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The COSHAR Foundation Participates in Annual Women's Health Awareness Day

Event part of national immunization awareness campaign to raise awareness of the importance of timely childhood vaccination and increase vaccine

compliance rates across the United States

CHEVY CHASE, Md., July 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The COSHAR Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to health education, improvement and empowerment with a focus on minority and disadvantaged populations, hosts National Women's Health Awareness Day on Saturday, July 19 in conjunction with the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Fort Washington, Md. The free community event is part of The COSHAR Foundation's national immunization awareness campaign, which has reached more than 9,500 churches and community organizations to date with information that helps educate their congregations and community members about the importance of vaccination among the African-American community.

"With more than a quarter of children in the United States missing life-saving vaccines, it's important that parents know that vaccines can prevent potentially life-threatening diseases, as long as children stay up-to-date on their immunizations," said Sharon Allison-Ottey, M.D., executive director of The COSHAR Foundation. "We are pleased to be participating in the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church's Annual Women's Health Awareness Day -- one of the largest health events in Maryland to educate African-American women about the importance of their health."

This year's event will offer an hour-long workshop focusing on the importance of immunizations that will feature a local pediatrician, a public health nurse and a representative from the local health department. In addition, health screenings, empowerment sessions and educational materials on topics, including immunizations, heart disease and emergencies in the home will be offered to attendees.

"The Women's Health Awareness Day event has touched the lives of thousands of women and their families over the last 10 years and we are proud of the tremendous impact that we have made on the community," says Betty T. Wooten, R.N., M.S.N., and president of the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church Health Ministry and co-coordinator of the event. "The event is held in conjunction with our Annual Women's Season and was born out of the insight and vision of Reverend Jo Ann Browning, M.D., co-pastor of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, to impact the lives of women spiritually, but also in the body and mind ensuring that women are 'whole.' We must ensure we provide accurate information to parents and families to help protect the children that they care for and love."

The COSHAR Foundation's immunization campaign launched in April during National Infant Immunization Week (April 19-26), when the organization distributed free immunization toolkits to its National Health Ministry Network (NHMN) of more than 11,000 churches and 212 community organizations. The toolkit includes resources, flyers, information, question and answer documents, scriptural references and recommendations for congregational activities and events that help raise awareness of the importance of timely childhood vaccination.

To date, the campaign has been widely accepted by churches and/or community organizations in each participating state. More than 7,000 churches have hosted local "Immunization Sundays," and more than 650 events are scheduled through September 2008. Immunization Sundays allow churches and community organizations to personalize their immunization messages to appropriately reach their members.

"We are pleased with the launch and implementation of the immunization awareness campaign, and The COSHAR Foundation's NHMN continues to be an excellent model for broad-based health education and outreach that can be individualized for communities around the country," says Dr. Allison-Ottey.

The free Women's Health Awareness Day event is open to the public and will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, 7707 Allentown Road, Fort Washington, Md. For more information about The COSHAR Foundation's campaign, contact

About The COSHAR Foundation

The COSHAR Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to "Impacting the Health of the World, One Community at a Time." The COSHAR Foundation's National Health Ministry (NHMN) includes more than 11,000 churches and 200 community organizations throughout the country and addresses various community health concerns. Protecting our Future: The COSHAR Foundation's Immunization Project is sponsored by a grant to the foundation from Wyeth Vaccines.

For more information, please contact The COSHAR Foundation at (301) 773-4811 or visit

SOURCE The COSHAR Foundation
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