County Comment: March Proclamations
Photo Caption: Commissioner John Barr presents Julie Barr-Strasburg with American Red Cross Month proclamation.
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer
In the March 20th meeting of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, Julie Barr-Strasburg, Executive Director of the Hagerstown Chapter of the American Red Cross, received a proclamation designating March as American Red Cross month, and Tuesday March 20th as "Hometown Heroes Day".
In presenting the proclamation, Commissioners' President John Barr said that for more than a century, the American Red Cross has been at the forefront of helping Americans prevent, prepare for and respond to large and small disasters. Families and communities depend on the Red Cross in times of need and the organization in turn relies on the community for support.
During that 90-year period, Red Cross has relied on "everyday heroes" in Washington County who donate time, blood or money. Heroes are people who help coordinate blood drives, teach courses, drive veterans to medical appointments, and those who provide emergency response.
Washington County supports the efforts of the Red Cross in saving lives through provision of blood and in providing services in those times of disaster Barr said, and cited the role of the organization in the community for responding to emergencies, aiding 81 military families and teaching over 8,000 people life saving skills such as CPR and First Aid.
Over 750 volunteers and donors are the hometown heroes assisting the Washington County Chapter with its many activities. Citizens were urged to give of their time, blood and money to make a difference in the humanitarian fabric of the community.
In a separate action, Acting Health Officer Earl Stoner and Kimberly Rasch, Health Services Division Director, accepted a proclamation from Commissioner Barr, designating March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in Washington County.
The Commissioner cited the need for early detection of the disease, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Maryland.
In 2006 the American Cancer Society projected 2,750 new cases in Maryland and over 1,000 deaths due to the cancer. Early screening for the disease was termed the most effective form of protection and State health officials urge all Maryland citizens to take advantage of such screening.
The proclamation said that effective colorectal cancer screening methods could be increased by greater public awareness of its risk factors, and symptoms. Those over age 50 and those with family history of the disease should talk to their physicians about being screened for colorectal cancer.
The County Commissioners agree with the recommendation and urge all citizens of the County to be aware of the risk of this form of cancer by proclaiming March 2007 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in Washington County.