Readers of newspaper Meditsiiniuudised elected Toivo Tänavsuu Medicine Influencer of the Year 2017. He received 29% of the votes from 363 respondents.
"I do know Toivo Tänavsuu personally, but have been keeping an eye on his activities," said Indrek Oro, oncologist of North Estonia Medical Centre. "His activities are of high visibility, which is why I often find myself admiring his marketing skills and productivity. The number of patients he has helped with his foundation is ever increasing, just as the number of those he says he has healed – by that I mean the benefactors. As an oncologist I can never underestimate the importance of his activities.
General practitioner Karmen Joller said that Toivo Tänavsuu is one of those people who follows the old Estonian proverb of 'When you see an issue, come and help' – when the state cannot manage it, community must help. "Toivo Tänavsuu has initiated something that has changed the lives of many families and has given hope and time. Turns out that time is indeed money. The non-medics who have developed the Estonian medicine in their unique way have my deepest respect," she added.
"Toivo Tänavsuu's initiative has been really gratifying because he has created a way for connecting people who have means and desire to help and those who require our joint support," said Katrin Romanenkov, the head of health care and communications department of the Health Insurance Fund. "Toivo Tänavsuu has greatly developed the donation culture in Estonia."
"This is a recognition for the entire team. The Gift of Life's influence beyond the medicine is even greater actually. For instance, we have also tried to influence and cure the politicians responsible for health care. We have certainly influenced quite many healthy people: in 2017 the foundation will grow twice the size in terms of the volume of donations," said Toivo Tänavsuu, the founder and head of the Gift of Life cancer treatment foundation.
"In my opinion, everyone who do not intend to fall ill and do something systematically for it, such as giving up smoking or alcohol, taking up regular sports or activities, making their walks longer and making more healthy choices in terms of their diet, are the true medicine influencers," he added.
Medical Influencer of the Year is selected by readers of newspaper Meditsiiniuudised, the majority of whom are health professionals. Toivo Tänavsuu received 29% of the votes from 363 respondents. Second place was won by Marek Vink, the head of the Estonian Dental Association, and third place by Karmen Joller, a general practitioner from Kivimäe general practice centre.
The Medical Influencer of the Year has been selected since 2009.