Disease prevention is in everyone’s hands! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to others is to clean our hands.  Beginning in 2008, Global Hand Washing Day has been celebrated annually on October 15.  The Ithaca Rotary Club has worked since 2010 to create greater community awareness and implementation of hand washing. Many thanks to club members Joe Cassaniti and Heidi Goldstein for their leadership in these efforts! 

This year: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ithaca Rotary Club developed and distributed 600+ informative pamphlets to higher-risk groups through Food Net/Meals on Wheels and local senior residences. Joe Cassaniti set a goal of having support from Cayuga Medical Center (CMC), Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) and the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) for the 2020 Global Hand Washing Day posters.  With their support, the new set of posters were printed and distributed to the ICSD schools with the digital documents available here on the website for printing.  

The Global Hand Washing Day committee expands the 2020-21 promotion with:
  • Generic CDC posters with the Rotary logo for clubs anywhere to download, add their names, and distribute locally (available from the links at left)
  • Posters with CMC, TCHD and Rotary logo for Tompkins County area clubs to modify with their names (available from the links at left)
  • Distribution through the TST BOCES network to regional schools
  • Including CDC Hand Washing and COVID-19 prevention posters in Spanish and English

Feel free to share this short video, Handwashing Rhythm,  to help with your own efforts to promote Handwashing Awareness & Education.


Want to get involved?  Have Questions?
            contacts:        Joe at joe_cassaniti@hotmail.com
                                    Heidi at hjorganics@aol.com

Origins of Global Hand Washing Day: The health impact of personal and household hygiene has been science-based since MIT chemist Ellen Swallow Richards’ research in early 1900s.  Fast forward to 1998 when the current Global Hand Washing campaign began with the public-private Global Hand Washing Partnership (GHP).  It grew out of two large-scale hand washing programs. These programs demonstrated the untapped synergies of public-private sector collaboration and the important role of consumer research and consumer-centered marketing in driving hand washing behavior change.  Global Hand Washing Day began in 2008.