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Health Leaders Unite Over Clean Hands Proclamation

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Dec/03/2009

As Peak Flu Season Looms, Region’s Health Leaders Unite in Signing Clean Hands Proclamation

To continue to raise awareness about the critical need for hand washing and to help reduce the spread of H1N1 (flu), hospitals and local health departments from Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties will unite Monday, Dec. 7, to sign a proclamation recognizing National Hand Washing Awareness Week, Dec. 6-12. Sarasota County Commissioners will issue their own proclamation on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

The proclamations are the latest undertaking by Sarasota’s Clean Hands Campaign, a grassroots effort launched in September in Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties to help stop the spread of illness by encouraging frequent hand washing where people live, work and play. From doorknobs to money to food, harmful germs can live almost anywhere and spread easily through casual contact. Therefore, hand washing, which transcends people of all ages and backgrounds everyday, is the single most important action that individuals can take avoid getting sick and spreading disease to others.

As we approach the peak season for flu, local health officials continue to encourage individuals, businesses, schools and civic organizations to join the free campaign by registering on the web site, www.cleanhandscampaign.org . Campaign materials are available including free Clean Hands signs, hand sanitizing gel pens, clings for mirrors and windows and other reminders designed to reinforce hand hygiene in restrooms. Those who join simply agree to make hand washing easy and assessable for visitors, customers/members and/or employees at entry and exit points in their facility. As a result of publicity from local media, and community outreach, over 300 organizations are now participating in the Clean Hands Campaign.

The Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) spearheaded this regional initiative through its Health Provocateur Project, which includes the CEOs of every hospital and health department in the tri-county region. This dedicated group has been collaborating to improve health in the region. The CHIP program is a community-based initiative to improve the health of Charlotte, DeSoto, and Sarasota county residents. The program is supported by foundations, businesses and other local organizations. For more information on the CHIP program or the Clean Hands Campaign, contact the CHIP office at 941-861-2987 or visit the Clean Hands Campaign website at www.cleanhandscampaign.org.

Health Provocateur Project Member Organizations:
Doctors Hospital of Sarasota
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Venice Regional Medical Center
Englewood Community Center
Sarasota County Health Department
Peace River Regional Medical Center
DeSoto County Health Department
Fawcett Memorial Hospital
Charlotte Regional Medical Center
Charlotte County Health Department

Date Published: Dec 3 , 2009

Media Contact: Kim Savage

Phone: (941) 917-6271

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