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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Nonprofit

This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.

IRS Advisory Panels Calls for Review of Charity Form 990, Mandatory E-Filing

(Arlington, VA) The Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) has recommended three proposals to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including mandatory electronic of the Form 990, the information return charities and nonprofits must file every year.

The purpose of the ACT is to provide an organized public forum for the discussion between IRS officials and representatives of five areas: Employee Plans, Exempt Organizations; Federal State and Local Governments; Indian Tribal Governments; and Tax Exempt Bonds.

Regarding exempt organizations, including charities, the ACT recommends:

  • A Congressional mandate to require electronic filing of the Form 990 series and the development of interim steps to encourage and provide incentives for voluntary e-filing of the Form 990 series for exempt organizations that are not subject to the mandatory e-filing requirements.
  • A task force comprised of representative stakeholders to determine which parts and schedules of the current Form 990 and related instructions should be updated, enhanced, and/or deleted to create a more effective and efficient form and process.
  • Additional information from Form 990-N filers, an “e-Postcard” that requires only limited information from nonprofits whose annual revenues are normally less than or equal to $50,000.

“In this day and age with the technology that is available, we simply have to use every means to have charities file their annual information electronically,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, member of the ACT and president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). “The 1.4 million organizations of the nonprofit sector have become a huge force not just in providing services and changing people’s lives, but in the significant impact they have on our economy—with one in ten Americans employed in the sector. We need to have accurate and updated information to ensure the reach of the sector is understood by our government, and that appropriate public policy can be established to support charities and their critically needed programs.”

The ACT’s recommendations are buoyed by more than 1,900 responses to a survey that was distributed to user groups of the Form 990 highlighting multiple uses of the form. Just two percent of respondents said mandatory electronic filing would be burdensome (six percent of Form 990-EZ filers said they find it burdensome), with 58 percent saying it wouldn’t burdensome and 40 percent responding “don’t know.”

In addition, President Obama’s 2016 Budget included a proposal that all-tax exempt organizations to file all kinds of Forms 990 electronically.

“It’s clear that there is strong consensus from charities, the government and others that we need electronic filing,” said Watt. “Funding for the IRS—and the burden mandatory e-filing places on the agency—may be an issue, but the benefits here far outweigh the negative, both to the sector and the IRS’ effectiveness and efficiency in the future.”

A copy of the report, including all of the recommendations and more information on the survey, is available on the IRS website.

Scott Helmer to Break Guinness World Record while Helping Raise $2 Million for Charity on #GivingTuesday

Charities and venues across America invited to fundraise alongside momentous ‘Support YOUR Cause’ tour Guinness World Record attempt on #GivingTuesday

Phoenix, Ariz. – Independent touring and recording artist Scott Helmer, who has opened for iconic acts such as Heart, Eddie Money, 3 Doors Down, Jeff Bridges, Eric Burdon & The Animals, and Big Country, is spending a year and a half traveling more than 25,000 miles across America, donating his time and talent by performing at 200+ concerts for free in venues ranging from historic theatres to Harley-Davidson dealerships, all to help raise $1 million for good causes. It’s hard to imagine a person like Helmer would ever put a gun in his mouth to commit suicide, but he did exactly that during his darkest hour in 2008. “Everything I’m doing now goes back to that moment where I was one second away from pulling the trigger.”

Listen to Helmer’s inspiring comeback story on Unity Radio

This fall Helmer will raise the stakes of his already-successful ‘Support YOUR Cause’ tour (now approaching the $400,000 mark in funds raised) with an attempt to break the official Guinness World Record for Most Live Concerts in 24 Hours (multiple cities). The current record is 10, set by Hunter Hayes in 2014. Helmer plans to beat that record with 12 concerts in 24 hours on December 1, 2015, a date that coincides with #GivingTuesday. His goal is to help raise $2 million for good causes in the process.

Watch ‘Support YOUR Cause’ tour highlights

Here’s how it will work:

  • Charities & Venues: 12 lucky charities will be selected by July 15, 2015 and partner with a venue of their choosing along a strategic route yet to be determined.
  • Charity Fundraising: Beginning on November 1, 2015, each charity will spend the entire month and the day of the world record attempt (through midnight on December 1) raising funds for their not-for-profit operations in whatever manner they see fit. The goal for each charities month of fundraising is $50,000.
  • Helmer’s Headline Appearance: Between November 1 and November 30, 2015, Helmer will schedule an appearance at each venue for a full fundraising concert to further help them reach the above goal. His successful appearance at the Historic Midland Theatre is a model charities and venues can use to make the most of this event.
  • Helmer’s World Record Appearance: Helmer will come back to each venue for a brief concert appearance on December 1 for the Guinness World Record attempt. To break the world record, each of his 12 appearances on that date will consist of a 15-30 minute set. Interested venues are already pitching a wide variety of activities, from midnight movies and pancake breakfasts to busing in children, senior citizens, and veterans from the local area to be on hand for the world record attempt. Helmer notes, “The buzz is already heating up, and I’ll be interested in seeing what participating charities and venues come up with to add to the excitement of their events!” Note that Helmer’s tour bus with the documentary film crew and support team could show up at any time on December 1 and will be dependent on final routing as the date draws near.
  • Performance Technical Requirements: Note that both of Helmer’s appearances (November full concert, and December 1 world record attempt appearance) consist of upbeat solo-acoustic music of rock and country favorites, selections from his current record, and seasonal holiday music. With few technical demands, venues can easily work his appearances into their existing schedule of events without being a burden to other productions planned during that time. If any venues have a piano or drum set available, he can make use of those as well.
  • Guinness Requirements: All participating venues must have a seating capacity of 300 or more. The venues must all be at least 31 miles apart from each other. Each of the cities must have a minimum population of 15,000, and half of them must have a population of 100,000 or more. In addition, each concert must last at least 15 minutes.
  • Press Coverage: Helmer’s Guinness World Record attempt is sure to receive substantial amounts of national and international media coverage, boosting awareness for all participants and ‘their’ causes.
  • Matching Funds: Participating charities are encouraged to line up sponsors who will provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds to double their money raised, making the grand total goal for each charity $100,000.
  • To Be Considered: Charities and venues interested in being selected as one of the lucky 12 to fundraise in conjunction with Helmer’s Guinness World record attempt should register before JUNE 30, 2015.

But Helmer’s not stopping there. With the assistance of the individual charities and venues, he will also be working to help raise $1 million for one very special charity. The Kostopulos Dream Foundation, home of Camp Kostopulos (Camp K) in Salt Lake City, UT, serve people with disabilities and special needs. They come from all over the nation and world to experience programs centered on recreation, education, and growth opportunities. In order to particpate and fundraise for an entire month in conjunction with Helmer’s world record attempt, each charity / venue will be required to donate $5,000 or 10% (whichever is greater) of their total funds raised to Kostopulos Dream Foundation.

VIDEO – See the magic that happens at Camp K

Camp K is near and dear to Helmer’s heart. His tour made a stop there in 2014 and helped raise $8,500 for the Foundation. When Helmer returned for this year’s Family Fun Day and Concert in the Canyon, the events raised nearly $20,000. The Foundation’s President and CEO, Mircea Divricean, expressed his gratitude to Helmer in this letter of appreciation. Under Divricean’s leadership, the foundation has already secured matching fund pledges totaling $500,000 for its participation in the Guinness World Record attempt.

Utah camp helps people with disabilities develop life-skills

After making a huge mistake back in 2008 that cost him his livelihood and his family, Helmer hit the reset button on his life to focus on three simple things: Creating music, performing music, and helping others, which is why he’s also an enthusiastic volunteer for Musicians On Call. Helmer notes, “If I can come back from the brink, anyone can. I hope my story inspires others to never give up.” Helmer will not handle any money or donations on behalf of organizations during his performances.

TESTIMONIALS – See what people are saying

Charities and venues interested in fundraising with Helmer’s world record attempt can be considered by filling out the registration form before JUNE 30, 2015. Those wishing to fundraise at any other time during the year can register here. Scott Helmer proudly endorses Elixir Strings, Gator Cases and Pedaltrain. Helmer is also accepting tour sponsors. Businesses and individuals can learn more here.

Foundation for a National AIDS Monument Receives $500,000 Matching Gift From Cedars-Sinai

Largest single gift to date for the future West Hollywood-based monument.

(WEST HOLLYWOOD) – June 18, 2015 – The Foundation for a National AIDS Monument, a non-profit organization building an HIV/AIDS Monument to memorialize, by name and likeness, those who died as a result of HIV/AIDS, today announced a $500,000 gift from Cedars-Sinai, the largest gift made to the Foundation. Cedars Sinai will present a $250,000 check to the organization during an event to be held on June 18 at the West Hollywood Library. Cedars-Sinai will then match additional donations made to the organization up to another $250,000. To date, the Foundation has surpassed $1.2 million in contributions for the monument.

“The Foundation for a National AIDS Monument is immensely proud of our partnership with Cedars-Sinai and the generous contribution they have made to the AIDS Monument. Thanks to Cedars-Sinai’s leadership, FAM has surpassed over $1.2 million in contributions in the first 6 months of our initial capital campaign and Cedar- Sinai’s matching gift opportunity will lead to even more contributions in support of our work,” said Mark Lehman, chairman of the board of directors for the Foundation.

“Cedars-Sinai has a deep and meaningful place in the history of the AIDS epidemic in West Hollywood and throughout the country. This gift and matching grant helps FAM memorialize, pay tribute and educate the community regarding HIV/AIDS in an extraordinarily meaningful way.”

To date, the Foundation has raised over $1 million in just six months from over 50 different donors. The physical monument is designed by renowned artist Daniel Tobin and will be located in the heart of West Hollywood. Both a physical structure and interactive experience, the monument will memorialize the AIDS crisis and celebrate the lives of those that have passed, honor the institutions and organizations building awareness and fighting for change and inform this and future generations to the current state of HIV/AIDS resources, prevention and care.

“As one of the organizations that has been on the frontlines of caring for people with HIV/AIDS from the very beginning, Cedars-Sinai is proud to support and participate in the community effort to honor the memory of those who have died and to commemorate the dedicated individuals whose activism, compassion and skills played such a crucial role in fighting HIV/AIDS and discrimination,” said Thomas M. Priselac, Cedars-Sinai’s president and CEO.

Cedars-Sinai was one of the first hospitals in the nation to care for people with HIV/AIDS, and subsequently created one of the nation’s most comprehensive inpatient AIDS units. Cedars-Sinai researchers also made crucial discoveries about the human immunodeficiency virus that were instrumental in the development of medications to treat the disease.

“By making half of our pledge a matching gift challenge, we hope to encourage many others in the community to join us in supporting the National AIDS Monument,” Priselac said.

The land for the Monument – in the heart of West Hollywood Park’s $90.5 Million renovation – was gifted by the City of West Hollywood.

For more information, please log on to www.aidsmonument.org.

About Foundation for a National AIDS Monument

Established in 2013, the Foundation for a National AIDS Monument is building the nation’s first-of-its-kind HIV/AIDS Monument to memorialize, by name and likeness, Americans who died as a result of HIV/AIDS. The Foundation seeks to honor and memorialize the devastation and impact of HIV/AIDS on a national level. Reflective and contemporary, the Monument will establish a much needed, long-awaited physical structure, one of global significance that will support ongoing activism.

Blending evocative architectural design and state-of-the-art interactive technology, the Monument will provide a destination that will pay tribute to those we have lost, honor those who survived and the organizations of change that were born, and provide links and access to existing programs around HIV/AIDS education.

MobileCause Launches The “Nonprofit Insider,” An Online, Social And Mobile News Service Specifically For Nonprofits

A Trusted Source of Daily Curated Trending News with a Fundraising and Technology Focus

(LOS ANGELES, CALIF., June 19, 2015) – MobileCause, a leader in nonprofit fundraising and communication solutions, is proud to announce the launch of its new nonprofit information resource aptly named “Nonprofit Insider”. The Nonprofit Insider is set to be a leading mobile, social and online technology news source that organizes and summarizes the most relevant information in the nonprofit industry. Trending stories for nonprofit professionals are curated each day based on global shares and likes across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Featured articles include tips and best practices from fundraising experts. The Nonprofit Insider is a free subscription service with no advertising where subscribers additionally receive weekly roll ups of trending news by email, text message and/or social media feed. Users can sign up here: http://bit.ly/1dOqAqH

“We make it as easy as possible for nonprofit leaders to benefit from trending fundraising and technology thought leadership from across the globe.” – Sean MacNeill, MobileCause CEO

Services such as the Nonprofit Insider will change the digital landscape by providing relevant news to its readers while gaining their trust with credible insights, like-mindedness and timely delivery. Americans are changing where they are getting their weekly news with 50% coming from electronic alerts, 42% from original sources, 28% from social media sharing, and 25% from aggregated news sites.

“We post trending topics that are most relevant to fundraisers in a way that is summarized and highly visual.” – Jeremy Koenig, MobileCause Director of Marketing

The MobileCause mission is to put the most powerful tools into the hands of those doing the most good. They are a cloud based fundraising platform designed to help organizations gain donors, increase recurring gifts and engage supporters. MobileCause launching the Nonprofit Insider is an exciting step towards continuing to help nonprofit professionals by providing fundraising and technology news with the easiest and most organized delivery systems. MobileCause is dedicated to helping customers strengthen campaigns across mobile, social and online fundraising channels.

About MobileCause:

MobileCause provides cloud based online fundraising and communication software for nonprofit organizations enabling them to raise more money at a lower cost. Each solution is designed to mobilize networks of volunteers, donors and staff while making it easy for people to give and stay connected from any device. Our suite of products including: crowdfunding for nonprofits, comprehensive online giving, dynamic event fundraising, text to donate keywords, mobile communication and smart data records, is designed for a new generation of giving for mobile, online and social. Customers can be up and running in hours with no technical skills required. MobileCause provides turnkey merchant and payment services at a simple flat rate that includes a specialized mobile payment app for nonprofits. Each plan includes dedicated strategy support from fundraising experts. Featured clients include United Way, The Salvation Army, American Heart Association, University of Southern California, Habitat for Humanity and many more. Visit us at www.mobilecause.com

Outreach Outpatient Services Launches Drug And Alcohol Treatment Track For LGBTQ Community

Open House Scheduled For Tuesday, June 30, 9:30 A.M. In Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Outreach, the noted drug and alcohol treatment agency, is announcing an open house event featuring new specialized treatment services for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. The announcement comes in concert with the month of June, which is Pride Month.

The open house will be held on Tuesday, June 30th, 9:30-11:30 a.m., at the organization’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn location where potential clients, family members, and community partners can learn about the new program track and its focus on LGBTQ issues. A formal presentation will begin at 10 a.m. and light refreshments will be served. The offices are at 960 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint.

Among the services to be provided, available in both English and Spanish, are the following:

  • Individual Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Psychiatric Evaluation
  • Medication Management
  • Vocational Counseling

According to studies, those in the LGBTQ community are more likely than those in the general population to use drugs and alcohol and have higher rates of substance abuse. It has also been found they are less likely to abstain from use.

For more than 30 years, Outreach has been a premier provider of life-changing substance abuse treatment in New York City and Long Island. The organization is committed to making a difference in the lives of the people it serves. A non-profit organization licensed by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and operates in a safe, empowering and affirming environment.

For more information about Outreach and the LGBTQ open house, please call 718-383-7200 or visit www.opiny.org.

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Constitutional Law Experts Are Available To Speak With The Media Regarding Scotus, The Affordable Care Act And Same Sex Marriage

In the coming days, the Supreme Court of the United States is expected release decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act. In advance of, during and after the decisions are released, professors from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, who are experts in same-sex marriage law, and health car law are available to offer commentary and expert analysis to members of the media as needed.

In a recent blog post, Professor Gerald Fisher provided analysis of the Supreme Court’s eventual decision on the same-sex marriage case. Fisher said, “The most likely outcome in the case is a Justice Kennedy-written opinion expressing that there is no rational reason for a state to prohibit same sex-marriage. However, there is a long-shot outcome, consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case, United States v. Windsor, written in 2013 by Justice Kennedy, that the definition of marriage is a matter appropriately left to the states.”

Professor Lisa DeMoss also blogged about what could happen if SCOTUS decides to eliminate the premium subsides in the King V. Burwell case, “A decision in King v. Burwell that eliminates premium subsidies for the newly insured in those 34 states is predicted to create significant disruption in the insurance markets. While Congress could easily address the language issue in a one sentence amendment to the ACA, virtually no one is predicting that the current Congress will take such action. Given the dire predictions of massive premium payment default, loss of newly acquired coverage by millions of Americans, the unlikelihood of state construction of new health insurance exchanges now that the developmental grants have expired under the ACA, a significant increase in the volume of uncompensated care provided by hospitals and doctors and the underwriting effects on the individual health coverage risk pools, it is conceivable that the political response to the elimination of premium subsidies will involve some sort of extension of the subsidies through the next presidential election cycle.”

Mazda Recognized for Contribution to the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program

Assistance Critical to Enabling Red Cross to Respond to Disasters in the United States

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2015 — The American Red Cross today recognized Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), headquartered in Irvine, California, for its support of Red Cross disaster response work through the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP).

Red Cross ADGP members pledge donations on an ongoing basis, in advance of major disasters, to help the Red Cross ensure an immediate response to meet the needs of those affected by disasters of all sizes, at no cost and regardless of income.

Based on a long-standing partnership with the Red Cross, Mazda increased its annual contribution to ADGP and is now the first automotive manufacturer to join as a $1 million member of the giving program through a cash and vehicle donation. Mazda’s vehicle donation is the company’s largest in-kind vehicle donation ever.

“Thanks to the support of Mazda and other companies and foundations, the Red Cross can immediately respond to the needs of people impacted by disaster in the United States,” said American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern. “Members of this program generously help create a reliable funding base for disaster relief services, providing food, shelter, emotional support and other essential assistance to disaster victims.”

Mazda will supply 18 of its most functional vehicles to Red Cross chapters across the nation to deliver emergency supplies and services to families affected by disasters and other emergencies. Of the 18 donated vehicles, nine are 2015 Mazda CX-9 three-row crossover SUVs that seat seven passengers and provide up to 100.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity, as well as nine 2015 Mazda5 multi-activity vehicles that offer up to 44.4 cubic feet of cargo space and seating for six. The vehicles will also help transport resources and materials to train people in lifesaving skills such as CPR, AED and first aid.

“Mazda’s partnership with the American Red Cross goes beyond monetary donations and we are honored to provide them with Mazda vehicles to be used on the front lines of disaster relief,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. “Mazda builds some of the most reliable vehicles on the market and we have no doubt they will serve Red Cross volunteers in times of need. Being a member of the ADGP program allows Mazda the best opportunity to give back to our local communities nationwide.”

Mazda also supports Red Cross blood drives and disaster preparedness efforts in their communities, and provides employees opportunities to support the Red Cross through volunteer work.

Other members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program include major leading companies such as 3M; Altria Group; American Airlines; American Express; Anheuser Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Aon; Bank of America; BNY Mellon; Capital One; Caterpillar Foundation; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Darden Restaurants Foundation; Discover; Disney; Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Edison International; FedEx Corporation; Ford Motor Company; Grainger; Humble Bundle; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Kraft Foods Group Foundation; LDS Charities; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Medtronic; Meijer; Merck & Co., Inc.; Mondelēz International Foundation; National Grid; Nationwide Insurance Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Prudential Foundation; Samsung; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Southwest Airlines; Sprint; State Farm; Sunoco; Target; The Home Depot; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; United Technologies Corporation; UPS; VSP℠Vision care for life; Walmart; Wawa; and Wells Fargo.

People can join ADGP members in supporting Red Cross Disaster Relief and help provide food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year. Visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Selects William Schaffner, M.D. as New Medical Director

Bethesda, MD (June 17, 2015) – The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has appointed William Schaffner, M.D. as its new medical director.

Schaffner will continue to serve as professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. From 2010 to 2012, Schaffner served as president of NFID. In his new role, he will succeed Susan J. Rehm, M.D. who has served as NFID medical director since 2004.

As medical director, Schaffner will help to advance NFID’s mission with a focus on education and increased awareness among both healthcare professionals and the public about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases across the lifespan. His medical and scientific expertise will be critical to the development of new NFID programs, including continuing education and public outreach. In his new position, Schaffner will help to strengthen partner collaborations and will continue to serve as NFID medical spokesperson, a role he has shared since he first joined the NFID Board of Directors in 2001. He will also continue to represent NFID as liaison to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

“We are delighted that Dr. Schaffner has agreed to formalize his role with NFID,” said Marla Dalton, CAE, NFID executive director. “He has been instrumental in educating both the public and healthcare professionals about vaccine-preventable diseases and other important infectious disease issues.”

Schaffner’s work has focused on all aspects of infectious diseases, including epidemiology, infection control and immunization. He has worked extensively on the effective use of vaccines across the lifespan. He is a strong proponent of collaboration between academic medical centers and public health institutions.

He has received many awards for his work, including several that recognized his advocacy and ability to translate science and research advances into passionate messages that help people of all ages understand the importance of public health and prevention. He is the recipient of the 2013 NFID John P. Utz Leadership Award. He was also honored as the 2014 Jeryl Lynn Hilleman Lecturer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Conference. In 2009, he received the James D. Bruce Award from the American College of Physicians for “distinguished contributions to preventive medicine.”

“During her time as medical director, Dr. Rehm has taken the organization to a new level,” noted Dr. Schaffner. “I look forward to working with the NFID staff, our Board and our many partner organizations to continue to advance our mission and expand our reach.”

NFID Leaders Join Schaffner in Paying Tribute to Dr. Susan J. Rehm Dalton and the NFID Board of Directors expressed their gratitude for Rehm’s expertise and contributions over the years to improve public health through NFID professional and public education programs.

“NFID has benefited from a long history of dedicated experts who have guided us in tackling challenges and minimizing the impact of infectious diseases on U.S. public health,” said Dalton. “Beyond providing her medical expertise, Dr. Rehm worked closely with our staff and leadership to ensure resourceful and collaborative programming.”

Rehm is also an NFID past-president, serving for a three-year term from 2001 to 2004. She is currently vice chair, Department of Infectious Disease, and staff physician at Cleveland Clinic.

More About Dr. William Schaffner

Schaffner is professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. He also serves as a hospital epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University Hospital.

He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the Infectious Diseases Society of America, American College of Physicians, Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the American Public Health Association. He is also a prolific writer, having authored over 400 scientific articles and textbook chapters. Additionally, he consults on public health and communicable disease control for numerous institutions, including CDC, and serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals, including Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vaccine and the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). He is a featured blog author for The Huffington Post and Infectious Disease News.

About NFID

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases across the lifespan. For more information, visit http://www.nfid.org.

Obria Medical Clinics Founder Kathleen Eaton Bravo Honored at Campaign for Life Gala

Southern California Health Clinic CEO Honored for Achievements in Pro-life Leadership with the Susan B. Anthony List Distinguished Leader Award

ALISO VIEJO, CALIF. (June 17, 2015)Obria Medical Clinics—a California-based network of medically licensed, life-affirming health clinics offering community health care and patient education programs—is proud to announce its founder and CEO, Kathleen Eaton Bravo, has been honored with the esteemed Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) Distinguished Leader Award. Recognized for her tireless efforts and achievements in pro-life leadership, Bravo—also a 2010 Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award recipient—accepted the award at the SBA List Campaign for Life Summit held April 16 in Washington D.C.

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“Receiving this award from the Susan B. Anthony List is a triumph for all of us at Obria,” says Bravo, who was honored before a group of like-minded community leaders and policy influencers that included Senator Rand Paul, Rep. Steve Scalise (House Majority Whip), Rep. Chris Smith, Rep. Steve King, Michael Barone, senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner and Senator Joni Ernst. “When I founded Obria Medical Clinics more than 34 years ago, my goal was to provide young women in crisis pregnancies with agenda-free medical truths about their options. Since then, the demand for our compassionate, judgment-free medical care has grown exponentially and we are in the process of expanding our California presence to 25 clinics and 200 nation-wide by 2020.”

Recognition from the SBA List, which is dedicated to electing candidates and pursuing policies that will reduce and ultimately end abortion, not only supports Bravo’s efforts but also reinforces Obria’s vision to expand across the U.S. With the goal to become a top provider of comprehensive reproductive health services, Obria Medical Clinics will foster expansion by partnering with local community clinics to offer patients primary care services that include pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, pregnancy care, STD and HIV/AIDS testing, well-woman exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, health education and emotional support.

Since its inception in 1981, Obria operated as a pregnancy center serving over 150,000 women and youths in California and over 300,000 across the country. In 2007, Obria converted to licensed medical clinics where its compassionate doctors, nurses and patient advocates have provided free and low-cost healthcare services and unconditional support to more than 80,000 young people, many of whom experience shame as a result of an unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease—and often feel they have nowhere to turn.

“By providing free or low cost confidential specialized health resources, Obria Medical Clinics has been life-changing for so many,” Bravo says. “As a caring alternative to big government-run centers, Obria’s fully-licensed, comprehensive community clinics provide a truly personalized approach and unbiased, fact-based education for patients and their families, helping them make informed decisions about their health while remaining steadfast in providing alternatives to abortion and contraceptives.“

For more information on Obria Medical Clinics, please visit www.obria.org.

ABOUT OBRIA MEDICAL CLINICS: Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif., Obria Medical Clinics—a 501(c)(3) non-profit, fully-licensed community health care organization—relies on a collaborative medical model to grow its footprint, expand its reach and care for those throughout California without access to life-affirming sexual health care. Its six southern California clinics offer low-cost pregnancy-related medical services and STD testing in Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana and a mobile unit, with current plans to grow by expanding its California presence to 25 clinics and 200 nation-wide by 2020. Obria’s services include pregnancy care, pre-natal care, STD testing/treatment, ultrasound, well-woman care, breast and cervical cancer screening, PAP smear testing, HIV/AIDS testing, primary care through its partner clinics and referrals to community resources and health education resources for low-income and underserved individuals in the community. These services are provided in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner to all women and men in need of high-quality care regardless of their creed, race, sexual orientation, national origin or age. For more information, visit www.obria.org.

Dr. Carolyn Woo to Join Pope Francis in Rome to Release Encyclical

Asks people to consider what kind of world do we want to leave our children

BALTIMORE, MD, June 17, 2015 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) president Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo will be among those at the Vatican on Thursday speaking at the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si; on the care of our common home.”

“It is an honor to be included in this important event,” Woo said. “Pope Francis recognizes that caring for God’s creation and caring for the poor are closely linked.”

Widely anticipated as a definitive statement on the need to reverse climate change, the encyclical is also expected to address the need for all to care for those suffering from its effects. Its title, translated as “Praised Be”, is a quotation from the 13th century Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi.

“With my background, I want to reach out to members of the business community, asking them the same question we all must answer; ‘What kind of world do we want to leave our children?’” said Woo, who came to CRS from the University of Notre Dame where she was dean of the Mendoza School of Business.

“While there are businesses which are threatened by this message and probably many do not do enough on this issue – and I include humanitarian organizations like CRS in that – we must acknowledge that there have been extensive actions by business on climate change, easily overshadowing the efforts by the development community,” she said.

CRS, the official overseas humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, works in more than 100 countries around the world, touching the lives of some 100 million people, many of them affected by climate change. Its experts, both in its Baltimore headquarters and around the world, can speak to these issues with specific examples such as:

  • Changing rainfall patterns that lead to hardships among small farmers in West Africa.
  • Rising temperatures that make traditional crops no longer viable in Central America.
  • More powerful storms taking different routes, hitting areas unprepared for their effects, in Asia.

“Climate change is not an abstract notion for those of us at CRS,” said Joan Rosenhauer, CRS’ head of US Operations. “We work every day with the people who have done the least to despoil God’s gift of creation but are suffering the worst from that degradation. We know we must strive to bring these changes under control, but just as importantly we must help those suffering the consequences.”

For more information go to: http://www.crs.org/pope-francis-climate/

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