Awareness Campaigns Get Sexy

“Sex sells”, or so the adage goes.

It seems to me that shortly after Old Spice launched their “Old Spice Guy” campaign in February of 2010, spots and moreover online advertising has shifted; More hunks, more babes and more views for everyone.

The Old Spice Guy campaign was undoubtably successful.  Product sales doubled and Old Spice’s YouTube channel has accumulated almost 250,000,000 views, not to mention dozens of industry awards. As one blogger put it, The Old Spice Guy is perfect, obviously. Zero body fat, the supernatural ability to embody masculine ideals, and a baritone deadpan delivery that instantly unleashes awesome into the world. For Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturer of Old Spice, the campaign was a home run.  It not only got them paid but re-energized a failing brand into one that younger generations could connect with. Not an easy task when competitors like Unilever’s AXE are prevailing.

After a year of review and the financials tallied, more cautious and the commonly less “sexy” sectors are taking notice. Enter the health industry.

Of course it wasn’t going to be health organizations taking the plunge into creating daring content first.  When you’re a non-profit and your funding comes from an established foundation, one doesn’t “rock the boat.” This rings [...] continue the story

Pumping up the volume on patient voices | Health Council of Canada

Originally posted on the Health Council of Canada Blog.

Patient Commando Executive Director Zal Press writes a guest column for the Health Council of Canada blog as part of the release of the Health Council of Canada report  “How do Sicker Canadians with Chronic Disease Rate the Health Care System? ” Get the report here and watch their patient story video – a familiar face included.

 

I’m taking a biologic for Crohn’s disease. And I’m a lucky guy – my $30,000 annual tab is picked up by my wife’s benefit plan. But in five years, when I hit 65, we’ll be off her plan and I’ll be transferred to the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan.

I’m already fretting over what that future will bring. Will the continued financial strain on the health system foreclose on my access to this medication, and instead force a body-altering operation because it will cost the system less in the short run?

And will this decision be made by a cost-benefit analyst rather than by a collaborative agreement between me and my doctors?

US insurance companies have required multiple step therapies before approving many biologics, resulting in multi-year delays. In Ontario, the Exceptional Access Program has fallen behind in processing applications. The population [...] continue the story

Patient feedback provides focal point for future of care at KGH

It cannot be denied that Kingston General Hospital has received some less-than-favourable feedback over the years. Now, hospital officials are looking to connect with the public in order to better understand the needs of patients and ultimately implement programs and practices that will be as effective as possible.

On the evening of Nov. 10, KGH held a public event called Patients Know Best, which saw members from the hospital’s Patient Advisory Council, formed in February of 2010, speak about their own experiences at the hospital and how they are helping to shape the future of care delivered there.

“Input from patients is critical to how we make improvements in hospital settings and for the whole experience of patients,” said KGH Vice President for Clinical Administration and Professional Practice and Chief Nursing Officer Eleanor Rivoire.

Advisor Lidia Dorosz gave a heart-felt account of what it was like to witness her mother be neglected, often to the point of abuse, by nursing staff at the hospital as she lived her final days.

“I am a council member because I want to make a difference,” she said. “I want to hold people accountable…it’s time that we (are able) to feel safe about going to KGH.”

Overall, Dorosz said [...] continue the story

We Listen. We Care. | Compassion & Choices

Leaders in the care of patients who face serious and life-limiting illness have designated November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, prompting more stories about both options. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives a very good overview of palliative care and hospice in this Q&A with Dr. Diane Meier. The theme of this year’s observance is “We Listen. We Care.”

Listening is the No. 1 objective of our End-of-Life Consultation team (EOLC). Do you or someone you know face a serious illness? Do you have questions about palliative care or hospice? A Compassion & Choicesrepresentative will gladly answer any questions you or your loved ones have about what these options mean and how each can improve quality of life. Anyone can access an EOLC counselor at no cost by calling 800-247-7421.

Caring about the patient, especially at the end of life, is a key objective of our educational and advocacy efforts. Our goal is to change the focus of medical providers to the patient rather than the patient’s illness. This is the core of our principles for patient-centered care. As individuals face the end of life and try to navigate the health care system, their own values and choices should be paramount. Our seven principles — focus, self-determination, [...] continue the story

“The Market” Broadcasts Across Canada

Hot Docs 2011 Don Haig Award Winner

Twelve years ago, when I was still living in India, I had maids who had scars. When they used to casually tell us they had sold their kidneys, I did not see it as a symptom of a larger evil. -Rama Rau, Director

Every 3 days a Canadian dies waiting for a new kidney; in the US it’s a person a day. Where do patients go to fill the gap?

Filmmaker Rama Rau’s revealing documentary “The Market” follows individual stories that explore the larger issues surrounding the organ trade – and looks at these issues from both a Western point of view as well as from the point of view of people selling their organs. What are the ethics of organ buying and selling? And, what would we ourselves do if we were forced into a similar dilemma?

In a slum in Chennai, India most of the fishermen are in post-trauma conditions, having witnessed or been in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. They simply refuse to go back to the sea for their livelihood, and to survive, their wives have taken to selling their kidneys to feed the children. The tsunami has accelerated what is [...] continue the story

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