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2021 ProMED Award for Excellence in Outbreak Reporting on the Internet

Each year, ProMED presents an award in honor of the anniversary of its founding in August 1994. We are pleased to announce the winner of this year's annual award.

In 2021, the ProMED team was encouraged to nominate, and then vote, to decide who should win the annual ProMED Award. I am happy to announce that the ProMED team voted Susan Baekeland as this year’s winner!

Susan is a ProMED Correspondent who works tirelessly scouring the internet for news in plant and animal diseases, parasites, AMR, bacteria, dengue, chikungunya, and zika, to name a few. She is a polyglot and speaks, reads, and/or writes in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Portuguese.

Execellente Luna (Emerald J: dam Narva) owned and bred by Miss Gabriella Parker, Wales UK. Champion Arabian mare under saddle arabian championship show. Chepstow, England

She has lived, worked, and studied all over the world, including Kenya, Lebanon, and Syria. Her international experience has led to her being able to provide valuable cultural context for Moderators when sending them articles from areas of the world they may not be familiar with.

Members of the ProMED team regularly express to me how much they value Susan’s contributions and what a great job she does finding relevant information in obscure corners of the internet. I have heard many times over how much information would be missed if ProMED didn’t have Susan and how, in fact, we need more Susans – a testament to how much the team values her!I was particularly interested to learn that Susan was the first and only woman ever appointed as a Political Officer Assistant Advisor to South Arabia and the Yemeni Federation from 1963 -1972, working for the British Government! Additionally, she is an incredibly talented self-taught artist who paints animals (but not pigs – “no fur!”).

This is Susan’s second time winning this award, her first time being in 2008 when she was a Rapporteur.

Please join me in congratulating Susan on being the winner of 2021’s ProMED Award!

– Julia Maxwell, Director of Disease Surveillance

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