Manila, Philippines – As the country’s leader in healthcare reforms, the Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with various stakeholders, honors the exemplary achievements of individuals that have risen to the challenge of championing the cause of inclusive health with the Bayani ng Kalusugan Award.

The first of its kind to recognize the selfless contributions of those who have aligned with the agency’s crusade in promoting Kalusugang Pangkalahatan, (c) DOHthe DOH confers the award to innovative contributions of those who, in small and large circles that they move in, have rendered time, effort and a part of their life, to move the country closer to the DOH’s ultimate goal of providing Universal Health Care in the country.

“In reality, the DOH only plays a small role. All of our plans will be nothing without you as implementers. All of our policies will be nothing without you walking the talk. All of the funding will be nothing if the programs are not sustained by the front liners. The success of the DOH deeply lies in the commitment, professionalism, and responsiveness of individuals and organizations that support the Department through the years.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin said.

Launched last February 16, 2016, the search for the Bayani ng Kalusugan was open to all individuals, institutions and organizations that have led, managed, and rendered service to the health sector in at least one year prior to nomination.

The DOH received 323 nominations. Though many were qualified, the DOH screening committee came up with 44 short listed nominees after a thorough evaluation process of the nominees’ documents. These were further evaluated by six (6) independent judges headed by Dr. Francisco Duque III. The achievements of the nominees were further validated in the field.  A team of validators including a Career Executive Service Board (CESB) validator interviewed the awardees, their peers and beneficiaries.

20 out of the 44 short listed nominees will receive the prestigious Bayani ng Kalusugan award in a ceremony to be led by His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III. Trophy and cash  prize will be given to the awardees on June 23, 2016 at The Manila Hotel.

The awardees will be hailed from various fields including health financing, service delivery, health information and research, governance and health technology, belonging to government health sectors, non-government private organizations, religious sector, health care profession and volunteers.

“The Bayani ng Kalusugan Award affirms the power of individuals and groups in making a positive difference in the health of our people.Against the challenges of ensuring accessible, affordable, and quality health care for our people, our awardees have proven themselves equal to the task. Their lives exemplify service, self-sacrifice, and dedication in the pursuit of better health outcomes for our citizens. No award can add lustre to their accomplishments yet let this recognition be our way of saying thank you. May their lives serve as inspiration to all of us in the health sector, and beyond, to dream higher, to work harder, and to surpass our past achievements.” Garin concluded.