SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation joins hundreds of organizations across the globe including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in raising awareness around "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week" through its Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education (AWARE) program. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161111/438373LOGO The AWARE project began in 2001, when the CMA Foundation, together with the California State Parent Teacher Association, the California Department of Health Services and representatives from health plans, the pharmaceutical industry and consumer groups initiated a five-year project to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics and the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in California. "Project AWARE has been hugely successful in reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics and reducing the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in California, and is an example of the important work the CMA Foundation does to protect public health," says Lisa Folberg, President and CEO of the CMA Foundation. Since its inception, AWARE's goals have aimed to:
Increase appropriate prescribing of antibiotics.
Raise consumer awareness and understanding regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics.
Mobilize the community to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
"It's important that this information be available and that people understand the risks associated with unnecessary use of antibiotics," says San Diego family physician James Hay, MD. "Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection." The CMA Foundation's AWARE program works on multiple fronts to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. In addition to advocacy around "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week," the CMA Foundation has developed the AWARE Compendia mobile app to provide easy access to the project's Adult and Pediatric Acute Respiratory Tract Infection Guidelines. The app will be frequently updated to ensure accurate, timely information.