D-H launches mask campaign

NASHUA – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) has unveiled two new public advocacy campaigns in its ongoing effort to promote mask wearing as one of the strongest components in fighting COVID-19.

As more than 11.5 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, increases in hospitalizations in New Hampshire prompted Gov. Chris Sununu to implement a statewide mask mandate on Nov. 20.

On Nov. 18, D-HH launched its “Stay Strong, Masks On” campaign through public service announcements, advertising, and digital messaging throughout the region, focusing on the importance of mask wearing and resilience in facing down the pandemic.

And on November 19, D-HH joined more than 100 of the nation’s largest healthcare systems in “Mask Up,” an urgent call to all Americans work to slow the current surge of COVID-19.

“As we have emphasized from the onset of the pandemic, wearing a mask is a public health imperative,” D-HH president and CEO Joanne M. Conroy, MD said. “We are pleased to see Governor Sununu heed the advice of scientists and health professionals and implement this common-sense step to slow the spread of this deadly pandemic.”

The first ad for the “Mask On” campaign, titled “Easier Than Chopping Wood,” features Granite Staters and Vermonters chopping and stacking wood in preparation for winter juxtaposed with a person wearing a mask. The narrator says, “If you can handle this, well you can handle this too.”

On Nov.19, D-HH joined 100 of the nation’s top health systems in issuing a public service message that ran in several national newspapers. This national public service effort also includes messages on digital platforms, social media, online information, links to vital health resources and more. Combining resources demonstrates that these health care organizations are working together, will accomplish this today and will get through this together.

Dartmouth Hitchcock has been urging the public to wear masks since the early days of the pandemic. It published an open letter advocating for mask-wearing in August signed by Dr. Conroy and the Presidents and CEOs of, Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, Cheshire Medical Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, New London Hospital and the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire. D-HH also ran a series of television and digital advertisements throughout the fall on the importance of mask-wearing.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention illustrates in recent studies that have shown face masks successfully limit spread of the COVID-19 virus. Wearing face masks protect in key ways – by protecting the wearer against inhalation of harmful pathogens and particulates and by preventing exposure of those around the wearer.

In addition to masking, the CDC suggests that everyone minimize the number of non-household contacts, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet, and limit the amount of time spent around others, especially while indoors and in poorly ventilated areas.

For more information about masking guidelines, visit cdc.gov.