Six Innovative Practices Recognized for Changing the Face of Health Care

Dec 07, 2010, 15:46 ET from URAC

URAC and GKEN Announce Winners of Their 2010 International Health Promotion Awards

ROME and WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The winners of the inaugural International Health Promotion Awards ( were announced today, honoring six programs that showed innovation and success in improving health in community and workplace settings around the world.  The awards, established by two leaders in health promotion, URAC and the Global Knowledge Exchange Network on Health (GKEN), were presented during a symposium held in Rome, Italy December 6-7.


"These programs represent some of the best ideas in community and workplace health promotion currently being implemented with successful results," said Alan P. Spielman, President and CEO of URAC.  "Through this symposium, we are striving to be a voice for these programs, sharing them throughout the health care industry.  Our hope is that others can learn from and replicate these innovative ideas to bring health advances to people around the world."

"These awards honor two areas of growing importance in the health care area," said Jon Comola, CEO of GKEN. "Community-based programs on every continent are meeting the vital needs of access and treatment for the underserved.  Workplace wellness programs are becoming one of the primary sources of preventative and chronic care.  The recognition of these innovative programs underscores the importance of workplace wellness initiatives."

The recipients were chosen by a panel of expert judges comprised of health care professionals and policymakers from around the world.  Finalists were evaluated from their online submissions and presented their programs during the IHPA Symposium.   Final awards were given in two categories:

International Community Health Awards

These awards honor organizations whose ideas in health promotion and disease prevention have made significant contributions to improving individuals' lives and well being in local communities.  To help continue these efforts, the chosen programs will also receive a $5,000 award.  The winners were:

  • Centene Corporation, United StatesStart Smart for Your Baby. This comprehensive, perinatal program is designed to produce healthier pregnancies and first years of life for members in Centene's managed care Medicaid plans. It targets pregnant members and their physicians, with the goals of improving prenatal care, reducing premature and low birth weight deliveries and decreasing health care expenditures for sick infants through intensive interventions that have a high impact in a short period of time.
  • Burgland Charity, Namibia – Naankuse Lifeline Clinic. This 100% voluntarily funded clinic exists to help marginalized local people by providing accessible, affordable primary health care to those living in the remote area of Epukiro in eastern Namibia. The tribes' people live in extreme poverty and have little or no access to simple primary health care in this region. The health needs of the people in this area vary from mild coughs and colds to much more serious diseases or conditions such as HIV and tuberculosis.
  • Basic Health International, United StatesCervical Cancer Prevention in El Salvador. Basic Health International has been working with the Salvadoran Ministry of Health since 2005 to improve national cervical cancer screening programs through advocacy, research, direct patient care and medical training. A major component of the program includes training rural health care providers in visual inspection with acetic acid screening and cryotherapy treatment. These are simple, low-cost modalities that are suitable even when electricity and running water are unavailable.

International Workplace Health Awards

These awards honor health promotion programs that optimize and maintain overall health and mitigate disease risk in the workplace.  The winners were:

  • IBM Integrated Health Services, United StatesGlobal Health Promotion Framework. This health promotion program pairs a centralized strategy with flexible program prioritization and implementation at the regional and local levels. The framework focuses on four areas: (1) monitoring population health status and risk; (2) creating healthy workplaces that drive healthy behaviors; (3) designing comprehensive health care plan support for preventive care; and (4) implementing strategic behavior change programs.
  • Intel Corporation, United StatesHealth for Life. This wellness program is designed to inspire and motivate employees to take action toward achieving optimal health and quality of life. The program aims to impact health status and contributes to lowering health care costs and improving productivity. It includes three major components: (1) onsite health services; (2) comprehensive medical benefits; and (3) onsite wellness programs. The guiding principles used to maximize success of the program are convenience, communication and quality.
  • MOL Group, HungarySTEP: Take a Step for Your Health. The objective of this workplace health promotion program is to create an adequate company health culture that encompasses health promotion traditions, and improves the overall health condition of employees, with special attention to select target groups. It supports the development of prerequisites for health-promoting employee behavior, personal management and a commitment to health. The main focuses are screenings and movement-based activities.

Congratulations to all of the award winners.  For more information on the IHPA symposium, go to

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit

About GKEN

GKEN (Global Knowledge Exchange Network) is an initiative that was funded in 2007 by a three-year grant from CIGNA Foundation. GKEN brings together leaders from government, health care, business, philanthropy and academia to discuss and advance better practices in health care among industrialized nations. For more information, please visit