Her project Fresh - Smoke Free North East, launched in 2005 as the UK’s first dedicated regional office and programme for tobacco control, won the gold medal at the event at the Royal College of Physicians, Regents Park, London on Tuesday night.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Ms Rutter said: ‘I was a nurse originally and nursed my dad with emphysema, so I've seen what smoking can do.’
The group’s director added: This is fantastic news and a great honour. This award is the result of hard work from many partners involved in the programme. We have had the biggest drop of smoking rates in any region and that is down to taking an evidenced based comprehensive approach to reducing smoking prevalence.’
The silver award went to the Consensus Action on Salt and Health. It has waged a successful campaign to make the food industry in the UK reduce the amount of salt it adds to food.
The bronze award was given to Sustrans, the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity. It works on practical and innovative projects that enable people to walk, cycle and use public transport much more.
England’s CMO Professor Sir Liam Donaldson said there had been 147 entries and four others were shortlisted.
He added that the judges were looking for ‘originality, sustainability and reproduceability’ from the ‘incredibly strong field’.
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