Fundación MAPFRE has announced its annual international awards, which recognize people and institutions that have made outstanding contributions for the benefit of society in different fields related to research, health, road safety and social action.

Each prize is valued at 30,000 euros and the awards will be presented on Tuesday, June 6, at a ceremony chaired by Her Majesty Queen Sofía to be held at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. This year’s awards drew more than 740 nominations from Europe, the United States and Latin America, with the awards finally being granted to the following:

Valentín Fuster: “José Manuel Martínez Lifetime Achievement Award”.

The jury granted this recognition to Valentín Fuster for his outstanding career in the field of scientific research and the resulting benefits for society in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Figures such as Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of the Ibero-American Conference (SEGIB), and Bieito Rubido, editor of the Spanish newspaper ABC, were just two members of the jury who highlighted the scientific career of Dr. Fuster, who has received honorary doctorates from 33 prestigious universities as well as three of the most important grants from the NIH (National Institutes of Health).

Dr. Fuster is also renowned as the only cardiologist who has received the highest research awards from the four main international cardiology institutions: the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology, and the Inter-American Society of Cardiology.

In 1996 Dr. Fuster received the Prince of Asturias Technical and Scientific Research Award for his work on the origin of heart attacks.

“Abandoned on the streets of the city: Project Help”, led by Luis Rojas-Marcos: “Best Health Promotion Initiative Award”, a program which led to the creation in New York of the first mobile unit for psychiatrists, medics and social workers, aimed at evaluating and hospitalizing seriously mentally ill homeless persons.

The multiplier effect of this project has been phenomenal: 30 years later, the city now has 24 interdisciplinary mobile mental health units specialized in crisis intervention that evaluate 11,500 people every year. Additionally, the project has been replicated in numerous urban centers and it laid the foundations for creating legislation on the protection of the mentally ill.

The jury for this award, which among others included Joaquin Poch, President of Spain’s Royal National Academy of Medicine, and Elena Andradas, General Manager of Public Health Quality and Innovation, highlighted the importance of this project which has served as a model for the implementation of similar mobile services in major cities across the United States and Europe.

Fundación ALADINA: “Best Social Action Initiative Award” for its psychological support program for children and adolescents with cancer and their families.

Of particular note are the bedside volunteering program conducted in the oncology units of several hospitals and the personalized psychological support program offered free of charge to children, adolescents and their families.

Pedro J. Puig Pérez, President of Aldeas Infantiles, Archduke Maximilian of Hapsburg, President of Fundación Recal, and Guillermo Fernández de Soto, Director of the CAF (Development Bank of Latin America) were among other members of the jury who recognized the foundation’s pioneering role in creating bereavement groups for the parents of children with cancer. Thanks to this type of therapy, parents who have lost a child can share their experiences, come to terms with their loss, and fight the feelings of social isolation.

ALSA GRUPO, S.L.U: “Best Accident Prevention Initiative Award” for its road risks prevention project “World Class Driver (WCD).

The primary objective of ALSA, a passenger transportation company founded in Asturias in 1889, is to make its professionals the best in the industry, pursuing excellence through continuous improvement. This involves all levels of the company and demands enormous efforts to implement, control, monitor and apply prevention measures to both workers and passengers.

Made up among others of Gregorio Serrano López, Spain’s General Manager of Traffic, and Teófilo de Luis Rodríguez, President of the Road Safety and Sustainable Mobility Commission at the Congress of Deputies, the jury recognized the importance of the implementation of this prevention program in ensuring that ALSA employees conduct their work in the best possible conditions and in strict compliance with regulations, particularly as regards speed, which is one of the main factors affecting the safety of passengers and professionals. However, the jury members were also impressed by how the company recruits and trains drivers, its relationships with providers, customer service, research into and use of new safety technologies, and, above all, its collaboration with other social organizations.

Between 2010 and 2016 this program enabled ALSA to reduce the accident rate of its drivers by 35 percent.

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