March 31, 2006

MIHOW program lands major award

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Photo by Anne Rayner

MIHOW program lands major award

A branch of the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) program of VUMC's Center for Health Services will receive an award from the World Health Organization next week.

The New River Health Association's MIHOW program in Oak Hill, W.Va., is one of three programs selected by the Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the United Nations' World Health Organization, for recognition. The award, which seeks to honor “everyday heroes,” will be presented April 7, the U.N.-designated World Health Day, at a conference at George Washington University Health Center in Washington, D.C.

The MIHOW program was started at VUMC in 1982. It now operates in five states — Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia — and provides services and support for mothers, infants and children at risk for health and development problems associated with poverty and isolation.

“This is a health association that does honor families,” said Center for Health Services Director Barbara Clinton about the West Virginia MIHOW program, who will be present to help accept the award. “You know that families are respected honestly and treated as people.”

In a statement, the WHO praised the teams selected.

“We celebrate this workforce and the individuals who often go unnoticed, who keep us healthy and save our lives.”

The other two honorees alongside the VUMC program are the Whitman Walker Clinic and La Clinica del Pueblo, both of Washington, D.C.