Thursday April 04, 2013 | 04:40 PM

WASHINGTON – A Maine woman will be honored at the White House on Friday for her efforts to fight polio in developing countries.

Ann Lee Hussey, who lives in South Berwick, has participated in more than 20 separate immunization campaigns over the past 12 years as part of Rotary International. Hussey, who has battled polio herself for almost all of her life, often leads groups of volunteers into areas of Africa and Asia as they work to immunize children against a viral infection that causes paralysis and severe muscular problems.

Hussey, who also works on fundraising and increasing public awareness of polio, will be one of 12 Rotarians to receive the organization’s “Champions of Change” award during a White House ceremony on Friday. The award is given to Rotary members for their community service and humanitarian efforts.

“Each of these men and women have spent countless hours helping communities both here in the U.S. and abroad,” Paulette Aniskoff, deputy assistant to President Obama and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said in a statement announcing the awards.

“Collectively, these Rotary Club members have touched the lives of thousands of people – whether by improving  health and providing health services,  preventing hunger,  supporting  our poor communities,  empowering unemployed, addicted, or homeless adults, or caring for students,” Aniskoff said.

Hussey was profiled by the Portland Press Herald two years ago for her work to eradicate polio around the world. That article can be found here.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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