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Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Department of Education secretary Arne Duncan today announced that Dr. John Clarke of Baldwin, N.Y., is the winner of the 2009 H1N1 Public Service Announcement Contest.
More than 50,000 votes were cast by Americans across the country on YouTube. Clarke will receive a $2,500 cash prize and his ad will be broadcast on national television. The announcement was made at a “What To About the Flu” town hall meeting held by Obama Administration officials with college students and faculty at George Mason University today.
“We are thrilled that so many Americans got involved in our PSA contest this summer,” said Sebelius. “I want to congratulate Dr. Clarke, the ‘hip hop doc,’ for producing his creative and engaging video. His work will reach millions of Americans this flu season to remind them how to stay healthy.”
“The PSA contest has been an excellent way for us to get the public’s help in spreading the word about H1N1 prevention. We had several outstanding videos and I applaud everyone who submitted an entry. Our winner, Dr. Clarke, combined good music with good science in a way that we hope will help keep people safe and healthy this flu season,” said Duncan.
In July, the Department of Health and Human Services teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Education to launch a national public service advertising campaign designed to encourage American children and families to practice healthy habits and to take steps to prevent the spread of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.
More than 240 videos were submitted by the August deadline, after which a panel of experts narrowed the field to 10 finalists. Over the last two weeks, Americans weighed in to vote for their favorite PSA on YouTube. In the winning video, Clarke performed an original rap on how to prevent the spread of the flu. Clarke is the medical director for the Long Island Railroad, and his PSA was videotaped at Columbia University's campus in Manhattan.
The 2009 H1N1 PSA Contest finalists include:
Jason Phillips (San Francisco, Calif.)
Gary Ashwal (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Christopher Landy (Ardmore, Pa.)
Andrew Starver (La Marida, Calif.)
Dr. John Clarke (Baldwin, N.Y.)
Joan Porter (Oak Park, Mich.)
Luke Eddy (West Point, Utah)
Christopher Cymbalak (Leland, N.C.)
The 2009 H1N1 Contest PSAs are part of an initiative to provide practical steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent the spread of the flu virus and other infectious diseases.
For more information on how to take steps to prevent the flu, visit www.flu.gov.