New PSAs Target Hispanic Health Care

Ad Council Launches Effort to Encourage People to Talk to Their Doctors

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The Ad Council this week launched a new PSA campaign, "Conoce las Preguntas" -- "Know the Questions" -- to encourage Hispanics to get more involved in their healthcare and to talk to their doctors.

The multimedia effort, created in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, was produced pro bono by New York-based Revolucion Hispanic Communications. Aliza Lifshitz, M.D., editor-in-chief of VidaySalud.com and host of Univision radio's weekly "El Consultorio de la Dra. Aliza," is also participating.

The campaign includes TV, radio, print and Web ads. In addition, a mobile website is being created. Users will be able to opt in to receive biweekly text alerts with useful healthcare information.

PSAs, which are being distributed to 2,500 Spanish-language media stations in the U.S., offer Hispanics tips on how to prepare for medical appointments by deciding what questions they want to ask their doctors. Viewers are directed to the ARHQ website for suggestions on what to ask and for health information in Spanish.

The campaign is designed to support the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, the department's first strategic action plan to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S.

According to AHRQ's recently published 2010 National Healthcare Disparities Report, Hispanics tend to seek medical advice from friends, co-workers and casual acquaintances rather than going to the doctor. Some said they avoid asking doctors questions out of respect or because they feel intimidated or embarrassed. "Getting a diagnosis from a doctor rather than guesses from co-workers, friends and others is a key to good health and good healthcare," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., in announcing the effort. "While Hispanics face challenges in getting access to healthcare services and a higher rate of uninsurance, good communication with healthcare professionals is one step they can take to improve their health and healthcare quality."

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