An alliance of industry-leading healthcare experts, today announced the launch of a new campaign and PSA called “Stop Medical Distancing.” Committed to helping Americans better understand the risks of not seeking medical attention for symptoms that would normally lead to visiting a healthcare provider or healthcare facility, the campaign draws a clear distinction between social distancing and medical distancing and underscores the preventive measures healthcare organizations now have in place to limit the spread of the virus, including the use of telemedicine.
Recent research published by GoodRx reports that more than 75% of Americans have had some aspect of their healthcare disrupted due to COVID-19. While people should continue to practice good hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing in public settings, it is critically important for people to continue talking to their healthcare professionals to get the care they need. Delaying care for a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, can be life-threatening or lead to serious complications. In children, delaying routine care, such as staying up to date on vaccinations or well-child visits that help to assess development and growth, can have negative consequences.
“We are seeing a troubling pattern that people are avoiding medical visits in fear of contracting COVID-19,” said William Shrank, M.D. and Chief Medical Officer of Humana. “While we understand the fears that many people have around contracting the virus, our country’s medical facilities have adopted CDC guidelines and best practices and even telemedicine options to make your visit as safe as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. The intent of the campaign is to let people know that protecting yourself against getting this virus does not need to come at the expense of your overall health.”
Every state has measures in place that work with safety in mind and make it possible for consumers to keep their appointments, whether via telehealth or in person. Telemedicine is a great option to determine if an in-person visit is necessary. Individuals are encouraged to follow guidance from local officials, and their healthcare provider.
Members of the alliance include Baptist Health South Florida, Baylor Scott & White Health, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Health Mart, Humana, Kindred Healthcare, LabCorp, McKesson Corporation, Providence and Walgreens. Advertising agency MullenLowe U.S and media agency Mediahub, worked closely with the alliance to develop the pro bono campaign’s strategy, creative and media plan.
“Stop Medical Distancing is such an important message for people to hear right now. It’s simple, memorable and, most importantly, actionable,” said Jeff Vermeersch, Creative Director at MullenLowe U.S. Karen Goodman, Creative Director at MullenLowe U.S. added: “Our design and typography was inspired by the tape being used to help enforce social distancing in public spaces across the country. We applied it to medical distancing to help create a powerful visual that we hope will resonate with people.”
Through a multi-channel marketing approach that incorporates TV, print, social, digital, PR and out of home, the campaign will strive to better inform the public around the strict protocols healthcare facilities have in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and caution against the unnecessary risks people are taking by avoiding their healthcare providers or delaying emergency care as a result of medical distancing. To learn more, please visit StopMedicalDistancing.org.