Gifford Healthcare,The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program has awarded a $40,000 grant for 2011 to Gifford Medical Center to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer.The Avon Breast Health Outreach supports community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country and is part of the Avon Foundation for Women, the largest corporate philanthropy dedicated to women’s causes globally.This is the 10th consecutive year that Gifford’s Breast Health Program has received funding from the Foundation, resulting in a total of more than $380,000 invested regionally to increase awareness of the life saving benefits of mammograms and clinical breast exams.The only Vermont recipient, Gifford was selected as one of 126 grantees nationwide in 2011, when a total of $5.2 million was awarded. Organizations like Gifford are chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income and older women, who are often medically underserved.Through the grant, Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Jane Harrness travels the state speaking to women at events like the upcoming Vermont Farm Show in Barre, many of the state’s county fairs, senior centers, prisons, churches, women’s conferences and more spreading the message of early detection and sharing information on resources like Ladies First.Since Gifford first received the grant in 2002, it has provided more than 4,000 mammograms and more than 3,200 clinical breast exam through the program, and referred countless others to hospitals in their region of the state for care. In 2010 alone, Harrness spoke to nearly 6,500 Vermonters about having annual mammograms after age 40, annual clinical breast exams and doing self-breast exams so women know what is normal for them.Gifford’s program also expanded in 2010 to include a second breast care educator, radiology technologist Cheryl Manns. Additionally, Brittany Ward, also a radiology technologist, coordinates the hospital’s new Patient Care Navigator Program. This program is a resource for women facing breast biopsies following abnormal mammograms. Ward helps schedule appointments, answer questions and is with patients throughout the biopsy process.While most breast biopsies do not result in a cancer diagnosis, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States and in Vermont. It’s also the nation’s leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the Vermont Department of Health, about 473 breast cancer cases are diagnosed among Vermont women each year. About 92 each year die from the disease.Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. According to the Avon Foundation, programs such as Gifford’s help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.Gifford representatives said they appreciate the strides the medical center has made thanks to the Avon Foundation’s fund raising efforts and generosity.‘We are so pleased that the Avon Foundation shares our mission of improving health and has chosen to support our program for a 10th consecutive year. This grant allows us to educate women on their breast cancer risk, help them access the health care system and ‘ perhaps most importantly in today’s busy society ‘ remind them to make their own health care a priority, for themselves and for their families,’ said Harrness.Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than 1,425 grants and a total of nearly $60 million to community-based breast health programs across the United States. These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.***The Avon Foundation for Women and Breast Cancer CrusadeThe Avon Foundation for Women, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and today is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care, efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence, its women’s environmental movement to nurture nature, and efforts to provide relief and recovery in times of major natural disasters and emergencies. Since the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992, Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have raised almost $700 million for research and advancing advance access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. In addition to receiving generous support from Avon Products, Inc., and its sale of Avon ‘pink ribbon’ products, the Foundation raises funds through a variety of events and walks, such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, which is the Foundation’s largest fund-raising.The Avon Breast Health Outreach ProgramThe Avon Breast Health Outreach Program is administered by Cicatelli Associates Inc. to support community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country. The Fund’s National Advisory Board selected the Breast Health Program at Gifford Medical Center as one of 126 grant recipients nationwide in the 2011 cycle of Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund grants. These organizations were chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.Gifford Medical CenterGifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vt., is a community hospital with family health centers in Bethel, Chelsea, Rochester and Sharon and specialty services throughout the central Vermont. Gifford is a full-service, non-profit hospital with a 24-hour emergency department, a 25-bed inpatient unit and a Transitional Care Unit. Gifford has a day care as well an adult day care and an award-winning 30-bed nursing home, the Menig Extended Care Facility, which opened in 1998 on the main campus. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to the traditional hospital-based deliveries and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care.Designated as a Critical Access Hospital, Gifford’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable and high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.
Black Stars defender Jerry Akaminko has completed his switch from Turkish lower division side Manisaspor to top-flight club Eskisehirspor in a 3-year deal worth €1.35mThe 24-year-old centre-back signed a three-year deal with the top-flight side from relegated Manisaspor.Reports in Turkey claim Eskisehirspor paid 1.35 million Euros for his services.Akaminko’s sterling performance earned him 28 appearances for Manisaspor in last season’s Turkish Super Lig but the club were relegated at the end of the season.Akaminko has spent four seasons in Turkey with his first club being Orduspor in the Turkish second-tier.In June, he scored on his Ghana debut in the 7-0 win over Lesotho at the Baba Yara Stadium in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Asante Kotoko have written a long riposte to the Ghana Football Association in response to the decision to ban them from playing at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi following acts of hooliganism.Below if the full letter to the GFAWe refer to your letter of 15th May, 2013 on the above subject and with reference number GFA/PLC/AK/VOL 161.Our understanding of your letter is that the Executive Committee of the GFA purports to ban our club from using the Baba Yara Stadium until such a time that the Executive Committee decides otherwise, for alleged acts of violence and misconduct perpetuated by its supporters on 8th May, 2013 at the venue in question.The Executive Committee seeks to invoke the powers vested in it by Article 15 (2) of the GFA Regulations and has then requested the Premier League Board to determine alternative venues for our home matches in accordance with article 15 (3) of the GFA Regulations. It also seeks to refer the misconduct of the club to the Disciplinary Committee as the club is being held liable for the conduct of its supporters per Article 35 (4) of the same regulations.We would like to point it out to the Executive Committee that a true, uncolored and proper interpretation of Article 15 (2) would show the Executive Committee acted beyond the powers vested in it by the said Article. By purporting to ban Kotoko from using the stadium they have attempted to usurp the powers of the Disciplinary Committee of the FA to punish clubs for misconduct or violence as foreseen by Article 39. Article 15 (2) states that:“The GFA may order the closure of any league center where the safety of clubs, match officials or spectators cannot be guaranteed”This regulation anticipates a situation where either due to structural deformities to the stadium or an inability to arrange adequate security means that participants in football matches organized at this center cannot be assured of their safety. In such a situation closure of a league center means it is closed to all football related activities, no matter which club is involved.The GFA can close a venue without recourse to a club based on Article 15 (2) since it is the safety of everybody using a particular ‘unsecured venue’ that the GFA seeks to protect. Closure of a stadium on safety grounds is not meant to be the punishment or part of the punishment for the misconduct of supporters and that is why there is no link between Article 15 (2) and Article 35 on Offences or Article 39 on punishment. Any attempt to link Article 15 (2) and Article 35 (4) would be a misinterpretation of the GFA Regulations.It needs to be pointed out that closure of a league center is not the same as banning a club from playing its home matches at a particular league center. The GFA cannot ban a club from using a venue without finding them liable for an act of misconduct by the club, its officials or supporters as provided for by Article 35 (4) and following the steps outlined in Article 35 (8) stated below: “Any club, Director, Official, Referee, Assistant Referee, player or Member charged with any act of violence or misconduct under this Article shall be furnished with details in writing of such act of violence or misconduct at least three (3) days before the date the Club, Director, Officials, Referee, Assistant Referee, Player or member is requested to appear before the Disciplinary Committee or any special Committee set up for that purpose of answering charges(s) relating to the act of violence or misconduct.A letter delivered to the accredited representative of a club or any official of the club shall be deemed to have been served on the club or official or player thereof”. (Article 35.8)A club can only be found liable for an act of misconduct or violence after being duly charged with these acts and being found liable by the Disciplinary Committee or a Special Committee as provided for under Article 35 (8) and given the punishment in article 39 (1) (d).The Emergency Committee cannot be considered as a Special Committee in this instance since it is a Statutory Committee of the FA and it was not set up to investigate individual instances of misconduct or violence as foreseen by Article 35 (8). Even if it were to act as a Special Committee to investigate the incidence it would have to give the affected club a right of hearing before it can pass its judgment.In this particular instance the Executive Committee can order that matches involving Kotoko be shifted to other venues only if the stadium is closed to all football related activity (as foreseen by article 15 (2) and which the same committee purported to have done in the case of Robert Mensah Stadium in March 2012). This would include matches involving all teams that use the Baba Yara stadium as their match center. Otherwise the Baba Yara Stadium can be considered to be safe for the playing of football matches and Kotoko is being banned from using the place only because of the misconduct of their fans. The right to punish Kotoko for the misconduct of their supporters lie solely within the purview of the Disciplinary Committee or any other Committee provided for under Article 35 (8). The framers of the regulations anticipated that the GFA Executive Committee could be made up of people with self-interest in the punishment meted out to one club based on competition for league positions, reason why it does not give the power to punish clubs to the Executive Committee. The current composition of the Executive Committee does not give us any comfort that the framers of the regulations were wrong.By choosing to exceed its powers and purporting to ban Kotoko from the use of the Baba Yara Stadium without due process the Executive Committee has buckled under pressure from the public and self-centered individuals who are focused on ensuring that Kotoko fails in its attempt to defend its league title. Their calls for Kotoko to be banned should have been considered alongside what the regulations of the FA provide for. The Executive cannot re-write the regulations because it suits the interest of some people.We are by this letter indicating to the Executive Committee that it was wrong in exceeding the powers vested in it by Article 15 (2) based on wrong advice from people with little or no understanding of the letter and spirit of the specific FA Article. We would not be part of an attempt by the Executive Committee to undermine the powers conferred on the Disciplinary Committee or prejudice the outcome of the Committee’s investigation. If the Executive Committee cannot close the stadium to football related activities, they need to wait for the outcome of the Disciplinary process, just like they did in the recent Berekum Arsenal case. By banning us for the alleged misconduct of our supporters and asking the Disciplinary Committee to also ‘hear the case’ of alleged misconduct amounts to double prosecution, leading to the possibility of double punishment for the same offence.We are in no way, by this response justifying hooliganism of any form perpetuated by any set of fans, being it ours but we believe that the right process must be followed so that justice is not only done but is seen to be done. In effect the Executive Committee should either close the stadium to all football related activity in accordance with article 15 (2) or allow Kotoko to use the stadium pending the outcome of the Disciplinary process. The Executive Committee at this stage should be collaborating with the clubs in seeking alternative solutions to incidences of violence as its current strategy of ‘educate your supporters’, ‘shifting of match venues’, ‘closure of stadia’ and ‘fining clubs’ seems not to be working. The Executive Committee should lead this crusade for more effective solutions.We await your response. Yours faithfully,Benjamin NtiKotoko Administrative ManagerFor: Executive Chairman