WASHINGTON, July 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The inaugural International Health Promotion Awards Symposium (http://www.aihpa.org), which recognizes and promotes innovative programs that can significantly improve health around the world, will be held in Rome, Italy on December 6-7, 2010.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100422/URACLOGO)

Established by two leaders in health care innovation, URAC and the Global Knowledge Exchange Network on Health (GKEN), these awards will find, promote and share real solutions that can be replicated worldwide and put into action immediately. The pressing health problems we face today cannot be addressed by one country or one group alone. Issues such as access to health care, obesity, infectious disease prevention and other systemic problems must be addressed in a concerted way. By bringing successful programs to wider attention, the International Health Promotion Awards will empower organizations around the world to take action and save lives.

Health care programs have often grown through sharing best practices. Whether treating disease, helping people prevent sickness or developing standards, many advances have started with one successful program that has saved lives, commented Alan Spielman, President and CEO of URAC. We want to be the voice of these programs and share them with the world. This is the way true health advances are made and replicated on a global scale.

This event will be attended by delegates from internationally recognized health care organizations, governmental agencies, charitable foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGO's), health care associations and corporations.

GKEN was founded to bring a global perspective to the health care discussion and communicate better health system practices among countries worldwide. The objective is to harness knowledge and convert it into action. This global award recognition program is a big step in cross-cultural health system learning, said Jon Comola, CEO of GKEN. These awards will look at communities and companies where real innovation is being applied to improve people's lives.

A panel of expert judges comprised of health care professionals and policymakers from around the world will evaluate nominee submissions. Awards will be given in two categories:

- International Community Health Awards honor organizations whose ideas in health promotion and disease prevention have made significant contributions to improving individuals' lives and well being in local communities. To help continue these efforts, the chosen program will also receive a US$5,000 award. - International Workplace Health Awards honor health promotion programs that optimize and maintain overall health and mitigate disease risk in the workplace.

Twelve (12) finalists (six from each category) will receive a complimentary trip to Rome to present their programs at the Symposium and will be recognized at a gala reception.

For more information about the symposium and nominations please go to http://www.aihpa.org or call +1-202-326-3958.

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. For more information, please visit http://www.urac.org.

GKEN (Global Knowledge Exchange Network) is an initiative that was funded in 2007 by a three-year grant from CIGNA Foundation. GKEN brings together leaders from government, health care, business, philanthropy and academia to discuss and advance better practices in health care among industrialized nations. For more information, please visit http://www.gken.org.


CONTACT: Matthew Kratz of URAC, +1-202-326-3978, mkratz@urac.org