This has been the most attention getting and pathos-saturated Zika piece I have seen. It is a video by AJ+  It is a simple, low budget piece with clear, reasonable low grade level language to described a really sweet, likable mother learning how to care for her child while he suffers from effects related to the virus. Her challenges of caring for new baby are the same as anyone here in the U.S. Everyone just wants to be able to take care of and raise their children.

I feel like the producers of this video do a great job. It shows the audience that this mother is doing everything she can to balance her new responsibilities with her current ones.

This is excellent storytelling and could be used a model by other nonprofits. I like the light music and featured proactive mother just trying to do her best. Although it is obvious she is in a low-income housing development, I do like that they are trying to put a positive spin on this situation. I mean who doesn’t want to just give this mother a hug? I wish I could donate directly to her!

I found an interesting site called “Healthmap.org”  that tracks all outbreaks including Zika, which unfortunately shows it seems to be spreading. Since most of us in the U.S. live in highly populated cities, crisis protocols are of the utmost importance in dealing with an outbreak. Here is another excellent article on Zika and how structural issues keep families from getting the care they need. It reports how “telemedicine” and mobile treatment vehicles has been effective in helping those in need treat alignments. Below is one of the most powerful pictures I’ve seen to showcase the effects the virus has had on infants.



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Make breakfast a priority

I have been volunteering at a nearby charter school and love it. Its so interesting to learn about their wildy diverse and challenging circuluum and to get a break from school work to make others do school work. However, I still haven’t learned much about their school meals or nutrition. I asked some students during my last visit  what they had for lunch and they reported options were pizza and some sort of veggie tofu option, so it looks like the school is on the right track.  Alas, the tofu w/ veg option was accompanied with a look of disgust.

I saw this interesting article on providing school breakfast to children. The most important take away I think is that no breakfast is always the worst option and promotes obesity. This seems to be proven again and again in study after study.

Everyone should always make room for breakfast. Here is a quick review of why breakfast is crucial and some tips on making it a part of your routine from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Diagnoses Relief

Last week I posted about the Ad Council’ autism awareness campaign. I snooped around a bit more and found an NPR article to back up much of what I posted last week. Below is a great article about three individuals  journey to an autism diagnoses. The one that stuck out the most was Sam Harvey (below). I hate to give it away, but he was able to navigate the school system and become a teacher before finding out he even had a social disorder. This proves that for many integration into the school system at a young age has proven benefits.

As an aside, I love the graphics they used to portray each of the featured individuals. They are portrayed in positive light, as if they were a famous, contemplative author or musician. I think this is a wonderful way to portray those who have difficult stories to share.

Pieces like this can really work to decrease stigma of those with disabilities. Imagine if a teacher shared these stories with a class in middle school?


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Colum McCan ALWAYS

One of my favorite modern writers is Colum McCan and I was able to see him a few weeks ago at NY presbyterian. He is hyper dope and I recommend to check out his books. My favorite is “Let the Great World Spin.” Seeing him in-person was surreal because a few years ago I was reading his book and googling him from afar, trying to envision how he was able to create these intricate and sensitive stories. His books often feature characters from various ages, background and cultures. I can tell you he was exactly how I envisioned him.

Since it was hosted at NY Presbyterian by the Columbia Narrative Medicine program it had a health spin. He explained that listening to patients is like storytelling. Although the patient may come in for cut on her arm, the factors may actually be the bills she can’t pay. I have never heard an author be so tuned-in to social determinants of health and its probably why he is such an excellent writer.  He stated to properly heal is beyond “recognizing the disease.” He shared in his own work, he had to learn about the health conditions to truly write so as to bring a character to life.

Additionally, he took at moment to highlight his nonprofit Narrative Four. There is a great video from the author explaining the storytelling mission of the organization.  You can find the video here Narrative Four Video.



Ad Council FTW

My absolute favorite campaign right now is the Ad Council’s Autism Awareness ( ad featured below). Here is a great video that seems like it could be appropriate not just for families learning how to handle an autism diagnoses but also for young students. This would help children develop more empathy and understanding towards those with developmental disabilities. I have volunteered with Easter Seals and truly believe in its evidence based programs. Here is some interesting info. on services for children while attending school. My favorite part of the organization was learning how having an inclusive school environment helps those with disabilities progress faster and helps those without learn to be empathetic and sensitive at an extremely young age = win-win.



Most importantly, here is an interesting a report that says financial and economic status plays a role in increasing chances of autism, as a mother’s health can effect rates. You can find the study on autism here. Just another example of how your environment can determine your health.




The Realest Human of NY post

The Realest Human of NY post

A few weeks ago we had a class dedicated to the Real Humans of NY. We studied interview techniques and why the pictures from an amateur photographer resonated so much with so many people. The post has always been the one that stuck out the most even though I read it almost a year ago. It was posted in August 2015, and it perfectly describes social determinants of health. Although this man’s issue was a health issue, it was actually a societal and structural constraints that kept him from living a fulfilling and happy life. It was because his community didn’t accept him, and not his disabilities, that ended up being his biggest obstacle. It is truly heart breaking, but I think its is important for people to know about these types of issues even though sometimes it feels like there is nothing that can be done about it. Although this is heart wrenching, my favorite part is seeing all the wonderful comments from all over the world.  One comment featured below had about 35,000 likes, but the post itself has about 350,000 views. Imagine if there was a way to monetize this and have 5 cents for every click?


My favorite thing about this post were the positive and heart felt user comments. One  user commented, “Everybody needs and deserves love and companionship.” I love how Brandon Staunton makes everyone so relatable and shows us we are more alike than we are different. I just wish there was more non profits highlighted to help the people are are shown, or to show if this post has helped them in any way. I remember hearing in a lecture coming into a community and giving it a bunch of attention, making false promises and then leaving never to be heard from again, can often have deterimental effects to those they meant othelp, without creating some sort of supportive system or follow up. I hope at the very least people who read this learn to treat  and better invest in people with disabilties.

You can find the link here.

Veggies shaken not stirred

Since I had three people ask me about my smoothie last Tuesday I figured I would post about it. I get the best smoothies from Nussbaum and Wu and they are super delish. I ask for kale, spinach, a whole banana, 4 pieces of mango, plain yogurt and blueberries. If I’m ever stressed or feel like snacking, I always pop in to get a smoothie. Its funny because when you are stressed your body craves unhealthy snacks, but what you actually need at that moment is something hyper healthful. I’ve read countless articles about nutrition, but here are a few of my favorite topics. Here are two great articles linking nutrition to mental health Huffington Post and Washington Post. Nutrition is probably the most important thing you can monitor every day and that can dictate much of your health status.




Just some good old advertising

Since I’ve been posting a fair amount about public health campaigns, I figured I would see if there were any commercial campaigns that were targeting healthy behaviors, but through a marketers eyes. Here are some other campaigns that I thought had a creative twist from  Trendhunter.



I also enjoyed this World Health Day campaign. This is classified as a public health campaign, since the desired end result is improved health outcomes and behavior change

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“Selling” Health

When I was home for spring break getting my hair cut and I saw some attention getting packaging that caught my eye.

These were done by R and Co  and its obvious that they are soaked in customer insights.  In reality what does a well done manicure or a leather jacket have to do with hair spray? Absolutely nothing. And it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I knew I liked it and it stood out from the other products. This made me wonder if any health products were trying out similar tactics.














When I looked to see if there similar techniques in packaging. I quickly was able to find a fair around. Below are some examples of a creative food, acne medicine and meal packaging.


Bored Panda – Fit Buns
Bored Panda – Clearasil Acne txt


Emotive Food packaging article

This is my favorite packing item. As soon as I saw it I could imagine myself grocery shopping in NYC and seeing this, feeling home sick, buying it and sending a pic to my mom. I love that you can see the actual products and the drawings are creative without being too much. Its limit on colors, and white packaging help create a simple, crisp look that seem to be a good choice and properly reflect the values of a produce company.


My issue with the Dove Campaign

This year I attended the annual BRITE campaign and was able to see some awesome presentations from CEOs on branding. They were insightful and largely talked a lot about marketing in the digital age. I wanted to review one particular talk as it is something that comes up regularly in our coursework as the new gold standard of advertising.  It is considered a trailblazer and setting new standards for the industry. At the recent brite conference. Shelley Lazarus, CEO and Chairman  of Oglivy showed the advertisement during the conference. She said that  170, 000 million people have viewed this campaign and it is not centered around its products. 

At dinner last week, this came up with one of my classmates. We were talking about this case and I mentioned that we review this case so much, but what’s next? What are they going to do next maintain this momentum? My classmate had an excellent point. She said it’s more about what we can learn from it and why it is successful, then comparing what came before it or after it. Its better to focus on what we can learn from this campaign and how we can incorporate these kinds of insights moving forward. For example, working with a psychologist and extensive survey research went into this campaign.

So, even though at the end of the day, this campaign’s goal is to push products, the techniques they us should be incorporated into public heath campaigns other nonprofit campaigns. The point is by not making it about the product and focusing more about tapping into audiences attitudes and beliefs is what made this successful. Imagine if this was tied to an non profit organization aimed at empowering young girls. like Girls, Inc. I personally have worked with the organization and think its wonderful. It offers a range of services from teaching pregnancy prevention to media literacy to giving skills sets to identify and properly handle abusive relationships.  I really think the Dove campaign would have benefitted if it worked to highlight a nonprofit who shares the values of female empowerment.

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