HeartLife Foundation: Improving the Standard of Care for Heart Failure Patients
Health & Wellness
Access to care, medical therapies, and support services for heart failure (HF) patients varies widely across the country. And awareness is low. There are currently more than 600,000 Canadians living with HF, and this is on the rise as more people are surviving heart attacks and other acute heart diseases. Proof Strategies was brought in by HeartLife Foundation (HLF), Canada’s first – and only – national patient-led HF organization, to raise awareness on the burden of disease and the importance of establishing high quality care consistently across the country.
Where Did We Start?
We needed to determine how we could bring attention to HF and highlight the gaps in patient care so that a national standard can be established in Canada. To encourage government to pay attention and take action, we knew we needed to start by getting HF and HLF “on the map” and demonstrate both that this is an issue that matters to Canadians, and there are simple steps to take to help improve patient care.
What Opportunities Did We Identify?
HLF had just created a first-of-its kind Canadian Heart Failure Patient & Caregiver Charter, outlining a set of rights and responsibilities to support the creation and implementation of a national standard of care for Canadians living with HF and their caregivers.
What Was The Solution?
Leading with an earned media approach, we leveraged Heart Month (in February), which opened a platform for key HLF supporters (healthcare professionals, HF patients and caregivers) to tell their stories. We further worked to develop Op-Eds in publications we knew government officials were reading.
How Did We Do?
Achieving media coverage in target-right media outlets such as CTV News Channel, Global News Morning BC, CTV News Toronto, and CityNews along with an Op-Ed in The Vancouver Province (which was syndicated across Postmedia Network, reaching 91 outlets) totalling more than 15 million impressions). This activity led to a 71% increase to HLF’s website in February alone, ultimately drawing attention to their Patient Charter.