“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.”
As part of the Global Team of 200, each month I get to use my voice and ourClimateMama site to join with other bloggers around the country to recognize and raise attention to a group or an organization doing “good” in the world. This month we are working with Save the Children to ask you to nominate a health care worker – doctor, nurse, emergency worker, disaster aid volunteer – someone you know personally or admire from afar, who has made a difference in your, or other peoples lives. The REAL Awards, 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, The Merck Company Foundation, and Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare, and supporting partners GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Time Inc.
As we face our reality and a future of extreme weather exacerbated by climate change, health care workers often take on the role as first responders in epic disasters like Superstorm Sandy. As well, the role of and need for health care workers is amplified and more critical due to longer term systemic problems that develop because of climate related events like droughts and floods that can forever change the face of some communities. Serious health problems related to dirty air and polluted waters ie asthma, breathing related problems, vector born diseases like west Nile virus and chronic malnutrition, often impact the youngest and most vulnerable in a community first.
According to Save the Children: “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.”
Grab the kid in your life and watch this moving video from Save the Children. Nominate someone today at www.theREALawards.com! The November 29th deadline is fast approaching. Winners will be announced the week of January 13, 2013.