Meet the 2023 Social Health Awards Finalists – News Block

We are excited to announce our finalists for the 2023 Social Health Awards! It has been an incredible experience for our judges (and our team) to get to know our healthcare leaders better through their advocacy. Living with (or caring for a loved one) with a chronic or terminal illness can seem overwhelming at times, but coming together to honor each other reminds us how important this work is. Our Health Leaders constantly surprise us. Whether it’s through your unique advocacy efforts or supporting other healthcare leaders, it’s all worth celebrating!


We couldn’t be more excited to recognize these incredible healthcare leaders over the years, but what’s even more special is witnessing the growth that has taken place within the community of patient leaders over the past decade. The passion that thousands of our health leaders, warriors, survivors, advocates, and influencers have is immeasurable.

We encourage you to check out all of this year’s nominees, which certainly made things difficult for our panel of judges. They are all really amazing.

Determination of Finalists

The three most endorsed individuals in each award category automatically became finalists. Three additional finalists were selected through multiple rounds of judging by members of the Social Health Network community. Nominees were reviewed and scored based on their suitability for the award category, their uses of social media, and their focus on sharing information and fostering engagement.

All finalists will be notified individually via email and next step communications will be sent to them.

Determining the winners

The 60 Social Health Awards finalists will be reviewed and scored by our panel of finalist judges, comprised of professionals and industry experts, to ultimately discover the ten inaugural Social Health Award winners.

Winners will be announced during our virtual conference, Connexion, on July 26 and invited to our in-person celebration at the Digital Pharma East Conference in Philadelphia on September 13, 2023.

And now, the moment you were waiting for…

Life Achievement

lifetime achievement award

David Lyons, MSFC


Shrenik Shah

Alisha M. Bridges

Michelle Hammer: Schizophrenic.NYC

Deborah Vick, Co-Founder/CEO of Vicktorious

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: Some patient leaders are true stars who continue to shine and don’t fit into one category. The Lifetime Achievement Award is for veteran patient leaders who, after years of advocacy achievement, stand out as role models to the entire online health community. Let’s recognize the champion leaders who inspire us all year after year!

Health Collaborator

Health Collaborator

Shoshana Lipson

elif kaya

kerry wong

Melissa Talwar (Fibromyalgia Support)

war camp curtis

tory robinson

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: The Healthcare Contributor category is for advocates bridging the gaps between industry stakeholders and healthcare consumers. Whether speaking at conferences, consulting with healthcare companies, or using their expertise to help drive change in the healthcare industry, these patient leaders are impacting the broader healthcare landscape.

community grower

community grower

Conversation normalization (NTC)

Myisha Malone-Rey

jennifer schropp

doug kane

Sharron Rose

Jed Finley

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: A diagnosis can be life-changing, but luckily so can the support of an online community. The Community Cultivator category celebrates online communities or forums that create an engaging space for newcomers while maintaining a safe place that people respect and trust. Whether it’s through online support groups, live events, or forum discussions, these leaders master managing, moderating, and engaging in their communities, all for the sake of supporting others.

Defense Pioneer

Defense Pioneer

crystal kent

Conversation normalization (NTC)

Myisha Malone-Rey

Gerry Langan

Somaneh Bouba Dieme

Ana Samson

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: There is no “right way” to advocate, and that is the best part of health leadership. This category seeks to recognize the myriad ways in which leaders bring innovation. While the possibilities are endless, we’ve seen leaders lead the way with new products, books, content, events, communities, and collaborations. Pushing the boundaries and paving a new path for others through education, awareness, or supporting their community, these individuals approach their advocacy by thinking outside the box.

social media master

social media master

crystal kent

doug kane

Cheryl Bookmark

Cynthia Covert, the disabled diva

kody green

geri rodriguez

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: Whether you’re posting to Instagram, hosting Facebook Lives, uploading YouTube videos, or stitching together the latest TikTok trend, the Social Media Master category recognizes patients and caregivers who leverage social platforms for advocacy. This person shares their story and builds community through one or more social channels. With so many social features in the app, we’re looking to celebrate all the creative ways healthcare leaders are using social media to impact their condition areas.

creative collaborator

creative collaborator

effie koliopoulos

Cheryl Bookmark


Kev More

“A hot MS” – Brittany Quiroz

Isabelle Fisher (aka POSY)

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: There are so many avenues when it comes to patient advocacy. The Creative Contributor category recognizes individuals who take a creative approach to raising awareness. Think of the patient leaders who transform your advocacy into clothing, cards, jewelry, comic creation and more! This category celebrates those who bring defense to the market.

Rookie of the Year

Rookie of the Year

elif kaya

Samantha Salvage

chronic heather

jess garland

Iris Vasconcelos

james hollens

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: As anyone in advocacy knows, communities are not built overnight! Sharing your story and impacting a community takes time and patience, so let’s encourage those who have recently become empowered as patient leaders. The Rookie of the Year category celebrates defenders who may be new to the scene, but continue to show maximum potential. This category is typically for patient leaders with 1-3 years of experience.

The best team

The best team

Chronic Migraine Warriors

IBD Warrior Support and Awareness


Loaded Heart

The Hearts for Healing Project

International Foundation for Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Arthritis (AiArthritis)

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: The Best Team category recognizes a team or group that takes its activism to new heights through mutual aid. Whether it’s a group running an online chat, a non-profit organization, or a caregiver-patient duo, this award celebrates those who bring a team effort to your advocacy!

Revolutionary Investigator

Revolutionary Investigator

Tina Aswani Omprakash

beth morton, PhD

Melissa Talwar (Fibromyalgia Support)

MamaTieneMigraña / VISIBLE Foundation

jamie nicole

Lana Buttner

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: The category aims to celebrate patients and caregivers who refuse to let medical jargon and data slow them down! The winner of this category stays up-to-date on the latest research, treatments, and clinical trials. This patient leader has the ability to transform complex information into simple terms for the broader community to act on.

care champion

care champion

Andrea M. Jensen, CHES(R), AE-C

makenzie cabrera

Erin Courteau

parvathy krishnan

Lorrie Forseth

holly williams

Description of the Sociosanitary Award: Not all patient leaders share their own patient journey. The Caregiving Champion category is for caregivers who tirelessly raise awareness to improve the lives of their loved ones. Although they may not be sick themselves, they are the caregivers of children, siblings, parents, significant others, or friends, who have an up close and personal perspective that is invaluable.

Give yourself a round of applause!

Congratulations to all of our finalists and nominees! A nomination means you’ve made an impact in someone’s life and that’s the biggest win of all. With the help of all of you, we are closer than ever to changing the patient journey. Thank you for sharing his story, using his voice, and uplifting your community members. Hello to the voice of the patient!

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