HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced this morning that “H1N1 Rap By Dr. Clarke” by Dr. John Clarke of Baldwin, New York is the winner of the Flu.Gov PSA contest. “H1N1 Rap” was chosen by the public from among 10 finalists with more than 50,000 votes cast. Dr. Clarke’s video was ‘endorsed’ by this blog and was the top pick of experts I contacted.
“H1N1 RAP BY DR. CLARKE” (ABOVE), THE WINNING VIDEO IN THE HHS FLU PREVENTION PSA VIDEO CONTEST
The “H1N1 Rap” was chosen from more than 200 entries. Out of these initial entries, a panel determined the top 10 entries which were posted on the HHS YouTube Channel and put to a public vote. Dr. Clarke will receive $2500 in cash and his PSA will be featured on national television.
The announcement was made at a flu prevention ‘town hall’ for college students at George Mason University (a video of the event, including Dr.Clarke’s ‘acceptance speech’ can be found here). In his remarks, Clarke, who is the medical director of the Long Island Railroad, thanked “the voters, blogs and Twitter” as well as his wife who suggested he do the video. I believe Clarke — who Sebelius called the “hip-hop doctor” — could be the breakout star of the Fall.
I think it was a terrific idea for HHS to solicit, unleash and highlight the creativity from Americans of a variety of ages, backgrounds, and points of view for this contest. It was fun, citizen-driven/focused, and most importantly I believe will be effective in raising flu preparedness among the public.