In today's Wall Street Journal Health blog, there's a great post about a new television ad campaign that's been launched that features, among others, Lauren Bacall (in her prime, perhaps the Most Beautiful Woman Ever to Walk the Earth and even today, at 84, elegant beyond belief) and Mary-Louise Parker, the stoner-housewife of Weeds. And the issue: chronic diseases. Since that's our line of work, we think this is wonderful.
The women are advocating on behalf of a group called The Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases. Their message, which is part of a million-dollar advertising and PR campaign, is simple. In a great ad, they urge people to get in touch with their legislators, and "beg, kvetch, annoy, bother and bitch" until more money is spent on the prevention of chronic diseases, which as the ad points out, constitute 75% of the healthcare system's costs. Take a look:
In a lot of ways, our healthcare system is overweighted towards treatment, procedures and intervention. We're nowhere near as good at managing chronic illness, which is what we help our clients help their patients do, or even at preventing them. For a long time, the burden chronic diseases puts on everyone they touch — patients, caregivers, the healthcare system itself — has kind of been swept under the rug.
That appears to be over. And we're delighted. We make our living thinking about helping patients manage chronic illness. The first step, always, is to get both the patient and the caregiver to understand what a chronic illness really is, and how it affects the patient's day-to-day life. Which means getting everyone to think about it in the first place. Which this ad is a terrific first step towards doing.
Thank you, ladies. Great work.