GLC creates marketing plans for health systems, academic medical centers, and health plans so our content team is always looking for new ways to tell a timeless patient health story. The message may be to get fit; schedule a mammogram; or stay up-to-date on your screenings. And as we think about content plans for 2016, one effective tool for promoting these messages is through monthly health observances.
Health observances are special days, weeks or months dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics. There are over 100 of these observances, ranging from conditions (September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month) to problems affecting our well-being (January is National Stalking Awareness Month) to general health messages (February is National Children’s Dental Health Month). Click here to see the full range for 2015.
It’s hard not to chuckle at how many there are. In fact, May is full of them: International Mediterranean Diet Month; Hand Hygiene Day (May 5); and National Neuropathy Awareness Week (May 12–16).
While some of these seem quite humorous, health observances are a vital way to connect people to critical health information. Two major observances are American Heart Month (February) and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October). These months offer a great jumping-off point for stories or even entire issues devoted to the latest knowledge about heart disease and breast cancer. They are an opportunity to provide the latest information and research, and offer action items, such as getting regular blood pressure checks and mammograms, which have been proven to make differences in people’s lives.
Back to the sheer number of observances, we’re taking bets on what the next observance may be. Given the latest World Health Organization study, we’re putting our money on Red Meat Awareness Day. We just hope the government has the heart to save it for a day other than Super Bowl Sunday.