How a marketing campaign made a city healthier.

Health & Hospitals Corporation

New York City’s Health & Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is the nation’s largest municipal health system, with 11 acute-care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic centers, more than 80 community clinics and annual revenues of $5.4 billion.

Problem

HHC was faced with an increasing number of at-risk New Yorkers, a huge segment of uninsured, charity care and high need populations who are not engaged in the primary care system.

HHC needed to find a way to improve the health of this group while controlling the costs of care.

Solution

Princeton Partners created a series of proactive wellness screening initiatives, designed to promote wellness and catch health issues in earlier stages before they became serious, and more expensive, health problems. The marketing message was simple—“Take Care New York.” Our Take Care New York campaign was the most extensive health-screen program ever executed in the city of New York. The advertising showed heartfelt depictions of loved ones helping each other and painted the image of a city that takes care of its own. New York City was united in a common goal of good health. The marketing, which featured NYC’s Big Apple, was produced in the 23 most-used languages and cultural styles, so every constituency would be included, and the message was supported by TV, street media, radio, print, transit, collateral materials and media and grassroots outreach.

In the first year, 23,000 New Yorkers responded and were screened for serious health risks.

Results

More than 12 percent were found to need immediate follow-up care. HHC also enrolled thousands of new members in its health insurance plans, providing a 2:1 ROI for the Take Care New York program. By the third year, 65,000 New Yorkers were screened; and Take Care New York was honored as the “Best Public Health Campaign” in the nation by the National Health Information Awards Program. It also received a HealthLeaders Media Marketing Award, Best Community Relations Campaign (The Distinction Award). The program stirred city politicians all the way up to the Mayor, who proclaimed October as Take Care New York Month, with hundreds of health screenings, health education programs and events offered at HHC facilities throughout the city.