Subject: HHS RELEASE--Winner of 2009 H1N1 PSA Contest
Date: September 22, 2009
For Release: Immediately
Contact: HHS Press Office
ED Press Office
Headline: HHS Secretary Sebelius and Education Secretary Duncan
Announce Winner of 2009 H1N1 PSA Contest
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sebelius and
Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan today announced that
Dr. John Clarke of Baldwin, N.Y., is the winner of the 2009 H1N1 PSA
Contest. More than 50,000 votes were cast by Americans across the
country on YouTube. Dr. Clarke will receive a $2,500 cash prize and his
ad will be broadcast on national television. The announcement was made
at a What To About the Flu town hall meeting held by Obama
Administration officials with college students and faculty at George
Mason University today.
"We are thrilled that so many Americans got involved in our PSA contest
this summer," said HHS Secretary Sebelius. "I want to congratulate Dr.
Clarke, the 'hip hop doc,' for producing his creative and engaging
video. His work will reach millions of Americans this flu season to
remind them how to stay healthy."
"The PSA contest has been an excellent way for us to get the public's
help in spreading the word about H1N1 prevention. We had several
outstanding videos and I applaud everyone who submitted an entry. Our
winner, Dr. Clarke, combined good music with good science in a way that
we hope will help keep people safe and healthy this flu season," said
Education Secretary Duncan.
In July, the Department of Health and Human Services teamed up with the
Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Education to
launch a national public service advertising campaign designed to
encourage American children and families to practice healthy habits and
to take steps to prevent the spread of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.
Over 240 videos were submitted by the August deadline, after which a
panel of experts narrowed the field to 10 finalists. Over the last two
weeks, Americans weighed in to vote for their favorite PSA on YouTube.
In the winning video, Dr. Clarke performed an original rap on how to
prevent the spread of the flu. Dr. Clarke is the Medical Director for
the Long Island Railroad, and his PSA was videotaped at the Mineola,
N.Y., railroad station.
The 2009 H1N1 PSA Contest finalists include:
Jason Phillips (San Francisco, Calif.)
Gary Ashwal (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Christopher Landy (Ardmore, Pa.)
Andrew Starver (La Marida, Calif.)
Dr. John Clarke (Baldwin, N.Y.)
Joan Porter (Oak Park, Mich.)
Luke Eddy (West Point, Utah)
Christopher Cymbalak (Leland, N.C.)
The 2009 H1N1 Contest PSAs are part of an initiative to provide
practical steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) to help prevent the spread of the flu virus and other
infectious disease, including:
* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
* Keep your distance from others if you are sick.
* When possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you
are sick, and don't send your children to childcare or school if they
* Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after
coughing and sneezing.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
For more information on how to take steps to prevent the flu, visit