robin roberts and 2016 health heroes
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A Night for Heroes

WebMD’s 2016 Health Heroes know that one person can make a difference. Each of them -- a prodigy, an advocate, and a scientist -- saw a problem affecting the health of others. And they set out to solve it. WebMD honored their work at our third Health Hero Awards gala in New York City November 3. Between the red carpet, the stars -- like event host, Robin Roberts -- and the inspiring stories, it was truly a night to remember.

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robin roberts
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Host: Robin Roberts

“Health Heroes come from all walks of life and can be men or women, young or old, scientist, nurse, doctor, teacher, mom, dad, sister, brother, veteran, caretaker, or friend,” said the Good Morning America host. “When looking back on a decade what you see over and over is someone who saw a need in some aspect of health care and used his or her own unique gifts to serve that need.”

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seth rogen and laura miller rogen
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People's Choice Award: Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen

This Hollywood power couple puts their humor to work to fight Alzheimer’s. Their annual Los Angeles event, Hilarity for Charity, draws on celebrity firepower to raise money for research and awareness. Since 2012, they’ve brought in more than $5 million. A spinoff, HFC U, helps college groups host their own events. “We started Hilarity for Charity to honor my mom, who is my hero,” Lauren Miller Rogen said. “And while we really wish we didn’t have a reason to create HFC, Seth Rogen added, “we are truly honored to have helped as many people as we have.”

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betty ferrell rn phd
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Advocate: Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD

In the 1990s, the medical community began to provide symptom relief and emotional support for people early in the course of a serious illness -- not just in the last days. Ferrell embraced that concept. Now as founder of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium, she’s creating palliative care coursework that will be taught in every nursing school in the U.S. “The end of life is not just a sign of medical failure -- it is a time when physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care is needed, and it is a sacred time,” she said.

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trisha prabhu
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Prodigy: Trisha Prabhu

This young techie put her skills to use to stop online bullying. The result: ReThink, an app that monitors what you type into your phone and warns you before you post something nasty. The product recently nabbed an investment on the TV show Shark Tank from funders Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. “I stand here today only because I chose to be an upstander, not a bystander,” Prabhu said. “With this honor, I hope I’m able to inspire many more teenagers like myself to utilize their skills -- in technology and otherwise -- to make a difference.”

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ed damiano
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Scientist: Ed Damiano, PhD

When his son, David, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an infant, this biomedical engineer was determined to help. The result: A gadget about the size of a cell phone that functions as a “bionic” pancreas. It takes the guesswork out of blood sugar control and should be ready for market in mid-2018. While Damiano says he never thought he had the skills to cure David, he knew he could create something “that could keep my son, and others with type 1 diabetes, safe and healthy until a more elegant biological cure would one day take its place.”

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david krumholtz
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Presenter: David Krumholtz

When Seth and Lauren Miller Rogen launched Hilarity for Charity, they asked the star of the CBS’s Numbers and his wife, Vanessa Britting, to co-host the first event. This Hollywood couple was only too happy to help. Like Lauren’s mother, Vanessa’s grandfather also had Alzheimer’s. “Seth and Lauren have found a new and unique way to fight the deep sadness that accompanies Alzheimer’s disease,” Krumholtz said. “And they’ve done it in a way that reminds us all why we fight.”

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adam savage
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Presenter: Adam Savage

The bionic pancreas exists today because Ed Damiano refused to believe it couldn't. Who better to present the scientist award to him than Adam Savage, co-host of the Discovery Channel’s long-running Mythbusters series? “As someone who applauds anyone who broadens the boundaries of science and discovery, I was especially moved by his story,” Savage said, calling the device, “a literal game changer for millions of parents and their children.”

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sarah wynter and trisha prabhu
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Presenter: Sarah Wynter

You can catch this actress in the new Amazon drama Goliath, in which a little guy takes on the big, bad bully. Wynter says she understands on a personal level what it’s like to be the victim of bullies and is grateful to Trisha Prabhu and ReThink for providing a means to keep her three sons safe. “As everyone knows, bullies are truly the cowards among us,” she said. “What is strong and admirable is the strength of those who stand up to bullies. The world is taking note of Trisha’s spectacular innovation.”

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sonequa martin-green
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Presenter: Sonequa Martin-Green

The monsters she fights on The Walking Dead are nothing compared to the fight against cancer, said the actress, who’s watched many family members struggle with the disease. “When someone you love fights a disease, you join them on the battlefield. You become part of that fight as well,” Martin-Green said. “In my family’s times of need we were fortunate to have the help and support of strong, capable nurses -- people like Betty Farrell -- who give so much to patients at the most vulnerable time of their lives.”

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maureen mccormick
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Presenter: Maureen McCormick

Best known for her role as Marcia on TV’s The Brady Bunch, this actress waltzed back onto the small screen this year as part of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. But it’s her work with Best Buddies International, she says, that’s helped her understand what a true Health Hero is. The group helps people -- like McCormick’s brother Dennis -- who have intellectual and developmental disabilities find friends, jobs, and support. Its goal: A world where its current efforts and services will be unnecessary.

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naturally 7
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Naturally 7

These talented a capella musicians got the evening off to a rockin’ start. In addition to WebMD, the group has also opened for Michael Buble and Jay Leno. They’ve recorded with Coldplay and Brian Eno, and count Britain’s Prince Charles among their fans.

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a great big world
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A Great Big World

Songwriters Ian Axel and Chad King joined forces as students at NYU. Their music has been picked up by TV shows as diverse as the Rachael Ray Show and Glee. The duo rounded out the evening by performing their chart-topping hit, Say Something.

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the dolls
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The Dolls

Since opening for Katy Perry in 2015, this duo has gone first class with performances at sites like the Louvre and the Guggenheim Museum and with artists like Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder. They’ve even served as muses for fashion designers Calvin Klein and Prabal Gurung. They rocked the after-party with their upbeat blend of dance music and strings.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 01/19/2022 Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on January 19, 2022


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Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on January 19, 2022

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.