UCLA Health

UCLA Health, Providence, Keck Medicine of USC, Dignity Health and Cedars Sinai pivoted from last year’s campaign of empty beaches, freeways and landmarks to painting an authenic, intimate mosaic of Angelenos who overcame health challenges as a result of timely access to preventive care.

Five of Los Angeles County’s largest nonprofit health systems with hospitals, clinics and facilities regionwide announced the newest campaign for their BetterTogether.Health coalition. 

With a mission to persuade Angelenos to put health first and access care when needed, the public service educational campaign features everyday patient heroes with the theme: “Get Back to Your Doctor. Your Health. Your Joy. Because We Love a Healthy L.A.”

UCLA Health, Providence, Keck Medicine of USC, Dignity Health and Cedars-Sinai pivoted from last year’s campaign of empty beaches, freeways and landmarks to painting an authentic, intimate mosaic of Angelenos who overcame health challenges as a result of timely access to preventive care. 

From athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs to a mom of newborn triplets, an artist and priest, their moving stories are everyday symbols of strength, inspiration and hope. The campaign takes you inside the lives of these courageous heroes who overcame challenges of serious disease and returned to what they love most.  

Among those are Kareen Abdul Jabbar, who beat two cancers, and Padre Abdias, who suffered from lung cancer and is “back inspiring many thousands of parishioners.” MMA fighter Kevin Casey accessed early stroke treatment and is back sparring and training athletes and at-risk kids.

Among issues driving the new campaign are ongoing concerns among health care professionals who see people not seeking timely, preventive and life-saving services, health screenings and medical assistance when critical to do so. Often the results are late-stage cancers, advanced heart disease, debilitating strokes and other serious medical conditions. 

The five health systems — with hundreds of health care locations throughout Los Angeles County — remain committed and available to serving the community’s health care needs, including emergency, primary, specialty and urgent care. 

Rather than each health system individually addressing what medical professionals call a “silent sub-pandemic” of those requiring but instead avoiding timely medical services, they remain committed to tackle head-on what has increasingly become a new public health crisis resulting in serious and avoidable health consequences. 

These health systems united for this purpose since March 2020 knowing it is their duty to reach out and let people know they are committed to saving lives and maintaining optimal health of the communities they serve.

“We are confident these efforts make a positive difference in community health. This collaboration of health systems is not only extraordinary, it provides critical information in meeting a challenge beyond anything any of us ever experienced,” said Kevin Manemann, chief executive, Providence Southern California. 

BetterTogether.Health public service effort includes messages on multilanguage TV and radio, billboards, buses, malls, newspapers, magazines, digital and social media. 

“The health of our Los Angeles community is our top priority. We are here to ensure everyone has access to the preventive health care and medical treatment they need to live to their full potential,” says Johnese Spisso, president, UCLA Health and chief executive officer, UCLA Health System. 

Patient health and safety are top priorities for every health care provider.

“As people return to work, school and family gatherings, we are still concerned that they have not returned to their annual screenings or health interventions. We must continue to engage our communities to put their health and well-being first,” said Julie Sprengel, president, Southern California Division, Dignity Health Hospitals. 

Emergencies don’t stop, and neither do the hospitals providing emergency care 24/7. Getting to a hospital quickly for heart attacks and strokes is critical and saves lives. Those exhibiting serious symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness in one side of the body or severe headache should seek medical care immediately.

“There’s concern that patients with serious conditions are putting off critical treatment. We know that seeking immediate care for heart attacks and strokes can be lifesaving and may minimize long-term effects. Our hospitals and health providers are ready and open to serve your needs,” said Rodney Hanners, chief executive officer, Keck Medicine of USC. 

It is also critically important for children to stay on schedule for vaccinations for protection of their health and others as well, including measles and whooping cough vaccines. These highly contagious diseases could become a public health issue if not addressed. Immunizations protect children and those around them from diseases caused by bacteria or viruses. 

“Receiving timely treatment by skilled medical professionals is essential to helping achieve for our patients and communities the best possible outcomes. Please do not delay getting your health care. We encourage you to call a trusted health care provider, your doctor’s office, hospital or urgent care center,” said Tom Priselac, president and chief executive officer, Cedars-Sinai. 

To learn more and see the stories, visit bettertogether.health.