health heroes red carpet arrivals
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WebMD's First Awards Show

Red carpet, stars, and acceptance speeches: WebMD's first Health Heroes Awards had it all. The New York gala honored six people -- some world-famous, others up-and-coming -- who saw a need and are making an extraordinary difference. We've got an all-access pass for you to see the celebration. 

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robin roberts emcees health heroes
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Robin Roberts

"You make it worth staying up past my bedtime!" the Good Morning America co-anchor said as she took the stage to a standing ovation. Roberts has a passion for health after being diagnosed with breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). "We are so free in this society to label someone a hero," she said. "These people truly are."

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mchael j fox
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Michael J. Fox - Winner: Hall of Fame Award

America has loved actor Michael J. Fox for decades, and his tireless work as a health advocate puts him in the Hall of Fame. Fox, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 30, founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in 2000, which has raised more than $900 million. Fox is reluctant to be called a hero. In an interview, he said he shares the award with "my fellow patients and the countless researchers who've jumped on board."

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martha stewart received award
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Martha Stewart - Winner: People's Choice Award

WebMD's readers voted Martha Stewart as their People's Choice Health Hero. The Emmy Award-winning TV host, entrepreneur, and best-selling author opened the Martha Stewart Center for Living at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital in 2007. It's dedicated to quality health care for seniors, and more than 10,000 patients have visited. Stewart said she was honored to receive the award. "Giving back is just part of a good life, and it makes me feel good."

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carson daly
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Carson Daly - Winner: Philanthropist Award

Fatherhood comes first for TV personality Carson Daly, which prompted his charitable passion. "I wanted to do something with children and hunger," he says. So Daly teamed up with the nonprofit to change a Brooklyn school playground into a healthy oasis. Daly also raises funds for the garden. "This particular area ... is a concrete jungle," he said. "This is about growing young people into healthy big people."

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zarin ibnat rahman on red carpet
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Zarin Ibnat Rahman - Winner: Prodigy Award

Many kids and teens stay up too late on a phone or computer. Zarin Ibnat Rahman has too, and that tired feeling inspired her. At age 16, while a junior in high school in South Dakota, she did a groundbreaking study linking sleep deprivation and screen time. Her work won a top award in the world's largest high school science competition. She called her Health Hero Award "surreal" and "humbling." 

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harold koplewicz md
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Harold Koplewicz, MD - Winner: Activist Award

Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, a psychiatrist who treats children and teens, wanted to see their mental illnesses get more funds and research. So he co-founded the Child Mind Institute, a New York nonprofit dedicated to young people’s mental health care.  "We are trying very hard to shine a light on the face of child psychiatric health," he said. 

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dr frank papy
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Frank Papay, MD - Winner: Scientist Award

Plastic surgeon Frank Papay, MD, helped pioneer a new way to treat cluster headaches and migraines. Brain surgeons implant a tiny electrode and a device that's smaller than an almond. When a headache starts, you hold a radiofrequency gadget, the size of a cell phone, to your cheek. It resets the nerve bundle attached to the electrode to stop the headache. "The team that I work with and the patients ... those are the heroes," Papay said.

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jordin sparks on red carpet
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Jordin Sparks

For Grammy-nominated singer and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, presenting the Scientist award was personal because of Papay's work on cluster headaches and migraines. "I know I speak for countless other migraine sufferers when I say how grateful we are for Dr. Papay's findings," Sparks said.

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rocco dispirito on red carpet
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Rocco DiSpirito

Acclaimed chef and best-selling cookbook author Rocco DiSpirito presented the Philanthropist award to Daly. "By teaching children where real food comes from, by encouraging them to grow their own food, [Daly] proves himself 'the Voice' of encouragement towards a healthier future for the next generation," DiSpirito said.

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susie essman on red carpet
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Susie Essman

Actress Susie Essman of the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm brought her humor when she gave the Prodigy award to Zarin Ibnat Rahman. "I love WebMD because I'm a hypochondriac. So far, this month alone, I've had Lyme disease, hysterical blindness, enlarged prostate!"

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brent ridge with martha stewart
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Brent Ridge, MD

Brent Ridge, MD, presented the People's Choice award to Martha Stewart. Ridge has won The Amazing Race (with his partner), was previously CEO of lifestyle brand Beekman 1802, and starred in The Fabulous Beekman Boys on the Cooking Channel.  Aging is his medical specialty, and he led the development of the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

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beth stern on red carpet
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Beth Stern

TV personality, New York Times best-selling author, and animal rights advocate Beth Stern presented the Activist award to Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, calling him a champion for young people's mental health. In turn, Koplewicz said he was thrilled to get the award from Stern. "How awesome! It looks like an Oscar and it's Howard Stern's wife!"

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gavin degraw at piano
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Gavin DeGraw, Musician

Award-winning singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw played his hits "Chariot," "Follow Through," and "Soldier."

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violinist lee england jr
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Lee England Jr., Violinist

Virtuoso violinist Lee England Jr. serenaded the audience at the awards gala. Classically trained, England describes his style as a "musical gumbo consisting of rhythm, blues, gospel, jazz, hip-hop, and symphonic soul."

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 11/19/2021 Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on November 19, 2021


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Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on November 19, 2021

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