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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, Linda Edwards' achievements continue to have enormous impact.

To recognize the contribution Linda made to the global osteoporosis movement, the IOF has initiated the "IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award". The sum of 20,000 Swiss Francs will be awarded to a worthy IOF member osteoporosis society every two years.

The unrestricted 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 winning society, selected by an IOF jury, must be a member of IOF's CNS 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, show a likelihood of success, and agree to report on how the funds were used by the society.

Slovene Osteoporosis Society wins the 2005 IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award

The Slovene Osteoporosis Society is the winner of the 2005 IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award which was presented on September 30th at the IOF World Wide Congress of Osteoporosis Patient Societies in Bangkok, Thailand.

Alenka Tavkar (left) and Dr. Dusa Hlade Zore (right) of the Slovene Osteoporosis Patient Society accept the IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award from Prof. Helmut Minne, Chair of IOF’s Committee of National Societies.

Established in 1997, the Slovene Osteoporosis Society began locally in Ljubljana as a physician-based organization. In 2000 the society became independent and has since expanded to become a national association of 15 local societies with more than 6,500 members (representing 1.8% of the female population over 50!). The work of the society, which has been rewarded by the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Health, has had widespread impact in Slovenia. Organizing medical lectures and community-based events, it has also provided 800 free bone density measurements and has secured discounted DXA testing for its members and for women over 65. A high level of osteoporosis awareness in the country can be attributed to the society’s prominent World Osteoporosis Day activities and widespread media presence in TV and radio as well as the publication of some 60 articles in magazines and newspapers. It publishes a quarterly magazine, a website, and many brochures and leaflets for the public. At an international level the society has cooperated successfully with the BJD, is an active member of the European Consultation Panel, and has attained the support of two MEPs who have become members of the European Parliament Osteoporosis Interest Group. The accomplishments of the Slovene Osteoporosis Society can be attributed to the hard work of many dedicated and passionate volunteers who work with only moderate financial means.

2003 award granted to Romanian society

IOF was pleased to announce the winner of this first memorial award, valued at 20,000 SFr. at the IOF World Wide Conference of Osteoporosis Patient Societies in Istanbul on September 5, 2003. The winner, the Association for the Prevention of Osteoporosis in Romania (ASPOR), is a young patient society which has shown great commitment and effectiveness in raising awareness of osteoporosis in Romania. With only limited funds but many dedicated volunteers, the society has managed to put osteoporosis on the agenda in a country which faces other serious public health and social challenges. One example of how "thinking big" can yield great results for a small society is how ASPOR has made great use of the IOF TV advertising campaign. The translated ad aired on Romanian TV with the help of the local McCann affiliate – and because the ad directed viewers to ASPOR's new website thousands of Romanian women were able to take the "one minute risk test" and became aware of their personal risk for osteoporosis. Another result was that the website skyrocketed to the top of the listings, becoming the most popular website in Romania!

Daniel Navid and Andrea Gasparik Ildiko IOF CEO Daniel Navid presents the IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award to ASPOR's director Andrea Gasparik Ildiko.
From Left: The Director of the National Osteoporosis Society of the UK, Terry Eccles, Andrea Gasparik Ildiko and Dr. Helmut Minne (Vice Chair of the IOF Committee of National Societies). Terry Eccles, Andrea Gasparik Ildiko and Dr. Helmut Minne

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