Five of Los Angeles County's largest nonprofit health systems with hospitals, clinics and facilities regionwide announced the newest campaign for their BetterTogether.Health coalition. With a mission to convince Angelenos to put health first and access care when needed, the public service educational campaign features everyday patient heroes with the theme: "Get Back to Your Doctor. Your Health. Your Joy. Because We Love a Healthy L.A."
Providence, UCLA Health, Keck Medicine of USC, Dignity Health and Cedars-Sinai pivoted from last year's campaign of empty beaches, freeways and landmarks to today painting an authentic, intimate mosaic of 11 Angelenos (described below) who overcame health challenges as a result of timely access to preventive care. From athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs to a mom of newborn triplets, an artist and a priest, their moving stories are everyday symbols of strength, inspiration and hope. The campaign takes you inside the lives of these courageous heroes who overcame challenges of serious disease and returned to what they love most.
Among issues driving the new campaign are ongoing concerns among health care professionals who see people not seeking timely, preventive and life-saving services, health screenings and medical assistance when critical to do so. Unfortunately, too often the results are late-stage cancers, advanced heart disease, debilitating strokes and other serious medical conditions.
The five health systems—with hundreds of health care locations throughout Los Angeles County—remain committed and available to serving the community's health care needs, including emergency, primary, specialty and urgent care.
Rather than each health system individually addressing what medical professionals call a "silent sub-pandemic" of those requiring but instead avoiding timely medical services, they remain committed to tackle head-on what has increasingly become a new public health crisis resulting in serious and avoidable health consequences.
These leading health systems united for this purpose since March 2020 know it is their duty to reach out and let people know they are committed to saving lives and maintaining optimal health of the communities they serve.
"We are confident these efforts make a positive difference in community health. This collaboration of health systems is not only extraordinary, it provides critical information in meeting a challenge beyond anything any of us ever experienced," says Kevin Manemann, Chief Executive, Providence Southern California.
BetterTogether.Health public service effort includes messages on multi-language TV and radio, billboards, buses, malls, newspapers, magazines, digital, social media and more. Combining resources demonstrates the organizations are in this together, accomplish more together and will get through this together.
"The health of our Los Angeles community is our top priority. We are here to ensure everyone has access to the preventive health care and medical treatment they need to live to their full potential," says Johnese Spisso, President, UCLA Health and CEO, UCLA Health System.
Patient health and safety are top priorities for every health care provider.
"As people return to work, school and family gatherings we are still concerned that they have not returned to their annual screenings or health interventions. We must continue to engage our communities to put their health and well-being first," says Julie Sprengel, President, Southern California Division, Dignity Health Hospitals.
Emergencies don't stop and neither do hospitals providing emergency care 24/7. Getting to a hospital quickly for heart attacks and strokes is critical and saves lives. Those exhibiting serious symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness in one side of the body or severe headache should seek medical care immediately.
"There's concern that patients with serious conditions are putting off critical treatment. We know that seeking immediate care for heart attacks and strokes can be life-saving and may minimize long-term effects. Our hospitals and health providers are ready and open to serve your needs," says Rodney Hanners, CEO, Keck Medicine of USC.
It is also critically important for children to stay on schedule for vaccinations for protection of their health and others as well, including measles and whooping cough vaccines. These highly contagious diseases could become a public health issue if not addressed. Immunizations protect children and those around them from diseases caused by bacteria or viruses.
"Receiving timely treatment by skilled medical professionals is essential to helping achieve for our patients and communities the best possible outcomes. Please do not delay getting your health care. We encourage you to call a trusted health care provider, your doctor's office, hospital or urgent care center," says Tom Priselac, President & CEO, Cedars-Sinai
BetterTogether.Health unites leading health systems and creates messages for betterment of health in their communities. It was formed and is led by Rhoda Weiss, Ph.D., president, Rhoda Weiss Consulting Group, who also chairs Health Market Leaders—110 health system executives representing majority of U.S. hospitals who offer solutions and best practices to health care's most pressing issues. Special thanks to Vin Scully, voice of L.A. Dodgers for 67 seasons and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, NBA all-time leading scorer and global humanitarian, for volunteering to narrate the public service announcements; and music composer Chris Thomas. Heartfelt gratitude to our health care heroes who shared stories of timely detection and treatment of health issues—stories we hope encourage others to seek medical care when needed.
To learn more and see the stories of 11 health care heroes, visit www.bettertogether.health.
HEALTH CARE HEROES HIGHLIGHTS:
Kareem – NBA all-time leading scorer who beat two cancers is now among the great humanitarians of all time.
Alicia – Diagnosed with Covid-19 early in her pregnancy, she delivered healthy triplets.
Jared – Childhood leukemia survivor, now competitive swimmer, aspires to become pediatric oncologist to treat kids with cancer.
Anna – Adopted from China, unable to walk, she competed on the NCAA championship gymnastics team.
Padre Abdias – Priest with lung cancer is back inspiring many thousands of parishioners.
Jenn – Past champion gymnast overcame stage 4 breast cancer (her dog beat cancer too) is donating her business proceeds to fight cancer.
Kevin – MMA fighter accessed early stroke treatment and is back sparring and training athletes and at-risk kids.
Connor – Major League baseball player beat testicular cancer and is now back to battling Major League pitchers.
Paul /Wayne – Opera singer and Broadway dancer, diagnosed weeks apart with bladder cancer and heart disease, are returning to performing.
Leslie – Breast cancer survivor is back creating beautiful works of art.
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