Greek patient society wins IOF-Linda Edwards Memorial Award

Hellenic Society of Osteoporosis Patient Support recognized for its outstanding work.
IOF CEO Daniel Navid (left) and IOF President Pierre D. Delmas (right) present the award to Tatiana Drakopoulou, representative of the Hellenic Society of Osteoporosis Patient Support

The International Osteoporosis Foundation announced today that the Hellenic Society of Osteoporosis Patient Support has been named the winner of the 2007 IOF-Linda Edwards Memorial Award.

Linda Edwards, who passed away in December 2002, was a pioneer of osteoporosis advocacy, both in the UK where she was the director of the National Osteoporosis Society, and within IOF where she spearheaded the international osteoporosis movement.
To recognize Linda Edward’s enormous impact on the global osteoporosis movement, the IOF initiated the "IOF-Linda Edwards Memorial Award" in 2003. The sum of 20,000 Swiss Francs is awarded to a worthy IOF member osteoporosis society every two years on the occasion of the IOF World Wide Conference of Osteoporosis Patient Societies (IOF-WWC). The IOF-WWC, the only global conference for osteoporosis patient societies, is taking place in Miami from December 11-14, 2007.

The award is intended to help osteoporosis societies carry out their work to prevent osteoporosis and improve the care of patients at the national level. The winner, selected by an IOF jury, must be a member of IOF's Committee of National Societies and exemplify Linda's spirit ("thinking big", practical and effective projects, devoted staff, imagination, scientific credibility). The society should also have a financial need for the award and show a likelihood of success.

The winner: Hellenic Society of Osteoporosis Patient Support
An active member of IOF since 1999, the [link Society of Osteoporosis Patient Support[/link] has made many significant achievements in its 10-year history. Founded in 1997 in Athens by a local group of concerned health professionals, the society has developed into a professionally managed and structured organization with more than 6,000 members across Greece.

The society’s goals and vision are to increase awareness and understanding of osteoporosis and to further prevention, diagnosis and treatment throughout the country. A strong emphasis on cooperation with other societies and the scientific medical community, as well as with municipal and government authorities, has enabled the society to carry out successful projects and events which have had an important impact on the osteoporosis movement in Greece. For example, an ambitious three-year project has resulted in the collection of country-wide epidemiological data, including information about osteoporosis rates, falls, exercise and nutritional habits. This data is now being assessed by the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory of the University of Athens Medical School.

A further strength of the Hellenic Society of Osteoporosis Patient Support has been its successful public outreach and communication work. The society has created an attractive website, publishes and distributes information material and the risk test to the general public, and has carried out creative World Osteoporosis Day campaigns. It also has been attentive to media relations, with regular publication of press releases, interviews and articles which have helped to raise the profile of osteoporosis within Greece.

Future projects which will be supported by the IOF-Linda Edwards Memorial Award funds include the completion of the scientific program “Map for the musculoskeletal health in Greece”, the publication of new informative material for the public, and an educational program for the society’s staff.

The IOF-Linda Edwards Memorial Grant is one of four grants which are to be awarded at the IOF-WWC. In total, USD 138,000 in grants and awards will be presented to eleven IOF member societies to help them carry out their important work at the national level.