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Penn Nursing News
Women's Health
10/22/2012

Maureen George Honored for Asthma Prevention in Greece

Maureen George Honored for Asthma Prevention in Greece
The U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Daniel Bennett Smith, honored Maureen George, PhD, RN, FAAN, AE-C, and colleagues from the Penn Nursing Center for Global Women’s Health (CGWH) for their health education and training among the isolated Roma gypsy community in rural Greece.  The U.S. State Department has funded Dr. George for asthma-prevention and management efforts at a rural women’s health clinic in Chalkidiki. As part of the Greece Health Promotion Program, Dr. George, Lynn Sommers, PhD, RN, FAAN, Kathleen Brown, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, and Ellen Volpe, PhD, FNP, of the CGWH are assisting with screening for orphaned or trafficked children and providing education and training to community health workers in areas of critical importance to the local population, including asthma.
 
The rate of asthma is high in Northern Greece, largely because of liberal pesticide use in this olive growing region, plus a high rate of smoking. The U.S. State Department support enabled Dr. George to assist with training 50 community health workers (including nurses, speech therapists, physical therapists, primary care physicians, rescue workers, teachers, and teenagers and lay community members) on smoking cessation and asthma self-management at the Ormylia Foundation and the Panagia Philanthropini Center. The team is working with Brother Charles Anthony, director of the Ormylia Foundation Clinic in Northern Greece, and Penn Nursing's community partner on this project and on cervical cancer screening, asthma, smoking cessation, blood pressure screening, child development, and HPV vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer.
 
The Greece Health Promotion Team also is collaborating with a respected epidemiologist to create a database for child health screening for homeless children who are seen in the clinic. Before returning to Philadelphia, the team met with community leaders and high school students to discuss next steps: In May, they will again visit Northern Greece to provide further training for cervical cancer screening, smoking cessation, and first aid.