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Travelers’ Health Campaign

Travelers’ Health Campaign takes critical messages worldwide

Travelers' Health Campaign posterClick image to enlarge

Traveling can be a dangerous transmitter of germs, bacteria and viruses such as H1N1. That makes airports, ship docks, train stations and bus depots among the most important places to spread the word about healthy practices and precautions.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) has played a key role in preparing to get the good-health message out to travelers throughout the United States and beyond. As directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ORISE has worked to develop a timely, comprehensive Travelers’ Health campaign (THC).

THC—the CDC’s largest-ever public-awareness initiative crafted to promote travel-related health and wellness—was launched on Nov. 19, 2009, in time for the busy holiday-travel season.

“This campaign provides practical advice to help travelers prepare for their trips and stay healthy during their holiday travel,” said Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Travelers' Health Campaign buttonAs part of the campaign’s critical planning process, ORISE developed strategic goals; conducted a broad review of literature and research; designed and concept-tested graphic executions; and created branding, advertising, social media, media relations and evaluation plans. ORISE also partnered with Ackermann PR on a number of key THC efforts.

Reaching U.S. residents traveling abroad and residents of nations who travel to and from the United States, the campaign includes targeted, proactive dissemination of core health-and-safety messages through a variety of media, including informational posters at major airports, ports of entry and border crossings; national radio and print advertising; and social media and online outreach.

How ORISE is Making a Difference

Campaign themes include “Prevention can be Travel-Sized” and “Stop, Wash and Go.”

Among THC’s core messages, the CDC is urging people to take the following steps when planning their travel: travel only when they are feeling well, get vaccinated for flu (both seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 if they are in a priority group), wash hands often, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.

The need for a travel-focused campaign came to light as H1N1 became a pandemic. H1N1 has spread throughout the nation and around the globe, accounting for millions of confirmed/probable cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the U.S. alone since April of 2009.

THC ran through the 2009 holiday season. ORISE continues to manage all campaign planning, implementation and evaluation. The CDC is also partnering with local health departments, travel professionals, health care professionals, and colleges and universities to further educate the public.

“I cannot imagine a better group of people to help the Travelers’ Health Branch produce its first national media campaign. The ORISE team is responsive, creative, and flexible—and always up to the challenge. The entire ORISE team became true partners with us in the development and execution of this campaign.” –Kelly Holton, communication and education team lead, CDC Travelers’ Health

Travelers’ Health Campaign earns honors at NAGC awards ceremony

The Travelers’ Health flu prevention campaign won two National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards.

The awards were presented on May 17, 2010, at a NAGC meeting in Bethesda, Md. ORISE was recognized for providing communication and marketing support to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travelers’ Health campaign, which won first place in the poster category for “Prevention Can Be Travel-Sized” and an award of excellence in the display category for “Stop, Wash & Go.”

“The campaign, led by the CDC Travelers’ Health Communication and Education Team, represents a true collaboration, with participants from across the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, other parts of CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, and Ackermann PR,” said CDC Travelers’ Health branch chief Dr. Gary W. Brunette.

NAGC is a national not-for-profit professional network of government employees who disseminate information within and outside government. The Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards recognize superior communications efforts of government agencies and employees at the local, state, federal, and international level.