DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Janine Logan        METHC758       Final Project        August 20, 2017

Public Relations Plan for “Wag and Walk for Health”

Overview

Topic: We are promoting the public health message that walking is one of the easiest, most inexpensive, and best ways to incorporate physical activity into one’s life; research confirms that physical activity helps one prevent and/or better manage chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, and even obesity, which was termed a chronic disease by the American Medical Association in 2013.[1]  Obesity is one risk factor for these and many other chronic diseases.  The Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC) is an initiative supported by a New York State Department of Health grant and is mandated to work collaboratively with diverse organizations to combat chronic disease incidence through public outreach, programming, and policy work.

Purpose: The LIHC will hold a “Wag and Walk for Health” awareness raising/fund raising event at 10 a.m. on October 6, 2018, which is the concluding Saturday of  National Walk Your Dog Week™ – a celebratory week founded by pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige.[2]  We are using the draw of dogs to attract both walkers and media to the event.  The 1.5 mile walk will take place at Belmont Lake State Park, North Babylon, New York, which is located in Suffolk County on Long Island.  Belmont is one of the state’s dog-friendly parks.  We will also secure the presence of the State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, and his dog, Ameba, to lead the walkers, along with Cathy Rosenthal, pet advice columnist for the region’s daily newspaper – Newsday.  The North Shore Animal League,[3] a well-known not-for-profit pet services center located in Port Washington, New York, will hold an onsite pet adoption event during the walk via their mobile adoption van.  To raise additional awareness and interest about the walk and importance of physical activity, we will partner with the YMCA of Long Island.[4]  The YMCA is a current collaborative partner.  A nominal $10 registration fee (adults) $5 (children 5 to 17 and free under 5) will be charged; all proceeds from fees collected will be donated to charity – split between the North Shore Animal League and the YMCA of Long Island to assist the Y in expanding their physical activity services and programs to underserved communities.   The LIHC, as a not-for-profit, public entity, will retain no profit from this event. Walk takes place rain or shine.

Goals

  • To register at least 500 adults and 100 children for the walk
  • To secure 50 new adult sign ups (on the spot) on the LIHC’s walking campaign portal Are You Ready, Feet?™
  • To increase awareness about the importance of physical activity to prevent and/or better manage chronic diseases
  • To achieve at least one pre and post walk story in the major daily newspaper – Newsday (print and web version) – working several angles/reporters: health, science, business, and lifestyle.
  • To secure live coverage of the walk by the local TV news station – News 12 LI
  • To establish a solid and long-lasting relationship with North Shore Animal League, as a partner in promoting the good health of the region’s animal owners
  • To distribute and collect the International Physical Activity (short form) Questionnaire[5] from 50% of the walkers (This will provide insight about the walkers’ perception of their physical activity levels and prompt greater awareness about the importance of physical activity (walking) in managing and/or avoiding chronic diseases).  See questionnaire as Exhibit A.  This questionnaire is open source and available to the public for research purposes.

Organizational Overview and Abilities

The Long Island Health Collaborative, formed in 2013, is a diverse coalition of about 75 organizations, including the region’s two local county health departments, 23 hospitals, dozens of community-based health and social service organizations, health plans, local municipalities, schools and academic institutions, physicians, among others.  The collaborative members all have the same purpose – to improve the health of Long Islanders.  Specifically, they are charged with collectively reducing chronic diseases, especially those related to obesity.  The collaborative is aligned with the New York State Prevention Agenda; it chose its goal of reducing chronic disease incidence based on a community health needs assessment overseen by the LIHC and from among related data indicators. 

Key Findings from LIHC

Results from the 2016 LIHC Individual Community Member Survey[6] revealed obesity and weight loss issues were among the top three concerns facing communities and individuals.  These findings mirror those found in the qualitative analyses conducted as a result of two separate community-based organization summits held in 2016. In both counties, community-based organization leaders reported chronic disease to be the most significant health concern among their community members.[7]  The LIHC conducts this ongoing primary research and analyzes a number of public data bases to draw conclusions about the health needs of residents in the two counties.  This information is used by all collaborative members to tailor their health interventions and programming to best meet the needs of patients and community members.  The LIHC is an anchor organization for population health activities on Long Island and supports the public health work of its diverse members not only through data analysis, but through assistance with public outreach, social marketing, and event conceptualization.  The Are You Ready, Feet?™ walking campaign and overall emphasis on walking for better health is the collaborative’s unifying initiative.

Other Relevant Data Points

  • One in every two adults in the United States suffers from at least one chronic illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and most are preventable.[8]
  • In New York State, 29.3% of adults did not engage in any leisure time physical activity in 2015 compared to 25.9% of adults nationally.[9]
  • Of adults aged 45 – 64, 50.5% did not meet CDC leisure-time aerobic and muscle strength activity guidelines[10] in 2015; and surprisingly, 41.7% of adults aged 24 – 44 did not meet minimum guidelines.[11]
  • In Suffolk County, 63.8% of adults are overweight and obese[12] compared to 56.8% of adults overweight and obese[13] in Nassau County and 60.5% of adults in New York State.

Target Audience(s)

Primary: Adults aged 40 to 65 who live in Nassau and Suffolk counties.  This age group was selected because of their higher inactivity levels and overweight/obesity statistics.  In addition, middle-aged adults, particularly those in the approximate 40 to 50 age range, are still at a point where healthy habits can assist them in preventing chronic disease and/or better managing the ones they may already have.  The incidence of all chronic diseases rises with increasing age, so intervention in early middle age can yield health benefits.  Moreover, according to American Pet Products Association’s 2017 – 2018 pet owner survey, 60.2 million U.S. households own a dog.[14]

Secondary Audience:  Local media.  Promoting prevention and seeking behavior change are two of the most challenging concepts that public health experts and health communicators face.  Prevention, by itself, does not offer compelling material for news coverage.  And, as we all know, changing one’s behavior is inherently difficult.  This is why the LIHC is incorporating dogs and featuring a prominent health leader in this event.  A story in the local daily newspaper (print/web editions) and/or news clip about the event on the local television station will provide for substantial reach of our message.  (See the reference section for journal articles that discuss two separate studies dealing with 1) newsworthiness of dogs, known as the “dog effect” and 2) the positive influence of dog ownership on health.)

Stakeholders

The stakeholders for this plan are the individuals and organizations involved in the planning and execution of the event;

  • Long Island Health Collaborative employees
  • Participating member organizations of the LIHC
  • LIHC Steering Committee members
  • New York State Department of Health; Commissioner’s Office
  • Regional State Parks Director
  • Nassau and Suffolk County Departments of Health; Commissioner Offices
  • Director of YMCA of Long Island and Y Employees
  • Director of the North Shore Animal League; mobile adoption unit
  • Colleen Paige, Founder of Walk Your Dog Week™
  • My Pet World Columnist, Cathy Rosenthal

Messages and Messengers

Key Messengers: The key messengers are the New York State Health Commissioner, the My Pet World Columnist, Director of the Long Island Health Collaborative, Director of the YMCA of Long Island, and Director of the North Shore Animal League.

Messages/Talking Points

Director of the Long Island Health Collaborative:  Good morning and thank you for taking a healthy step and joining us for this unique walk – “Wag and Walk for Health” – the first walk of its kind that the LIHC has ever held.  Exercise is so vital to warding off chronic diseases and staying healthy overall and there is no easier or more convenient way to achieve that than by just walking.  If you have not already done so, please complete the physical activity questionnaire you were given when you signed in.  We are pleased that our health commissioner and his dog, Ameba, are here to kick off this walk.  Welcome Dr. Howard Zucker.

Dr. Howard Zucker: The New York State Health Department embraces a “health in all” policy.  That means every sector must do its part to create a healthy society.  A walk like this, that brings together the public and private sectors, illustrates the power of collaboration and community.  We know so many factors influence our health such as our access to healthy foods, affordable housing, meaningful employment, and safe places to exercise.  That’s why I urge you to use our beautiful parks, like this one, the walking paths in your local neighborhoods, even the stairs in your house to get your daily exercise in. So lace up those sneakers and in a few minutes we will head out.

Cathy Rosenthal:  I just want to say a few words about how owning a dog can help you and your dog both get and stay healthy.  About 40% of dogs in the United States are overweight and, like their adult owners, are prone to obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes and pre-mature death.  Studies show that those who have dogs are more inclined to exercise because they take their dogs for a walk.  Today, you have made the healthy choice for you and your dog by joining this walk.

Director of the North Shore Animal League:  It is wonderful to see so many dogs here today with their owners, ready to take a brisk walk in the fresh air.  Far too many dogs – 3.3 million every year – end up in shelters like mine.  We have heard so many positives about dog ownership and health, today.  Another is the fact that those who own dogs experience less sadness and loneliness. Depression is another one of those pervasive chronic conditions.  So, after your walk, be sure to stop by the mobile adoption unit and walk home with a new canine companion.

Director of the YMCA of Long Island:  Seventy percent of chronic conditions are attributable to lifestyle choices.  That means we have a big say in whether we become diabetic, suffer from high blood pressure, or any number of chronic conditions related to inactivity.  The research is so compelling about walking.  No matter how slow or fast one walks, there are health benefits.  We have witnessed many success stories at local Ys on Long Island of ordinary people who slowly took steps to walk on a treadmill or around our in-door track and have shed pounds and gotten their diabetes or asthma under control.  Thanks to an organization like the Long Island Health Collaborative, of which the Y is a founding member and partner, the message about the importance of exercise is reaching more and more people every day.   

Media Outreach Strategies and Tactics

Targeted Media Outlets

  • News 12 Long Island (local cable TV news station) – target morning news director Cecilia Dowd
  • Newsday – (daily newspaper with a companion web edition); target Delthia Ricks (health/science editor) David Reich-Hale (business reporter) and Darlene Gien (lifestyle reporter)
  • AARP Bulletin (special interest publication) – target Ron Roel editor for New York events and issues section
  • Long Island Press.com – (digital weekly); target editor Tim Bolger
  • Colleen Paige – (Blogger) posts about pet news and issues

Tactics for Earned Media Coverage

  • Send personalized pitches to each media representative.  When pitching multiple reporters/editors at the same outlet, indicate to each media representative that this is being done.  This is standard media relations practice, and it could add synergy to coverage.
  • Send news release announcing the walk, tailoring leads to appeal to different media outlets.
  • Place follow up phone calls to selected editors and reporters.
  • Send media advisory two days before the event (October 4) to all media; complete Newsday online event submission three weeks before event (September 14), as is required by this publication to get the event listed in the weekend event calendar (print and web).
  • Send event information to editor of AARP Bulletin three months in advance, as this is a magazine-type format publication, which requires additional lead time.

Promotional Tactics

We will not purchase any advertising, but will rely solely upon the content developed by the Long Island Health Collaborative to promote the event.  These tactics include:

  • Flyers and posters, both in print and pdf format, sent to all LIHC partners and event partners
  • Daily posts on LIHC Facebook and Twitter accounts will begin three weeks before the event to stir interest, with a different angle about the event appearing each day - health focus, dogs and walking, combatting chronic disease, obesity, places to walk on Long Island, etc.  We will use #wagwalkforhealth and #readyfeet, since we are promoting the Are You Ready, Feet?™ walking campaign as part of this event.  We would hope that event partners and LIHC partners will post about the event on their social media platforms, creating a buzz and exponential energy.
  •  Email blast (via MailChimp) to list of all Long Island veterinary offices; also mail hard copy of flyer/poster for posting in waiting rooms
  • Email blast (via MailChimp) to director of libraries/outreach at all 109 Long Island public libraries; also mail hard copy of flyer/poster for posting on library bulletin boards and information racks
  • Letter (email and hard copy) to regional parks director with pdf of flyer/poster and hard copies for distribution among Long Island park system and for posting at park bulletin boards
  • Owned media in the form of blog posts published by each one of the key messengers to appear on the LIHC website in the weeks leading up to the walk; these posts will appear reciprocally on each messenger’s website.

Event Brief

Event Brief for “Wag and Walk for Health” • Saturday, October 6, 2018

Belmont Lake State Park, North Babylon, New York. • Walk starts at 10 a.m.

 

Staff Arrival and Set Up: 8 a.m. Park in the east parking lot (exit 38) off Southern State Parkway.  Registration tables located south of restroom building.

Mobile Adoption Van:  Arrives at 9 a.m.  Set up is in the east parking lot, not far from walk starting point (just north of restroom building).

Walk Registration: Staff will verify registered walkers via email ticket that walkers received when they registered.  We will take on-the-spot registrations.  All walkers affix a sticker displaying the logo the LIHC developed for this event. (Perhaps an infographic with person walking encircled by a paw print.)  For those with a dog, provide them with ample waste bags.

Staff should ask each registrant if they are registered on the Are You Ready, Feet?™ portal.  If not, encourage the walker to register right then and there.

Staff should also encourage adult walkers to complete the Physical Activity Questionnaire before walkers begin.  For later arrivals, encourage walkers to complete the questionnaire at the conclusion of the walk and return the completed questionnaire to staff at the registration table.  In addition, we will offer a mail in option, but we do not want to highlight this. 

Speaker Arrivals:  The state health commissioner and others who will kick off the event will arrive by 9:30 a.m.  Provide each messenger with their talking points.  Answer questions they may have about walk logistics, etc.

Walk Preliminaries and Order of Speaker Appearance: 10 a.m. Event is opened with message from the Director of the Long Island Health Collaborative, who then introduces Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner.  His remarks are followed by pet columnist Cathy Rosenthal, Director of the North Shore Animal League, Director of the YMCA of Long Island.

Walk Begins: At about 10:15 a.m. Dr. Zucker returns to the podium and officially starts the walk by telling everyone to follow him and his dog.

Walk Ends: About 11:15 a.m. at the starting point.  Breakdown tables.

Mobile Adoption Van: Remains until Noon

Questions: Contact Janine Logan, Long Island Health Collaborative Director (631)-334-8321

 

Budget for “Wag and Walk for Health” Event

Travel/Honorarium for Cathy Rosenthal

        San Antonia, TX to New York JFK

        Roundtrip Flight

        Hotel (one night) LI Marriott

        Meal Allowance

        Honorarium

 

 

    $800.00

    $269.00

      $75.00

 $2,000.00

State Park Fees

       Use Permit

       Parking Fees (none collected, off-season)

   

    $100.00

        $0.00

Printing Costs

       Flyers/Posters  2,500 @ $1.26 each

       Stickers  1,000 @ $.52 per stickers

       Questionnaire Copies 1000  (In house)

 

 $3150.00

   $520.00  

       $0.00

Staff Overtime Costs for Saturday

4 non-exempt staff for 4 hours (8a.m.- noon)

$33.96 (represents time and a half) x 4 hours x 2

 

 

 

   $543.86

Graphic Design

Produced in-house by Communications Coordinator

 

 

       $0.00

Postage

   $550.00

Incidental Costs

   $250.00

Total

$8,257.86

Please Note: All proceeds from walk registration fees will be donated and split evenly between the two charities – YMCA of Long Island and the North Shore Animal League. 

 

 

 

Calendar/Timeline

January 15, 2018

Present Walk event idea to LIHC Steering Committee members

January 30, 2018 (As Cathy is a syndicated columnist, we need ample lead time.)

Contact Cathy Rosenthal to present offer

February 6, 2018

 

Confirm C. Rosenthal appearance; work out travel/honorarium details

Courtesy call to Colleen Paige

Email pitch to Colleen Paige to write about walking and the human/canine health connection in one of her upcoming blogs

February 20, 2018

Present Walk idea to LIHC PHIP Steering Committee

March 20, 2018

Present Walk idea to all partners of the Long Island Heath Collaborative

April 15, 2018

Contact State Health Commissioner’s Office

Contact North Shore Animal League Director; Speak to Adoption Unit Director

Contact Regional State Parks Director and secure date

Contact Director of YMCA of Long Island

April 30, 2018

Confirm State Health Commissioner’s attendance

May 15, 2018

Confirm participation of North Shore Animal League and YMCA of Long Island

June - July 2018

Prepare flyers/posters; graphic materials

Post notice of walk on LIHC website

Send first tweets and posts

Develop walking event microsite on LIHC site

July 6, 2018

Reach out to editor of AARP Bulletin and submit information about the event

Research and compile veterinarian office database

Update current library database

August 2018

Write news release, blog posts, updated tweets, posts, other in-house content

Send first email blast to veterinarian offices and libraries and send hard copies of flyer/poster via mail

Send collateral print materials to event collaborators

Continue tweeting and posting at least once a week

September 2018

Send second email blast to veterinarian offices and libraries

Tweet and post daily; using different angles

September 1, 2018

Post first blog post* on LIHC website written from one of the event messenger’s point of view

September 8, 2018

Second blog post on LIHC website from different event messenger

September 14, 2018

Complete online event submission form for Newsday

September 15, 2018

Third blog post on LIHC website from different event messenger

September 22, 2018

Fourth blog post on LIHC website from different event messenger

September 29, 2018

Fifth blog post on LIHC website from different event messenger

September 24 – 28, 2018

Send press release

Send media pitches; follow up with phone calls

Confirm attendance of all event collaborators; answer any last minute questions

October 4, 2018

Send media alert; do select media follow up via phone

October 6, 2018

“Wag and Walk for Health” takes place

Engage in live tweets and posts

Tend to media requests/needs

October 8 – 12, 2018

Call and thank all collaborators

Send follow up press release to all outlets

Continue tweets and posts, as relevant

Post photos/video clips on LIHC website

Hold decompression session with staff

Campaign concludes

*Event messengers are encouraged to write and submit their own blog posts, but LIHC staff will offer to ghost write.

 

Evaluation

Goals

Measurement

To register at least 500 adults; 100 children

Registrations received prior to the event and day of event

To secure 50 new adult sign ups (on the spot) on the LIHC’s walking campaign portal Are You Ready, Feet?™

Actual sign ups completed

To increase awareness about the importance of physical activity to prevent and/or better manage chronic diseases

Number and type of comments on our blog

  posts leading up to the event

Number times the hashtags were used

Number of calls/emails to LIHC office

  inquiring about walking/healthy lifestyle tips

Number of hits to walking microsite page

To achieve at least one pre and one post walk story in the major daily newspaper, Newsday

Did stories appear?

Did the stories feature walking and health benefits in lead paragraph or near lead?

To secure live coverage of the walk by the local TV news station- News 12 LI

Did reporter and camera person attend and turn around a news clip?

To establish a solid and long-lasting relationship with North Shore Animal League, as a partner in promoting the good health of the region’s animal owners

The League director attended the October

   LIHC meeting

The League posted link to our site on their

   site

To distribute and collect the International Physical Activity Questionnaire from 50% of the walkers

Did we receive completed questionnaires from 50% of total number of adults who registered?

 

The primary audience’s level of understanding about physical activity (walking) and its role in preventing and/or better managing chronic illnesses could be ascertained via follow up focus groups held by the LIHC.  However, this would be out of the scope of the scheduled event, but the qualitative results from these groups could help inform future walking events.  A sample of willing adult walkers, from among the registration list, could be invited.

Media Pitches

Email pitch to Delthia Ricks, Health/Science Editor, Newsday

Subject Line: Canines and their Human Companions Walk for Health with State Health Commissioner at the Lead

 

Dear Ms. Ricks:

You often write about health issues that affect the quality of life for Long Islanders.  As you may know, obesity affects 56.8% of adults in Nassau County and 63.8% of adults in Suffolk County.  Obesity is one risk factor for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.  Physical activity is one way to combat obesity and the chronic diseases brought on by this state of ill health. 

 

On Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon, New York, State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, will lead Long Islanders on a 1.5 mile walk around Belmont Lake.  He will be joined by his canine companion, Ameba, as this is a “Wag and Walk for Health” event that encourages Long Islanders to take a walk with their dogs.  Not only is the event designed to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking for adults, but it is a good reminder that healthy dogs contribute to one’s overall quality of life.

 

The Long Island Health Collaborative is sponsoring this walk.

 

I hope you may be able to join us for this walk, and if you have a dog, please bring him/her along.  If you are unable to attend, perhaps you would consider writing a piece about obesity and its link to chronic disease and how walking has been proven, through rigorous studies and research, to help people better manage their chronic diseases.  I can certainly arrange an interview with Dr. Zucker, if you like.

 

Hope to see you at the “Wag and Walk for Health.”

 

Sincerely

Janine Logan

Director, Long Island Health Collaborative

631-334-8321 (cell)

jlogan@nshc.org 

 

Email pitches to other Newsday writers would basically contain the same body text, but the lead and some information would be tailored to their interests:

 

Email Pitch to Cathy Rosenthal, National Syndicated Pet Writer, Column Appears Weekly in Newsday

 

Cathy Rosenthal is a national syndicated columnist writing about pet issues.  Although she will be participating in the walk, we still need to encourage her to write a column and that column hopefully is timed to appear right before the walk.  I would change the pitch as follows:

 

Subject Line: Dogs Set to Walk their Owners for Health

 

Dear Ms. Rosenthal:

 

Thank you once again for agreeing to participate in the Long Island Health Collaborative’s “Wag and Walk for Health” event happening on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Belmont Lake State Park, North Babylon.

 

As a pet advocate, you know that a healthy pet is as important as a healthy owner.  With 40% of the dogs in the United States overweight, as I am sure you know, it is always a good idea to go for a walk.  The residual benefit is that owners get healthier too.  Walking has been proven, through rigorous studies and research, to help people better manage their chronic diseases.  I am sure that is equally true for dogs.

 

The North Shore Animal League, the region’s leading shelter, will be on hand with their mobile pet adoption unit.  Perhaps a handful of lucky dogs will walk home with new owners after the walk.  That would make another great column, as well.  And, as you know, half the proceeds from the walk will be donated to the animal shelter.

 

I am happy to answer any questions you may have for a possible column, and I am looking forward to seeing you on October 6th.

 

(Same signature line)

 

Email Pitch to David Reich-Hale, Newsday, Business Reporter

 

Subject Line: Walk for Owners and their Dogs Raises Awareness about High Cost of Chronic Disease to the Region

 

For the pitch to David Reich-Hale (business reporter), content would focus on the costs to treat chronic diseases in this county, which is staggering according to the CDC.  I would pull loss of productivity statistics, from a government source, and include that in the pitch, as well.  And certainly, I would invite him and his canine companion, if he has one, to the walk. 

 

Email Pitch to Darlene Gien, Newsday, Lifestyle Reporter

 

Subject Line: Walk Helps You and Your Dog Get Healthy

 

For this pitch, content would focus on the recreational aspect of walking, with the health benefits an added positive of the activity.  I would emphasize that this is a walk for dogs and their companions and an opportunity to enjoy a morning in a beautiful park, walking to help the owners and the dogs get healthy.  The fact that an onsite pet adoption will take place would be another point to emphasize, as would the fact that half the proceeds from the walk will go to the animal shelter.  Animals are such an integral and important part of Long Islander’s lifestyle, and I would appeal to that.  In addition, the pitch would mention the high rate of obesity that exists among adults on Long Island and that walking, according to all the  research, is a great way to combat that and chronic diseases, feel better, and live a healthier life.

 

Email Pitch to Cecilia Dowd, Morning News Director, TV News 12 LI

 

Subject Line: State Health Commissioner Leads Hundreds on Health Walk, Hopes Dogs Awaiting Adoption Join Him

 

Dear Ms. Dowd:

 

On Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon, New York, State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, will lead hundreds of Long Islanders on a 1.5 mile walk around Belmont Lake.  He will be joined by his canine companion, Ameba, as this is a “Wag and Walk for Health” event that encourages Long Islanders to take a walk with their dogs.  Not only is the event designed to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking for adults, but it is a good reminder that healthy dogs contribute to one’s overall quality of life.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all adults in the United States suffer from at least one chronic disease; research confirms these can be prevented via good lifestyle choices, such as walking.

 

The Long Island Health Collaborative is sponsoring this walk, because it seeks to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking, especially in combating chronic diseases.

 

The North Shore Animal League, the region’s leading shelter, will be on hand with their mobile pet adoption unit.  Perhaps a handful of lucky dogs will walk home with new owners after the walk.  Half the proceeds from the walk will be donated to the animal shelter and the other half to the YMCA of Long Island to help the Y expand its physical activity outreach services to underserved communities.

 

There are plenty of opportunities for action-packed video, and I can also arrange an interview with Dr. Zucker and the directors of the animal shelter and the YMCA of Long Island.

 

Hope to see you at the “Wag and Walk for Health.”

 

(Same signature line)

 

Email Pitch to Tim Bolger, Editor LongIslandpress.com

 

Subject Line: State Health Commissioner Leads Hundreds on Health Walk, Hopes Dogs Awaiting Adoption Join Him

 

Dear Mr. Bolger:

 

On Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon, New York, State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, will lead hundreds of Long Islanders on a 1.5 mile walk around Belmont Lake.  He will be joined by his canine companion, Ameba, as this is a “Wag and Walk for Health” event that encourages Long Islanders to take a walk with their dogs.  Not only is the event designed to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking for adults, but it is a good reminder that healthy dogs contribute to one’s overall quality of life.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all adults in the United States suffer from at least one chronic disease; research confirms these can be prevented via good lifestyle choices, such as walking.

 

The Long Island Health Collaborative is sponsoring this walk, because it seeks to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking, especially in combating chronic diseases.

 

The North Shore Animal League, the region’s leading shelter, will be on hand with their mobile pet adoption unit.  Perhaps a handful of lucky dogs will walk home with new owners after the walk.  Half the proceeds from the walk will be donated to the animal shelter and the other half to the YMCA of Long Island to help the Y expand their physical activity outreach services to underserved communities.

 

I can arrange an interview with Dr. Zucker and the directors of the animal shelter and the YMCA of Long Island, if you are interested.

 

Hope to see you at the “Wag and Walk for Health.”

 

(Same signature line)

 

Email Pitch to Ron Roel, Editor, AARP Bulletin – New York

 

Subject Line: State Health Commissioner Leads Health Walk with Dogs in Tow, Promoting Benefit of Walking to Help Manage Chronic Diseases

 

Dear Mr. Roel:

 

On Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon, New York, State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, will lead hundreds of Long Islanders on a 1.5 mile walk around Belmont Lake.  He will be joined by his canine companion, Ameba, as this is a “Wag and Walk for Health” event that encourages Long Islanders to take a walk with their dogs.  Not only is the event designed to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking for adults, but it is a good reminder that healthy dogs contribute to one’s overall quality of life.

 

I am hoping you can include mention of this walk in the events section in the AARP Bulletin  so that the thousands of Long Islanders over the age of 50 can participate in this walk and bring along their canine companions, if they so choose.  Local data, compiled by the Long Island Health Collaborative, which is sponsoring this walk, has found that 56.8% of adults in Nassau County are overweight/obese and 63.8% of adults in Suffolk County are overweight/obese.  Obesity is a leading indicator of chronic disease and poor overall health.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all adults in the United States suffer from at least one chronic disease; research confirms these can be prevented via good lifestyle choices, such as walking.

 

Perhaps you may also want to consider writing a more extensive feature on the health benefits of walking, particularly for middle-aged/older adults. I can send you some great photos from the walk and quotes from walkers to assist you.

 

Looking forward to talking with you soon.

 

(Same signature line)

 

Email Pitch to Colleen Paige, Pet Advice Blogger

 

Subject Line: Dogs Set to Walk their Owners for Health

 

Dear Ms. Paige:

 

National Walk Your Dog Week™ was part of the inspiration for the “Wag and Walk for Health” event that the Long Island Health Collaborative is holding on October 6, 2018 at a local park on Long Island in New York.

 

As a pet advocate, you know that a healthy pet is as important as a healthy owner.  With 40% of the dogs in the United States overweight, it is always a good idea to go for a walk.  The residual benefit is that owners get healthier too.  Walking has been proven, through rigorous studies and research, to help people better manage their chronic diseases.  I am sure that is equally true for dogs.  I am hoping that you might consider covering the topic of dogs and their owners and the connection to health in an upcoming blog.  It is the collaborative’s mission to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity to help prevent and/or manage chronic diseases.

 

In addition, the North Shore Animal League, the region’s leading shelter, will be on hand with their mobile pet adoption unit.  Perhaps a handful of lucky dogs will walk home with new owners after the walk.  That would make another great blog post, as well.  And, half the proceeds from the walk will be donated to the animal shelter.

 

I am happy to answer any questions you may have for a possible column, and I will talk with you soon.

 

(same signature line)

 

SWOT Analysis

“Wag and Walk for Health”

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • LIHC has diverse partners who can help promote walk
  • Solid relationship with state health

            commissioner

  • Recognized leader and organizer of

            population health events/research

  • Compelling primary and secondary data available via customized reports
  • Have previously held walks
  • Limited staff to carry out all activities
  • Very limited budget
  • Promoting health and prevention inherently difficult; abstract concepts difficult to comprehend
  • Need for behavior change difficult to convey
  •  Limited staff to carr out all activities
  • Very limited budget
  • Promoting health and prevention inherently difficult; abstract concepts difficult to comprehend
  • Need for behavior change difficult to convey

Opportunities

Threats

  • Chance to gain earned media coverage and help promote message about prevention to combat chronic disease
  • Spread message about walking as one of the best, easiest, most convenient, and inexpensive forms of physical activity
  • Gain new LIHC partners
  • Gain feature spot on state’s website portraying event as good example of regional collaborative promoting prevention

 

  • There could be a hurricane or severe weather on walk day (normal rainstorm would not deter walk)
  • Speakers could pull out right before the event, especially health commissioner
  • No media outlets cover the walk
  • Fall is popular time for awareness            raising/fund raising walks so could            encounter competition
  • Humans are inherently averse to behavior change, even in the face of convincing scientific evidence

 

 

 

 

Press Release

 

For Immediate Release

 

Contact: Janine Logan

Director, Long Island Health Collaborative

jlogan@nshc.org

631-334-8321 (cell)

631-963-4156 (direct line)

631-435-3000 (switchboard)

 

State Health Commissioner Leads Long Islanders and their Dogs on Walk for Health at Belmont Lake State Park, October 6th

 

Commissioner and his dog will join hundreds in walk to raise awareness about importance of physical activity to combat chronic diseases

 

HAUPPAUGE, NY (September 24, 2018) – State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and his dog, Ameba, will lead hundreds of Long Islanders and their canine companions in a 1.5 mile walk around the lake at Belmont Lake State Park (North Babylon, NY) on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10 a.m. (rain or shine).  The “Wag and Walk for Health” is sponsored by the Long Island Heath Collaborative (LIHC) and it is meant to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking, especially as a way to prevent and/or better manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  Registration fee is $10 adults; $5 for children ages 5 to 17; free under age 5.  All proceeds from the walk will be donated evenly between the North Shore Animal League and the YMCA of Long Island.  The League’s mobile adoption van will also be onsite to complete adoptions.

 

With 56.8% of adults in Nassau County overweight/obese and 63.8% of adults in Suffolk County overweight/obese, the LIHC has made it its mission to inform Long Islanders that physical activity is one way to prevent and/or better manage chronic diseases.  Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for chronic disease.   The research is clear that walking is one of the best forms of exercise to combat and control chronic diseases, regardless of one’s pace or distance walked.   Taking one’s dog for a walk is an excellent way to get in some daily exercise, and its healthy for the dog, too, as 40% of dogs in the United States are obese.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every two adults in the United States suffer from at least one chronic disease and lifestyle choices account for 70% of the reason why chronic disease develops.  The good news is that physical activity, such as the simple, inexpensive, and convenient act of walking, coupled with proper nutrition, can help reduce one’s risk for chronic disease.  Numerous scientific studies have confirmed walking’s positive effect on health.

-more -

 

“Not only is this walk designed to raise awareness about the health benefits of walking for adults, but it is a good reminder that healthy dogs contribute to one’s overall quality of life,” said Dr. Zucker.  “The LIHC has an excellent web-based tool you can use to track your steps through its Are You Ready, Feet?™ walking portal.  If you have not already done so, I urge you to take up the habit of walking to achieve better health.”

 

To register for the walk and for more information about walking and its health benefits and chronic disease go to www.lihealthcollab.org/wagwalk  or contact Janine Logan at (631) 334-8321.  

 

About the Long Island Health Collaborative

The Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC) is a voluntary coalition of the region’s 23 hospitals, two local county health departments, dozens of community-based health and social service organizations, health plans, local municipalities, schools and academic institutions, physicians, and industry partners dedicated to improving the health of Long Islanders.  Through programming, policy work, and public outreach, such as a walking initiative, the collaborative members work collectively to reduce the incidence of chronic disease, especially those related to obesity.  It is funded by the New York State Department of Health and is aligned with the state’s Prevention Agenda.

# # #

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT A 

 

 INTERNATIONAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE

(August 2002)

 

SHORT LAST 7 DAYS SELF-ADMINISTERED FORMAT

 

FOR USE WITH YOUNG AND MIDDLE-AGED ADULTS (15-69 years)

 

The International Physical Activity Questionnaires (IPAQ) comprises a set of 4 questionnaires. Long (5 activity domains asked independently) and short (4 generic items) versions for use by either telephone or self-administered methods are available. The purpose of the questionnaires is to provide common instruments that can be used to obtain internationally comparable data on health–related physical activity.

 

Background on IPAQ

The development of an international measure for physical activity commenced in Geneva in 1998 and was followed by extensive reliability and validity testing undertaken across 12 countries (14 sites) during 2000.  The final results suggest that these measures have acceptable measurement properties for use in many settings and in different languages, and are suitable for national population-based prevalence studies of participation in physical activity.

 

Using IPAQ

Use of the IPAQ instruments for monitoring and research purposes is encouraged. It is recommended that no changes be made to the order or wording of the questions as this will affect the psychometric properties of the instruments.

Translation from English and Cultural Adaptation

Translation from English is supported to facilitate worldwide use of IPAQ. Information on the availability of IPAQ in different languages can be obtained at  www.ipaq.ki.se. If a new translation is undertaken we highly recommend using the prescribed back translation methods available on the IPAQ website. If possible please consider making your translated version of IPAQ available to others by contributing it to the IPAQ website. Further details on translation and cultural adaptation can be downloaded from the website.

Further Developments of IPAQ

International collaboration on IPAQ is on-going and an International Physical Activity Prevalence Study is in progress. For further information see the IPAQ website.

 

More Information

More detailed information on the IPAQ process and the research methods used in the development of IPAQ instruments is available at www.ipaq.ki.se and Booth, M.L. (2000).  Assessment of Physical Activity: An International Perspective.  Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71 (2): s114-20.  Other scientific publications and presentations on the use of IPAQ are summarized on the website.

INTERNATIONAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE

We are interested in finding out about the kinds of physical activities that people do as part of their everyday lives.  The questions will ask you about the time you spent being physically active in the last 7 days.  Please answer each question even if you do not consider yourself to be an active person.  Please think about the activities you do at work, as part of your house and yard work, to get from place to place, and in your spare time for recreation, exercise or sport.

Think about all the vigorous activities that you did in the last 7 daysVigorous physical activities refer to activities that take hard physical effort and make you breathe much harder than normal.  Think only about those physical activities that you did for at least 10 minutes at a time.

  1. During the last 7 days, on how many days did you do vigorous physical activities like heavy lifting, digging, aerobics, or fast bicycling?

 

_____ days per week      

 

 
  

 

                    No vigorous physical activities                        Skip to question 3

  1. How much time did you usually spend doing vigorous physical activities on one of those days?

 

_____ hours per day       

_____ minutes per day   

 

 
  

 

               Don’t know/Not sure

 

Think about all the moderate activities that you did in the last 7 daysModerate activities refer to activities that take moderate physical effort and make you breathe somewhat harder than normal.  Think only about those physical activities that you did for at least 10 minutes at a time.

  1. During the last 7 days, on how many days did you do moderate physical activities like carrying light loads, bicycling at a regular pace, or doubles tennis?  Do not include walking.

 

_____ days per week

 

 

 
  

 

                    No moderate physical activities                     Skip to question 5

  1. How much time did you usually spend doing moderate physical activities on one of those days?

 

_____ hours per day

_____ minutes per day

 

 
  

 

               Don’t know/Not sure

 

Think about the time you spent walking in the last 7 days.  This includes at work and at home, walking to travel from place to place, and any other walking that you have done solely for recreation, sport, exercise, or leisure.

5.       During the last 7 days, on how many days did you walk for at least 10 minutes at a time? 

_____ days per week

                                                                                                      

                    No walking                       Skip to question 7

  1. How much time did you usually spend walking on one of those days?

 

_____ hours per day

_____ minutes per day   

 

 
  

 

               Don’t know/Not sure

 

The last question is about the time you spent sitting on weekdays during the last 7 days.  Include time spent at work, at home, while doing course work and during leisure time.  This may include time spent sitting at a desk, visiting friends, reading, or sitting or lying down to watch television.

 

  1. During the last 7 days, how much time did you spend sitting on a week day?

 

_____ hours per day       

_____ minutes per day   

 
  

 

               Don’t know/Not sure

 

 

This is the end of the questionnaire, thank you for participating.

 

Endnotes


[14] http://www.americanpetproducts.org/pubs_survey.asp

 

 

References Reviewed/Works Cited

 

Arem, H. and Loretta DiPietro. “Physical activity on the weekend: can it wait until then?” Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine. (January 9, 2017) Print.

 

Atkinson, M. et al. “What’s a dog story worth?”  American Political Science Review (October 2014) doi:10.1017/S1049096514001103

 

Berra, K. et al. “Making physical activity counseling a priority in clinical practice.” Journal of the American Medical Association 314:24 (December 2015): 2617-2618. Print.

 

Dall, P. et al.  “The influence of dog ownership on objective measures of free-living physical activity and sedentary behavior in community-dwelling older adults: a longitudinal case-controlled study.” BMC Public Health (2017) 17:496 Doi 10.1186/s12889-017-4422-5 

 

Guide to Community Preventive Services. Behavioral and social approaches to increase physical activity; social support interventions in community settings. www.thecommunityguide.org/pa/behavioral-social/community.html

 

Myers, J. et al. "Improved Reclassification of Mortality Risk by Assessment of Physical Activity in Patients Referred for Exercise Testing." The American Journal of Medicine 128.4 (2015): 396-401. Print.

 

New York State Department of Health.  Bureau of Chronic Disease Evaluation and Research, Bureau of Community Chronic Disease Prevention. BRFSS Brief, Physical Activity, New York State Adults, 2015: No. 1706

 

Patel, M. et al. “Framing financial incentives to increase physical activity among overweight and obese adults.”  Annals of Internal Medicine 164 (2016): 385-394. Print.

 

Schiavo, R. Health Communication from Theory to Practice. 2nd ed. San Francisco,CA: Jossey-Bass, 2014.

 

Spencer-Thomas, O. “News values.” www.owenspencer-thomas.com. July 22, 2017.  http://www.owenspencer-thomas.com/journalism/newsvalues

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.