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by Lisa Grimaldi | August 01, 2010

Social responsibility might be a hot concept in the corporate world, but it's long been a principal of the association community.

For two decades, ASAE (formerly known as ASAE & The Center) has honored associations for outstanding community service with its Summit Awards. This year's winners represent groups that provided relief to the Haiti earthquake victims, life-saving care for infants, a statewide campaign against hunger and more.

Following are details on six award-winning programs sponsored by associations.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsIn the aftermath of the January earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas of Haiti, this 36,000-member, Rosemont, Ill.-based physician group established a central command center to help deal with the crisis.

Among the group's efforts were creation of a database of members interested in volunteering, and a database of U.S. hospitals willing to receive patients. The AAOS also made contact with various emergency-aid organizations and helped set up and coordinate the delivery of live-saving supplies.

To date, more than 470 of the association's members have traveled to Haiti and provided care to thousands of patients, and another 560 are on call for deployment.

American Academy of Pediatrics According to the World Health Organization, about one million babies die each year from birth asphyxia, the inability to breathe immediately after being born. Many of those deaths can be prevented by simple measures such as keeping the baby warm and suctioning the baby's mouth after delivery. To promote these techniques, the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based AAP (which has 34,000 members), in conjunction with groups including WHO and Save the Children, started Helping Babies Breathe.

The initiative, launched during the Global Health Council held in June in Washington, D.C., included a daylong training session with 100 international advocates who were supplied with training materials to bring back to their home countries. The program targets the 63 countries participating in Millennium Development Goal 4, which aims for a reduction in child mortality rates by two-thirds from 1990 levels
by 2015.