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Contact: Kristin Campbell, (212) 884-0636
Chamberlain Healthcare Public Relations

The Welcome Back Awards Seeks Nominations for
Those Dedicated to the Depression Community 

Winners Can Receive Up to $15,000 Each to Donate to Nonprofit of Their Choice

Sept. 19, 2008, New York – The Welcome Back Awards is now accepting nominations to honor those who work in the depression community. The Welcome Back Awards is a program established by Eli Lilly and Company to recognize outstanding achievements in the fight against depression and the stigma often associated with the illness.

"We are excited that the Welcome Back Awards is now in its eleventh year," said John Hayes, M.D., vice president of Lilly Research Laboratories and global brand development team leader – neuroscience, Eli Lilly and Company. "Lilly is extremely proud to be a part of such a long-standing, worthy tradition."

An independent panel of national mental health experts will select honorees in five categories: lifetime achievement, destigmatization, community service, primary care and psychiatry. Winners will share a total of $55,000, to be donated to the not-for-profit organizations of their choice. Each award recipient and one guest will receive complimentary airfare and accommodations to attend the ceremony in San Francisco, Calif., in May 2009.

Since 1998, the Welcome Back Awards has honored people who have persevered in overcoming depression, helped others to do the same or dedicated endless amounts of time and effort to spreading awareness of the illness.

In May 2008, Henry Acosta was honored with a Welcome Back Award for his work as the executive director of the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting high-quality mental health services for Hispanics through educational programs, public service announcements, media campaigns and legislation. As a direct result of Acosta's passion for and dedication to the Hispanic community, statistics in New Jersey show that Hispanics with mental illness are using more public services and less costly emergency and crisis care than before.

"Henry's personal experience with depression, his compassion and determination led to the creation of a successful program that helps break down the stigma often associated with depression in the Hispanic community," said Carmen Vazquez, Ph.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and the City University of New York and Welcome Back Award committee member.

How to Apply for an Award or Nominate Someone Else

Anyone, except Lilly employees, may apply or be nominated for a Welcome Back Award.   Nomination forms can be obtained by calling 1-800-463-6440 or by visiting http://www.lilly.com/responsibility/outcomes/.  All submissions for consideration must be received by Monday, December 15, 2008. Completed nomination packets should be sent to: The 2009 Welcome Back Awards, P.O. Box 536, New York, NY, 10008-0536.

About the Award Categories

  • Lifetime Achievement: Any individual whose perseverance has helped him or her overcome clinical depression and resume a fulfilling life is eligible. This person serves as an inspiration to consumers and health care professionals alike, offering hope that depression is treatable and obstacles to recovery can be overcome. (Award level: $15,000) 
  • Destigmatization: Any individual whose noteworthy public efforts have helped promote the understanding of depression and reduce the shame and guilt associated with the illness is eligible. (Award level: $10,000) 
  • Community Service: Any individual whose outstanding work creating and improving community programs fosters a supportive, caring environment for those suffering from depression is eligible. (Award level: $10,000)
  • Primary Care: Any health care professional – psychologists, physicians, social workers or nurses – whose unique approach to identifying particular needs in depression diagnosis and treatment serves as an example to others is eligible. (Award level: $10,000)
  • Psychiatry: Any psychiatrist who transcends the profession through community work, innovative clinical programs, teaching, new research, outstanding work with patients, or who makes a significant impact on the community or other medical disciplines is eligible. (Award level: $10,000)

About the Welcome Back Awards

Lilly established the Welcome Back Awards in 1998 to fight the stigma associated with depression and to promote the understanding that depression is treatable. Over the past 10 years, Lilly has donated more than $375,000 to charity on behalf of 53 Welcome Back Award winners. 

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.

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