Two new TV ads readied for national release

Ads designed to increase public awareness

The Alexandria, VA-based National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the National Hospice Foundation (NHF), NHPCO’s development arm, are rolling out two new television public service announcements (PSAs) to increase consumer understanding of the special care hospice provides. State hospice organizations across the nation, in partnership with NHPCO and NHF, are distributing these PSAs to television stations as part of an ongoing public awareness initiative. Televised PSAs carry important messages to the public via a medium accessible to most Americans.

This initiative, developed and launched by NHF, has featured televised messages from Matt Lauer, Elizabeth Dole, and others sharing their personal stories about hospice. The two previously released PSAs, "Mrs. Dole" and "My Father," have grossed more than 45 million viewer impressions and have aired over 22,500 times since they were released in January 2003. This represents approximately $4 million worth of broadcast air time.

While hospice usage in the United States has been steadily increasing in recent years, more public awareness, education, and outreach are necessary. The NHPCO reports that an estimated 885,000 patients were served by hospice providers in 2002, representing an increase of almost 15% over the 775,000 patients served in 2001. Yet 34% of hospice patients die within seven days or less after admittance, often an inadequate time for the patient and family to take full advantage of the range of services hospice provides.

The two PSAs being distributed during October and November, "My Husband" and "My Wife," were developed by NHF and the creative agency Arnold & Associates of Alexandria, VA. The 60-second spot "My Husband" received a prestigious 2003 ADDY Award. Sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, the ADDY Awards honor excellence in advertising and cultivate the highest creative standards in the industry. There were over 60,000 entrants in the 2003 ADDY Awards competition.

Distribution of the new PSAs has been coordinated to coincide with National Hospice Month in November. This year is the 25th anniversary of National Hospice Month, a time when hospice providers across the country focus on community outreach and education. The messages of these new ads reinforce the patient-centered philosophy of care and the ongoing bereavement support provided to families by hospice organizations.