NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD), the leading source of health information, today announced its 2013 WebMD Health Heroes award winners. Each year, the WebMD Health Heroes awards celebrate those who recognized a need for change, pushed past adversity, and were able to help inspire others in meaningful ways. In addition, this year WebMD introduced a new category of health heroes: those who helped improve diabetes awareness and treatment.
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"WebMD Health Heroes represent individuals who are dedicated to encouraging health and wellness throughout their communities, and this year's winners are achieving remarkable success in their goals of inspiring others," said Kristy Hammam, editor in chief, WebMD Magazine. "The 2013 WebMD Health Heroes are making a positive impact in the lives of those facing their own health challenges by extending their support to others."Featured in the November/December issues of WebMD Magazine and WebMD Diabetes, the winners each receive a $2,500 donation from WebMD to their choice of charity or foundation. The 2013 WebMD Health Heroes are:
- Simone Bernstein : This college student co-founded VolunTEENnation.org, a program that establishes sports clinics for children with autism across the country, helping them get fit, lose weight, and learn important skills. VolunTEENnation.org has connected 14,000 teens with volunteer opportunities within sports clinics for children with autism and created opportunities for nearly 500 children to participate in sports clinics in 12 cities last year. In addition, Simone created a network of 50 community gardens that have yielded 15,000 pounds of fresh produce for local food banks.
- Barbi Haase : With a double devotion to healthy food and saving money, this mother of six organized a produce distribution system throughout her region, enabling families to buy more produce, learn how to prepare it, and save money. Haase's organization, The Noisy Rabbit, also donates food to needy families in the area, with distribution to nearly 700 families.
- Manny Hernandez : Hernandez established Diabetes Hands Foundation to harness the power of social media to educate, empower, and engage people with diabetes around the world. His two social networks, TuDiabetes.org and EsTuDiabetes.org, have more than 50,000 registered members. Since 2010, Diabetes Hands Foundation has given more than $250,000 to diabetes programs in underserved areas in the U.S., Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.
- Tracy Milligan : After discovering her school district discriminated against children with diabetes, Tracy worked with the American Diabetes Association, legislators, and parent groups to ultimately help change state law. With Florida House Bill 747 now in effect, she is currently contributing to national efforts to change the law in other states.
- Lee Morgan, DVM: This veterinarian provides care to police dogs, guide dogs, and draft horses at no cost and leverages revolutionary stem cell therapies to help pets regain their mobility. Morgan uses innovative therapies, which regenerate cartilage and nerve function, that are used by only a handful of veterinarians across the country.
- Emily Whitehead/ Stephan Grupp, MD: Emily Whitehead was close to death from leukemia when Dr. Stephan Grupp genetically engineered her own infection-fighting cells to fight her cancer. Now in remission, Emily and her family travel to Washington, D.C., with her oncologists to urge legislators to fund T-cell and other pediatric cancer research. In addition, they have supported the Cancer Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to raise funds for their programs by speaking at CHOP advocacy events and sharing Emily's story.