”

Barby Ingle

The process for the 8th Annual WEGO Health Awards

It begins with nominations, then endorsements, before the winners are announced and it is time to celebrate!

Now is your time to nominate

Nominations are open from Monday 3rd June until Sunday 30th June 2019!

Anyone who is an active and leading member of an online community, and making a difference in healthcare, is eligible to be nominated. They should provide the community with valuable information and support to make a difference for other patients and carers. Nominees for an individual social channel award must have a presence on that particular social channel, of course. Think about the advocates and influencers you see leading Facebook groups, blogging about their health journey, speaking up and giving insights to healthcare companies, presenting on national stages, and running Twitter chats. Patient Leaders have started non-profits, published podcast episodes, and authored books – there is no shortage of Patient Leaders’ contributions to the world, so let’s recognise as many of them as we can for their talents, contributions, and commitment!

There are 15 award categories for you to choose from in 2019:

  • Advocating for another
  • Best in show: Blog
  • Best in show: Community
  • Best in show: Facebook
  • Best in show: Instagram
  • Best in show: Podcast
  • Best in show: Twitter
  • Best in show: YouTube
  • Best kept secret
  • Best team performance
  • Healthcare collaborator: Patient
  • Hilarious patient leader
  • Lifetime achievement
  • Patient leader hero
  • Rookie of the year

During the nomination period in June, there are no endorsements. Instead, feel free to retweet/share nominations and share the achievement of being nominated with your followers. This will encourage your audience to visit the WEGO Health Awards page and potentially nominate you for multiple categories or leave a testimony on your public Awards profile.

Each nomination is manually reviewed and approved by the WEGO Health team to ensure the integrity of the programme. You need to allow one to three working days for the nomination to process. WEGO Health will then contact the nominee to alert them of their nomination and invite them to create a WEGO Health Awards profile for the nominee directory. Not providing an email address for the nominee will delay the notification process.

Then it will be time to endorse

Endorsements will take place between Monday 1st July and Sunday 28th July 2019!

Endorsements are a way to give nominees a visual show of support. During this period, each nominee will receive an Endorsement badge to post on their blogs. The three nominees in each WEGO Health Award category with the highest number of endorsements automatically become finalists. So make sure your readers/followers know to endorse you – tweet it, post it, email it, blog it – just get it out there, and make sure to tag WEGO Health too!

Then it will be judging

Judging will take place between Monday 5th August and Friday 6th September 2019.

WEGO Health host multiple rounds of judging, especially since they receive thousands of nominations! The finalists are selected in one of two ways.

First, the top three endorsed nominees within a WEGO Health Award category automatically move on as finalists. The subsequent two finalists in each category are selected by a WEGO Health judging panelists. The judging panel is comprised of past award winners, foundations, organisations, award sponsors, and industry experts. Finalists will be selected based on their relevance to that particular award and the information provided in a nominee’s profile.

Once the top five finalists in each WEGO Health Award category have been selected, WEGO Health will announce the finalists on their blog and then move into the second round of judging.

Top industry experts convene to review the five 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 WEGO Health tallies these scores to identify the winners. No one knows the winners until they make the announcement at the annual WEGO Health Awards Online Ceremony.

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.

And finally, time to celebrate!

Celebrations for the winners of the 8th Annual WEGO Health Awards take place between September and October 2019.

Celebrations will span two ceremonies allowing as many Patient Leaders as possible to take part! WEGO Health will host a virtual ceremony Wednesday 18th September and Friday 20th September 2019, during which WEGO Health will announce the winners within each category. This ceremony will be held on the WEGO Health’s social channels. Announcements will be made on Facebook, with activities and chats occurring on both Twitter and Instagram. Here’s a look at last year’s celebrations…

Winners for 2019 will be awarded with a WEGO Health prize pack valued at over $7,000! This includes:

  • Flights and accommodations to the HLTH Conference in Las Vegas, NV, USA;
  • WEGO Health Awards presentation & reception at the HLTH Conference;
  • Personalised WEGO Health Awards plaque;
  • Opportunity to share your patient expertise on patient panels, roundtables and Table Talks with other industry leaders at the HLTH Conference;
  • Participate as social media ambassadors in the lead up to the conference and live during the event;
  • Compensated 2020 WEGO Health Patient Leader Advisory Board member.

As part of the award package, in October, winners will be invited to an in-person celebration at the HLTH Conference between Sunday 27th October and Wednesday 30th October 2019, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas!

Written by simonrstones

Simon R. Stones BSc (Hons) is a multi-award winning patient advocate, consultant and researcher from Bolton in the United Kingdom. He was recognised in 2019 as one of the top 100 most influential people with disabilities in the UK, and was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with chronic conditions and invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood, as well as a carer for his mother. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a trustee of Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE, board member of the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA) and President of the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA).

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