DAVENPORT, Iowa -- March 8, 2010 -- Communitas Awards has recognized Genesis Health System for Leadership In Community Service.

Genesis received a Communitas Award award for its Flu-Free Quad Cities project that provided seasonal influenza vaccinations to more than 10,000 elementary school children in 2009.

The Communitas Awards are an international effort to recognize exceptional businesses, organizations and individuals that are unselfishly giving of themselves and their resources, and those that are changing how they do business to benefit their communities. Nominees are evaluated on the extent and effectiveness of their efforts.

The Communitas Awards is an outgrowth of the pro bono recognition program of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). Founded in 1995, AMCP fosters and supports the efforts of its members who contribute their unique marketing and communication talents to public service and charitable organizations.

Genesis Flu-Free Quad Cities is an initiative of Genesis Health System that started three years ago with the idea to protect thousands of elementary school children against seasonal influenza.

Starting out as a pilot project in 2007 with 300 students in three schools, the program has expanded to reach 10,000 children in 82 schools throughout the Quad Cities area of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Children in elementary schools often go unvaccinated. They are not generally considered to be a high-risk group because they rarely suffer severe complications of flu, but they are very efficient carriers.  They carry seasonal flu into their homes and into the communities where they reside.  They carry the flu to baby siblings who may be at higher risk from complications and to grandparents, who also are at higher risk of complications.

Through the Genesis Health Services Foundation, more than $250,000 was raised to fund the project in 2009.


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