The HCA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Nashville-based hospital company Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), today announced the launch of the Clean Hands are Cool Hands Back to School campaign to prevent the spread of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a common yet highly contagious bacteria that frequently inhabits a person's skin or nostrils. HCA hospitals in the Jacksonville area include Memorial Hospital, Orange Park Medical Center and Specialty Hospital.
HCA teamed up with popular teen actor and recording artist Mitchel Musso, best known for his role as "Oliver" in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, to create a public service announcement educating kids and their parents on the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of MRSA in schools.
"I am happy to be a part of this important campaign to prevent the spread of MRSA and help raise awareness among my fans and kids of all ages to stay healthy," said Musso. "Hopefully they will see me in this PSA and get the message that clean hands are cool and most importantly are less likely to spread germs."
Because of its resistance to antibiotics, MRSA accounts for 19,000 deaths in the United States each year, 86% of which are healthcare-associated and 14% which are community acquired.1 HCA's 169 hospitals across the nation, under the leadership of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, have implemented more aggressive infection prevention protocols to tackle this issue.
"The growing prevalence of MRSA in hospitals and communities, including in schools, is creating new challenges for the healthcare community," said Perlin. "It is important to make parents and kids aware of the little things they can do at home and at school to prevent its spread, such as washing their hands with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer."
The 30 second television PSA was shot in July in Los Angeles, California and features Musso interacting in an animated world of everyday items that can pass on germs and make us sick. Musso emphasizes how easy it is to come in contact with germs throughout the day and how something as simple as washing your hands can dramatically reduce the spread of these germs and help prevent the illnesses that they can cause.
"We chose to partner with Mitchel due to his popularity and appeal to our target audience- young kids, tweens, teens and even parents," Joanne Pulles, Executive Director for the HCA Foundation. "MRSA is becoming an increasing concern and cause for absence in schools, and we think Mitchel's participation in this campaign will help deliver the message that hand washing is the single most effective and simplest way to prevent its spread."
The PSA aimed at kids in grades K-4, is set to debut later this month on television stations across the United States. Dr. Perlin and Mitchel Musso will also be promoting the campaign through broadcast media tours, TV appearances, and kick-off events in cities throughout the country, including Las Vegas, Nashville and Tampa.
Images from the PSA will be featured on The Reuters Sign in Times Square and information on the campaign will be available online starting August 15 at www.cleanhandsarecoolhands.com. The site provides a fun, interactive place for kids and parents to learn about MRSA and how to prevent its spread, digital downloads of pictures and videos, as well as a streaming file of the PSA.
About The HCA Foundation and HCA: The HCA Foundation was established by Nashville-based hospital company Hospital Corporation of America. (HCA) to provide leadership, service, and financial support to non-profit organizations. As the philanthropic arm of HCA, its mission is to promote health and well being, support childhood and youth development and foster the arts in Middle Tennessee and beyond. The HCA Foundation supports organizations that have a well-defined sense of purpose, a demonstrated commitment to maximizing available resources and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering quality services with caring and compassion. Actively providing grants since 1998, The HCA Foundation has contributed more than $119M in grants to more than 200 agencies and organizations. Additional information on the Foundation is available at www.hcacaring.org.
HCA Inc. is the nation's leading health care services provider. It operates 169 hospitals and 113 surgery centers in 20 states, and England (including eight hospitals and nine freestanding surgery centers operated through equity method joint ventures).
ABOUT MEMORIAL HEALTH: Fully accredited by the Joint Commission, Memorial Health, consisting of Memorial Hospital, Orange Park Medical Center and Specialty Hospital, is known as a leader in quality, compassionate healthcare with a reputation maintained through excellent staff, along with programs of technological advances, growth and expansion to meet the ongoing needs of the community. Memorial Health serves the entire First Coast area. For further information about services, facilities and physicians, please go to www.memorialhospitaljax.com; www.opmedical.com or www.specialtyhospitaljax.com