'Recognise someone who has made a difference
Have you experienced the care and expertise of a woman working as a health professional who has been there in your hour of need and whom you think should be named BT Woman of the Year in Health?
Do you know a nurse, medical specialist or health worker who has gone the extra mile to alleviate the suffering of a patient or to offer support and comfort during a time of crisis?
If you know a woman who fits this description, then you should nominate her to be recognised in the health category, which is being sponsored by Specsavers Opticians. Your nominee in the competition, which is being run in association with Spar, can be any woman working in any area of the health sector whether she is a nurse, a medical technician or any of the many roles across this sector.
And she could be a guest of honour at the gala BT Woman of the Year Awards ceremony to be held in Belfast's Europa Hotel on Wednesday, November 28.
One woman who is well aware of the importance of looking after your health is Judith Ball, regional chairperson of Specsavers Opticians NI, whose team helps look after the eye care and hearing needs of people across the province.
She says: "In the health sector one person most Ulster people will visit bi-annually is their optician - as keeping an eye on your eyesight is extremely important. We urge people to visit their opticians at least once every two years and for those who wear specs or contact lenses more regular eye examinations are recommended.
" A thorough eye examination can also be an indicator of your overall health, too. An eye test can detect damaging problems including glaucoma and retinopathy and life-threatening problems such as brain tumours.
" Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK; regular check-ups can highlight eye conditions such as glaucoma at an early stage and minimise sight loss with the correct treatment. So it is essential that all people have their sight tested regularly as part of their general care."
She adds: "As a businesswoman I fully appreciate and admire the special talents and commitment required by any business person who strives to excel in their field. I am confident that there will be a number of the nominees who'll be worthy of the title of BT Woman of the Year in Health. I'd be delighted to see anyone who has made a difference in their field of work walking away with the title."
Ms Ball also says: "As a businesswoman in the health care sector I recognise the attributes and commitment required by any business person who endeavours to make a difference in their industry. Specsavers is delighted to support the BT Woman of the Year Awards and in particular the Woman in Health Award."
Meanwhile, Mary Hinds, director of the Royal College of Nursing in Northern Ireland, says: "Women have a pivotal role in the delivery of health care to the public. This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise someone who has made an outstanding contribution should it be to patient care, public health or the improvement of services."
You can enter the competition by telling us in under 200 words why your nominee should win in their category. For each of the nine categories the nominee should have been in her line of work for a least a year and have demonstrated a particular achievement. You should say how she has inspired others and how she has shown passion, drive and energy in her endeavours.
You can send your entry to womanoftheyear@belfasttelegraph. co.uk or post it to BT Woman of the Year, Belfast Telegraph, 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1EB. And, by nominating someone, you and a friend are in with a chance of winning one of five pairs of tickets for the gala ceremony, worth £100. The closing date for entries is November 12. If you want to attend the ceremony you can buy tickets, priced £50, from JPR (tel: 9076 0066). Nominees and those nominating must be over 18.