Sheila Fawbush, County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer SciencesSheila Fawbush, County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences, was recently honored as one of Our Bodies Ourselves 2009 Women’s Health Heroes, a tribute to the work of women’s health advocates worldwide.

Fawbush has been a FCS agent for 10 years and oversees health programs in Shelby County for people of all ages. As an agent for the University of Kentucky’s Extension Services, some of her programs include classes and workshops focusing on nutrition and fitness. Her services are particularly valuable because they are available at no or low cost and are thus accessible to low-income individuals.

“She is one of the hardest working people I know,” said Regina Brown, who works with Fawbush in Shelby County. “She is very passionate about educating Shelby County citizens about health, nutrition and wellness.”

The mission of Our Bodies Ourselves is to provide accessible, research-based information about women's health and sexuality. They advance health and human rights within a framework of values shaped by women's voices and a commitment to self-determination and equality. OBOS inducted 20 individuals and organizations this year, all of whom made long-lasting impact and contributions to women’s health. Fawbush was one of 13 awarded from the United States, and the only recipient from Kentucky.

Katherine McCardwell nominated Fawbush for the award. “I'm a big fan of what I'd call ‘sisterhood’ in the old-fashioned feminist sense of women supporting and empowering women,” she said, “so I wanted to nominate someone who was contributing to women's health programming and to support the Women's Health Heroes program specifically, and Sheila seemed like a good fit.”

OBOS received nearly 100 nominations from 12 countries. The award does not just honor the nominees, but also spotlights the diversity of their work and celebrates activism in communities around the world.

Fawbush said, “I am pleased personally that Katherine McCardwell nominated me for the special recognition of Our Bodies Ourselves Women's Health Heroes. I am even more pleased that the Cooperative Extension Service was recognized as an organization that makes a difference in the lives of others! Extension Agents across our nation have many outreach activities, educational programs, and coalitions that help strengthen individuals and families. The critical thinking skills people learn assist in decision making that leads to many positive changes in their lives.”

Family and Consumer Sciences Extension improve the quality of individual and family life through education, research, and outreach. Professionals in Family and Consumer Sciences Extension enable individuals and families to develop capacity for strengthening families and building community for an ever-changing society. Visit the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension website to learn more about our programs and impacts.