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Bald Is Beautiful and Other Physician Marketing Community Connections

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Community outreach promotions for a charitable cause is a channel for healthcare marketing—particularly for hospital public relations—to connect with the local citizenry. From South Florida to Canada, here are three attention-getting promotional efforts. All made a publicity splash for a good cause.

bald is beautifulFirst, we found Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation embracing the mantra: “bald, brave, beautiful.” The cause is better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers. The event was a visit by rapper, singer-songwriter and record producer Armando "Pitbull" Perez to Miami Children's Hospital. Perez—himself sporting, ah, no hair—paid a surprise visit to approximately 20 patients as part of the Get Well Soon Tour, spending time with children battling cancer.

This is a concert series established to bring joy to sick children through music. The tour arranges for the best recording artists in the world to visit and perform acoustic sets at various hospitals throughout the country. A previous concert was held at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA in Los Angeles.

And north in the Great White territory, there’s a doctor running across Canada for prostate cancer awareness. What doctor has time for that sort of event? We’d say he’s a really dedicated one. Dr. Riley Senft, 32-year-old anesthesiologist from Manitoba, began his Step Into Action run in May. (As we write this it’s Day 129; Maple Creek to Medicine Hat, AB.)

The trans-Canada run generates publicity and financial contributions to benefit prostate cancer. It’s about 7,000 km (about 4,349 miles) of roads and trails, stretching from mile zero in Cape Spear, Newfoundland to the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver, British Columbia. So far the extraordinary effort has raised $300,000, with a $1-million goal at the finish line, sometime in October. For an update on Dr. Senft, click through to his blog here.

Then there’s the pack of two-wheeled Philly doctors traveling by the name of Team Temple Med Bike Team. More than a dozen doctors from Temple University, Philadelphia, have been riding together in fundraising events for the past year. Among them are an orthopedist, a psychiatrist, a gynecologist, a physical therapist, and others.

The effort began in 2009 when Dr. Susan Gersh and Dr. Anu Paranjape participated in the annual City to Shore Ride for multiple sclerosis and subsequently put out the call at Temple for other riders to form a team. Since then, according to one news report, more than 20 cyclists rode with Team Temple Med in the City to Shore Ride and raised $12,000 for multiple sclerosis research. The team has also participated in several other rides, raising almost $20,000 for charitable causes over the past year.

In addition to the charitable beneficiaries, the team—wearing distinctive red and white Temple uniforms—says the activity has helped the medical staff become better acquainted and has brought them closer together as colleagues.

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