10th Annual WEGO Health Awards | How it Works

In 2011, the WEGO Health Awards were created to embody the mission of WEGO Health: to empower patient leaders. Considering the WEGO Health Patient Leader Network is centered around these healthcare transformers, we knew it was up to us to celebrate their accomplishments. From this need to celebrate the leaders who make a difference, the WEGO Health Awards were born.

With 16 different award categories, it is the only program to recognize patient leaders across all condition areas and platforms; whether running an online support group, speaking at conferences or sharing creating captivating TikToks documenting their health journey, there is truly an award category to recognize every patient leader out there.

For 10 years, the WEGO Health Awards have proven to be one of the best ways to honor, recognize, and celebrate the work of patient advocates, influencers and healthcare collaborators who are changing the patients’ lives and transforming healthcare – often without any formal recognition.

Last year, we received over 15,000 nominations and over 130,000 endorsements. Various rounds of judging narrowed it down to just 96 finalists and ultimately 16 WEGO Health Award winners who were honored during a virtual ceremony and now sit as a compensated WEGO Health Advisory board member.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with HLTH for a third year in a row to celebrate the 10th Annual WEGO Health Awards. Keep reading to learn more about the program, timelines and prize pack!


The WEGO Health Awards are split into four different phases:


1. Nominations | June – July

2. Endorsements | July

3. Judging | August

4. Celebration | September & October

Learn more about how the WEGO Health Awards work:

NOMINATIONS

Open June 1st-July 31st

Think of nominations as a way to recognize your favorite patient leaders for the work they are doing. With 16 award categories, it’s easy to show your appreciation for all the patient advocates in your life. To start nominating, simply click here.

🏆 Tip for Nominees: Share out your WEGO Health profile and ask your community to recognize you for the WEGO Health Awards. Don’t be afraid to post to social, reach out to foundations, and include in any email correspondence. Your work deserves to be recognized! Once you’re nominated, you’ll receive a Nominee Media Kit for easy sharing.

Who should be nominated? Who can win a WEGO Health Award?

Anyone who is an active and leading member of an online community, and making a difference in healthcare, is eligible to be nominated. He or she should provide the community with valuable information and support to make a difference for other patients and caregivers. Nominees for an individual social channel award must have a presence on that particular social channel, of course.

Think about the advocates and influencers you see leading Facebook groups, blogging about their health journey, speaking up and giving insights to healthcare companies, presenting on national stages, and running Twitter chats. Patient Leaders have started non-profits, published podcast episodes, and authored books–there is no shortage of Patient Leaders’ contributions to the world, so let’s recognize as many of them as we can for their talents, contributions, and commitment.

How did you come up with the categories? Can I only use those to nominate someone?

The WEGO Health Awards were created based on Patient Leader feedback and the same is true of the categories we use. They might change a bit each year, but they’re created with you and your community in mind. We’ll only be selecting winners for the categories listed in our nomination form, but we’re always open to suggestions.

How do I nominate someone?

Go to our WEGO Health Awards nominations page to get started. Tell us who you want to recognize, where you follow them online, and the WEGO Health Award you think they should win. Once you’re finished nominating your favorite patient leader, feel free to share that nomination with your community or send a tweet with the hashtag #WEGOHealthAwards. And be sure to nominate early and often; we want to recognize as many patient leaders as possible.

Can I nominate myself?

Of course. We hope you’ll reach out to your community and ask them to nominate their favorite members of the online health world – and that includes you! However, you’re more than welcome to nominate yourself as part of the process. Be sure to take a moment and recognize any of the great leaders that help you on a daily basis as well.

How will I know if I am nominated?

Each nominee will be notified via email and social media (as applicable) and will be given the chance to complete/update a WEGO Health profile with additional information about themselves and their advocacy. Please note, notifications can take 24-72 hours from the time of the nomination submission

Can I or someone else be nominated for multiple categories?

Of course! We encourage you to nominate your favorite patient leaders for the awards category that you feel they best fit. If you think they fit multiple catogories, go ahead and nominate them for all of them! Keep in mind that if they’re already nominated for a category, the best way to support them is to endorse them in that category. But if you’d just like to show your support, it’s perfectly acceptable to nominate them again.

Why was I nominated?

Cheers to you! Being nominated for the WEGO Health Awards means you’ve made an impact in someone’s health journey. This program is meant to celebrate those sharing their health experience in order to support and inspire others. Nominators have the option to include a nomination reason, which will be displayed on your public WEGO Health profile once you accept the nomination.

Who nominated me?

If nominators choose to include an optional nomination reason, their reasoning and name will appear on your WEGO Health profile once you accept your nomination. Nominators do have the option to submit anonymously though, and their name will not be shared.

Where can I find the nominees?

The WEGO Health Awards Nominee Directory is a quick and easy way to discover, follow, and connect with top patient leaders. Click here to start browsing.

 
 

ENDORSEMENTS

Open July 1st – Jul 31st

This period provides a community-choice aspect of the program. Endorsements are a way to give nominees a visual show of support for a specific nomination, think of it as “liking” a post or photo on social media. For instance, if a nominee is nominated for Best in Show: Twitter, and you believe they deserve this recognition, your endorsement is the perfect way to show your support.

The top three most-endorsed nominees in each of the 16 categories will automatically become finalists. However, it’s not the only way to become a finalists. Three additional finalists will be selected through numerous rounds of judging where endorsement count and community size is not considered.

🏆 Tip for Nominees: Grab Your Endorsement Badge | Once endorsements open (in July!), navigate to the ‘Awards’ tab, of your WEGO Health profile. Here you will be able to download images and badges to put on your sites to gain endorsements. We invite you to keep your badge up once endorsements are closed to proudly display your accomplishment.

I don’t have many followers. Can I still win?

Yes! Follower count is not included in judging criteria. While those with more followers tend to have more endorsements in July, it’s important to remember endorsement count isn’t the only way to win! While three nominees with the highest endorsement numbers in each category will automatically become finalists, the three additional finalists will be determined by numerous additional factors aside from endorsements or followers by our judging panelists.

Can I still become a finalist if I do not get a high number of endorsements?

Yes. While the three nominees with the highest endorsement numbers in each category will automatically become finalists, the additional three finalists will be determined by our judging panelists through numerous additional factors aside from endorsements.

What happens when I endorse a nominee? Is it the same as voting?

Endorsements were created to give network members a chance to participate in the WEGO Health Awards. Think of it as a way to give a shout-out or virtual hug to your favorite Patient Leaders.

In response to feedback from the community, the endorsement process helps select top patient leaders to move on to the finalist round. The three most endorsed nominees in each WEGO Health Award category will automatically become a finalist. There are six finalists within each category and the final award winner is selected by our panel of distinguished judges.

So, if you are nominated for an award, make sure you ask your friends, family, and community network to take a moment to endorse your efforts.

Can I endorse more than one person?

While you can only endorse a nominee once per award category they are nominated for, you can endorse as many people as you like. If you want to spread the love and endorse others, feel free to do so.

Do likes/tweets count as endorsements?

While showing your support through Facebook likes or tweets is appreciated by the nominees, we will not be counting that form of social media support towards endorsements. However, sharing the news of their nomination on social media is a great way to encourage others to support the nominee.

How can I encourage others to endorse me?

First off, congratulations on your achievement! Sharing the news of your nomination and asking your community to endorse you is the best way to encourage others to support you. All nominees will receive an endorsements media kit in July to help share the news. In addition, making sure your WEGO Health profile is as complete as possible will encourage others to learn more about you. Plus, you’ll be better positioned to connect with the community and other inspiring patients. It’s a win-win!

Can I connect with other nominees?

Yes! The best way to connect with other nominees is to visit our nominee directory. You’ll find any social media accounts they’ve included on their profile as well as more information on their story. Shoot them a message to collaborate!

 
 

JUDGING

August

We host multiple rounds of judging, after all, we receive thousands of nominations! Judges will be using the information provided in the nominee’s WEGO Health profile to review and score.

Determining Finalists

There are six finalists in each award category. To ensure the integrity of the program, half of the finalists will be determined through endorsement count and half will be selected through our judging process. Finalists are selected in two ways:

1. The top three endorsed nominees within a WEGO Health Award category automatically move on as finalists.

2. The subsequent three finalists in each category are selected by our network judging panelists. Finalists will be selected based on their relevance to that particular award and the information provided in a nominee’s profile. The finalist judging panels are comprised of past award winners, foundations, and organizations.

Once the top six finalists in each WEGO Health Award category have been selected, we’ll announce the finalists on our blog and then move into the final round of judging.

Selecting the Winners

Top industry experts and sponsors convene to review the six finalists in each category based on their use of social media, their fit for the award for which they’ve been nominated, and how effectively they engage their online community. Judges score individually, and then WEGO Health tallies these scores to identify the winners. No one knows the winners until we make the announcement at our annual WEGO Health Awards Virtual Ceremony.

Note: A nominee’s community size (number of fans, followers, readers, members, etc.) will not be considered. The nominee is judged based on their content and fit for the award category.

🏆 Tip for Nominees: Update Your Profile | Having a completed WEGO Health profile allows judges to gain a comprehensive understanding of your mission.

I want to be a judge for the WEGO Health Awards. How can I do that?

If you’re interested in participating, please email us at awards@wegohealth.com with the subject line ‘Be a Judge’ for additional details.

Can judges be nominees or WEGO Health Award winners?

We do allow those who were nominated to participate in the network judging process. However, if a judge is nominated for a certain award, they are not allowed to judge that category. We also give the judge the option to either remove themselves from the running or give up their judge’s spot.

How do you pick your judges?

We have many patient leaders, patients, caregivers, industry leaders, previous winners, finalists and Patient Leader Network members who connect with us throughout the year. Many of them express interest in being involved with the WEGO Health Awards. The WEGO Health team compiles a list of those enthusiasts throughout the year and connects with each before our WEGO Health Awards season. We then chat about the details, time commitment, and what is expected of the judges. Once they confirm they would like to officially participate, they are in.

How do you score the nominees? What criteria do judges use when selecting semi-finalists, finalists, and winners?

Judges score nominees on the following criteria:
• Fit for the Award | How well does this person fit the category they are nominated for? For example: if they are nominated for Rookie of the Year, have they only recently started their advocacy journey?
• Use of Social Media | How well does this Patient Leader use social media for their activism? Are they active, engaged, and responsive on their networks? Are they a power user of social media and active on multiple profiles?
• Focus on sharing of information and overall engagement | How well does this Patient Leader balance sharing of their own content with the sharing of others’ content and information?

 
 

CELEBRATION

September & October

We’re excited to partner with HLTH for the third year in a row to honor patient leaders on healthcare’s biggest stage. Winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on September 23, 2021 and will be invite to an in-person celebration at the HLTH Event in Boston, MA this October.

It goes without saying, health and safety is our number one priority, especially when many of our participants are at risk for COVID. The last few months have consisted of multiple discussions, polls, and surveys to gage the community’s comfort level with an in-person celebration. Unsurprisingly, the results were evenly split with so many unknowns in the coming months.

While we will continue with our annual virtual celebration in September this year, we will also invite all winners to attend an in-person celebration in Boston, MA at HLTH this October if they feel comfortable. HLTH is ensuring their event is a COVID-safe environment and recently announced those who attend must be vaccinated. You can learn more about their guidelines here. Of course, winners are not required to travel and are encouraged to do what’s best for them and their health.

The WEGO Health Awards, in partnership with HLTH, present the 2021 WEGO Health Awards Prize Pack:

• Airfare and accommodations to the HLTH Event in Boston, MA (3 nights)

• Compensated WEGO Health 2022 Patient Leader Advisory Board Seat (estimated cash value $1500)

• WEGO Health Awards presentation & reception at the HLTH Conference

• Featured as a world’s top patient expert at the HLTH Conference, as well as industry exposure opportunities throughout the year

• Recognized HLTH social media ambassador

• Access to all evening networking receptions at HLTH including the Innovators’ Reception, Women at HLTH Reception, and Industry Night

• Personalized WEGO Health Awards plaque


We encourage you to view all of the current WEGO Health Awards nominees in the nominee directory

Click here to view the nominees..


We are so eager for another season of celebrating patient leaders. There are so many tremendous patient advocates, influencers, and collaborators out there doing powerful work – we look forward to shining a much deserved spotlight on them!

More questions? Please feel free to refer to the WEGO Health Awards FAQ Page.

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