mHealth Alliance Honors Mobile Health Visionaries in First-Ever Awards Ceremony at mHealth Summit

Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 09, 2013 –The mHealth Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing the use of mobile technologies to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries, announced this evening the winners of the Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award and the mHealth Alliance Collaboration Award. This marks the first time that the Alliance has extended these honors. Dr. Richard Gakuba of Rwanda received the Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award, while the Ananya partnership of Bihar, India, received the mHealth Alliance Collaboration Award. The awards were presented at a dinner celebrating the Alliance’s fifth anniversary, which coincides with the fifth annual mHealth Summit, of which the Alliance is an organizing partner.

“These awards are designed to honor visionaries in the field of mHealth – individuals and organizations whose work serves as a shining example of what is possible when we use mobile technologies strategically to improve health outcomes in developing countries,” said Dr. Patricia Mechael, executive director of the mHealth Alliance. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to honor these outstanding members of the mHealth community, and we’re grateful to the co-sponsors that have made it possible to recognize them.”

The Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award is co-sponsored by the mHealth Alliance, FHI 360 and the Rockefeller Foundation, and it includes a $5,000 cash prize and covers travel expenses to bring Dr. Gakuba to the mHealth Summit.

The Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award
Dr. Richard Gakuba, the former national e-Health coordinator of Rwanda, received the Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award – named in honor of Holly Ladd, a champion of community building and skills transfer in mHealth. The award recognizes an individual who is advancing sustainable solutions for personal and community health empowerment through the use of mobile technology.

“In just a few short years, the mHealth Alliance has been instrumental in making mHealth ubiquitous in global health. It demonstrates how philanthropic dollars, leveraged at the right moment, can catalyze entire fields,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “This progress has been further possible through visionary champions around the world like Dr. Richard Gakuba, who recognized the potential of mHealth and eHealth, and demonstrated how it can help transform health systems anywhere.”

Dr. Gakuba was honored for his pioneering work, which has led to the creation and implementation of a national e-Health strategy for Rwanda. This strategy has created a regulatory environment that is enabling mHealth projects and programs to flourish and scale. Dr. Gakuba’s work has helped to optimize the effectiveness of health care delivery and made health services more affordable in Rwanda.

“FHI 360 is honored to support the Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award this year,” said Albert J. Siemens, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of FHI 360. “The award acknowledges Holly’s vision of how communication technology can transform the lives of millions of people around the globe. It celebrates her outstanding leadership and passion that have been an inspiration for so many.”

Holly Ladd was the Director of SATELLIFE, which pioneered access to peer-reviewed medical and public health information for health care workers in developing communities via electronic-based information technology and low-earth orbit satellites. A true innovator in the development of systems to support health workers and strengthen health systems, Holly trusted the passion of health care workers to overcome a lack of familiarity with computers. When SATELLIFE joined FHI 360 in 2011, Holly redoubled her commitment to using mobile technology to expand knowledge, build human capacity and improve lives. The Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award celebrates her innovation, compassion and magnanimity.

The mHealth Alliance Collaboration Award
The mHealth Alliance Collaboration Award was presented to the partners in the Ananya project, which is using mobile technologies in Bihar, India, to extend health information and services to families living beyond the reach of formal health facilities. The Collaboration Award recognizes individuals and/or organizations whose work through partnership has contributed significantly to advancing the field. The mHealth Alliance, itself, was created based on the vision that deepened collaboration among members of the mHealth community could help overcome key obstacles in bringing effective mHealth products, projects, policies and programs to scale.

Ananya was honored for its ground-breaking model, including integrated approaches to achieving the Millennium Development Goals related to maternal and child health. The Government of Bihar (the Social Welfare Department and the Health Department), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BBC Media Action, CARE, Dimagi, the Grameen Foundation and World Health Partners will be recognized collectively for their innovative work that stands out as a leading example of an effective mHealth project operating at scale.

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