by Allison Kozicharow
In a separate event from the latest e-library installation, WiRED dedicated the Faye F. and Sheldon S. Cohen Community Health Information Center (CHIC) in Pandipieri, Kenya, a community services facility where WiRED has operated for the last 10 years bringing health information to more than a quarter of a million people. This naming honors the Cohens for their lifelong dedication to helping the poor, their concern for global health, and their interest in projecting a positive American image abroad.
WiRED Director Gary Selnow, Ph.D., attended the ceremony and reported that some 25 to 30 people attended the event to celebrate the opening and to honor the Cohens. Dr. Selnow said, "WiRED's board and staff, and the people of Kisumu, are grateful for the Cohens' humanitarian work and for their concern about people a continent away. We are pleased to name the facility at Pandipieri for Faye and Sheldon Cohen, and join Sr. Bernadette Nealton, who operates the health program, in honoring these caring and public-spirited people.
"We also wish to thank the generous people at the Marjorie Kovler Fund for making a significant contribution to the development of the Community Health Information (CHI) e-library, which now has more than 100 topics on a wide range of illnesses and conditions that affect people in developing regions. This library serves visitors at the Pandipieri facility, and soon it will be made available through a broader distribution program."
WiRED board member, Charlotte Ferretti, R.N., Ed.D., explained that programs such as these cannot exist without the abiding support of people who believe in the power of knowledge in the fight for better health. She said, "The ripple effect of information to improve community health is significant. The knowledge people acquire enables them to become participants in their own health care. This means they engage in better behaviors, recognize early signs and symptoms, and understand how to work with health professionals to address illness and disease. This work is possible because of the Marjorie Kovler Fund and other charitable, humanitarian organizations."
An early WiRED board member, the Honorable Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq. is currently a director at Farr, Miller & Washington, LLP and a professorial lecturer at the George Washington Law School. He was appointed Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and then served from 1965 to 1969 as Commissioner under President Lyndon Baines Johnson, becoming the youngest person to hold that position. He later left government service to work as a Washington, D.C. tax attorney, developing a distinguished career that spans 50 years. Read more >
Mr. Cohen's wife, Faye, said, "I come from a family of first generation Americans. I was taught to give back, always give more back than you receive. My first venture into health care came at age 14 when I volunteered at Johns Hopkins Hospital during War World II. Volunteering is easy—you just do it."
The Cohens recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, surrounded by their children and grandchildren. Mrs. Cohen said, "The cake was far bigger than our original wedding cake!" As for their involvement with WiRED, Mrs. Cohen explained that, "Sheldon and I connected with the concept of WiRED instantly. Though we will never get to visit the Center in Kisumu, we will adopt and support it." All their lives, the Cohens have responded without hesitation to those in want by simply asking "What do you need?"
Board member Suellen Crano, Ph.D., said, "Sheldon and Faye have been terrific supporters of WiRED, and naming this Center after them is a special way to acknowledge their contributions!"
Layout by Brian Colombe.
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