The Department of Pulmonology’s project has reached the final of this year’s Anna Richter Award competition, along with two other teams from Semmelweis University. The initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of health awareness and social well-being. Reflecting on the phenomena experienced during the COVID pandemic, the department’s team would develop awareness-raising topics that could provide immediate, practical help on lung health or lung diseases if the application wins the award.

How do I know I have pneumonia? What are breathing exercises for? How to give a blood thinner injection? These questions have come to the fore in many families in general, and even more so since the start of the COVID pandemic. This is why the staff of the Department of Pulmonology of Semmelweis University chose these topics as the main topics of their short film for the Anna Richter Award. The aim of the award, which was created with the motto “Innovation – Community – Responsibility”, is not only to inspire professionals working in the fields of health, education, research and pharmacy, but also to financially support the implementation of their innovative ideas, and to raise awareness of the importance of health awareness and social well-being. The project of the department’s 5-member team, “Lung Health in the COVID era”, was shortlisted in the top 12 and is in contention to win the award.

“It was a group idea of ours to enter the competition, and I can say that the colleagues were very enthusiastic and motivated, as they are whenever there is a challenge,” said Dr. Veronika Müller, Director of the Department of Pulmonology. She noted that the COVID theme was a very obvious choice, as it highlighted the need for quality health education and often practical information on basic issues.

“Every day, we see and experience how little people know about their lungs, how to keep them healthy, or even about pneumonia: for example, that it is not only a serious disease due to COVID, but that it is a serious disease in general. What we have seen is that even if there is partial information, it is often not from a credible source,” the director said.

Dr. Veronika Müller added that their application and the aims of the award are in harmony with the Family-Friendly University program, to which the clinic is also very committed.

“The same practical approach is reflected in the Anna Richter Award that we also consider important. Also, it was a condition of the competition that women should be involved and, as in the health sector in general, the majority of our colleagues are women,” he added.

Speaking about the team members, Dr. Müller said that they include both experienced and young doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

“In addition to the clinical team, we were delighted to be joined by Dr. Dóra Perczel-Forintos, a clinical psychologist. We would also like to draw attention to the fact that mental coping is an integral part of symptomatic treatment, physical recovery and convalescence, so a patient in a vulnerable situation needs help in this area too, it is important to know how to build up a coping strategy,” she pointed out.

In the final, the teams that come out on top in each category will win a grant of HUF 4 million to help them achieve the goals set out in their application.

“In summary, our aim is to provide very concrete, practical help and support from an authoritative source, whether it’s how to keep your lungs healthy through breathing exercises or how to administer a blood thinner injection. With the HUF 4 million awarded in the competition, we want to produce educational materials, mainly in the form of podcasts and short videos, which provide simple, very easy-to-understand, practical and real help on the topics raised,” summarized Dr. Veronika Müller.

Below is the short video made by the department’s team:

You can vote here.

Among the finalists in the categories for health care professionals and pharmacists as well

The Anna Richter Prize in the category of health care professionals was awarded to Semmelweis University’s 1st Department of Pediatrics’ project “Teaching Kitchen“, which helps children living with diabetes, celiac disease and congenital metabolic diseases, along with their families. The five-member team, led by Erika Kiss, a dietician and nutrition expert, envisioned a teaching kitchen within the department building that would provide a space for regular, fun, community cooking sessions, so that families could learn in a supportive community through play. In case of a successful application, a pediatrician, a chemist, and a dietician will assist the project,and they will be joined by a journalist, who as an affected parent will contribute to make the dream of a teaching kitchen a reality.

Also a finalist, in the pharmacist category, was the “Pharmaceutical VloggerKids” project of the University Pharmacy Institute of Pharmaceutical Organization. The team’s professionals would introduce parents to different forms of medication and the most common treatments for common illnesses through short, eye-catching videos. If the competition is successful, a total of 5 short films will provide professionally sound, practical advice in a clear and concise way on how to deal with colds, allergies, the correct use of antibiotics, croup syndrome and asthma.

Éva Fekete-Obreczány
Translation: Tamás Deme
Photo: Anna Richter Award