LOS ANGELES: Community Health Councils has dubbed August as Hypertension Awareness Month and is planning a corresponding campaign called "Know Your Digits. Be in Control."
The educational effort, created with Lagrant Communications, will target African-Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles County with the goal of raising awareness of the importance of managing and preventing high blood pressure.
The organization will partner with other groups, clinics, and businesses to promote the effort and host interactive and educational activities throughout the month. It will also use the Know Your Digits microsite as a reference.
High blood pressure may not have a great impact at first, but it can lead to greater health risks if not managed or controlled, said Jade Stevens, special projects associate at Lagrant. She added that emergency room admissions and certain heart illnesses and diseases are preventable, so the group wants to ensure people understand the effects of high blood pressure.
"I think at the end of the day there’s just a misunderstanding of how to manage [hypertension] and how to control it," said Sonya Vasquez, policy director of CHC. She added that she’s hopeful the Affordable Care Act will pave the way for more people to get screenings.
Vasquez said the organization may not be "savvy" in an area like social media, but understands the major role it plays in reaching its audience.
"As a nonprofit advocacy organization, we feel like we have a pulse on the needs of community," said Vasquez. "[Lagrant’s] expertise and their ability to take what we want and make it a reality is exciting for us."
Lagrant will handle social media and earned media outreach for the campaign as well as coordinating a media plan and events, said Stevens. It is aiming for an early August launch and is securing community partners to aid campaign promotion throughout the month.
The firm's $100,000 contract will run through September, Stevens confirmed. She said "it’s imperative" for the firm to do health-focused work because "we were developed on healthcare and social marketing."
"This is something personal to everyone here," Stevens added.