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DATE: March 11, 2004

Children's advocate wins first Commission for Women community award

DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn's Commission for Women will present an inaugural Susan B. Anthony Community Award this month to Gail Bagale, president of the board of directors of Child's Hope.

The new award, created to recognize individuals in the community who advance the cause of women's equality in southeastern Michigan, helps mark the commission's 30th anniversary this year.

For the past 25 years, the commission has presented the Susan B. Anthony Award annually to a member of the campus community who has advanced women's issues. Both the campus award and the new Susan B. Anthony Community Award will be presented at the group's annual award dinner on March 31.

"Gail has been recognized by the Commission for her many years of work on behalf of women and girls through her various professional and volunteer activities in organizations such as Child's Hope, the Family Service Agency of Detroit and Wayne County, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Girl Scouts and Oakwood Hospital," according to Roma Heaney, chair of the selection committee.

As board president of Child's Hope, formerly known as the Child Abuse Prevention Council for Out-Wayne County, Bagale has developed a large volunteer movement to educate and advocate against child abuse in Wayne County. She was a catalyst for partnering with UM-Dearborn's School of Education to educate students about child abuse prevention through classroom and internship experiences.

For 17 years, Bagale worked in a family service agency, and later joined the faculty of the Department of Medical Education at Oakwood Hospital, where she brought behavioral science and community medicine into the curricula of the residency training programs for physicians.

Bagale initiated the 2003 Community Summit for mentoring children, which brought together community leaders, mentoring programs, community service groups, educators and citizens to network and provide an impetus for mentoring children in Wayne County.

She has been a Girl Scout leader for developmentally disabled teenagers and a 'big sister' to a learning disabled girl.

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