February is a sentimental month for me – not because of Valentine’s Day, but because it provides an annual reason to reflect on the very personal reasons I am grateful for everyone who has chosen to devote their lives to various roles in the world of cardiovascular marketing and care.
Since 1963, Congress has required the president to proclaim February “American Heart Month.” During this month, thousands of volunteers visit their neighbors to raise funds for research and education and pass along information about heart disease and stroke. Most hospitals and health systems also use this month to step up educational efforts and host a myriad of activities.
Some marketers I know have become a little jaded. They wonder if their efforts really matter or if American Heart Month has become just another “Hallmarky” occasion that fills space on the annual marcom calendar.
Well, from my perspective, their efforts definitely matter.
Almost twenty-five years ago, my father had a massive heart attack. Doctors told us he would likely not make it through the night. However, he did survive. I credit many educational efforts that led him to change his diet and exercise habits along with the efforts of innumerable caring professionals over the years.
A decade ago, my husband developed dilated cardiomyopathy, caused by a virus. His ejection fraction was 18 percent, and he was on the transplant list. At the time we had two small children, and most people thought I needed to prepare myself for the strong possibility of single motherhood. Today, his EF is completely normal, and he has no physical limitations. Again, I credit the efforts of so many amazing cardiovascular professionals.
In the past, I have hesitated to share these stories in this blog for fear of being exploitive or unprofessional, I suppose. However, I decided to share them today because they offer a very real glimpse into the reasons that I am devoted to cardiovascular marketing. I hope they also offer a reminder to each of you that your efforts really do matter. Each and every day you are impacting real families just like mine not just distributing information to theoretical target audiences. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.