Henry Ford Health System Launches Tough Love Campaign

December 4, 2020

DETROIT (December 4, 2020) – Nearly ten months into the pandemic, with disruptions to everyday life spreading “COVID-fatigue” almost as fast as the disease itself, Henry Ford Health System is mounting a multi-media, multi-platform effort to encourage Michiganders to show their toughness and compassion through a renewed commitment to protecting those we love.

The “Tough Love” campaign will launch publicly across TV and social media on Saturday, December 5, and later on radio and in print, acknowledging that, while it is not tough to wear a mask, wash your hands, or practice social distancing, “It’s tough as nails to keep at it…months after we thought this thing would be behind us,” to cancel holiday plans or to show your family and friends how much you love them by NOT seeing them.


“It’s one thing to talk about infection and death rates, and repeating that people should wear masks, keep washing their hands and continue social distancing,” said Heather Geisler, Henry Ford SVP and Chief Marketing, Communications and Experience Officer. “It’s quite another to demonstrate in the starkest terms how we have endured and overcome past challenges as a community, and how we can be tough enough to get to the other side of this one. These individual acts of resolve will make all the difference.”

Using archival images of other tough situations faced by Michiganders, including civil unrest in the 1960’s, monstrous snow storms, as well as the determined and dedicated faces of Henry Ford frontline healthcare workers, the campaign calls on people to be tough and to persevere for the love of their neighbors, family and friends so that we can all celebrate the holidays next year “with no more empty chairs around the table.”

In addition to radio, TV, print and social media, and Tough Love webpage, the campaign will also include other non-traditional efforts, including “Tough Love Letters” -  an ongoing collection of select letters and notes from our frontline workers about the toughness they face on the front lines of the pandemic every day.

“At its core, this campaign acknowledges the fatigue we all feel and encourages perseverance, but it’s also a love letter to our team members and those who are struggling,” said Geisler. “We have been so inspired by the grit and compassion we’ve seen in our organization and our communities and we want to honor that.”

The campaign comes on the heels of a mask advocacy campaign, launched last week by Henry Ford and HAP, to distribute more than 260,000 masks to employees, community groups, seniors, and corporate health partners. HAP is also distributing masks to members of its Medicare and Medicaid plans.

Go to henryford.com/toughlove.

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 includes 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, go to henryford.com

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Media Contacts: John Gillespie / [email protected] / 314-708-9090  Dana Jay / [email protected] / 847-530-0320

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