AAFCS H1N1 Initiative

How Can I Get Involved?
What Resources Are Available?
What's in the News?

Questions or Ideas? Contact Marilyn Swierk, CFCS, AAFCS past president, at msinnovate@aol.com or 727-729-6779. 


Just weeks before the AAFCS 100th Annual Conference, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a global pandemic of Influenza A (H1N1) was underway by raising the worldwide pandemic alert to Phase 6. At the time, there were ongoing community level outbreaks of the virus in multiple parts of the world. Since then, in the United States, significant illness has continued into the summer. 

In early July, the White House stated that this is an issue of major concern (nationally and internationally) and that public awareness of this issue is vital. A message from Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services; Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security; and Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, who are leading the efforts to prepare our nation for the coming flu season, stated that “the most critical steps to mitigating the effects of 2009-H1N1 won't take place in Washington — they will take place in your homes, schools and community businesses.”

There are strong implications for FCS professionals from this statement at both the national and international levels! Professionals can distribute appropriate information through materials, lessons, workshops, etc. They can also proactively engage other stakeholders on the community level and provide leadership for community education programs. AAFCS has partnered with the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) to bring you information and resources that will help you get involved in the H1N1 Initiative. 

How Can I Get Involved?

Have you thought about the role YOU can play in this national initiative for family and consumer sciences? Here are some ideas:

Michelle Garwood of Nebraska would like to lead an educational effort in Nebraska on the H1N1 virus. She says, “I actually see it as an opportunity to RECRUIT new members to AAFCS. I am going to draft a letter asking non-member FCS professionals for their help educating the public about the disease. I see this as the perfect opportunity to appeal to inactive people who are not joining because they haven't seen us doing concrete things.”

NEW! Michelle is leading a flu supply challenge for AAFCS Student Unit chapers in Nebraska. She created a flyer to announce the challenge and welcomes others to use it as a template for their own H1N1 challenge.

Carole Makela of Colorado feels that a campaign to post the Soap and Detergent poster during Clean Hands Week on restrooms doors around the country would have a great effect. She says, “Think of the impact if each of us posted 10 posters in at least 5 different buildings (being sure to include women’s, family, and men’s restroom doors). This would be a great project for student groups.”

Bev Card of Virginia and Roxie Godfrey of Texas would like to develop an ongoing PowerPoint® presentation of the various family and consumer sciences activities related to H1N1 that occur across the country to show during Curriculum Showcase and “Research to Practice” Rounds at our 101st Annual Conference in Cleveland.

Marlene Lobberecht of Texas has created an H1N1 flyer for distribution to businesses and Larissa Staley of Indiana, chair of the Student Unit, plans to obtain materials from the local health department to create relevant lesson plans.

Jenny Niblock of Kansas had her parenting/child development high school students teach handwashing to preschool through 4th-grade students. She then sent this press release and photo to the media.

Here’s one more idea. How about having students keep track of how many times a day their hands touch something that might contain germs and how often they wash their hands (or the potential for germ sharing such as sharing pencils, etc.). It is amazing how many things we touch that contain germs. It's wonderful that supermarkets now have sanitizing wipes so you can clean your hands before touching the handles of a carriage!

What Resources Are Available?


AAFCS H1N1 Editorial Template - www.aafcs.org/res/H1N1/H1N1EditorialTemplate.doc

Questions & Answers: 2009 H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You - www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

H1N1 Press Release Template - www.aafcs.org/res/H1N1/H1N1_Press_Release_Template.doc

Winning "H1N1 Rap" from Dr. John M. Clarke - www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gwUdmPl0bU

AAFCS distribution labels for your presentation materials and handouts - www.aafcs.org/res/H1N1/H1N1labels.doc

Kappa Omicron Nu Chapter Activity for Seven Wonders of the Socially Responsible World - www.kon.org/health-7wonders.doc


AAFCS H1N1 Editorial Discussion Guide- www.aafcs.org/res/H1N1/H1N1EditorialDiscussionGuide.doc

Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Businesses and Employers (Dept. of HHS, CDC, and Dept. of Homeland Security) - www.aafcs.org/res/H1N1/CDC_HS_Flu_Toolkit_Bus.pdf

It’s Not Flu as Usual: An H1N1 Business Preparedness Guide (US Chamber of Commerce) - www.aafcs.org/res/H1N1/ChamofComm_H1N1_BusPreparednessGuide.pdf

The State of Health in the American Workforce (Families and Work Institute) - www.aafcs.org/res/H1N1/FamandWorkInst_2008_WorkforceHealthReport.pdf

Workplace and community info - www.flu.gov


Be Like Elmo: Protect Yourself & Your Family from the Flu -

"Halloween - Don't Do the Flu" coloring sheet from ACI -
Send completed coloring sheets to Nancy Bock at nbock@cleaninginstitute.org for the art gallery.

2009 H1N1 Information for Parents who have Children with High-Risk Medical Conditions from the CDC - www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=393367

Policies and procedures regarding any H1N1 outbreak from the U.S. Department of Education for K-12 education - www.flu.gov/plan/school/schoolguidance.html

CDC toolkit for teachers and parents - www.flu.gov/plan/school/toolkit.html

Ideas to use with children, including songs, stickers, an interactive "Scrub Club," and much more - www.redcross.org/pandemicflu