Last week, the official winners of the 2019 WEGO Health Awards were announced. The eighth annual virtual awards ceremony celebrated Patient Leaders in 15 categories - there were over 6,000 nominees this year! Nominations were made in July and five finalists were chosen in each award category. The winners will attend a live awards ceremony in Las Vegas next month to be recognized for their advocacy efforts.
Merriam-Webster defines advocacy as “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.” This definition leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and the WEGO awards are a perfect example of the wide range of advocacy efforts taking place around the world. Nominees represent the best of the best in patient advocacy, from blogs and social media to healthcare collaboration. It’s a truly diverse assortment of people using their unique skills to make a difference in healthcare.
I recommend taking some time to check out this year’s nominees, and especially the finalists in each category. To see all of this year’s winners, you can visit the WEGO website.
To discover some of my personal favorite blogs, podcasts and influencers who were nominated for WEGO awards this year, keep reading!
Ali on the Run (blog and podcast)
Nominated for: Best Kept Secret
Ali Feller is a runner, writer, mother and podcast host with Crohn’s disease. Check out her podcast for interviews with elite runners and her blog for tips on living (and running) with a chronic illness.
Actively Autoimmune (blog)
Nominated for: Hilarious Patient Leader, Instagram, Blog, Rookie of the Year
Actively Autoimmune is “an online space for those with invisible illness,” created by Zoe, a physiotherapist diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos and lupus. She focuses on self-care and the benefits of exercise, specifically for those with chronic illnesses.
Christalle Bodiford (blog)
Nominated for: Patient Leader Hero, Instagram, Blog, Rookie of the Year
Christalle, who happens to be a fellow Outdoor Mindset ambassador, is also an epilepsy advocate and entrepreneur. Her site features a blog and resources for those living with epilepsy or who just enjoy art and adventure.
My Migraine Life (blog)
Nominated for: Facebook, Lifetime Achievement, Patient Leader Hero, Blog
Sarah, the creator of My Migraine Life, is a mom, teacher and animal lover with migraine. Read about her adventures with her golden retriever and advocacy efforts, like Miles for Migraine, on the blog.
Wellness Lately (podcast)
Nominated for: Podcast
Bridget Shannon and Dana Barron are done dieting. These two East Coast holistic health coaches are all about body positivity and redefining what wellness means. Their podcast features interviews with other women in the wellness world and advice for holistic living.
PositiviTea: Good Vibes by the Spoonful (podcast)
Nominated for: Podcast, YouTube
Mary Lu Ryan and Jacob Kahn share happy stories and good vibes on their weekly podcast. I’ll never turn down a feel-good show from a fellow tea lover.
Autoimmune Strong (blog)
Nominated for: Best Kept Secret
Andrea Wool, the creator and founder of Autoimmune Strong, lives with fibromyalgia and multiple autoimmune diseases. So she understands the challenge of staying fit and active with chronic pain. Her blog and fitness program make fitness more accessible for those with autoimmune diseases.