Hands raised with the text "Meet the 2024 Social Health Awards Winners!"

2024 Social Health Awards Winners

The Social Health Awards honor and recognize the efforts of patients and caregivers within their communities and at the industry level. Our Health Leaders constantly amaze us through their unique advocacy efforts. Supporting fellow patients and caregivers with the tools they need to be the best version of themselves is worth celebrating.

Our judges had a challenging task narrowing down the list of tremendous nominees. To determine the finalists, online health community members volunteered their time to narrow down nominations to 60 finalists. From there, our industry judges provided weighted scores to ultimately uncover the Social Health Awards winners.

Without further adieu, here are the 2024 Social Health Award Winners!

Rookie of the Year

Danielle Connolly

2024 Social Health Awards Rookie of the Year winner, Danielle Connolly.

Danielle is a rare disease, chronic illness, and disability advocate, as well as a content creator and business and marketing professional. Being born with a muscle disease that still has an unknown origin has given Danielle many unique life experiences that set the course for her various ambitions.

After taking her first vacation with friends as an adult, she realized that she is more capable of traveling than she thought. Upon returning from the trip, she promptly got her own mobility scooter and started planning more adventures.

The idea of documenting these adventures and giving accessibility reviews began to emerge, and then many other content ideas followed. Thus, "Daniellevates" was born! Daniellevates is a play on her name combined with "elevates" because the content is all about elevating ideas through humor, education, and adventures.

Find Danielle on Instagram @_daniellevates.

Creative Contributor

Brittany “A Hot MS” Quiroz

2024 Social Health Awards Creative Contributor, Brittany Quiroz

Brittany Quiroz, also known as “A Hot MS,” was diagnosed with MS when she was 30 years old. For her, it was a “fight or flight, do or die” moment. Brittany has used her diagnosis to impact the lives of other warriors fighting through chronic illness and is a trusted voice in the community.

She is the host of “All the Odds With a Hot MS” podcast and founder of Art For a Cause, where she has taken her painting and art as a chance to give back. Fifty percent of all proceeds from her art help those with disabilities access unique and beautiful mobility aids.

Brittany, alongside her musical partner, recently released an album of all original music to empower and inspire the MS community. A percentage of sale proceeds is donated to the MS Society. A surprise single, “Never Have My Soul,” was released on May 30, 2024, to honor World MS Day, with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society!

Being transparent with zero filters allows Brittany’s readers to connect and know they are not alone in this fight while bringing some humor and positivity to the table – and to allow those struggling to use their pain as fuel to keep going.

Find Brittany on Instagram @ahotms.

Caregiving Champion

Andrea Jensen

2024 Social Health Awards Caregiver Champion winner, Andrea Jensen.

Twenty-four years ago, Andrea’s 5-year-old son was hospitalized and diagnosed with asthma. Later, her other two children and Andrea herself were also diagnosed with asthma. This led to numerous ER visits, hospitalizations, and sleepless nights managing their conditions.

After having already earned a degree in interior design, Andrea returned to college to earn a public health degree as she was driven by the lack of asthma education her family received during their journey. She has since become a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Asthma Educator.

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Andrea also created and coordinated her county's asthma program and an asthma home visit program. She has presented at national asthma conferences, been published in peer-reviewed journals, and is active in statewide and national asthma education organizations.

Recruited by a national nonprofit allergy and asthma foundation, she now provides education globally. Andrea also manages “My Life as an Asthma Mom,” an award-winning blog, and writes for Asthma.net and Allergies.net.

Annually, Andrea’s family advocates during Allergy & Asthma Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, addressing gaps in care and funding with their representatives. Her family attests to her unwavering passion for helping people with allergies and asthma, which is both her career and passion.

Find her on Instagram @my_life_as_an_asthma_mom_.

Revolutionary Researcher

Dr. Andrea Vassilev

2024 Social Health Awards Revolutionary Researcher winner, Andrea Vassilev.

Dr. Andrea Vassilev is a passionate and effective mental health advocate and community leader with a doctorate in psychology as well as more than 25 years of experience living with bipolar disorder. She created "Overcoming Self-Stigma in Bipolar Disorder,” the world's first program addressing self-stigma in bipolar disorder, now used globally and translated into multiple languages. She is currently running a clinical trial to offer the program, free of charge, to hundreds of people.

Dr. Vassilev frequently collaborates with organizations like the International Bipolar Foundation, Mental Health Strong, and Bipolar Support Club International, where she presents on topics such as stigma, dual diagnosis, and wellness in bipolar disorder. Her insights are also shared through various podcasts, where she blends her extensive knowledge and personal experiences to provide relatable learning opportunities.

Dr. Vassilev contributes to several publications, has served on advisory boards, and organizes educational events featuring top doctors and researchers to share the latest insights with the bipolar community. She also co-founded a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance support group for mental health clinicians with mood disorders, leveraging her expertise to support and educate both peers and professionals.

Find her on Instagram @best.life.bipolar.

Community Cultivator

Gracefully Jen

2024 Social Health Awards Community Cultivator winner, Gracefully Jen.

Jen is a mindset mentor and advocate for women's empowerment, especially for those facing chronic illnesses. Having lived with anxiety for 30 years, rheumatoid arthritis for 11 years, and medically induced psoriasis for 4 years, she understands the challenges these conditions bring.

To support women like herself, Jen created the "My Spoonie Sisters" community and podcast. This platform serves as a safe haven for women of all backgrounds to support each other, educate, learn, and share laughs. It addresses chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, offering a welcoming and supportive environment.

Jen reaches her followers through various social media platforms, sharing positive mantras, incredible stories, and humor to illustrate her journey and those of others. My Spoonie Sisters extends beyond the podcast with a private Facebook group, educational resources, and community events, providing support, camaraderie, and practical advice to empower women in managing their conditions.

Find her on Instagram @gracefullyjen.

Best Team


2024 Social Health Awards Best Team winner, HeartCharged.

Bethany and Hannah are sisters and co-founders of HeartCharged. The jolts in their lives have become the "what" and "why" of their patient advocacy work. They thought they were average, active high schoolers until they found out they both have a deadly heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

As their conditions worsened, they were implanted with defibrillators. Just months later, 2 jolts from Hannah’s defibrillator saved her life when she went into sudden cardiac arrest in her sleep. They’re now trying to jolt the world into action to stop accepting the 9 percent survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest and undiagnosed heart conditions.

Their advocacy offers patient-to-patient support to the diagnosed. This includes donations of automated external defibrillators, training classes, and heart screening initiatives – and they only want to be louder and expand their reach to have the world Get HeartCharged.

Their social media health advocacy is especially charged. They have an engaged and dynamic patient community while spreading their message to the general public about overlooked symptoms and difficulties being diagnosed. Their posts include comedy, drama, parodies, podcast clips, article outtakes, hard life facts, and fun music videos. They will make you laugh, cry, learn, and take action.

Find HeartCharged on Instagram @heartcharged.

Social Media Master

Tiffany Kairos

2024 Social Health Awards Social Media Master winner, Tiffany Kairos.

Tiffany is a dedicated advocate and the founder of The Epilepsy Network. She has navigated life with epilepsy for 15 years, channeling her experiences into empowering others through her online community. As the creator of the blog "Rise Above Epilepsy," she shares invaluable insights and resources, fostering a sense of support and understanding.

Tiffany's impactful contributions have garnered recognition from esteemed platforms like GoodRx and Mayo Clinic, as well as leading publications such as Brain and Life Magazine. Her advocacy reaches far and wide, with appearances on influential podcasts like CURE Epilepsy and "Talk About It!”

Alongside her husband and two feline companions, Tiffany remains steadfast in her mission to advocate for epilepsy awareness and support.

Find Tiffany on Instagram @tiffanykairos.

Healthcare Collaborator

Michael Donohoe

2024 Social Health Awards Healthcare Collaborator, Michael Donohoe.

Michael has lived with type 2 diabetes since 1996. In 2007, he decided to "give it up," only to find himself diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a 10.0 A1C, and, in 2015, congestive heart failure. Despite years in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing and advertising, Michael ignored the warnings. After open-heart surgery to replace a bicuspid aortic valve, surgeons discovered 3 nearly blocked arteries that hadn't been detected in earlier tests. The surgery saved his life.

People living with type 2 diabetes make up 90 percent of the patients in the diabetes space, yet people with type 1 diabetes are 90 percent of the voice in that space. This disparity, along with his family’s struggles with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease, are what drive Michael’s advocacy.

About a year after his surgery, Michael started sharing information on his website, A1CWellness.com and getting involved with the American Diabetes Association. In 2018, inspired by his sons, he joined his local Lions Club and discovered its relationship with the International Diabetes Federation.

Michael soon joined the International Diabetes Federation and served as the District Chair of his local Diabetes Awareness and Action team in 2020. Michael loves to facilitate and bring people together. As a Patient Leader with many conditions and complications, he uses his experience in business, government, and politics to get people not only talking but also listening.

Find Michael on Instagram @michaelsdonohoe.

Advocacy Trailblazer

Emmitt Henderson

2024 Social Health Awards Advocacy Trailblazer winner, Emmitt Henderson.

Emmitt Henderson was diagnosed with systemic lupus and lupus nephritis in 1995, though his symptoms began in 1980. Over the years, he has endured major complications, including heart, liver, kidney, and lung failures, avascular necrosis leading to shoulder and knee replacements, and a bone marrow stem cell transplant.

Determined to advocate for those affected by lupus and to discuss mental health, he founded Male Lupus Warriors Corp to raise awareness. Emmitt has created a safe space for men to meet and talk about their hardships in life, and he encourages everyone to not be a victim to their illness.

He travels nationwide to spread Lupus awareness and, in 2022, he did an advocacy campaign in Tanzania, which included climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. During his climb, he suffered high-altitude pulmonary edema and kidney failure for the second time in his life. He is now doing home hemodialysis and is on the transplant list for another kidney.

Emmitt advocates for organ donation and educates others about home hemodialysis. Though he is waiting for a kidney, he still maintains his advocacy by being active on social media, facilitating support groups, and staying actively involved with other organizations.

Find Emmitt on Instagram @malelupuswarriorscorp.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Rwenshaun Miller

2024 Social Health Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Rwenshaun Miller.

Rwenshaun Miller is an accomplished author, motivational speaker, counselor, consultant, and philanthropist dedicated to reshaping the negative connotations often associated with mental health and directly impacting the lives of those living with mental health challenges.

Among his many roles, Rwenshaun proudly serves as a Mental Health Change Agent, globally impacting lives through his awareness efforts. Rwenshaun’s passion and commitment stem from his personal experience living with bipolar disorder. Like many others with a mental health diagnosis, he faced acceptance challenges. However, he refused to let his diagnosis define him, embarking on a journey to uplift, empower, and teach others with mental health challenges how to “thrive” in life.

Through his nonprofit, Eustress, Inc., Rwenshaun built a platform to educate others and break the stigma associated with mental illness. Eustress also assists under-served youth in identifying and overcoming mental health challenges to lead healthier, more productive lives.

Recognizing the gaps in both self and public awareness, he has taken action to bridge those gaps worldwide. Understanding the importance of representation, he earned a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling to promote the availability of Black male therapists.

Rwenshaun is a mental health counselor in Charlotte, NC, at his private practice, The Good Stress Company, and he is pursuing a doctoral degree in international psychology. To further support those with mental health challenges, he created "Be Who You Needed," providing consultancy services and training to other therapists and like-minded people to empower them to make significant impacts in the mental health field. Rwenshaun is deeply invested in everyone's success.

Find Rwenshaun on Instagram @rwenshaun.

The celebration continues...

Our winners are invited to an in-person celebration during Digital Pharma East in conjunction with the 2024 Fierce Pharma Marketing Awards. We look forward to celebrating with you in Philadelphia this September!

Congratulations to all Social Health Awards nominees, finalists, and winners!

A nomination means you’ve impacted someone’s life, and that’s the biggest win. With the help from all of you, we’re closer to changing the patient journey than ever before. Thank you for sharing your story, using your voice, and uplifting your community members. Cheers to the patient's voice!

Thank you for sharing your story, supporting others, and building community. We are so grateful to be a part of your journey.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SocialHealthNetwork.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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