LA County Medical Groups Urge People to Prioritize Health

Female doctor in discussion with male patient in exam room

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Five of Los Angeles County's leading health systems introduced a public service campaign today to urge people to prioritize preventive health, hoping to offset the trend of people neglecting regular health screenings and other medical visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign by Providence, UCLA Health, Keck Medicine of USC, Dignity Health and Cedars-Sinai features 11 Angelenos -- including some famous names -- who overcame health challenges as a result of timely access to preventive care.

The campaign includes messages on multi-language TV and radio, billboards, buses, malls, newspapers, magazines, digital, social media and more.

The organizations believe they can achieve greater effects by working together.

“We are confident these efforts make a positive difference in community health. This collaboration of health systems is not only extraordinary, it provides critical information in meeting a challenge beyond anything any of us ever experienced,'' said Kevin Manemann, chief executive for Providence Southern California.

Among issues driving the campaign are ongoing concerns among health care professionals who see people not seeking timely, preventive and life-saving services, health screenings and medical assistance. Such delays can result in late-stage cancers, advanced heart disease, debilitating strokes and other serious medical conditions, health officials said.

“The health of our Los Angeles community is our top priority. We are here to ensure everyone has access to the preventive health care and medical treatment they need to live to their full potential,'' said Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of UCLA Health System.

“There's concern that patients with serious conditions are putting off critical treatment. We know that seeking immediate care for heart attacks and strokes can be life-saving and may minimize long-term effects. Our hospitals and health providers are ready and open to serve your needs,'' said Rodney Hanners, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC.

Officials said it is also critically important for children to stay on schedule for vaccinations for protection of their health and others as well, including measles and whooping cough vaccines. These highly contagious diseases could become a public health issue if not addressed.

“Receiving timely treatment by skilled medical professionals is essential to helping achieve for our patients and communities the best possible outcomes. Please do not delay getting your health care. We encourage you to call a trusted health care provider, your doctor's office, hospital or urgent care center,'' said Tom Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai.

The campaign is part of the health-care systems' “BetterTogether.Health'' coalition, with the theme of “Get Back to Your Doctor. Your Health. Your Joy. Because We Love a Healthy L.A.''

BetterTogether.Health was formed and is led by Rhoda Weiss, who chairs Health Market Leaders, a group of 110 health system executives representing the majority of U.S. hospitals who offer solutions and best practices to health care's most pressing issues.

Here are snapshots of the 11 stories featured in the campaign:

-- Kareem. NBA all-time leading scorer who beat two cancers and is now a leading humanitarian.

-- Alicia. Diagnosed with COVID-19 early in her pregnancy, she delivered healthy triplets.

-- Jared. Childhood leukemia survivor, now a competitive swimmer, aspires to become a pediatric oncologist to treat kids with cancer.

-- Anna. Adopted from China, unable to walk, she competed on the NCAA championship gymnastics team.

-- Padre Abdias. Priest with lung cancer is back inspiring many thousands of parishioners.

-- Jenn. Past champion gymnast overcame stage 4 breast cancer (her dog beat cancer too) and is donating her business proceeds to fight cancer.

-- Kevin. MMA fighter accessed early stroke treatment and is back sparring and training athletes and at-risk kids.

-- Connor. Major League Baseball player beat testicular cancer and is now back to battling major league pitchers.

-- Paul/Wayne. Opera singer and Broadway dancer, diagnosed weeks apart with bladder cancer and heart disease, are returning to performing.

-- Leslie. Breast cancer survivor is back creating beautiful works of art.

The campaign also features narration from legendary former Dodgers' broadcaster Vin Scully.

To learn more about the stories of the 11 “health care heroes,'' visit

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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