Germ City

Evangelical Community Hospital is pleased to be the first hospital in the nation, and the first organization in Pennsylvania, to offer Germ City.

Germ City: Clean Hands, Healthy People uses an entertaining technique to help children, parents and teachers look differently at an invisible problem: germs. The hands-on experience lets everyone examine the effects of improper hand washing in a new light.

Program Objectives

  • Enhance awareness of the importance of hand washing using science based education for youth, adults, and older Americans preparing food in the home.
  • Improve effectiveness and frequency of hand washing reaching a diverse audience in rural and urban settings including children, adults, senior citizens, and at-risk population groups.
  • Modify attitudes, enhance personal motivation, and facilitate positive behavior change for hand washing.
  • Generate a data/research base to support future study and evaluate the effectiveness of hand washing education programs related to behavior change, attitudes, and personal motivation.

Program Features

Features of the Germ City: Clean Hands, Healthy People Program include:

  • Improves hand washing skills
  • Positively changes hand washing behaviors
  • Adapts for a variety of ages and settings
  • Offers new insights for measuring hand washing effectiveness
  • Fits state education standards for science and health
  • Is portable, transportable, and meets safety standards
  • Lends itself to new collaborations and works across disciplines

Program Overview:

Germ City: Clean Hands, Healthy People is an integrated education, Extension and research program. Our program consists of classroom education for youth, Extension activities conducted during fairs, festivals, and community events, and research focused on hand washing behavior change related to safe food handling and health.

The focal point of the Germ City Program is a large, walk-through tunnel equipped with black lights. Youth and adults apply a black light sensitive lotion and enter the tunnel, seeing pretend germs on their hands. After initial observation, participants wash their hands normally, re-visit Germ City, and assess their effectiveness.

It’s a “hands-on” experience. Everyone has an opportunity to learn about the importance of frequent, effective hand washing and see immediate results.

Please call Community Health Education at (570) 768-3200 for more information.