SATELLIFE Wins Meritorious Recognition Award

Roye A. Bourke

SATELLIFE, an international humanitarian foundation in Watertown, MA, was honored with a Meritorious Recognition Award for providing communications and information services for health professionals in developing countries.

The Meritorious Award was presented to SATELLIFE by the Foundation of Women Executives in Public Relations (WEPR) at the group's annual awards for Social Responsibility luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City last week.
The Foundation Awards recognize agencies, corporations, foundations and not-for-profit organizations that address social issues through high-performance cause-related communications campaigns.

The SATELLIFE award was accepted by Ms. Roye A. Bourke, Director of External Affairs. "In many developing communities, full Internet access is either unavailable or unaffordable for most health workers," Bourke said. "When doctors, nurses and other health care professionals can not access vital up-to-date hare care information, health care delivery is compromised and lives are lost."

SATELLIFE was founded by Dr. Bernard Lown, a renowned cardiologist and inventor of the cardiac defibrillator, who shared in the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

The world's first non-profit to launch its own satellite, SATELLIFE's two-way, e-mail communications system called HealthNet provides thousands of healthcare professionals with information resources on diseases such as AIDS, malaria, heart disease and many others.

SATELLIFE also provides a forum for communication among health workers through several moderated electronic discussion groups on relevant health issues. These discussion groups are accessible via e-mail and are free of charge to anyone with an e-mail connection. More information is available on the organization's web site at

In accepting the award, Ms. Bourke expressed appreciation to the NEC Corporation of Japan, a longtime sponsor of SATELLIFE's work. She also mentioned that SATELLIFE would welcome additional corporate partnerships to help launch a new African Libraries Project in which health information will be broadcast to 50 resource-poor medical libraries in Africa through the Public Health Information Channel in partnership with the WorldSpace Foundation.

Presenters at The Yale Club luncheon included Fox News anchor Rosanna Scotto, Crain's New York Business publisher Alair Townsend, Sara Lee Foundation executive director Robin Tryloff, and AT&T Foundation president Ester Silver-Parker.

Presented annually, the WEPR's Social Responsibility awards are the only industry awards for cause-related communications granted by a public relations professional organization.

"SATELLIFE is a small organization with a very big mission," said Ms. Bourke. "I applaud WEPR for recognizing a non-profit whose work is not focused on one community, but rather the world community. Every health worker in the developing world who is able to join the information revolution brings us one step closer to world health."

Related News Items
Related Links
Related Events