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Monday, 10 April 2017

Poetry for mind, body and soul: shortlists announced for the 2017 Hippocrates Prize


Poets from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, the USA and the UK are among finalists for major awards in this year’s Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

Shortlisted in the Health Profession category are Kathy D’Arcy from Cork, Ireland, who has worked as a doctor and youth worker, Medical Social Worker Iora Dawes from Mansfield in England, and respiratory physician Andrew Dimitri from Sydney, Australia, who is also a field doctor for the international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières. 

Competing for the top award in the Open category are poets Claire Collison from London, England, Rosie Jackson from Somerset in England and Alisha Kaplan from Toronto in Canada.

In the running for the £500 Young Poet Award are from the USA, Rachel Litchman, Michigan, Joyce Zhou, Illinois, and Erin O'Malley, Pennsylvania; from the UK Roberta Maia Sher, London and Izzy Wythe, Oundle; and from Singapore Vernon Yian.


The judges also agreed a record twenty-nine commendations in the Health Professional category, reflecting the high quality of entries, with a further sixteen poems commended in the Open category, from poets from around the world: the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines and Switzerland.

The winners will be announced at Harvard on Saturday 6th May at an international symposium on poetry and medicine. There is still time to register for the Awards ceremony and the symposium on 6th May and for the associated event at the Boston Museum of Fine Art on ‘Poetry and Training the Eye’ on Friday 5th May.

The Hippocrates Prize attracts health professionals and established poets alike, with entries this year from over 30 countries. This year, themes have ranged from illness in children to recovery from depression and from cancer to treating victims in conflict zones.

The judges for the 2017 Hippocrates Awards are paediatrician and Emmy Award-winning producer of ER, Neal Baer; celebrated poet and Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard, Jorie Graham; Scottish Makar (National Poet) and novelist, Jackie Kay; and New York Professor of Psychiatry and poet, Owen Lewis. The Young Poet category (for writers aged fourteen to eighteen) was judged by New York writer and teacher Maya Catherine Popa.

Neal Baer observed: ”Here the ordinary becomes extraordinary. These poems relate with emotional depth and in fresh and compelling ways what it means to be healthy and sick."

Jorie Graham commented: “That so much raw suffering, clear-sighted understanding of the vicissitudes of fate, and the perhaps lucky accidents of medical knowledge, or chance, or compassion, could find their way through formal intelligence to these pages is barely short of a miracle. It is certainly a testament to the power of the imagination to heal, console, elegize and cry out against the terrible demands of life and destiny. It is hard to forget these voices once one inhabits their particular circumstances, their messages of belief and profound trust in the consolations of beauty.” 

Owen Lewis too was impressed by the skill and compassion shown in the poems: “As a poet and a physician, reading through the entries as one of the judges for this year’s Hippocrates Prize was a real page-turner. This exciting and moving array of poems speaks to the experiences of illness and health, of patient and healer. The poems are written with both immediacy and reflection, with craft and heart-felt expression.”

Scottish National Poet Jackie Kay said: “What an inspiring competition to be part of. The Hippocrates Prize is a mind, body and soul competition. One minute you’re reading a poem from a patient, the next a doctor, the next a nurse, the next a porter, the next a friend, the next a family member. One minute you’re reading a poem set in a standard hospital in the UK, the next a makeshift hospital in Syria. One minute you’re thinking about mental anguish and anxiety, the next death and cancer." 

She added: "The poems are powerful, funny, moving, inspiring, thought-provoking. They show us everything we have in common. They help us with grief and grieving. But above all they make us cherish life, our health, our minutes and our hours. I’d keep these poems about me as my companions. They radiate light.”

“I am very pleased to be supporting this year’s Hippocrates Prize for poetry and medicine,” said patron of the awards Professor Anthony Fretwell-Downing (pictured). “These international awards are an excellent way to encourage people from around the world to take an interest in their health through poetry, as shown this year by entries from over 30 countries. The poems resonate with my sense of creativity.”

The Hippocrates Prize and this year's awards symposium are supported by the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust, philanthropist Professor Anthony Fretwell-Downing, the Hippocrates Initiative and the Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School.

With a prize fund of £6000 /~ USD 7500 for winning and commended poems, the Hippocrates Prize is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. In its 8 years, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 8000 entries from over 60 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia. 

Notes for editors

For more on the shortlisted poets and the 2017 Hippocrates Awards,
contact +44 7494 450 805 or +1 617 432 5693 or email hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com


The Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine – winner of the 2011 Times Higher Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Arts – is an interdisciplinary venture that investigates the synergy between medicine, the arts and health.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Personalised Medicines: role of patients, consumers and health professionals


London, 14th - 15th March
The European Medicines Agency is hosting workshops for its Working Parties of  Patients', Consumers' and Health Professionals' organisations.

The 14th March workshop aims to create awareness among these organisations of how the work of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) relates to personalised medicines. 

The 15th March workshop provides updates on other EMA and relevant external acfivities including feedback on topic groups on Social Media and on Risk Minimisation from medicines, European Antibiotic Awareness, Action plans on Biosimilars, feedback from key EMA committees and synergies with other organisations.


Speakers included:  
- Sandra Kweder from the US Food and Drugs Administration, discussing  the US precision medicine initiative. She highlighted the need to personalise medicines with cancer a key driver - only 80% of patients estimated to respond better when individual genomic and proteomic information is available.

- briefings from EMA's Scientific Committees e.g.  PRAC chair June Raine discussing pharmacogenomics in pharmacovigilance e.g. preventing serious skin reactions to abacavir in HIV patients and limiting toxicity of anti-cancer agents e.g. 5-fluoro-uracil and capecitabine

- updates from research organizations e.g. Denis Lacombe from EORTC  (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer) on changing clinical research pathways, very expensive drugs and data-driven healthcare from "-omics" to "economics".

- developing diagnostics and treatments for rare diseases e.g. from Julian Isla on improvind management of Dravet Syndrome - a rare, catastrophic, lifelong form of epilepsy that begins in the first year of life with frequent and/or prolonged seizures. 

- Ulrich Jäger from the European Haematology Association on health professional perspectives on precision medicine, including practical challenges to applying precision medicine within a typical 7-12 minute consultation.  

- Dominique Monnet from the ECDC [European Centre for DiseasePrevention and Control] reported on progress in developing European Antibiotic Awareness days, held annually on 18th November. The ECDC is mandated to monitor current and potential future risks to human health from communicable disease. Individual EU member states are responsible for risk management of established incidence of communicable diseases.

- Camille Vlaminckx and Rosa Gonzalez-Quevedo from the EMA discussed progress by its Biosimilars Working Party and plans for making information about biosimilars available to health professionals and the public.  Copy versions of original biotherapeutics are called called 'similar biological medicinal products' (biosimilars) by the European Medicines Agency in the European Union (EU). Guidance for developing of biosimilars is now available for 7 classes of medicines. The number of eligible biosimilars is increasing as originally developed biotherapeutics leave data/patent protection.

A 3rd annual stakeholder workshop on biosimilars is to be held on May 5th 2017, organised by the European Commission.  

- Michael Berntgen from EMA discussed areas of potential synergies between regulatory and HTA issues on the pre-marketing, market entry and post-marketing phases for medicines.

EMA will publish the presentations, video recording and a workshop report.                                                                                                             

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

1st March deadline for 2017 Hippocrates International Young Poets (age 14 - 18) Award for Poetry and Medicine

The annual Hippocrates International Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine is a £500 (~USD 630) award for a single unpublished poem in English of up to 50 lines on a medical theme.


It is open to anyone in the world aged 14 – 18.

Awards will be presented on Saturday 6th May 2017 at a ceremony at Harvard Medical School. Winning and commended poems in the Young Poets Prize are published in the annual Hippocrates Prize Anthology.

Poet and teacher Maya Catherine Popa from New York City will select the winner. 

Maya said: "It is wonderful that a major prize with this kind of international visibility aims to encourage young writers from around the globe to express their interest in the interface between poetry and medicine."

She added: "As a teacher of this age group, I am often amazed at the creativity, insight, and skill of young writers. I wish more prizes aimed to showcase and support these voices." 
maya-c-popa
Maya Catherine Popa

Prize co-founder Professor Donald Singer added: "The organisers are delighted that the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust is once again supporting this prestigious international award for young poets.

The Cardiovascular Research Trust has as a major aim reducing preventable heart disease by educating young people about healthy lifestyle.

Since it was founded in 2012 by clinical professor Donald Singer and poet Michael Hulse, there has been interest in the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize from 15 countries, with winners and commended poets from Hong Kong, the UK, the USA and Canada.



Hippo Young Poets 2013-15
Previous Hippocrates Young Poet winners: Rosalind Jana (2013), Conor McKee (2014, Paris Thepmankorn (2015)

The winner in 2013 of the inaugural Hippocrates Young Poets Prize was Rosalind Jana from Hereford Sixth Form College in England, for her poem Posterior Instrumented Fusion for Adolescent Scoliosis.
The winner of the 2014 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize was Conor McKee from Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge for his poem I Will Not Cut for Stone.
The winner of the 2015 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize was Parisa Thepmankorn from Rockaway, New Jersey, USA for her poem Intraocular Pressure.
The  winner in the 2016 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize was Catherine Wang from Hong Kong for her poem Six Pills.
r-catherine-wang_med-2
Catherine Wang: 2016 Hippocrates Young Poet winner
The Hippocrates Young Poets Prize is supported by healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust and run by the Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine, which received the 2011 Times Higher Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Arts for its work on the synergy between medicine, the arts and health.
For further information about the Hippocrates international Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine and the Cardiovascular Research Trust, email hearthealthycharity@gmail.com or call +44 7494 450 805

Maya Catherine Popa is a writer and teacher in NYC. A 2015 Ruth Lilly finalist, she is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation Editor’s Prize for review. Her poetry appears in Tin House, Kenyon Review, Poetry London, and elsewhere. Her criticism and non-fiction appear widely, including in Poetry, Poets & Writers Magazine, PN Review, and The Huffington Post. Her chapbook, “The Bees Have Been Canceled,” is forthcoming from DIAGRAM New Michigan Press in the U.S., and Southword Editions in Ireland, in winter 2017.

Her awards include the Hippocrates Poetry Prize, 2nd place in the Magma Poetry Prize, 3rd Place in the Narrative N30B Prize, the Gregory O’Donoghue Competition, Parallel Universe Competition, and the Oxford Poetry Society Martin Starkie Prize. She holds an MFA from NYU and an Mst in Writing from Oxford University, where she was a Clarendon Scholar. She teaches at the Nightingale-Bamford school in New York City.

Deadline midnight 14th February for 2017 Hippocrates Open and Health Professional Awards for Poetry and Medicine


With 1 week to go to the midnight 14th February deadline, there have already been entries from 28 countries and 5 continents, from Australia and New Zealand to throughout the USA, for the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, which has an awards fund of £5,500 (~USD 7,500).

Click here to find out more about the Hippocrates Prize and to enter online.

In addition to the Awards Symposium at Harvard Medical School on Saturday 6th May, from 6.30pm Friday 5th May there will be a session at the Boston Museum of Fine Art (MFA) on "Poetry and Training the Eye" involving objects and paintings inspired by health and illness, followed by a Reception at the MFA, followed by the opportunity to stay on at the MFA to enjoy the collections.

The judges for the 2017 International Open and Health Professional Awards are Neal Baer, Harvard-trained American paediatrician and Emma-award winning ER producer, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Jorie Graham; Scottish Makar (national poet) Jackie Kay; and Professor Owen Lewis, New York, USA.  The 2017 Hippocrates Young Poets Judge will be judged by poet Maya Catherine Popa, New York City, USA (see details about the judges).

In the UK, clinical pharmacologist and prize co-founder Donald Singer said: “We are delighted to have such a distinguished panel of poets and health professionals as judges for the 2017 Hippocrates Prize.”

Harvard physician and poet Rafael Campo added: “ The Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School is very pleased to be supporting this major international prize, and to be hosting the awards ceremony, which will for the first time be presented in the USA.”

The 2017 Hippocrates Awards are being organised in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School. The Awards will announced by the judges at a ceremony at the close of the 8th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine, to be held at Harvard Medical School on Saturday 6th May 2017.

Now in its 8th year, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 8000 entries from around the world, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia. All awards are for a single unpublished poem in English of up to 50 lines of verse on a medical theme.

The International Open category is open to anyone in the world to enter. There have been entries from over 60 countries since the Hippocrates Prize was launched in 2009, with winning poets from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the UK and the USA.

The International Health Professional category is open to any in the world who is a Health Professional  employees, a health student or working in a professional organisation or charity involved in education and training of health professional students and staff or in supporting the care of patients.

The international Young Poet category: anyone in the world may enter who is aged under 19 years and at least 14 years old on the date of the Awards (6th May 2017). This £500 (~690 USD) award was launched in 2012. The 2017 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine is supported by the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust.

Notes for editors
For more on the Hippocrates Prize and the 2017 judges, contact +44 7494 450 805 or email hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com

The 2017 Hippocrates Prize is supported by:
UK philanthropist Anthony Fretwell-Downing.
The Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School.
The Healthy Heart Charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust, founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Enter for the Hippocrates International Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine


There is still time to enter for the 2017 Hippocrates International Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine is a £500 (~USD 630) award for a single unpublished poem in English of up to 50 lines on a medical theme. 
 
It is open to anyone in the world aged 14 – 18.


Healthy heart charity the CRT is supporting 2017 Hippocrates International Young Poets Award for Poetry and Medicine.

The healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust is delighted again to be supporting this prestigious international award for young poets: the CRT has as a major aim reducing preventable heart disease by educating young people about healthy lifestyle.

Maya Catherine Popa
Poet and teacher Maya Catherine Popa from New York City will select the winner. Awards will be presented on Saturday 6th May 2017 at a ceremony at Harvard Medical School. Winning and commended poems in the Young Poets Prize are published in the annual Hippocrates Prize Anthology.

Since it was founded in 2012 by clinical professor Donald Singer and poet Michael Hulse, there has been interest in the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize from 15 countries, with winners and commended poets from Hong Kong, the UK, the USA and Canada.

Catherine Wang: 2016 Hippocrates Young Poet winner
Previous Hippocrates Young Poet winners: Rosalind Jana (UK, 2013), Conor McKee (UK, 2014), Paris Thepmankorn (USA, 2015) and Catherine Wang (Hong Kong, 2016).

The Hippocrates Young Poets Prize is supported by healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust and run by the Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine, which received the 2011 Times Higher Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Arts for its work on the synergy between medicine, the arts and health.

For further information about the Hippocrates international Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine and the Cardiovascular Research Trust, email hearthealthycharity@gmail.com or call +44 7494 450 805.

Maya Catherine Popa is a writer and teacher in NYC. A 2015 Ruth Lilly finalist, she is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation Editor’s Prize for review. Her poetry appears in Tin House, Kenyon Review, Poetry London, and elsewhere. Her criticism and non-fiction appear widely, including in Poetry, Poets & Writers Magazine, PN Review, and The Huffington Post. Her chapbook, “The Bees Have Been Canceled,” is forthcoming from DIAGRAM New Michigan Press in the U.S., and Southword Editions in Ireland, in winter 2017.

Her awards include the Hippocrates Poetry Prize, 2nd place in the Magma Poetry Prize, 3rd Place in the Narrative N30B Prize, the Gregory O’Donoghue Competition, Parallel Universe Competition, and the Oxford Poetry Society Martin Starkie Prize. She holds an MFA from NYU and an Mst in Writing from Oxford University, where she was a Clarendon Scholar. She teaches at the Nightingale-Bamford school in New York City.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Deadline mid-February for 2017 Hippocrates Open and Health Professional Awards for Poetry and Medicine

With 3 weeks to go to the midnight 14th February deadline, there have already been entries from 21 countries and 5 continents, from Australia and New Zealand to throughout the USA, for the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, which has an awards fund of £5,500 (~USD 7,500).

Click here to find out more about the Hippocrates Prize and to enter online.

In addition to the Awards Symposium at Harvard Medical School on Saturday 6th May, from 6.30pm Friday 5th May there will be a session at the Boston Museum of Fine Art (MFA) on "Poetry and Training the Eye" involving objects and paintings inspired by health and illness, followed by a Reception at the MFA, followed by the opportunity to stay on at the MFA to enjoy the collections.

The judges for the 2017 International Open and Health Professional Awards are Neal Baer, Harvard-trained American paediatrician and Emma-award winning ER producer, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Jorie Graham; Scottish Makar (national poet) Jackie Kay; and Professor Owen Lewis, New York, USA.  The 2017 Hippocrates Young Poets Judge will be judged by poet Maya Catherine Popa, New York City, USA (see details about the judges).

In the UK, clinical pharmacologist and prize co-founder Donald Singer said: “We are delighted to have such a distinguished panel of poets and health professionals as judges for the 2017 Hippocrates Prize.”

Harvard physician and poet Rafael Campo added: “ The Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School is very pleased to be supporting this major international prize, and to be hosting the awards ceremony, which will for the first time be presented in the USA.”

The 2017 Hippocrates Awards are being organised in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School. The Awards will announced by the judges at a ceremony at the close of the 8th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine, to be held at Harvard Medical School on Saturday 6th May 2017.

Now in its 8th year, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 8000 entries from around the world, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia. All awards are for a single unpublished poem in English of up to 50 lines of verse on a medical theme.

The International Open category is open to anyone in the world to enter. There have been entries from over 60 countries since the Hippocrates Prize was launched in 2009, with winning poets from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the UK and the USA.

The International Health Professional category is open to any in the world who is a Health Professional  employees, a health student or working in a professional organisation or charity involved in education and training of health professional students and staff or in supporting the care of patients.

The international Young Poet category: anyone in the world may enter who is aged under 19 years and at least 14 years old on the date of the Awards (6th May 2017). This £500 (~690 USD) award was launched in 2012. The 2017 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine is supported by the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust.

Notes for editors
For more on the Hippocrates Prize and the 2017 judges, contact +44 7494 450 805 or email hippocrates.poetry@gmail.com

The 2017 Hippocrates Prize is supported by:
UK philanthropist Anthony Fretwell-Downing.
The Arts and Humanities Initiative of Harvard Medical School.
The Healthy Heart Charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust, founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation.

More on the Judges for the 2017 Hippocrates Prize

Thursday, 26 January 2017

New drugs to lower cholesterol: PCSK9 inhibitors

Results from new studies on cardiovascular prevention are due to be presented in mid-March at the 2017 American College of Cardiology Congress in Washington DC – findings from very large studies to test the effects of powerful new drugs to lower cholesterol.

Patients with high blood levels of LDL cholesterol are at higher risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious vascular disorders. 

Healthy lifestyle lowers LDL cholesterol. The benefit for cholesterol lowering and the associated reduction in serious cardiovascular diseases is greater the more approaches to a healthy are followed, including Mediterranean-type diet, avoiding tobacco products, regular exercise and moderation in alcohol. 

Statins are the most effective current treatment available for patients for lowering LDL cholesterol. However not all patients respond to statins and some patients are unable tolerate statins because of troubling or serious adverse effects.

http://www.joacp.org/article.asp?issn=0970-9185;year=2016;volume=32;issue=4;spage=440;epage=445;aulast=Trentman
PCSK9 inhibitors (PSK9i) are a new class of powerful drugs that can cause a major fall in high LDL cholesterol levels: by up to 60% when combined with a statin.  

The key questions to be addressed in these studies are whether this "surrogate" end-point of reduced LDL cholesterol translates into clinical benefits for patients – and if so whether the benefits outway risks both to health and in terms of cost-effectiveness,  compared to existing treatments.
 
These biological drugs are given to patients as a treatment by injection because they are designed as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), proteins which would be inactivated in the gut is swallowed. MAbs use the principle of the body's own immune recognition proteins, which are able to recognise and limit damage from foreign proteins such as are found in viruses or cancers.

There are usually receptors on liver cells that transport LDL into the liver for it to be broken down, thus keeping the circulating level of LDL cholesterol on check. PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9) is a protein in the liver that inactivates these LDL-scavenging liver cell receptors.  
 
The fewer of these receptors that are present in the liver, the more LDL ("bad") cholesterol persists in the blood to contribute to the development of disease of the arteries.  
Thus PCSK9 inhibitors, by inactivating the PCSK9 protein, allow more receptors to be available to capture LDL for removal from the blood.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

ADAPTSMART: Accelerated Development of Appropriate Patient Therapies


ADAPT SMART is a  platform funded by the European Union's IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) for the coordination of Medicines Adaptive Pathways to Patients (MAPPs) activities, involving multi-stakeholder approaches from research through to treatment outcomes. MAPPs seek to foster access to beneficial treatments for the right patient groups at the earliest appropriate time in the product life-span in a sustainable fashiion.

The European Medicines Agency has just hosted (17th - 18th  January 2017) at Canary Wharf in London an expert workshop on ADAPTSMART, with delegates from throughout the European Region, from the Japanese medicines agency and elsewhere.

Topics included:
- appropriate use of medicines
- timely access to innovative medicines and other interventions
- early access medicine schemes
- protected therapeutic schemes e.g. cancer access funds
- compassionate use
- expanded access pathways
- shortened timelines for approvals
- need for cross-border data-sharing and research
- international comparisons for consequences of inappropriate prescribing - non-compliance with treatment guidelines
- linkeing reimbursement to compliance with prescribing guidelines

See more on the ADAPTSMART website about key work packages and other aspects.