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Twelve annual conferences to lead Imagine No Malaria

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2012

Enthusiasm, expectations high as Vanguard Wave of malaria campaign begins

Tampa, Fla. — Imagine No Malaria announced today the commitment of 12 United Methodist annual conferences to support the denomination's effort to end preventable malaria deaths in Africa. The annual conferences are part of the "Vanguard Wave" of the ministry's effort to raise at least $75 million.

The Vanguard Phase of Imagine No Malaria features a balanced approach to engagement, with an emphasis on advocacy activities, major gift cultivation and local church participation. The following annual conferences have made the commitment to support Imagine No Malaria by planning activities and raising funds during 2012-13:

Arkansas (BishopCharles Crutchfield)
Baltimore-Washington (Bishop John Schol)
California-Nevada (Bishop Warner Brown, Jr.)
Dakotas (Bishop Deborah Kiesey)
Desert-Southwest (Bishop Minerva Carcaño)
Holston (Bishop James Swanson)
Iowa (Bishop Julius Trimble)
Kansas East & Kansas West (Bishop Scott Jones)
Missouri (Bishop Robert Schnase)
New York (Bishop Jeremiah Park)
Pacific-Northwest (Bishop Grant Hagiya)

"I salute the leaders of these Imagine No Malaria Vanguard annual conferences for their commitment to improving global health," said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, who chairs the United Methodist Global Health Initiative. "It's a very exciting time to be a United Methodist in the fight against malaria progress is being made, funds are being raised and lives are being saved."

To date, more than $20 million has been raised to support the fight against malaria. These funds are at work in Africa, providing more than 846,000 bed nets, establishing 12 health boards to ensure greater accountability of donor funds and training more than 5,000 local health workers since April 2010. The church's mission has drawn widespread praise, most notably from philanthropist Melinda Gates during the World Malaria Forum sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in October 2011, Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, head of the President's Malaria Initiative and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health.

About Imagine No Malaria
Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary ministry of The United Methodist Church, putting faith into action to end preventable deaths from malaria in Africa. The first expression of the United Methodist Church's Global Health Initiative, Imagine No Malaria is an integrated, effort that has become a model for collaboration among annual conferences, local churches, and multiple general boards and agencies of the Church. For more information, visit www.ImagineNoMalaria.org.

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Media contact:
Diane Degnan
ddegnan@umcom.org
615-742-5406 (office)
615-483-1765 (cell)