DETROIT - In what may be the largest effort of its kind for a healthcare organization, Henry Ford Health System and Health Alliance Plan are launching a public health campaign that includes the distribution of more than 260,000 masks, some printed with public murals, others branded, all of them the foundation for a multi-media awareness campaign to encourage mask use and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Mask Advocacy Campaign is backed by mounting scientific evidence that face masks are a powerful tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19, which is on a dramatic rise in Michigan and many parts of the country. The campaign pleads with the the public to mask up to protect themselves, their friends, family, first responders, healthcare and other essential workers.
In addition to the lives that could be saved and serious illness prevented, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that increasing mask usage by 15 percent could avoid up to $1 trillion in economic losses associated with lockdowns.
“Even though two promising vaccines appear close to approval, it is vitally important for the public to adhere to strict face mask usage when in public and settings where the virus can be transmitted person to person,” said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Henry Ford Health System. “We hope this effort to distribute masks in our community and our efforts to share the science that supports face masks will prevent this second wave of cases and deaths we are seeing now from becoming a crisis situation. We hope to see all of us uniting on this issue until we return to a time when COVID-19 does not present the threat that it does today."
Masks, worn properly over the mouth and nose, along with physical distancing, limiting indoor gatherings and all large gatherings and practicing good hygiene are the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus, which has claimed nearly 9,000 lives in Michigan and more than 257,000 nationwide.
Henry Ford is distributing the masks to employees, community groups, hundreds of Henry Ford LiveWell senior citizens, thousands of corporate health partners and an array of groups such as participants in our Family Caregiver virtual art therapy classes and support groups. HAP is supporting its Medicaid and Medicare members by sending them free masks to help them stay healthy.
Michael Genord, M.D., HAP’s CEO, said the hope is that recipients see value in the masks and make masking up a part of their new normal – until the virus is controlled.
“One of the things we’ve learned during this pandemic is just how impactful taking simple steps to protect yourself and others can be,” Dr. Genord said. “We know that personal protection is going to be increasingly important as the looming flu season could pose a double threat with COVID-19.”
The masks come in Henry Ford Health- and HAP-branded versions and “All For Detroit” and “All For Jackson” versions that feature public murals from Detroit and Jackson. The mural artists generously allowed their work to be used for this campaign.
The “All for Detroit” mask features the work of Detroit graffiti artist William Lucka. His mural of a massive sturgeon with a backdrop of the RenCen and the Detroit River can be seen on the Dequindre Cut, a pedestrian path and connector near downtown. The “All for Jackson” mask features the Bright Walls mural by Dutch artist I am Eelco. Henry Ford Allegiance commissioned the mural to debut in 2018, the first year of the Bright Walls Mural Festival in Jackson. His work is displayed on the the wall of the Jackson Antiques Mall.
“As artists and community supporters, we are honored to be a part of something that takes care of our community, of our state, of all of us,” said Clay McAndrews, founder of Bright Walls and friend to the artist, who lives in The Netherlands and “was honored to play a small part in an important effort.”
In addition to the masks, Henry Ford is spreading the potentially life-saving message through billboards, commercials, a social media campaign, employee, patient and partner communications.
Dedicated web pages with up-to-date information have also been created, including www.henryford.com/onward and www.henryford.com/coronavirus/mask-wearing, which encourage all of us to mask up as we move on with safely.
In addition to masking up, please:
- Get your flu shot
- Don’t delay care
- Quarantine if COVID-19 positive, if awaiting results or if symptomatic
- Get health information from reliable sources such as the CDC, and state and county departments of health; More here at www.henryford.com/coronavirus
MEDIA CONTACT / Kim North Shine / 313-549-4995 / [email protected]
NOTE: FACE MASKS AVAILABLE TO NEWS MEDIA UPON REQUEST
About Henry Ford Health System:
Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a non-profit, integrated health system committed to improving people’s lives through excellence in the science and art of healthcare and healing. Henry Ford Health System consists of six hospitals including Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals; Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital; Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital; Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson, MI; and Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital – an inpatient psychiatric hospital.
Henry Ford Health System also includes Henry Ford Medical Group; Henry Ford Physician Network; more than 250 outpatient facilities; Henry Ford Pharmacy; Henry Ford OptimEyes; and other healthcare services. Our not-for-profit health plan, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) provides health coverage for more than 540,000 people.
As one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health System trains more than 3,000 medical students, residents, and fellows annually in more than 50 accredited programs, and has trained nearly 40% of the state’s physicians. Our dedication to education and research is supported by nearly $100 million in annual grants from the National Institutes of Health and other public and private foundations.
Henry Ford Health System employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 1,600 physicians, more than 6,600 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals. For more information, henryford.com
About Health Alliance Plan
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to individuals and companies of all sizes. For 60 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives it touches. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid (through HAP Empowered Health Plan), Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, as well as personalized customer service. HAP is an operating unit of Henry Ford Health System, one of the nation’s leading health care systems. For more information, www.hap.org