NEW YORK, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD), the leading source of health information, today announced the honorees of the 2009 WebMD Health Heroes awards. The fourth annual WebMD Health Heroes honor Americans with extraordinary stories of personal courage and perseverance, who lead an effort to help others achieve better health.
"WebMD is honoring its 2009 Health Heroes for their significant contributions to society," said Nan Forte, Executive Vice President, Consumer Services, WebMD. "The WebMD Health Heroes are role models providing real solutions to health challenges in America."
An Actor's Mission to Feed Children in Need
An actor and advocate for kids, Scarlett Johansson, grew up in New York City where her family received government-subsidized school lunches. WebMD is honoring Johansson for her dedication to feeding children throughout the country. For years she has worked with USA Harvest on this effort and is now focused on a new program called "Blessings in a Backpack." The program provides school-aged children in need with food for the weekends.
Kentucky Man Creates Donation Program to Feed Americans
Stan Curtis is the man who created the new Blessings in a Backpack program as well as the USA Harvest organization. His goal is to give food from those who don't need it, to those who do. The organization provides donated food to groups that help distribute it to those in need, helping to serve two million meals a day. WebMD is honoring Curtis for his work with USA Harvest and Blessings in a Backpack.
A Pennsylvania Doctor Provides Healthcare to his Local Community
Dr. Zane Gates returned to his hometown of Altoona, Pennsylvania, after medical school to create a traveling service to provide healthcare to his county's working poor. WebMD is honoring Dr. Gates for his healthcare work, which is also the inspiration behind a Pennsylvania State Senate bill to fund similar clinics throughout the state. Dr. Gates is also being recognized for a foundation he created to help kids living in two local housing projects, one where he grew up, with after-school programs. He also designed a low-cost, hospital-only insurance plan for residents in his county.
A Los Angeles Physician is Trading Laughs for Cash for a Cure
Dr. Mark Hyman created "Comedy for a Cure," an annual comedy event in Los Angeles to raise money for research on tuberous sclerosis -- a condition his child was diagnosed with that causes tumors, seizures, and autism. He is being recognized as a WebMD Health Hero for his work which includes raising $1.5 million, to date, for the disease.
Miami Woman Creates a New Foundation for Stem Cell Research
Sabrina Cohen started the Sabrina Cohen Foundation for Stem Cell Research after a car accident left her a quadriplegic. Cohen's personal situation inspired her to form an organization to help people donate funds to stem cell research in the U.S. WebMD is recognizing Cohen for her work with the foundation, which recently bestowed its first grant of $25,000 to research on spinal cord injuries at the University of California, Irvine.
The Health Heroes awards are an annual, national program to recognize individuals who overcome challenges and help transform healthcare. Health Heroes are featured online at www.webmd.com/healthheroes. Nominations for the annual WebMD Health Heroes Awards are accepted online from January through mid-August.
WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers and health plans through our public and private online portals and health-focused publications. Approximately 60 million unique visitors access the WebMD Health Network each month.
The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, emedicine, emedicineHealth, RxList and theheart.org.
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