Health systems have been focused in 2020 on the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the promise of a vaccine, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. This is a good time to start planning what your community engagement strategies will be post-pandemic. This is especially true for heart month.
American Heart Month is February 2021 and it is right around the corner. Each February, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) celebrates American Heart Month by encouraging Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease. Now is the time to prepare heart disease awareness programs for members of your community.
Heart disease is a serious problem according to the NHLBI and American Heart Association:
- Heart disease remains the number 1 cause of death in the US. One in four people dies of it each year. Approximately every 40 seconds an American will have a heart attack.
- Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented.
- This year heart health awareness is more important than ever with many people suffering from COVID-19 that not only affects their lungs but can also cause severe heart complications.
American Heart Month provides your hospital an opportunity to raise awareness of your cardiac program by offering heart health tips and printed materials on your web site.
Here are a few tips on how to promote American Heart Month at your hospital:
Encourage all staff to wear red on Friday, February 5th, even if they do not deal with cardiac patients. Heart disease affects everyone.
Start at the Beginning
A hospital in Pasadena, CA placed red caps on all its newborns to raise awareness for women’s heart health. Parents also received American Heart Association resources about raising a heart-healthy family. Reaching new moms and their families can place the whole family on the road to better heart health right from the beginning.
Online Heart Health Resources for Heart Month
Engage consumers with online education resources, including Medicom Health’s Heart Health Assessment. Hospitals, clinics, and health care systems use health assessments to connect with at-risk consumers and encourage them to see their doctors. Contact Medicom Health support staff for tips on how to optimize your calls-to-action for maximum impact.
Regular Check Ups
When primary care resources become available after the pandemic subsides, encourage people to schedule check-ups with their physicians. The print-out from the Medicom Health Heart Health Assessment gives them background information to use in talking to their doctors to make their time in the office more efficient.
Utilize Social Media
Use Facebook and Twitter resources from NHLBI to encourage people to be heart healthy together. There are also sample social media posts and animated GIFs that can be pasted into your feed. These can make great campaigns during heart month.
Heart health awareness is important every year, but with the stress and anxiety people are experiencing in dealing with the pandemic, it is more important now than ever!