GNU Health wins FSF’s Project of Social Benefit award

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Just got back to Buenos Aires after a 10 days in the United States and El Salvador, and finally got some time to write about the award, what it means to GNU Solidario and to the community at large.

The FSF’s ceremony took place at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass) on Sunday March 25th, during the LibrePlanet 2012 conference. On the ceremony, there were two awards :

  • Award for the Advancement of Free Software: Yukihiro Matsumoto, creator of the Ruby Programming Language. Congratulations Matz !
  • Award for the Project of Social Benefit: GNU Health

As stated by the FSF, the Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity.

I want to thank the committee for choosing GNU Health :Suresh Ramasubramanian, Peter H. Salus, Wietse Venema, Raj Mathur, Hong Feng, Andrew Tridgell, Jonas Oberg, Vernor Vinge, Richard Stallman, Fernanda G. Weiden, Harald Welte, and Rob Savoyes.

We take this award with great pride, but also with great responsibility. We share this award with novel previous winners Wikipedia, Creative Commons, Internet Archives, Groklaw, Tor and Sahana Disaster Management System.

I see Free Software as social activism. GNU Health goal is to improve the lives of the underprivileged by means of Free Software. We deliver a Free Health and Hospital Information System to health centers all around the world. Because is Free (Freedom), the software belongs to them. They can modify it, improve it, and localize it to their needs ! This is the Free Software philosophy.

GNU Health provides the basis for sustainable and universal medicine, no matter the economical status of the health center or the patient. After all, Health is a non-negotiable human right and never should belong to the greedy corporations. Health is a public good, and so it should be health informatics.

I want to thank the Free Software Foundation and its creator, Richard Stallman, for creating the environment for social justice and equity.

Thank you to the Free Software community :Python, Postgresql, Tryton, GNU/Linux, GnuPG and Wikimedia foundation are just some of the building blocks for GNU Health. Without a free software community, GNU Health wouldn’t exist.
Thank you to the governments adopting Free Software as a Public good.

Thank you to the community, to all of you who contribute your time and talent to improve GNU Health !

Finally,I want to dedicate this award to the men and women who anonymously give their lives to help the underprivileged. You are an example for all of us !

For more information, please check the official announcement at the Free Software Foundation :

About GNU Health
GNU Health is a free Health and Hospital Information System that provides the following functionality :

  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
  • Hospital Information System (HIS)
  • Health Information System

GNU Health is an official GNU Package , chosen by Richard Stallman, and is part of GNU Solidario. GNU Solidario is a NGO that delivers education and health to emerging economies with free software.
GNU Health is the Hospital Information System chosen by the United Nations International Institute of Global Health.

Main site :

Governments hosting GNU Health through their portals :

  • European Commission (EU) , JoinUp
  • Brazil: Portal do Software Público Brasileiro (SPB)

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