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Announcing the 10th Annual WEGO Health Awards Finalists


For the last decade, WEGO Health has celebrated the WEGO Health Awards annually, in hopes of recognizing and honoring the thousands of patients and caregivers supporting the online health community.

Even after an entire decade of celebrating patient leaders, we continue to be blown away by the impact, stories, and missions of the WEGO Health Awards nominees, and this year is no different.

With over 21,000 nominations, our 10th annual celebration marks the biggest one yet! We are thrilled to be able to recognize so many incredible patient leaders over —the year but what’s even more special is to witness the growth that has taken place within the patient leader community over the past decade. With the energy and passion of thousands of warriors, survivors, advocates, and influencers, we continue to push forward and transform the patient journey for the better.

We encourage you to browse this year’s nominees, and you’ll quickly recognize how difficult it was to narrow the nominees down to just 96 finalists…

Determining the Finalists

The three most endorsed individuals in each award category automatically became finalists. Three additional finalists were selected through multiple rounds of judging by WEGO Health community members. Nominees were reviewed and scored based on their fit for the award category, their uses of social media, and their focus on sharing information and fostering engagement.

All finalists will be individually notified via emailed and sent a finalize prize pack in the mail.

Finding the Winners

During the first week of September, the 96 WEGO Health Awards finalists will be reviewed and scored by our finalist judging panel, comprised of industry professionals and experts, to ultimately uncover the sixteen 10th Annual WEGO Health Awards winners!

Winners will be announced during our virtual ceremony, in partnership with HLTH, on September 23rd & invited to our in-person celebration at the HLTH Event in Boston, MA October 17-20th, 2021. Click here to learn more about this year’s prize pack and ceremony.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…


Advocating for Another

Cancer Relief

CoraBeth Collins

Matt Yaroch

Terrence Ho

Sarita Edwards

Paula McGowan

WEGO Health Award Description: Not all patient leaders are sharing their own patient journey. The Advocating for Another category is for the caregivers who tirelessly raise awareness to better the lives of loved ones. Though they themselves may not be sick, they are the caregivers of children, siblings, parents, significant others, or friends, who have an up-close-and-personal perspective that is invaluable. These individuals balance life as a caregiver, all while advocating on their loved one’s behalf – whether it be through blogging, social media or legislation.


Best in Show: Blog

Ronny Allan

Ambre Minty

Devin Garlit

Al Levin

Brittney Tellekamp

Brooke Slick

WEGO Health Award Description: Social media has its place in patient advocacy, but for many advocates, their blog persists as the heart of their advocacy. The Best in Show: Blog category is for the patient leaders who continue to publish new content or elaborate on relevant social posts through blogging. Aimed at sharing their story, raising awareness, or educating others, these are the health advocacy blogs we love to read!


Best in Show: Community/Forum

CoraBeth Collins

Anna Redshaw – M.E. myself and I

Aisha Patterson

Kathy Reagan Young

Chronically Brown

Embrace Life Emma

WEGO Health Award Description: A diagnosis can be life-changing, but fortunately so can the support from an online community. The Best in Show: Community category celebrates the online communities or forums that create an inviting space for newcomers while maintaining a safe place that people have come to respect and rely on. These leaders have mastered managing, moderating, and engaging their communities all for the purpose of supporting others.


Best in Show: Facebook

Michaela Davert (FunsizedStyle)

Jenny Jones – Life’s a Poylp

Megan Marjorie

Joel Nelson

Aisha Patterson

Fez Awan

WEGO Health Award Description: Despite its recent controversies, Facebook prevails as one of the strongest online hubs for connection, conversation, and community amongst patients and caregivers. The Best in Show: Facebook category is for the patient advocates who lead in engaging Facebook groups or advocacy pages where people want to “Like”, comment, and connect!


Best in Show: Instagram

Jessica Cummin

Ariana Covarrubias

Baileigh Renfrow

Thomas Silvera

Izzy Fakkel

Chronic Eileen

WEGO Health Award Description: It’s no secret Instagram has become the top platform for all things visual. The Best in Show: Instagram category is for the patient leaders curating thought-provoking images, engaging videos, entertaining Insta-stories, and helpful IGTV sessions aimed at sharing their story and supporting others. These are the advocacy accounts that fill your endless Instagram scroll with support, inspiration and community!


Best in Show: Podcast

Effie Parks

Lisa Laudico

RARE.

Michael Frolichstein

Brianne Benness | No End In Sight

About IBD

WEGO Health Award Description: More than ever, patient leaders are proving podcasts can be powerful! The Best in Show: Podcast category recognizes advocates taking their health stories to the airwaves to share their own experiences, explore community topics, or interview and learn from special guests. Whether educationally based, feel-good fun, or a way to meet new people, these are the advocacy podcasts you cannot stop listening to!


Best in Show: Twitter

Fez Awan

PCOSGurl

Agnes Nsofwa

Michelle Munt

Cheryl Crow

Jennifer Schropp

WEGO Health Award Description: It’s not simple to create easily digestible thoughts in 280 characters or less, but there are some patient leaders who truly excel at it. The Best in Show: Twitter category is for the patient leaders making the most out of this character limit! Whether hosting Twitter Chats, providing snapshots of new information or sharing words of encouragement, these patient leaders embody the model of Twitter for #patientadvocacy.


Best in Show: Tik-Tok

Leah Asher

Andrew Belliveau

Ariana Covarrubias

Jo Beckwith

Letisha Bates

Lauren Mae

WEGO Health Award Description: With the rise of TikTok, we couldn’t help but create a brand new category to recognize the patient leaders using TikTok for the greater good! The musical app has become a hotbed for awareness, giving creators the ability to take complicated topics and turn them into bite-sized units of education and entertainment. While this video platform is the home to lip-synching videos, viral dance moves and popular culture, many patient advocates are leveraging its features to make their advocacy interactive, entertaining, and plain old fun!


Best in Show: YouTube

RARE.

Chronically Jenni

Damian Washington

Michaela Davert (FunsizedStyle)

Jo Beckwith

Autmazing

WEGO Health Award Description: The last five years have revealed that videos tend to be more engaging and more memorable than any other type of content out there. The Best in Show: YouTube category recognizes the patient leaders who are getting in front of the camera to share their story, vlog their daily lives or educate others about their cause. Though pressing record can be daunting for many of us, these patient leaders prove video is a powerful way to connect and communicate!


Best Kept Secret

Parul Somani

Nikki Drenth Louiselle

HERillestlife

Sumaira Ahmed

Marti Hines

Nathan Shuherk

WEGO Health Award Description: The internet is a vast place, making it nearly impossible to find all of the impactful content that exists. The Best Kept Secret category uncovers the hidden gems of the online health community that everyone should be following! Whether creating great content, providing endless support, or raising awareness for their cause, these patient leaders deserve the spotlight!


Best Team Performance

Cancer Kids First

HeartCharged

Endo Support United

Global Parents for Eczema Research

Stronger Than Sarcoidosis

Embody Carolina

WEGO Health Award Description: The Best Team Performance category recognizes a team or group that takes their activism to new heights because of the assistance from one another. Whether it be a group that runs an online chat, a non-profit organization, or a caregiver and patient duo – this award celebrates those bringing a team effort to their advocacy!


Healthcare Collaborator

Marianne Sarcich

Michele Nadeem-Baker

Maryann Wahmann

Keisha Greaves

Elle Cole

Jaime Seltzer

WEGO Health Award Description: Fortunately, more than ever the healthcare industry is seeing just how valuable patient leaders can be! Our Healthcare Collaborator category is for the advocates bridging the gaps between industry stakeholders and healthcare consumers. Whether speaking at conferences, consulting with healthcare companies, using their education or research to help make a change in the healthcare industry, or creating apps and products to fulfill needs in the current system, these patient leaders are impacting the healthcare landscape at large.


Hilarious Patient Leader

The Cancer Patient

Damian Washington

PCOS Support Girl

Crystal Bedoya

Nicole Kohr

spoonie.diaries

WEGO Health Award Description: Ever heard that laughter is the best medicine? The Hilarious Patient Leader category recognizes the patient advocates infusing a healthy dose of humor into their advocacy. They may be witty, dry or sharp. But one thing is clear, their use of humor makes even the toughest of topics more approachable and more enjoyable.


Lifetime Achievement

Ronny Allan

Racquel H. Dozier (LIC)

Theodore Merriweather Jr.

Trishna Bharadia

Sara Ahlin Doljak

Rosaria Kozar

WEGO Health Award Description: Some patient advocates are true stars who continue to shine and don’t fit into just one category. The Lifetime Achievement category is for the veteran patient leaders, who after years of advocacy achievements, stand as role models for the entire online health community. Let’s recognize the advocacy leaders that inspire all of us year after year!


Patient Leader Hero

Shrenik Shah

Forzana Nasir

Matt Yaroch

Molly Dunham-Friel

Chronic Eileen

Seb Tucknott

WEGO Health Award Description: Sometimes, a leader’s advocacy work has the ability to truly change the lives of others. The Patient Leader Hero category celebrates those who go above and beyond for their communities and whose influence has truly made an impact. Their dedication is admirable and ignites a spark for change in everyone they meet. These patient leaders don’t need a cape to prove they are heroes!


Rookie of the Year

Lorelei Colbert

Natalie Jezierny

Michelle Fruhschien

Ashley Perkins

Heart2Hearts Podcast

Jess Garland

WEGO Health Award Description: As anyone in advocacy knows, communities aren’t built overnight! Sharing your story and impacting a community takes time and patience, so let’s encourage those who are recently empowered as patient leaders. The Rookie of the Year category celebrates the advocates who may be new to the scene, but continue to show the utmost potential. This category is typically for patient leaders with 1-3 years’ experience.


Give yourself a pat on the back!

Each and every single nominee should be incredibly proud of their achievement regardless of the outcome! A nomination means you’ve made an impact in someone’s life and that’s the biggest win of all! With the help of patient leaders from around the globe, we’re closer to changing the patient journey than ever before. Thank you for sharing your story, using your voice, and uplifting your community members. Cheers to the patient voice!


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