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IP/09/1661

Brussels, 30 October 2009

Winners of the EU Health Journalism Prize announced at an award ceremony in Brussels

At an award ceremony held in Brussels last night, the European Commissioner for Health, Androulla Vassiliou, announced the three winners of the first EU health prize for journalists. French Journalist Estelle Saget, author of the article "Schizophrenia explained to family and friends" for 'L'Express' won the first prize. Lithuanian journalist, Audré Srèbaliené, author of an article on donating bone marrow for ' Ekstra', in second place, and Romanian journalist, Emilia Chiscop, writing in 'Ziarul de Iasi' in third place, for her article on a young doctor coping with schizophrenia. The aim of this prize, launched in February of this year, is to award high quality journalism that helps citizens better understand health issues, especially those related to the 'Europe for Patients' campaign.

Over 300 journalists from all 27 countries of the European Union submitted a total of 468 articles. National juries selected a finalist from each member state. The 27 short listed articles deal with a broad range of subjects such as patient safety, organ donation and transplantation, cross-border healthcare, mental health, rare diseases and cancer.

Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner for Health said: "The quality of the winning articles has exceeded my expectations. It has been a delight for me to read such interesting and informative articles on the vital subject of health. The winning articles raise awareness and destigmatise health issues such as mental illness and organ donation and give them a human face."

Background

At the end of September, an EU jury, chaired by the European Commission's Director General for Health and Consumers, Mr Robert Madelin convened in Brussels and reached consensus on the first, second and third place winners. The motivation for the choice is that all three articles deal with issues that matter to the individual and to society, are of a remarkable quality and hold the reader's interest. They all address topics which are associated with fear or stigma but at the same time provide solutions and empower the reader to act.

The 27 national finalists were invited to Brussels for a media seminar on the 'Europe for Patients' initiatives and an award ceremony at the Théâtre du Vaudeville, in Brussels, hosted by Commissioner Vassiliou.

The EU health prize for journalists and the Europe for Patients Campaign are funded under the Second Community Health Programme 2008-2013.

For more information about the EU health prize for journalists and to read the winning articles and the short listed articles, please refer to the Europe for patients' website:

http://ec.europa.eu/health-eu/europe_for_patients/index_en.htm

The second Community Health Programme 2008-2013:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_programme/pgm2008_2013_en.htm


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