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Business of Health Care: Health Observances

Michael Hagerty

Whether its NFL players wearing pink cleats in October for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month or men going the month of November without shaving to raise awareness around men’s health issues, it seems like every month has some sort of health observance – official or unofficial – associated with it.

In fact, all twelve months are accompanied by health observances – usually more than one. In fact, just about every week also has a health awareness issue attached to it.

But what’s the point of all these health observances? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that “National Health Observances are special days, weeks, or months dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics.”

While some observances, like International Mediterranean Diet Month in May, probably don’t do much to move the needle in terms of making a difference in people’s health, some do.

Many healthcare organizations align community education and screening efforts for particular conditions around these observances. For instance, promoting heart screenings during February, National Heart Month. They also can energize people who may have been neglecting a certain aspect of their health to finally take action – like getting a colonoscopy during March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

In addition, organizations dedicated to addressing specific health conditions often host events around these observances that raise money for research that could one day lead to new treatments for the conditions they seek to address.

In these cases, health observances mean more than awareness, they can deliver real results.

Kateleigh joined KWBU in January 2019. She is an Oklahoma native that is making the move to Waco after working as an All Things Considered host and producer at affiliate KOSU Radio in Oklahoma City. She is a former NPR Next Generation Radio Fellow, a Society of Professional Journalists award winner, an Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame recipient for ‘Outstanding Promise in Journalism’ and the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association’s 2017 recipient for ‘College Newspaper Journalist of the Year.’ After finishing up her journalism degree early she decided to use her first year out of college to make the transition from print media to public radio. She is very excited to have joined KWBU and she is looking forward to all the opportunities it will bring - including providing quality journalism to all Texans.
Glenn Robinson has been the President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Hillcrest since September 2007. He previously held several CEO positions at hospitals in Texas, Oregon, and South Carolina. A Georgia native and graduate of the University of Alabama, Glenn completed graduate school at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.