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Aurora Health Care Takes Creative Approach to Colon Cancer Prevention

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New initiative uses humor for the serious subject of colon cancer testing

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- This month is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Aurora Health Care is reminding men and women of the importance of colorectal screening through a new campaign that's sure to get its share of attention. Aurora today announced the initiative that incorporates a light-hearted approach to the very important subject of colon cancer screenings.

The effort includes a new public service announcement that features a woman nervously explaining to her "son" that he's old enough to have "the talk," and that he needs to be protected. Not until the end of the thirty-second spot do we see that her "son" is her husband and she is asking him to get a colorectal exam.

The campaign includes announcements that were developed for both radio and television.

"We wanted to take a lighthearted approach to remind people, especially men, to get tested in hopes that it would reduce some fears, but remind people of the importance of colon cancer testing," said Kimberly Welch, Aurora vice president of Corporate Affairs. "While the approach is humorous, the message is important and serious."

The public service announcements are being shared with media outlets across eastern Wisconsin so they can help to spread the word about the importance of colon cancer screenings and how lives can be saved.

"As a leading provider of cancer care to residents throughout Wisconsin it's important that we help people to better understand how they can take steps to positively impact their cancer experience," said Bruce Van Cleave, M.D., Aurora senior vice president and chief medical officer. "The reality is if all adults 50 and older were screened for colon cancer, the death rate would be cut in half saving nearly 25,000 lives per year."

The spot also lends itself to the new realm of message-sharing - social networks. In addition to posting the public service announcements on the Aurora web site, they will be available on the Aurora Facebook page as well as YouTube. "We know a lot of young people use these networks and hope they share the message with their parents who are likely in 50 to 60-year-old range, which is the exact age bracket for colon cancer prevention testing," said Welch.

The television and radio spots are available at Aurora's web site.

Aurora worked with Gary Mueller, owner of the Milwaukee agency, Serve Marketing to create the public service announcements.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Peter Balistrieri
Cell: 262-510-8082 / Work: 262-896-6449

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