“Health is not everything, but without health, everything is nothing!”
This statement is attributed to the German philosopher Schopenhauer (1788-1860), and it still resonates loudly as it did the first time it was ever written or spoken. Putting a premium on one’s health, and the collective health and wellness of the community, and the nation as a whole indeed makes for a very lofty undertaking.
The medical advisory board (MAB) and editorial staff of H&L are proud and pleased to present the awardees and recipients of special citations for the 3rd H&L Health Exemplar Awards.
The awards seek to honor individuals and institutions whose outstanding initiatives in health promotion have made a difference in the prevention of prevalent medical problems in the Philippines.
We highly commend these individuals and organizations who have gone beyond their comfort zones and undertake initiatives that can promote better wellness-oriented and health-seeking behavior in their respective target audiences.
For some of them, the toil has been difficult and sometimes thankless. Nonetheless, they persevered, focusing on their common vision of a healthier nation. With their initiatives, their target audiences are better equipped with the necessary information to understand the medical problems they’re trying to prevent, and with such understanding comes an empowerment that enables them to take control over their health conditions, and not be totally dependent on others, including the government. The bottom line is a better decision-making and health-promoting behavior that fosters better health and wellbeing.
The research evidence is already fairly robust that community-based preventive and health-promoting programs are effective. However, government health officials and private practitioners also have to humble themselves and recognize that there is still a huge gap between research and what we know are effective preventive measures, and actual community practice.
It is necessary therefore that a multi-sectoral collaboration be forged to encourage and build the capacity for evidence-based prevention interventions. We need models for this, and our present and past H&L Exemplars are indeed worthy of all the recognition we could give them, so they could be emulated.
May the tribe of our Exemplars increase, and may God bless the seeds they have sown, so they could blossom some more and benefit more people.
RAFAEL R. CASTILLO, MD
March 2017 Health and Lifestyle