Dec. 4-10 is National Hand Washing Awareness Week |

Dec. 4-10 is National Hand Washing Awareness Week

Dr. Will Sawyer has taken dear old Mom’s advice about hand washing to heart.

In 1999, an influenza vaccine shortage prompted the Cincinnati physician to form the Henry the Hand Foundation. The effort teaches the community about the importance of proper hand washing to avoid the spread of the flu.

“The mission is to propagate Henry the Hand’s Four Principles of Hand Washing Awareness throughout the United States just for the health of it,” said Sawyer, in a press statement.

The foundation’s vision is to improve health by promoting the role that hand washing plays in the transmission of disease. By following four principles for clean hands, people can decrease the incidence of illness, Sawyer said. He suggests washing hands when they are dirty and before eating; not coughing into hands; not sneezing into hands; and not putting fingers into eyes, nose or mouth.

Henry the Hand Foundation is a grassroots non-profit organization that shares Henry’s Hand Washing Awareness message with children and adults across the country. The foundation encourages parents and health professionals to adopt a school in their communities to act as ambassadors for Henry’s packaged program, which allows them to take a leadership role in preventive health education.

Henry the Hand posters and coloring books can be accessed online at, or by contacting Henry the Hand Foundation, 11714 U.S. Route 42, Cincinnati, OH 45241; sending an e-mail to or by calling (513) 769-3660.

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