American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)


University of Maryland Extension Receives Education Award for
 Community Health Insurance Program

Alexandria, Va. – July 30, 2014—The Community of Family Economics and Resource Management (FERM) honored its 2014 Education Award recipients at a ceremony during the 105th AAFCS Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri, last month. Bonnie Braun, Lynn Little, and Virginia Brown led the University of Maryland Extension’s award-winning team.

“I’m honored that my professional association would acknowledge the value of Smart Choice Health Insurance with this award, which I share with the leadership team,” said Braun.

It took the entire University of Maryland Extension team—Bonnie Braun, Amanda Ginter, Jinhee Kim, Teresa McCoy, and Mia Baytop Russell—as well as Chris Garcia from the University of Maryland and Maria Pippidis from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, to create and test the educational materials called Smart Choice Health Insurance.

The FERM Education Award recognizes an individual or team who has made contributions to individuals, families, and communities through exceptional education programming in family economics and/or resource management. This covers a variety of curriculum programs that can range from public school, colleges or universities, Extension or community programs, and electronic or web-based programs.

Smart Choice Health Insurance teaches consumers how to purchase and use health insurance. Consumers attend a two-hour workshop in which they are equipped with the tools, understanding, and confidence needed to make the best possible decision when choosing a health insurance plan. The workshop discusses the process of obtaining health insurance coverage and factors to consider as well as financial literacy and resource management. Currently Smart Choice has 89 certified educators to conduct the workshops in 25 states throughout the United States.

About the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)
Based in the Washington, D.C., area, AAFCS is the only association for family and consumer sciences students and professionals across multiple practice settings and content areas. For more than 100 years, AAFCS has focused its mission on providing leadership and support for professionals whose work assists individuals, families, and communities in making more informed decisions about their well-being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life. AAFCS members provide research-based knowledge about the topics of everyday life to help create healthy and sustainable families. These topics include human development, personal and family finance, housing and interior design, food science, nutrition and wellness, textiles and apparel, and consumer issues. AAFCS members are located nationwide, and include educators, administrators and managers, human service and business professionals, researchers, community volunteers, and consultants who develop research-based information and deliver programs on essential skills to help individuals and families be better prepared to live, work, and succeed in today’s complex and diverse world.

Field of Family & Consumer Sciences
Family and consumer sciences (FCS) draws from broad and diverse disciplines to develop and provide content and programs that help individuals become more effective critical thinkers and problem solvers.  Through discovery and delivery of research-based knowledge, FCS professionals help individuals and families develop essential skills to successfully live and work in a complex world. Professionals in the field are uniquely qualified to speak on many critical issues affecting individuals and families, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, wisely managing personal and family finances, and creating supportive relationships with family members, friends, and co-workers.  They are located nationwide in a variety of practice settings, including secondary schools, universities, government agencies, and businesses.

For more information, please contact:
Gwynn Mason
Director of Communications, AAFCS