Save the Children and partners commit to launching The REAL Awards in September 2012 as an annual global health worker recognition event. A story on frontline health workers is planned for the October 1, 2012 community service issue of TIME magazine. Save the Children is committed to developing a web platform that will allow for citizen engagement, a social media and public relations platform, and outreach to health worker associations and the public.
The REAL Awards will be launched during the third week in September. Members of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition have collected nominations from developing countries of health workers who have gone the extra mile. A panel comprised of public health professionals from the coalition and a few external resource persons will determine the international honorees. These global honorees and their information will be shared on a website dedicated to the REAL Awards. For American health workers, the nominating and voting period will be from the third week of September through December 2012. Health workers and the general public will be invited to nominate their own most inspiring health workers in their communities in the USA on our dedicated website and also to learn about the frontline health workers making a difference around the world.
A committee of health care experts will choose the most inspiring health workers in various categories, taking into consideration their story and the number of votes cast for them, their ability and willingness to become an advocate for health workers everywhere, among other criteria. The current health worker categories are: nurse, doctor, community health worker, midwife, and AIDS counselor. These categories are somewhat flexible, based on the interest of the corporate sponsors.
The winners of the various health worker categories will be announced in early 2013 to coincide with the American awards season, which will draw a contrast between the people who usually get awards with people who also deserve an award.
In the spring of 2013, the winning U.S. - based health workers will be invited on a trip to meet their respective health worker counterparts in the field.
The overall goal of the program is to elevate the visibility of the life saving work of health workers here and everywhere, and to encourage continued policy maker investment in donor and developing countries in supporting a vibrant health workforce. Specifically, in terms of US policy, the objective of the coalition is that the USG develop a more robust strategy to train and support health workers within the health system strengthening strategy and that the USG set a target of training 250,000 health workers by 2015.
September 2012: TIME Magazine piece to hit newsstands on September 22nd for October 1st community service issue. Save the Children will launch The REAL Awards website (www.theREALawards.com) on this date and allow people to learn about the global honorees and nominate American health workers. A major media announcement is also planned for the 25th of September.
September 24th 2012 to January 7th 2013: The nominating and voting period will be open online at theREALawards.com. Materials will be shared with numerous health worker associations, hospital and clinical networks and facilities, and health worker unions to encourage nominations and encourage social media drive toward voting for inspiring stories.
January 2013: Based on the nominations received and appropriate additional criteria for the objectives of the effort, a committee of health care experts and our communications firm will choose U.S. health worker honorees in a series of categories.
January 16th 2013: We will announce the American health worker honorees via press release and events at the work sites of the honorees, encouraging local press coverage of these outstanding health workers. .
March 2013: Save the Children and FLHW Coalition partners will host some of the U.S. honorees in field sites where the global honorees live and work.
April 2013: US Health Worker honorees will be given the opportunity to participate in advocacy efforts in Washington on behalf of Health Workers globally to remind US policy makers and corporate partners of the amazing impact of the investment in training, deploying and supporting frontline health workers.
By some estimates, there is a world-wide shortage of more than 5 million health workers, including one million frontline health workers (Council on Foreign Relations, The New Global Health Agenda: Universal Health Coverage, by Oren Ahoobim, et al, April 2012). Current health workers are often overworked and under-appreciated. The REAL Awards will remind the public of the important role health workers play in the lives of children and families throughout the world. The purpose of the REAL Awards is to develop greater respect for and appreciation of the life-saving care provided by health workers and to demonstrate the universal and urgent need for additional trained, caring health workers on the frontlines. The REAL Awards also aims to forge a strong and enduring relationship between health workers in the United States and those in the developing world. Every year, awards are given to recognize the accomplishments of celebrities, actors, singers, athletes and entertainers. Many recipients have already been honored multiple times. This year, The REAL Awards will begin to honor the people who rarely receive recognition or accolades: health workers who truly deserve our thanks and respect.
Save the Children and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition are seeking corporate sponsors to promote the health worker awards or simply to use their social media channels to reach the American public and American health workers with this opportunity to consider and celebrate the life saving work of health workers. Corporate sponsors will also assist with public relations efforts in the U.S, other donor nations and in the developing countries where global honorees work.
The REAL Awards offer the opportunity to build strong brand identification with the cause of health workers who provide lifesaving care every day. Save the Children and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition seek partners in the media, health worker associations, and corporate and foundation sponsors who share the interest in filling the global gap in health workforce and providing better support for current health workers.