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Lake Park, FL automobile dealer Earl Stewart (left), a colon cancer survivor, accepts the Local Hero Award from President Dr. Michael Stamos and Public Relations Committee Chair Dr. Roberta Muldoon.
Society gives award for colorectal cancer advocacy, three National Media Awards, new Local Hero Award

The Society presented the 2014 David Jagelman, MD, Award for Advocacy in Colorectal Cancer and three 2014 National Media Awards for excellence in coverage of colon and rectal disease at the Annual Meeting in Hollywood, FL.

In addition, the Society’s new Local Hero Award, which was established to honor a patient affected by colorectal disease who resides in the area of the annual meeting, was presented to Earl Stewart, a Lake Park, FL, automobile dealer.

The 2014 Jagelman Award went to Michael Sapienza, founder and Executive Director of the Chris4Life organization, Vienna, VA.

The award was presented by ASCRS Public Relations Committee Chair Dr. Roberta Muldoon. Chris4Life is a national colon cancer nonprofit dedicated to permanently eliminating the threat of disease through discovery of a cure. Mr. Sapienza founded the organization after losing his mother to colon cancer in 2009.

The award given to Mr. Sapienza honors the memory of Dr. David Jagelman, whose advocacy for his patients at the Cleveland Clinic is legendary. He founded and directed the Cleveland Clinic’s Familial Polyposis Registry and had become chairman of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Florida when he died from kidney cancer in 1993, at age 53.

In addition to supporting research, Chris4Life is committed to significantly improving the treatment experience for patients and caregivers and to dramatically raise awareness about colon cancer. “Mr. Sapienza’s achievements deserve recognition in the tradition of patient advocacy pioneered by our own Dr. David Jagelman,” Dr. Muldoon said.

2014 ASCRS National Media Award winners were:

  • Print category, Karen Garloch, The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC, “It sounds gross, but doctors say it works”
  • Broadcast, Susan Shapiro/Dave Rupp, WGAL-TV, Lancaster, PA, “All Eyes on the Screen”
  • Internet, Linda Gidday, Siteman Cancer Center, St. Louis, MO, “Cancer doesn’t take a Holliday”

In the National Media Awards competition, the winning print entry honors a feature report that “fearlessly tackles the subject of fecal transplants as a cure for Clostridium difficile,” the judges said. Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The judges found Charlotte Observer Health Editor Karen Garloch’s report “clear,” “straightforward,” and “engaging.

In the winning broadcast entry, Susan Shapiro tells the story of an innovative idea for increasing polyp detection during colonoscopy procedures that involves training two endoscopy technicians to view the screen in real time as the physician threads the colonoscope through the patient’s colon, with six eyes instead of two searching for polyps. “Filming an actual patient and interviewing the two colonoscopy techs as well as the physician gives viewers a credible and compelling real-time experience in understanding colon health,” the judges said

The winner of the 2014 internet award is a very impressive multimedia campaign on the importance of screening for colorectal cancer mounted by a team led by Linda Gidday at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, MO. At the center of the campaign is “a moving mother-son story that draws on St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday’s obvious affection for his mom Kathy, who delayed a screening colonoscopy after turning 50 and discovered her colon cancer only when symptoms occurred years later.” The campaign “creatively draws on public relations, internet and social media posts, advertising and more traditional media interviews to call attention to the power of screening,” the judges said.

The National Media Award winners were chosen from entries submitted by newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, and websites from around the country and abroad. Judges from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, selected the winners after evaluation and screening for medical accuracy by members of the ASCRS Public Relations Committee. The journalistic merit of each submission was evaluated based on writing quality, amount of research, production excellence, impact of message, and originality.

ASCRS began the National Media Awards in 1995 to honor excellence in communicating a better public understanding of colon and rectal disease, such as colon cancer, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and colorectal cancer.