12 posts tagged “award”

PatientsLikeMe Co-Founders Jamie and Ben Heywood Win International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations 2016 Humanitarian Award

Posted December 8th, 2016 by

DUBLIN—December 8, 2016—A decade after their work sparked a revolution in patient empowerment and patient-centered medicine, PatientsLikeMe co-founders Jamie and Ben Heywood were awarded the 2016 Humanitarian Award by the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations.

Inaugurated in 2000, the Humanitarian Award recognizes and encourages contributions to the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Motor Neurone Disease (ALS/MND) and is awarded to those whose work is of international significance for people affected by ALS/MND.

In presenting the award, the Alliance’s citation acknowledged the founding of both the patient network PatientsLikeMe and the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world’s first non-profit biotechnology company. “When their brother was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 29, James Allen Heywood and Benjamin Heywood were devastated at his prognosis and at the lack of effective treatments for the disease. They saw firsthand how isolating ALS/MND can be. They took up these challenges as a family and, with family and friends, founded two organizations: ALS TDI, tasked with finding effective treatments for the condition, and PatientsLikeMe, to tackle social isolation and to collect data on what other drugs, interventions or supplements might make a difference to those with ALS/MND.”

Jamie Heywood thanked the association on behalf of his family and PatientsLikeMe members and staff and said the company is ready to lead the next decade of advancements in research and medicine, with and for patients. “We changed the rules by helping patients digitize and share their experience so they could make more informed decisions about how to live with and treat their condition. Now we’re embarking on the next stage of the journey by piloting biomarker discovery in ALS and other conditions. We hope many more patients will join us as we work together to find new answers.”

More information about how to be part of PatientsLikeMe’s upcoming research in ALS/MND is available at www.patientslikeme.com/advanceals.

About PatientsLikeMe
PatientsLikeMe is a patient network that improves lives and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that help researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers, and nonprofits develop more effective products, services, and care. With more than 400,000 members, PatientsLikeMe is a trusted source for real-world disease information and a clinically robust resource that has published more than 85 research studies. Visit us at www.patientslikeme.com or follow us via our blog, Twitter or Facebook.

Contact                                                                                                                Margot Carlson Delogne


Compassion for all: Terry Yoas, CNA – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 18th, 2015 by

Tonight, the recipient of the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, from our partners at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, will be presented to one of six nominees at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston. 

Today we’re highlighting the sixth and final nominee for the NCCY Award. We’ve already introduced five of the nominees, including Rick Boyte, MD, Melody J. Cunningham, MD, Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN, Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C and Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN.

Terry Yoas, CNA
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (Santa Rosa, California)

“He ensures the dignity of our patients by going the extra step to make a connection with each person at an individual level.” – A colleague

Terry Yoas is well known for his cheerful Hawaiian shirts that have become his trademark and working uniform as a care partner at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital’s oncology unit. For the past 16 years, Terry has created and continues to establish a welcoming, safe and caring second home for cancer patients and their families. Although becoming a certified nursing assistant was something Terry pursued later in life, it seems he was always destined to find his own home at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he was born.

“I feel like I didn’t choose oncology, oncology chose me,” says Terry, who believes that every encounter with a person is a chance to make a positive difference in that person’s life. “If you’re doing it right, you’re going to get just as much out of caring for that person as that person is going to get from you.”

For Terry, this isn’t just his job—caring for others is something he loves to do. He finds ways to connect with every patient, learning their personal story and listening attentively to their needs.

“Terry made it possible for me to start to step out of my depression. He gave me hope,” says a patient.

Terry also has a knack for remembering the small details that can make a big difference, like determining how a patient likes her coffee and having it ready each day. During his time off, Terry often comes to sit with patients who are having a rough day or at the end of life, or stops by the ICU to comfort patients and families who have been in his care and whose condition may have worsened.

“He instills hope through his gentleness, humility and the ever-present joy and pride with which he performs his work,” says a colleague. “Terry treats each person for whom he cares like a member of his own family.”

Over the years, Terry has formed many bonds with his patients and families. One poignant example of compassion was the time Terry came in on his day off to fashion a customized wheelchair with his own tools for one of his patients who had become increasingly dependent on IV medications, which made it a challenge to leave the room. After some teamwork and ingenuity, Terry and his patient rigged together a wheelchair that could carry all of the necessary medical equipment. Together, they wheeled to the healing garden and creek to enjoy the outdoors. Terry will never forget the big smile on this patient’s face, because to Terry, “compassionate care is the only kind of care.”
Stay tuned for the winner of the NCCY Award, which we’ll share on the blog tomorrow.


Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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Compassion for all: Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 16th, 2015 by

Today, we’re happy to introduce the fourth of six nominees for the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, presented by our friends at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. We’ve already featured Rick Boyte, MD, Melody J. Cunningham, MD and Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN. 

Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Providence Cancer Center (Portland, Oregon)

“She finds power and strength in her patients. She works with them to maximize their strengths so they may achieve their hopes and dreams.” – A social worker colleague

Although caring for patients who face challenging diagnoses can be emotionally demanding for caregivers, oncology social worker Krista Nelson has discovered that finding laughter and joy in each experience ensures that everyone involved approaches challenges with more compassion and understanding. Krista reminds caregivers and patients to celebrate any “win,” big or small, and works hard to bring a positive, joyful attitude into each interaction.

“I fell in love with my job because it allows me to fight social injustice and inequalities, and it also allows me to get to know each patient personally and support them through their journey,” says Krista.

The foundation of Krista’s work can be summarized into one word: connection. Connection with patients, their families and her colleagues is what brings her joy and sustains her efforts. In her role, she provides individuals counseling, facilitates support groups and organizes retreats. After experiencing the effects of cancer on patients’ families, Krista helped with the development and coordination of a program for children who have a parent with cancer.

Outside of work, Krista’s time is dedicated to serving others on a global scale. Krista and her team have shared the model they developed for supporting children of cancer patients with doctors from Japan, who now use the model to heal tsunami victims. Each year Krista travels to a clinic in Haiti and conducts the Schwartz Center Rounds® program, providing emotional support for caregivers from both Haiti and the U.S. Krista is also active in several professional organizations, and has previously served as the president of the Association of Oncology Social Work and as an invited director of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. Currently, Krista serves as an invited director on the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and as a director of the American Clinical Social Work Association, where she advocates for compassionate care.

“I love big picture thinking with passionate colleagues around the world in order to enhance the care for those we serve daily,” says Krista.

Krista gives the same type of support to her colleagues as she gives to her patients, and feels honored to support the caregivers who are her teammates. Through her counsel, Krista’s team processes their often complex experiences and emotions so they can continue to provide the best possible quality care to the next patient they encounter.

“I have many moments of joy and laughter, and have the opportunity to learn how to live from these stories and those I serve,” says Krista. “I am reminded of the courage and strength of all of the individuals I have met, and live my life to the fullest due to them.”

The winner of the NCCY Award will be named at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston on November 18.


Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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Compassion for all: Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 16th, 2015 by

Tomorrow, the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, from our partners at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, will be presented to one of six nominees at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston.

So far, we’ve featured four of the six nominees here on the blog: Rick Boyte, MD, Melody J. Cunningham, MD and Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN and Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C. Today, meet the fifth nominee, Jayne O’Malley.

Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN
Orange Regional Medical Center (Middletown, New York)

“It was obvious how much Jayne cared for my mom. She treated her with kindness, respect and love; her compassion was unending.” – A patient’s daughter

It can be very disorienting for patients who receive a devastating cancer diagnosis, or experience treatment side effects that impact their appearance, ability to eat, speak, see or hear. This is where Jayne O’Malley steps in.

“Everybody is deserving of compassion. Nobody ‘deserves’ a cancer diagnosis,” says Jayne, a nurse and lung cancer navigator at Orange Regional Medical Center. “My goal is to be there and offer support through the peaks and valleys that my patients face. When illness strikes, not only is the patient impacted, family and friends also need compassion and care.”

When Jayne sees a need, she takes it upon herself to research and propose a solution. She has been instrumental in introducing patient support groups and implementing a lung cancer screening program, which has helped countless participants.

“Jayne brings professionalism, confidence, empathy, passion, warmth, and energy to work every day, which not only assists and motivates her colleagues, but acts as a beacon of hope for her patients,” says a physician colleague.

She is also known to spend a lot of her personal time and resources to help her patients. She has bought a pre-paid cell phone so a patient could communicate about his treatment; helped a homeless patient deal with issues with his feeding tube; taken a patient to experience a beautiful waterfall; and has brought dinner to the homes of family members to ensure they were nourished.

A patient’s daughter notes that “upon meeting Jayne, there was an instant feeling of relief knowing there was someone guiding us along this very frightening and uncertain path. Jayne brought a sense of calm and reassurance that we were in the best hands possible.”

Jayne often creates strong and lasting bonds with her patients. She once had a cancer patient who met the love of her life and got engaged. “Jayne gave this patient hope, smiles, warm touches and encouragement in planning the wedding,” says a colleague. “Her prognosis was poor, but never did Jayne allow this patient to be discouraged and she helped her pull of their fairytale wedding, which they planned during her weekly chemotherapy sessions.”

Jayne was there on that special day, just as she was there in the patient’s home on the day she passed away. The patient’s husband donated artwork to the infusion center in honor of his wife, knowing she’d want to provide a relaxing scene for other patients to enjoy and help them feel at ease.

“There are great rewards that result from compassion,” says Jayne. “The lifelong relationships forged with patients and family members is something to be cherished.


Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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Compassion for all: Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 13th, 2015 by

By now, you’re probably familiar with the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, presented by our partners at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. We’re featuring the six award nominees here on the blog, leading up to the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston on November 18. We’ve already featured Rick Boyte, MD from The University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson, MS) and Melody J. Cunningham, MD from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. Next up is Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN.

Cheryl D. Kane, Med, BSN, RN
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (Boston, Massachusetts)

“Strong relationships of trust are a hallmark of the care Cheryl provides. It is Cheryl to whom we turn to instill and nurture that same sense of compassion in the next generation of nurses in our program.” – A physician colleague

After 23 years of teaching, Cheryl Kane decided to follow her lifelong dream and become a registered nurse. Now Cheryl provides care for the often overlooked homeless population as the Director of Nursing at the Barbara McInnis House at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

Cheryl draws on the lessons she learned while teaching, including patience and encouraging others to be their best selves, when serving her patients. The former teacher notes that over the years, her patients have taught her a lot as well.

“The homeless patients I interact with keep me honest; they do not tolerate insincerity or phoniness. They’ve also taught me how to be compassionate, and have given me a greater understanding of what compassion is all about,” says Cheryl.

The majority of Cheryl’s patients have had lives full of physical and emotional trauma, and their capacity to trust is limited. Cheryl’s initial goal when meeting with a new patient is to develop a sincere relationship of trust, which allows her patients to tell her their story and where they’ve come from. Once Cheryl understands who they are and the unique challenges they face, they can work in partnership to create a healthier outcome.

Building strong bonds with her patients and colleagues is at the heart of all Cheryl’s interactions. She was working on the street team when a patient found out that she had recently lost her husband. The patient immediately asked Cheryl to go buy herself a cup of coffee, and put it on his tab, so they could talk about her late husband.

“I realized later that this was an incredible gift that this man gave to me. People would easily pass him by because of his exterior, but he was so gracious to me that day, and had a real concern for what had happened,” says Cheryl.

Both colleagues and patients alike emphasize how Cheryl’s ability to look at someone’s soul, rather than their exterior, has left a longstanding impression on them. Through humor, patience, a gentle touch and her kindhearted nature, Cheryl has become a source of support for those she cares for.

A nursing colleague says, “at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Cheryl’s name is synonymous with amazing listener, the person who goes the extra mile for patients and staff, non-judgmental, extraordinary nurse, strong leader and advocate for patients and strongest of all…compassionate caregiver.”

Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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Compassion for all: Melody J. Cunningham, MD – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 12th, 2015 by

We’ve already introduced you to Rick Boyte, MD, one of the finalists for the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award presented by our partners at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. Today, we’re happy to introduce you to another nominated healthcare provider who has displayed extraordinary devotion and compassion in caring for patients and families.

Melody J. Cunningham, MD
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital (Memphis, Tennessee)

“Melody’s character shines through her every action and her kindness is immeasurable. Her compassion for treating the whole family can not be put into words.” – A former patient’s mother

A series of losses, including the death of her father, during Melody Cunningham’s childhood taught her the definition of compassion and the depth of the human experience. As a pediatric palliative care and hematology/oncology physician and medical director of Threads of Care, the palliative care program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Melody treasures every individual she comes in contact with.

A winding path of jobs and experiences led her to oncology, where compassionate mentors taught her a powerful distinction: to look at medical relationships as human relationships.

“I teach our medical students, residents and fellows that it’s OK to be human, to make mistakes and to say we’re sorry. As caregivers, we can laugh with families and we can cry with families,” says Melody.

Caring for her team is just as important as caring for her patients. Melody often arranges for her team to gather at her house to prepare food for the week, drops off food at team members’ homes when she knows they’ve had a difficult week, and has also been known to provide free babysitting services for colleagues. An active participant of the Schwartz Center Rounds® program, Melody emphasizes that it’s important for caregivers to remember they are human and to take the time needed to process thoughts and emotions.

Together, Melody and her team work to make sure families feel like they always have a safety net. With a 24/7 phone line, caregivers are never out of reach.

“Throughout our son’s illness, Melody was available, day or night, to answer questions and provide comfort. Melody became our friend, caregiver, confidant and biggest advocate during the darkest period of our lives,” says a former patient’s mother.

Melody approaches her practice with listening ears and an empathizing heart. She often wears a bracelet with a pair of moccasins on it, which reminds her to step into the other person’s shoes and picture their journey from their perspective. Melody believes that listening to patients and understanding their point of view and how they define quality of life is integral to the healing process.

“Melody hugged us, cried with us, laughed and celebrated milestones over the course of our daughter’s illness,” says a former patient’s mother. “With Melody by our side, we never felt alone or incapable of caring for our daughter.”


Stay tuned for the remaining NCCY Award nominees as they’re featured on the blog leading up to the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston on November 18. 

Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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Compassion for all: Rick Boyte, MD – Schwartz Center NCCY Award finalist

Posted November 10th, 2015 by

Back in April, our partners at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare called for nominations for their National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, a national recognition program that honors outstanding healthcare providers who display extraordinary devotion and compassion in caring for patients and families. This year’s expansion of the award marks the award’s 16th year, and its first year as a national distinction.

Six 2015 NCCY Award finalists have been named, and the winner of the NCCY Award will be announced on November 18 at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston. In anticipation of next week’s award ceremony, we’ll be featuring the NCCY Award finalists here on the blog. First up is Rick Boyte, MD.

Rick Boyte, MD
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson, Mississippi)

“Dr. Boyte is the most selfless and caring person I’ve met. He cares more about patients than protocols and more about residents than research. Here is someone I could learn from—here was a man worth emulating. Many doctors can claim to have saved a life—very few can say they healed another’s spirit.” – A resident

Those who witness the care Rick Boyte provides his patients, experience the compassion he has for the children and their families, and feel the camaraderie he shares with colleagues, can immediately understand the special bond he has with patients, their families and care teams.

As a physician and the division chief of pediatric palliative medicine at Batson Children’s Hospital in the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Rick is not only interested in the science and technology that could be afforded each child, he strives to equip families with all they need in order to cope with their child’s complex and fragile condition, no matter what the outcome.

“From starting the PICU to forming the palliative care team, from chairing the Ethics Committee to leading Schwartz Center Rounds® program, and from teaching medicine to modeling compassion—he seeks out the needs of others and gives of himself so willingly,” says a resident.

Rick consistently treats each child as if they are the most important one in the world. And it was no different the time when an expecting couple received devastating news that their baby girl had a very rare birth defect with a poor prognosis. Rick met with them immediately and discussed the best and worst possible scenarios for their daughter. Together, they decided to focus on quality of life, no matter how long or short it might be.

“Dr. Boyte walked with us on this life-changing journey. He was not afraid to be there for us during our darkest days of planning her funeral and deciding where we would want her buried if she died,” says the mother. “He listened to us and got to know us and our heart’s desires for our precious daughter. He was sensitive to our every emotion, from joy, celebration and hope, to sorrow, grief and pain. He supported us in unimaginable ways. And I’m sure he would say he was just doing his job.”

Rick was there for their daughter’s birthday and continued to celebrate every milestone with the family until she was a year and half, when she became Rick’s first graduate. She didn’t just survive—she thrived. Today, she is a happy four-year-old little girl.

“I’m absolutely inspired by my patients and their families. They are the most courageous people I’ve ever met,” says Rick. “They’re just getting through their lives. But the love and the focus I’ve seen from families, from parents, the devotion they’ve given their children—it’s just amazing.”

He supports families through active listening and communication while including the families’ goals, values and desires into each patient’s plan of care. He has accompanied a family home with their dying child as their final wish was that she be able to die in the comfort of home. He has remained on the phone with a mother as she sat alone watching her child take her last breath waiting for the hospice nurse to arrive. He has stayed at the hospital with patients for hours to ensure a family felt supported and achieved their goal of their child dying without pain. And he has attended his patients’ funerals to be there for the families.

“I’m so thankful for the privilege of working with Rick Boyte, to be a witness to his care and compassion, and experience his unwavering commitment to his patients and families,” says a nurse colleague.

“I think the ability to be compassionate is within all of us,” says Rick. “Over the years I have learned that compassion is often the best offering we have as humans.”


If you have a caregiver you’d like to recognize, stay tuned for nominations for the 2016 NCCY Award, which will open early next year. If you’d still like an opportunity to say “thank you” to your caregiver, learn more about Schwartz Center’s Honor Your Caregiver program, which celebrates everyday acts of compassion.

Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.

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New partner, Schwartz Center, calls for nominations: National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year

Posted April 6th, 2015 by

Remember a time when you were in the hospital or doctor’s office, feeling nervous and anxious about a shot, treatment or diagnosis? And remember there was someone who made you feel safe, answered all your questions, or did something small that had a big impact?

It’s like what Ken Schwartz said during his battle with lung cancer, “These acts of kindness – the simple human touch from my caregivers – have made the unbearable bearable.” Those experiences inspired Ken to create an outline for an organization to promote compassionate care so that patients and their caregivers can relate to one other in a way that provides hope to the patient, support to caregivers and sustenance to the healing process. And just days before his death in 1995, he founded the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare.

For 16 of the last 20 years the Schwartz Center has been honoring extraordinary professional caregivers and teams who embody characteristics of compassionate care, like listening carefully, showing empathy, instilling hope and more. We’re proud to be partnered with them in their continued efforts. And you can be a part of it, too.

The Schwartz Center is calling for nominations for its National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) award, and you have until May 1 to submit your nomination.

Award-winning author Atul Gawande will present the award at the Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in November, which coincides with the Schwartz Center’s 20thanniversary. His work focuses on the difficult choices caregivers, patients and families face every day and the issues that can make it hard to provide high-quality, cost-effective and compassionate healthcare.

Do something special
If you have special healthcare providers in your life, honor them for their excellence by nominating them for National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year. It’s a simple but powerful way to show your appreciation for a job well (and compassionately) done.

“Receiving the Schwartz Center award … affirmed that rewarding feeling at the end of an encounter with a patient, when you see hope and relief in their eyes – it’s priceless,”  said Thea James, MD, last year’s Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award recipient.

More about the partnership
Over the last 20 years, the Schwartz Center focused on providing compassionate care, while over the last 10 years, we’ve brought the patient voice and the patient story to the life sciences community. We’re excited about the new alliance, which will help us better understand the patient’s perception of compassionate care. We can strengthen the relationship between patients and their healthcare providers, which leads to better health outcomes, lower costs and greater patient satisfaction.

Working together, we’ll survey our members to gather their feedback on a proposed Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale™, designed to let healthcare organizations measure and reward the compassionate care that doctors, nurses and other caregivers provide to patients and families. Jointly, we’ll create content to teach patients what compassionate care really is and how to ask for it.

Julie Rosen, executive director of the Schwartz Center, commented on the part PatientsLikeMe will play in evaluating compassionate care:

“As in other areas of healthcare, we believe measurement can play an important role in improving patients’ care experiences, and we are thrilled to have a collaborator that can help us ensure that we’re measuring what is most important to patients in language they can understand.”

Share this post on Twitter and nominate your candidate for Caregiver of the Year.

PatientsLikeMe Inducted into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame

Posted November 13th, 2012 by

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  But did you know there’s a Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame?

The Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame Was Founded in 2011.

Formed in 2011, the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame was established “to honor individuals and organizations that have made outstanding, long-lasting contributions to the healthcare Internet industry” and to preserve the history of this growing space for future generations.  The 2012 Hall of Fame Class will be inducted today at the 16th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  And guess what?  We’re one of them!

PatientsLikeMe is thrilled to be one of two inductees in the “Innovative Products/Services” category along with the esteemed Mayo Clinic.  Other 2012 inductees include Mark Gothberg, Editor of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends and Chairman of the eHealthcare Leadership Awards; Ed Bennett, founder of the Hospital Social Network List; and the Community Health Network of Indianapolis.  Inductees are selected by an independent Board of Judges, which this year included Paul Griffiths, Founding Partner and CEO of MedTouch.

We congratulate our fellow inductees and look forward to today’s induction ceremony at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.

PatientsLikeMeOnCall: How Genetics Bears on Your Condition

Posted September 2nd, 2011 by

PatientsLikeMe Research Scientist Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH

Welcome to the fourth installment of our new PatientsLikeMeOnCall podcast series entitled “It’s Friday – Let’s Journal Club.”

This week’s interview is with PatientsLikeMe’s own Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH, who recently won a highly competitive award from the International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG). One of our in-house Research Scientists, Dr. Brownstein captivated PatientsLikeMe headquarters last Friday with her Journal Club talk about what the ICHG award means as well as how the study of genetics can influence healthcare decisions.

Afterwards, PatientsLikeMe’s Aaron Fleishman sat down with Dr. Brownstein to learn more about how the ICHG award is selected as well as how it spotlights PatientsLikeMe’s potential as a platform for genetic discovery. Listen in below to hear what Dr. Brownstein had to say about how your genetics can affect your condition – from how you metabolize drugs to how your disease will progress.

Ben Heywood, PatientsLikeMe Wins Boston Business Journal’s “Champions in Healthcare” Award

Posted October 1st, 2008 by

Last Friday (September 26, 2008), our Co-founder and President, Ben Heywood, was honored at the Boston Business Journal “Champions in Healthcare” award ceremony. Ben was one of two recipients recognized in the Innovation category. These regional awards highlight outstanding individuals and companies from the Boston-area who are making a difference in healthcarBen Heywood at Boston Business Journale, including winners across five categories (Administrators, Community Outreach, Employers, Innovators, Nursing and Physicians).  Here is the full list of honorees.

Held at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, the event was kicked off with a keynote address by Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Leonard Zon, an internationally recognized pioneer in the fields of stem cell biology and cancer genetics.  Next, Boston Business Journal’s Editor, George Donnelly, and Lisa Vanderpool presented each honoree with an engraved, crystal award in front of a room full of colleagues, family members and friends.  The winners were also profiled in a special edition of the paper last month (August 15, 2008).

It’s truly an honor for our company to be spotlighted in this way, particularly in our own “backyard,” which happens to be populated with some of the best and brightest healthcare professionals and companies around.  In his thank-you remarks, Ben touched upon his personal experiences that has brought him here, and thanked his team and the community.  He said it best –  “I share this award with the other two co-founders, my brother Jamie and our friend Jeff Cole, and our incredible team…Last but not least, I have to thank the patients.  Without them, we wouldn’t be here.”

PatientsLikeMe honored with award of distinction at Ars Electronica

Posted September 26th, 2008 by

Ars Electronica – one of the foremost centers for art and technology – honored PatientsLikeMe at their annual festival with the Award of Distinction. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most prestigious prizes in the fields of media, technology, animation, and interactive art.

This year, there were a record number of submissions with 4,056 overall.  More than 220 online communities were competing in the newest category: Digital Communities. Previous winners in this category include Wikipedia, Free Software Foundation and Akshaya.net.

JF Presenting PLMWhile PatientsLikeMe has been honored and cited for its innovation in the area of health and medical research, we were thrilled to be recognized directly for our social and artistic value. Central to PatientsLikeMe, and what drew many of us to work here, is our commitment to empower individual patients to become informed, engaged participants in both their own healthcare and in the creation of new scientific knowledge. This prize attests to our contribution in this area.

At PatientsLikeMe, as an inter-disciplinary team of researchers, designers, and engineers, we are building a platform for patients to both share and use health data.  Our goal is help patients leverage their own experiences to make good decisions and improve outcomes.  As a research scientist here, it is exciting to see how our carefully designed tools engage patients to record, reason with and apply data to inform all types of medical decisions.

So, it was a particular honor for me to be able to travel on behalf of PatientsLikeMe to Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria to accept this award focused on the social and creative value of the online communities for patients. I presented PatientsLikeMe to an international audience and the audio is available as a podcast on their site. Relationships with these new audiences and the resulting discussions help us continue to improve tools for patients to share and leverage data to improve outcomes.

PatientsLikeMe member jeanafrost