Tag: HAAwards

As a patient leader, you’re always looking for new opportunities to get your voice heard, right?

Then don’t miss FDA representatives Steve and Andrea give an overview of patient leader opportunities offered by the Office of Health and Constituent Affairs!

FDA: How We Involve Patients and Advocates

Join FDA representatives Steve Morin & Andrea Furia-Helms as they provide an overview of FDA’s Office of Health and Constituent Affairs, patient engagement milestones and programs, and opportunities for how patient advocates can get involved in FDA activities.

  • Learn how to stay up to date with the latest updates and opportunities within FDA Patient Network
  • Review the opportunities within the FDA Patient Representative Program and how you can become one of the 200 Patient Representatives
  • Learn how to participate in FDA Sponsored Public Meetings in person or online


Interested in exploring more of the topics discussed in this webinar? Check out the links below for more information:

FDA Patient Representative Program

FDA Patient Network Newsletter

Patient Focused Drug Development

Patient Engagement Advisory Committee 

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-1-39-01-pmAndrea Furia-Helms joined the FDA’s Office of Health and Constituent Affairs in May 2007 to manage the FDA Patient Representative Program through recruitment and education of patients and primary caregivers who represent varying disease and conditions and prepare them to serve in FDA meetings such as Advisory Committees and product review division meetings. She works across the medical product Centers to ensure patient perspectives are included in the medical product development and review process.
Prior to FDA she was Director of the Back to Sleep Campaign, a public-private partnership to educate communities on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she developed outreach initiatives for African American, American Indian and Latino communities. Ms. Furia-Helms has a B.A. in psychology from Framingham State University, a B.S. degree in community health education from University of Maryland, and a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University.


Sscreen-shot-2016-12-15-at-1-39-14-pmteve L Morin R.N., B.S.N.

CDR United States Public Health Service

Commander (CDR) Steve L. Morin received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Maine in December 1997.  Following his graduation, CDR Morin worked as a staff oncology nurse at Maine Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a research nurse for the National Cancer Institute.

CDR Morin joined the FDA in 2009 and worked in the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology where he performed Medication Guide and Patient Package Insert reviews for the Patient Labeling & Education Team. Since 2011 he has been in the Office of Health and Constituent Affairs where he works closely with numerous Patients and Patient Advocate Groups in helping them understand the regulatory process, medical product approval process, expanded access, and other topics important to patients. He also assists with the Patient Representative Program, handling telephone and email communications from patients and the public. CDR Morin currently manages the FDA Patient Network that includes the For Patient website, FDA Patient Network Newsletter, @FDA_Patient_Net twitter account.


Missed part of our #HAAwards celebration? Don’t worry, check out Missy Voronyak’s webinar below as she offers creative and refreshing ways to approach your next blog post!


Strength in Words: Finding your Blogspiration

Have you lost that blogging feeling? Join veteran blogger and social media pro Missy Voronyak for this webinar to reignite your passion for blogging! She’ll share inspiring stories of health advocacy bloggers making a difference and give you fresh, creative ways to approach your blog content to help you get un-stuck and back to inspiring others.  You can find your own copy of Missy’s slides here.



What You Missed:

  • Find your own inspiration by focusing on the latest trends or topics within your community. You can always use your own experiences, positive or negative, to create new content as well.
  • However, when you’re feeling stuck, Missy offers 10 fresh and creative ways to generate new content. From How-To Posts to Email Interviews, Missy has you covered to get your blogspiration back on track!
  • Missy offers some quick tips as well! As a health advocate, it’s important to include both medical and sponsorship disclosures when necessary to avoid any future conflicts.
  • Missy challenges  you to take 10 minutes to come up with a list of topics of your choice and find a place to store them, whether it’s on Evernote or a journal, that way you can turn to these ideas anytime you need some blogspiration!


We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-1-09-40-pmMissy Voronyak (@MissyVoronyak) is a Group Director of Social Media and Influencer Engagement with WCG, an integrative communications agency. She is also an established blogger at marketingmama.com where she writes about food allergies, parenting and family activities. Missy is an advisor for the Social Media Breakfast of Minneapolis/St. Paul, the founder of the MN Blogger Conference (est. 2010) and serves on the board of directors for the Food Allergy Support Group of Minnesota.


Congratulations to the 2016 WEGO Health Activist Award winners! These passionate and motivated individuals are certainly creating change in the healthcare landscape!

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our #HAAwards celebration this week. The WEGO Health team had a blast ‘hanging out’ with you all week. We are so grateful to be part of all of your advocacy journeys and we could not ask for a more dedicated and passionate community!

Our Twitter Chats this week were an absolute blast. We had so many community members offering tips, tricks and tactics that it was almost a challenge to keep up! Don’t worry, we’ll be compiling a document of all the advice we received. We’ll send it out to our network once it’s done!

For those of you who missed out on any of the webinars, we will be posting all of the recording on our blog. Be sure to check back in.

And of course, be sure to fill out your WEGO Health Profile so we can find the best opportunities for you and your community!

And now, we’d like to present our 2016 WEGO Health Activist Award Winners!


Best in Show Community: Ronny Allan

Advocating for Another: Tory Aquino

Lifetime Achievement: Barby Ingle

Best in Show: Twitter: Tiffany Kairos

Hilarious Health Activist: The Frey Life

Rookie of the Year: Amanda Siebe

Health Activist Hero: Jessica Gimeno

Best in Show: Youtube: Louise Glover

Best Kept Secret: Lisa Cypers Kamen

Best in Show: Instagram: Renee Eastwood

Best in Show: Facebook: Aaron Blocker

Best in Show: Pinterest: Sara Ringer

Best Team Performance: International Pain Foundation

Best in Show: Blog: Bob DeMarco


Congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners! Together, we can create the change we wish to see in healthcare!



Listen to Day 2 of the #HAAwards podcast as Shane talks with our finalists for Best in Show: Community & Blog!

Be sure to listen to all of Shane’s podcasts here!

profile-picture-with-micShane Schulz is the Creator and Host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the Founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network. Using his experiences and strengths to help others who are more like him than different be More than the challenges they face!


Join us live from the 5th WEGO Health Activist Awards red carpet!


Shane Schulz, the creator and host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network will be interviewing our 2016 WEGO Health Activist Awards finalists all week long!

Each day Shane will be releasing an interview with the finalists for the award categories being announced that night.

These finalists are true leaders of their community and utilizing the online platform to get their voice heard! Be sure to tune in all week!

Check out the Day 1 #HAAwards Podcast now and be sure to go and listen to Shane’s other podcasts as well.


profile-picture-with-micShane Schulz is the Creator and Host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the Founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network. Using his experiences and strengths to help others who are more like him than different be More than the challenges they face!


Are you getting excited for the #HAAwards celebration?! Because we sure are!

Our Patient Leader network is straight up awesome.

Whether you’re cracking someone up, offering inspiration to keep fighting or offering support – you all have made an impact on another’s life. You all are creating change. And you all deserve to be celebrated!

Which is why we are bringing you a week jam packed with webinars, Twitter Chats, giveaways, podcasts and more December 5th-9th, 2016.

First things first, no you do not have to buy a ticket to Boston! (It’s snowing here, believe us you wouldn’t want too!) Our entire celebration is virtual, so you can join in anywhere around the globe.

Now, let’s get down to business:



 Have you signed up for our Thunderclap  campaign? 9am EST on December 5th, all of our   Thunderclap supporters will shout from the      rooftops that our Awards celebration is kicking    off! If you haven’t added your support yet, do it  today!

 WEGO Health will be kicking off the celebration  with a Facebook Live video on Monday morning  at 10am EST. Be sure to join us to add where  your from and what you community you  advocate for. We love to give shoutouts to our  community members.

 Each day of the week, we will be focusing on a  different theme within the advocacy community.   To provide you with as many tips and tricks to  improve your advocacy. Throughout the day, we  will be sharing numerous resources, on our  social channels, that align with this theme. And  don’t miss the podcast interviews we’ll be  sharing on our feeds. Shane Shultz,  from  Speaking to the Heart Radio Network, has  graciously interviewed our finalists on his podcast. Each day we’ll be releasing these podcast episodes, so keep a close eye on our feeds for them!


laptop-clip-art-at-vector-clip-art-imageImprove Your Advocacy Efforts With Industry Experts

You’ll also have the opportunity to watch a number of webinars, all illustrating ways to improve your advocacy efforts. We are happy to announce we have a variety of hosts within the industry, including marketing gurus and even representatives from the FDA. You must register for these webinars and space is limited! 

Day of the Week

Time (EST)


Webinar Topic

Registration Link

Monday 12/5 3pm Missy Voronyak

Strength in Words: Finding your Blogspiration

Have you lost that blogging feeling? Join veteran blogger and social media pro Missy Voronyak for this webinar to reignite your passion for blogging! She’ll share inspiring stories of health advocacy bloggers making a difference and give you fresh, creative ways to approach your blog content to help you get un-stuck and back to inspiring others.

Register Here
Tuesday 12/6 3pm WEGO Julie & WEGO Kristen

Who is WEGO Health?

Learn our mission and all about the opportunities we have at WEGO Health for you.

Register Here
Wednesday 12/7 11am Marie Ennis-O’Connor

How to Rock Social Media

Do you want to grow your social media following? Are you looking to make an impact online? Then this webinar is for you.  In it you will learn platform power tips for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram including how to:
• Create and curate compelling content others will want to share
• Build better engagement with your followers
• Develop content and social media calendars
• Perfect your social media profiles
• Use scheduling tools to save time
• Design great graphics

Register Here
Thursday 12/8 3pm Andrea Furia-Helms & Steve Morin

How We Involve Patients and Advocates

This presentation will provide an overview of FDA’s Office of Health and Constituent Affairs, patient engagement milestones and programs, and opportunities for how patient advocates can get involved in FDA activities.

Register Here
Friday 12/9 11am WEGO David

Experts Demo

Don’t miss out on a demo of our new patient leader program, Experts.

Register Here


Join our Twitter Chat to Share Your Best Advice

imagesWe also invite you to join our daily Twitter Chats! Each chat will focus on that day’s theme and will feature the finalists of the award categories being announced that evening.  We encourage everyone to join the TwitterChat discuss and share their thoughts. Twitter Chats will be held daily at 1pm EST.  Jump on over to Twitter and use #HAChat.


Day of the Week

Time (EST)

#HAChat Topic

Monday 12/5 1pm Come join the finalists for Best in Show Twitter, Best in Show Instagram and Best in Show Youtube for a discussion surrounding different medium contents. Images, videos, written content – there are numerous ways to get your story out there. What’s the best one and what are tips to make them effective? Jump in and learn how to better utilize these platforms!
Tuesday 12/6 1pm Who better to help us lead a discussion on building community and engagement than the finalists for Best in Show Blog and Best in Show Community? What are go to strategies for engaging with your networks, what apps or tools can be utilized and what challenges are there when building online community? Join the discussion and take away advice for building a community and fostering engagement.
Wednesday 12/7 1pm What kind of content do you publish on your social channels? How do you decide what to post? How do you get around the Facebook algorithm? During this chat, we’ll be joined by the finalists from Best in Show Facebook and Best in Show Pinterest. In the end, let’s all improve our content engagement and show up more in people’s feeds!
Thursday 12/8 1pm Why did you start your online patient advocacy journey? We each have different angles and why’s behind what we started, but there is so much we can learn from each other’s journeys. Joined by Best Kept Secret, Hilarious Health Activists, and Advocating For Another finalists, we’ll be discussing the why’s behind your advocacy!
Friday 12/9 1pm Raise your hand if you believe sharing your story is important! We can definitely agree that sharing your patient/caregiver experience is exponentially helping others around the world. In this #HAchat, we’ll be joined by finalists in the Lifetime Achievement, Health Activists Hero, Best Team Performance, and Rookie Of The Year awards categories to discuss storytelling and patient advocacy.


Win Prizes!

present-clipart-2With so much going on, we want to give you credit for participating! The more you engage, the more chances you have to win prizes. And who doesn’t like free stuff?

We will be hosting a giveaway each day, with 2 big giveaways on Friday.

There are 4 ways to enter win:

  1. Fill out your public profile. In order to participate in awesome WEGO Health opportunities, we need to make sure we have your correct information. Complete a new profile, or update an existing profile, and we’ll give you TWO extra entries into the giveaway bucket! Click here to create or update your WEGO Health profile.
  2. Answer our discussion questions. Each day we will be blasting out a Discussion Question on our Instagram and Facebook feeds. These discussion questions will explore patient advocacy (we promise they’ll be fun!). Questions will be released daily at 7:30am and 12pm EST.  To be entered to win that day’s giveaway, you must submit your answers by 5pm EST.  Answers submitted after 5pm will be entered to win the big giveaways on Friday but will not be entered for that day’s prize.
  3. Attend a webinar. Yeah, this one is pretty awesome. Attend a webinar, learn tons of cool tricks and you’re automatically entered to win a prize. Winning!
  4. Attend a Twitter Chat. Another awesome way to win. Participate in the discussion during your lunch break and you’ll be entered to  win great prizes.


Let’s Meet Up In Real Life!


This year, the WEGO Health Network team will be hosting the Awards week celebration from Pittsburgh, PA. During the week, Julie, Jackie and Kristen will be hosting a meetup for any local patient leaders. We’d love to be able to put face to a name!

Join us December 7th, 2016 from 7:30 – 9:00pm EST at Local Bar + Kitchen 1515 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. To learn more and to sign up to attend, click here!


And The Winner Is . . .

Join us daily on Facebook Live to see who wins each award! With 14 award categories, and 5 finalists in each, we have a lot of amazing Health Heroes to celebrate.screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-5-33-31-pm

And don’t forget about all of our nominees! We had close to 2000 nominees this year, each more inspiring than the next. Take a moment and scroll through these amazing patient leaders.

During these live feeds on the WEGO Health Facebook page, we’ll not only announce the award winners of that day, but we’ll announce the daily winner of our giveaway.

Day of the Week

Award Categories Announced

Time of  Winner Announcement (EST)

Monday 12/5

Best in Show Twitter

Best in Show Instagram

Best in Show Youtube

Tuesday 12/6

Best in Show Blog

Best in Show Community

Wednesday 12/7

Best in Show Facebook

Best in Show Pinterest

Thursday 12/8

Best Kept Secret

Hilarious Health Activists

Advocating For Another

Friday 12/9

Lifetime Achievement

Health Activists Hero

Best Team Performance

Rookie Of The Year


Come Celebrate The Patient Voice

Here at WEGO Health, we’re proud of each and every one of you. Make sure to come and participate in our virtual celebration in honor of each and every one of you.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Shoot us an email at awards@wegohealth.com.

We can’t wait to get this party started!

Together, we can be the positive change we want to see in healthcare.

Announcing the finalists for the

2016 Best in Show: Community/Forum Award…..



Who has created an amazing online community or threaded forum that houses important conversations about health? Through either their own site or an open online space, they bring people together. Their leadership takes the form of active community management, engagement, and moderation. They’ve mastered the art of creating an inviting space for newcomers while still keeping a safe space that people have come to respect and rely on. This is a community or forum you’d recommend to new patients and family members or friends because it has it all.

Ronny Allan

Melissa Adams VanHouten

Spoonie Strong

Babble on Brooke

Jenni Grover Prokopy


The WEGO Health team is overwhelmed by all the awesome nominees this year. Everyone, we mean EVERYONE, should be proud of their work.  Each of you are taking healthcare by storm and truly creating change.

Everyone’s voice, whether you have 5 followers or 5,000, is making an impact.  Together our voices make up the online health community. Here at WEGO Health, we strongly believe YOU are the future of healthcare!

We are very excited to announce this year’s finalists. So, without further ado…

Drum roll please……


Best in Show Community

Ronny Allan

Melissa Adams VanHouten

Spoonie Strong

Babble on Brooke

Jenni Grover Prokopy


Advocating for Another

Tory Aquino

RA Tray

Sharon Rose Nissley


The Voice of Lupus


Lifetime Achievement

David Lyons

Jane Colby

Alem Matthees

Christine Miserandino

Barby Ingle


Best in Show: Twitter


Tom Kindlon

Hurt Blogger-Britt


Tiffany Kairos


Hilarious Health Activist

Bag Lady Mama


The Frey Life

Lindsey Hays

MarlaJan-Luck Fupus


Rookie of the Year

Clara Lemarr

Puja Rios

Amanda Siebe

Ross McCreery

Summer Scirocco


Health Activist Hero

Alem Matthees

Amanda Siebe

David Lyons


Jessica Gimeno


Best in Show: Youtube


Ken McKim

Wendy Lau

The Frey Life

Louise Glover


Best Kept Secret

Stephanie Aleite

April “Glitter Queen”

Tom Seaman

Molly Schreiber

Lisa Cypers Kamen


Best in Show: Instagram

Amy Lee Fisher

Samantha Reid

Renee Eastwood

The Headache Heroine



Best in Show: Facebook

Clara Lemarr

Jenn Schoch

Carol Taylor

Sue Hitzmann

Aaron Blocker


Best in Show: Pinterest

The Headache Heroine

Heather Corini Aspell

Arielle Toth

Sara Ringer

Positivity in Pain


Best Team Performance


Tina’s Place

Endometriosis Perth Sisterhood of Support

International Pain Foundation

Multiple System Atrophy Coalition


Best in Show: Blog

Ronny Allan

Bob DeMarco

Puja Rios

David Susman

City Girl Flare


Get Ready For Our 2016 Health Activists Awards Week Celebration December 5 – 9th!

We hope you’ll join us for our 2016 #HAAwards  celebration because we have quite the week planned. We will be hosting webinars, giveaways, fun tips and of course announcing the 2016 WEGO Health Activist Award Winners! Stay tuned because we’ll be releasing the agenda for the week very soon.

Get ready for the celebration by supporting our Thunderclap campaign on Facebook!

We want everyone to be celebrating patient advocacy the first week of December. To help spread the word, we’re kicking off a Thunderclap campaign. Check it out, sign up and share it with networks. 

Congratulations to all the nominees and to our finalists! We are so grateful to be surrounded by such passionate and inspiring individuals. We’re looking forward to the winners being announced the first week of December!



Nominated and wondering what’s next? 

Complete these 5 simple tasks in order to become a finalist!

1. Spread the word of your nomination. Tweet it, post it, email it, blog it- let everyone know you’re a nominee for the 2016 WEGO Health Activist Awards. Yes, it’s your moment to shine so own it! Share your profile link on all your social channels to capture votes!

2. Download your endorsement badge

3. Send any pictures that demonstrate your advocacy in the last year to awards@wegohealth.com

5. Send us a video on what the #HAAwards mean to you. Cell phone videos work great- make sure to film landscape!

5. Complete the sentence “I am a health advocate because…” and send to awards@wegohealth.com

Now all you have to do is give yourself a huge pat on the back for your accomplishment. You’re changing lives- remember that!

If you have any questions, feel free to email awards@wegohealth.com.


So you’re nominated but now the big question is:



We’ve got you covered.

All you need to do is download your Endorsement Badge. You should post this badge on your website or blog to allow your followers to vote for you. You should definitely post to Facebook and tweet out your nominee profile link as well, that way followers can visit your profile and of course endorse you!

Ready to access your badge? Follow these simple steps and start capturing votes!

1.Go to the Health Activist Award Website

2.Login to nominee profile

3.Click “Get my badge” in the top banner. You can also click “Share My Profile” to share your profile to Facebook.



4.Use the drop down menu to select the nomination you would like to create a badge for. Please note if you have been nominated for multiple categories, you only need to download one badge as all endorsements are allocated to each nomination category (but if you want to download one for each category, knock yourself out! You deserve to have a brag moment.)


5.Copy the HTML Code in the white box at the bottom of the page.

6.Paste in blog. (Tip for WordPress users: Go to widgets create new text widget paste HTML code in box)

7.Tweet out your profile link and share your badge!


Best of luck!