News Release

Winners of the second Embrace Journalism Award for reporting on urinary incontinence are announced

The award recognises excellence in reporting on one of the last medical taboos

Grant and Award Announcement

Shire Health International

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, 29 November 2006 -- Journalists from The Netherlands and Germany have been recognised as winners of the second Embrace Journalism Award. The Embrace Award is a global initiative for journalists from around the world that recognises accurate, responsible and sensitive reporting on urinary incontinence (UI). Winners of the top awards are Anja Romein, together with the Margriet editorial team (Margriet, The Netherlands), and Dr Ingo Blank (PTA heute, Germany) in the categories for the best consumer media article and the best medical media article, respectively. An independent panel consisting of leading health journalists and incontinence specialists judged the entries. The Embrace Award is a joint sponsorship of Eli Lilly and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Articles like those recognised by the Embrace Award should help to empower women to seek help and talk about their condition with their doctor, partner, family and friends. UI is a medical condition described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a widespread global disease and one of the last medical taboos(1), which affects one in every three women at some time in their lives.(2,3) UI imposes a significant emotional and physical burden on women who suffer from it,(4) making them afraid to undertake everyday activities, such as playing with their children, laughing with their friends or simply leaving their home for fear of an accidental leak.

The entries to the second Embrace Award came from 11 countries: Chile, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Canada, Uganda and the United Kingdom. The chairman of the Embrace judging panel, Professor Philip Van Kerrebroeck, University Hospital, Maastricht, The Netherlands, praised the winning entries: “It is encouraging that we have seen so many meaningful articles published, but the two winning journalists reported sensitively on UI and exemplified how the media can educate audiences in an appropriate and captivating way. Their articles speak out to the many suffering in silence from this debilitating condition, letting them know that help is available if they come forward and speak to a healthcare professional.”

Anja Romein from Stichting Bekkenbodem Patiënten, together with the Margriet editorial team, were awarded winner of the ‘Best consumer media article’ category for “Everything about the Pelvic Floor” – a 24-page supplement educating women about the pelvic floor, UI and pelvic floor exercises, which proves that UI can be presented attractively in a women’s magazine. Dr Ingo Blank received the winning prize in the ‘Best medical media article’ category for his article “You Had Better See a Doctor!” which builds on the pharmacist-patient relationship. By giving clear guidance on procedures for UI diagnosis, more pharmacists will be empowered to give practical advice to people suffering from UI.

These journalists have won a trip to visit Washington D.C. and Paris, places where two of the female Nobel Prize Laureates – Toni Morrison and Marie Curie – have lived. To view the winners’ articles, please visit the Embrace Award website at

Additionally, several journalists were recognised as ‘highly commended’. In the ‘Best consumer media article’ category Evelyn Kiapi Matsamura from The Weekly Observer (Uganda) was highly commended for her article “When Childbirth Stinks”. In the ‘Best medical media article’ category, commendations were received by Sabine Stute from PTA heute (Germany) for her article “Breaking the Silence – Advice and Support for Incontinence Patients” and Alison Palkhivala from Canada for her series of articles on the latest UI research published online in Doctor’s Guide and Urology Times. For her comprehensive radio programme explaining various types of UI, Fernanda Familiar from ¡Qué tal Fernanda! (Mexico) was recognised as ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Best broadcast item’ category.


For further information about the Embrace Award, please visit or contact the Award Secretariat at the following: email:, tel: +44 207 108 6522 or fax: +44 207 108 6501.

Notes to Editors

Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are three main types of UI. The most common in women is stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which involves the accidental leakage of urine during physical activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting or exercising.(4,5) Other types of incontinence include urge urinary incontinence (UUI), the complaint of involuntary leakage accompanied, or immediately preceded, by a sudden compelling desire to pass urine, which may be difficult to defer, and mixed urinary incontinence, the complaint of involuntary leakage due to a combination of SUI and UUI symptoms.(5)

Judging Panel
The judging panel for the Embrace Award consisted of:

  • Professor Philip Van Kerrebroeck (The Netherlands), University Hospital, Maastricht (Chairman of Judging Panel)
  • Jeanette Haslam (United Kingdom), Physiotherapist, Association for Continence Advice & Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women's Health
  • Dr. Ulrike Hennemann (Germany), Chief Editor and CEO, Medical Tribune
  • Dr. Thomas Stuttaford (United Kingdom), Medical Correspondent, The Times
  • Adriana Hammeken (Mexico), Broadcast Journalist, What Women Keep in Secret

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

About Boehringer and Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and almost 37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 9.5 billion euro while spending almost one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development. For more information please visit

For further information please contact:
Sharon Corbitt, Eli Lilly and Company – Tel: +1 317 277 1574
Julia Meyer-Kleinmann, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH – Tel: +49 6132 77 82 71


  1. Voelker R, International group seeks to dispel incontinence “taboo”. JAMA 1998; 280(11):951-53.
  2. Hunskaar S, Lose G, Sykes D, Voss S. The prevalence of urinary incontinence in women in four European countries. BJU Int 2004; 93(3):324-30.
  3. Minassian VA, Drutz HP, Al-Badr A. Urinary incontinence as a worldwide problem. Int J Gynecol Obstet 2003; 82:327-38.
  4. Fultz NH, Burgio K, Diokno AC, et al. Burden of stress urinary incontinence for community-dwelling women. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2003; 189:1275-82.
  5. Abrams P, Cardozo L, Fall M, Griffiths D, et al. The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from the standardisation sub-committee of the International Continence Society. Neurourol Urodyn 2002; 21(2):167-78.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.