Antibiotic Resistance Reduction Coalition Captures National Award; Children's Educational Program Wins Praise from the CDC

DETROIT -- An elementary school educational module focused on teaching children about appropriate antibiotic use has won a national award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at a conference in Atlanta earlier this month. The educational program, "Antibiotics & You," was created by members of the Michigan Antibiotic Resistance Reduction (MARR) Coalition, a statewide organization dedicated to promoting the appropriate use of antibiotics. The educational module was piloted in the Detroit area last year.

Emphasizing the importance of staying healthy through immunization, good hygiene and proper nutrition, the 45-minute interactive presentation, developed and spearheaded by MARR executive director Nadia Juzych and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employee and MARR Community Education chairperson, Emma Bissonnette, was targeted to children grades four through six. After explaining what antibiotics are, how they work and when they are appropriately prescribed, the presentation illustrates how germs are transmitted and the difference between viral and bacterial infections.

"Kids are getting the message that it's up to all of us to help protect our antibiotic lifeline," Bissonette saus. "We're deputizing young 'Resistance Rangers' across Michigan and we're working with the CDC to bring the program to schools, nationwide."

The "Award for Innovation in Appropriate Antibiotic Use Programs in the Community" was created in 2003 through a partnership with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and the CDC Foundation. The award recognizes projects using new and creative strategies to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use for upper respiratory infections. In addition to national recognition, the award included a cash prize of $5,000, which the coalition plans to use to further promote its message about safe use of antibiotics.

MARR is comprised of various sectors including government, private industry, academia, health care, professional societies and labor. More than 60 Michigan organizations, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, the UAW and major hospitals throughout Michigan make up the coalition.

Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

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