The Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign has produced more than a billion impressions and reached more than 166 million through high-impact engagement. But we couldn’t have done it without our partners! We are grateful for the like-minded organizations, patient advocates, and citizen advocates whose efforts and voices are saving lives.
The below resources are designed to make it easy for partners to share on social media, reach out to the press, host an event, and make Valve Disease Day and valve disease a part of your outreach and your heart & health curriculum.
You know what will resonate best with your audiences so use these resources as a starting point and then feel free to make them your own. And if you feel something is missing, reach out and let us know.
Spread the Word
There are many ways to reach out to your community and spread awareness about heart valve disease. Use these core messages, website language, social media assets, and more to get you started.
Our goal at Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is to provide easy-to-understand messages that you can easily incorporate into your outreach efforts. While we encourage you to personalize and add your unique story, using consistent core messages allows us to leverage each other’s outreach and maximize impact:
- As many as 11 million Americans have heart valve disease.
- Heart valve disease involves damage to one or more of the heart’s valves which disrupts blood flow by not opening or closing properly.
- Heart valve disease becomes more common with age—one in 10 people ages 75+ are estimated to have moderate to severe valve disease.
- While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications—including death.
- After the onset of symptoms, patients with severe aortic stenosis, one of the most common types of heart valve disease, have a survival rate without valve replacement as low as 50 percent at two years and 20 percent at five years.
- Each year, an estimated 25,000 people in the U.S. die from heart valve disease.
- Heart valve disease can usually be successfully treated with valve repair or replacement in patients of all ages.
- People with heart valve disease do not always have symptoms, and those who do may be told or believe that these symptoms are a normal part of aging. This is wrong and makes detection even more critical.
- Unfortunately, awareness about heart valve disease is low. A recent survey found that less than one in four adults know somewhat or a great deal about heart valve disease.
- The goal of the annual Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is to increase recognition of the specific risks and symptoms of heart valve disease, improve detection and treatment, and ultimately save lives.
- Follow the campaign @ValveDiseaseDay
- Promote your own heart valve disease materials and connect them to the campaign using #ValveDiseaseDay
- Use campaign graphics to give your post visual interest
- Share photos of your heart team, employees, patients, and other advocates
- Add your logo to the co-brandable graphics
- Link your posts to ValveDiseaseDay.org
- Encourage your audiences and connections to also spread the word
Consider featuring Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on your organization’s website. You can incorporate the logo, web badge, other campaign materials, and more. Please make sure the Valve Disease Day materials posted to your website also link back to www.ValveDiseaseDay.org.
Downloadable Logos and Website Badges
Magazines & Newsletters
Including an image or article about Valve Disease Day in your organization’s magazine or newsletter is a great way to engage your larger community in thinking about their risk factors for valve disease and general heart health.
Heart valve disease can be there at birth or develop due to damage from previous heart conditions or infections. Age is the greatest risk factor for heart valve disease–one out of every 10 people age 75+ have it. While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications, including death. Millions of Americans have heart valve disease and every year, an estimated 25,000 people in the U.S. die from the disease.
Symptoms of heart valve disease can include shortness of breath; weakness or dizziness; pain, tightness, or discomfort in the chest; fainting or feeling faint; fatigue; rapid or irregular heartbeat; lightheadedness; decrease in exercise capacity; and swollen abdomen or ankles and feet. However, people with heart valve disease do not always have symptoms, even if their disease is severe. For these people, a heart murmur is the most important clue.
The good news is that most heart valve disease can be successfully treated with valve repair or replacement in patients of all ages. Unfortunately, awareness of heart valve disease is alarmingly low, with close to half of respondents to a national survey reporting that they have not heard of heart valve disease.
This February 22, and throughout the year [insert your hospital or heart center] is proud to participate in the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign. The campaign encourages you to Listen to Your Heart, know your risk factors, get your heart checked regularly, and join the movement to help spread the word and raise awareness. Learn more at www.ValveDiseaseDay.org.
Embed or download the Valve Disease Day videos and share them on your website, Facebook, waiting room TVs, patient tablets, and more.
Engage the Media
Consider reaching out to your local news outlets and letting them know what your organization is doing for Valve Disease Day. If you have patients or experts that are willing to share their stories and expertise, be sure to connect them. You may also want to consider the below story angles and media opportunities.
Patient Feature StoryJournalists are more likely to cover your event or outreach if it involves a unique and personal patient story. Patient stories also help readers relate to the disease and make them more apt to learn and share. You may already have the perfect patient in your networks. Ask them to speak at your Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day event, or to be available to reporters interested in covering your outreach.
Journalist EchocardiogramThe best way to diagnose heart valve disease is through an echocardiogram. Ask a journalist to experience one given by your heart team. Whether they broadcast live, send a film crew, or simply write about their experiences afterwards—this can be a great way to start a conversation about valve disease while showing off your facilities. The journalist could then encourage their audience to share images of their echoes through social media and tagging the posts with #ValveDiseaseDay and #ListenttoYourHeart.
Letter to the Editor or Op-EdLetters to the editor and opinion-editorials (op-eds) are both great ways to raise the visibility of valve disease and your organization and experts. Include patient stories, expert insights, and any important information or milestones about your organization. Include a call-to-action that directs readers to www.ValveDiseaseDay.org and #ValveDiseaseDay on social when possible. A sample op-ed can be found here and a sample letter-to-the-editor can be found here.
Press Release or Media AlertThis is a great way to promote your organization's Valve Disease Day activities to local media. Be sure to include information about your event or activities and messaging on Valve Disease Day. A press release template can be found here.
Organize an Event
You can observe Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on February 22, or on another day during American Heart Month in February. Whether you already have events planned or are looking for new opportunities to engage the community and press, this page can help you integrate Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day and leverage the assets and momentum of the campaign. It all depends on your target audience; which can include the community at large, current or former patients and family caregivers, individuals identified to be at higher risk of heart valve disease, or other groups that you think may be interested.
We recognize that events will look different during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage all partners and event hosts to observe local guidelines for gatherings and mask wearing, make accommodations for social distancing, and consider virtual events for Valve Disease Day 2021.
Celebrate a Milestone or Anniversary with Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day
Is your organization celebrating an important date or milestone this winter? Maybe your designation as a center of excellence, your 1,000th TAVR procedure, or your 500th valve replacement patient participating in a patient day? Consider adding Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day to your celebration and enlist patients, families, and the press to raise awareness about heart valve disease.
Patient days offer great experiences for patients and family caregivers to meet each other, reconnect with their health providers, and share their stories; and for the hospital to learn from the patients and their experiences. They are also a unique opportunity to bring attention to your organization since they highlight the successes of the hospital and bring faces to the procedures as the patients share their stories.
American Heart Month Event—Focus on Valve Disease
Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day takes place on February 22, during American Heart Month—a month when you are likely already planning to host events focused on heart health. Consider integrating Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day into your heart month events: use the Valve Disease Day resources, include speakers who focus on valve disease, and link your social media to the momentum of the Valve Disease Day campaign. You may also want to offer cardiovascular screenings to those that attend your events.
Health & Fitness Event
Community walks, free yoga or Zumba classes, and other health and fitness offerings can draw your community in and give you the opportunity to talk about Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day—raising awareness among people who have likely never heard of the disease.
A 2016 national omnibus survey of 2,018 adults revealed that while over half of respondents say they have heard of heart valve disease, less than one in four know somewhat or a great deal about it.
Another analysis looked further at awareness of heart valve disease, as well as at the experiences of patients as they are diagnosed and seek treatment. A survey of more than 400 individuals diagnosed with heart valve disease found that more than two-thirds of respondents knew a limited amount or nothing about heart valve disease prior to their diagnosis, and six in 10 were diagnosed with heart valve disease only because they went to see a health care professional for a regular check-up or for some other issue.
Find out how much patients and visitors to your hospital know about heart valve disease with an awareness survey of your own:
- Ask visitors in central areas of the hospital—like lobbies and cafeterias—to fill out the survey form and leave it with a hospital representative. Note that the form can be personalized with your hospital’s logo and information. Be sure to take this opportunity to also hand out the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day educational postcard.
- Leave the survey forms and a drop box in central areas of the hospital, and share the results through your magazine, newsletter, social media, etc.—launching an important conversation about the need for more awareness.
- Jazz it up by asking the survey questions in person and video-tape their answers. Get permission to use the footage and then create your own Valve Disease Day video that you can share on your website, through social media, on waiting room TVs, and more.
Use the promotional poster to advertise the event details throughout your hospital and in your community. Consider posting with local senior centers and contact your American Heart Association (AHA) local chapter or Mended Hearts peer-to-peer network to discuss posting at their meeting venues.
You can also use the customizable lobby x-frame banner to share information about Valve Disease Day in high-traffic areas.
Celebrities and Local Influencers
There’s nothing like a celebrity to draw audiences to an event! While you may not be able to find a celebrity or local hero who has had heart valve disease, you can look for a local influencer willing to talk about the importance of heart health. Consider local broadcasters, sports figures, large company CEOs, etc.
U.S. Senator or Representative
February 22 falls during a recess for the U.S. Congress, so your U.S. senator and representative are likely to be in town. Check the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition to see if your member has already demonstrated a commitment to cardiovascular health that you can appeal to, and reach out to see if they can stop by and make remarks during the event. They may also be willing to share information about the event and the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign through their constituent outreach.
Local officials—such as your mayor, city councilperson, or state representative—may also be willing to speak and help advertise the event and campaign to their constituents.
Your local radio, TV station, or newspaper may be willing to attend the event and/or feature it in their local news stories. For a fee, there may also be co-branded opportunities where the local station will promote the event, send someone to cover it, and potentially even broadcast live from your event. To invite your local media, send the event details (who, what, when, where, why) and background information about Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day to your local TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers. See more about engaging your local media.
You may already have members of your patient network who have a compelling story to tell and who can speak during your Heart Awareness Day activities. You may also want to reach out to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) local chapters, and to the national organization to engage a Heart Valve Ambassador. AHA is a partner of the Valve Disease Day campaign and is dedicated to raising awareness about heart valve disease.
Website and Social Media
Be sure to add the event to your website and promote it on your social media channels, using the #ValveDiseaseDay hashtag and tagging the @ValveDiseaseDay account (Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram). See more about using social media to raise awareness of Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day.
Sharing your event on Facebook Live allows followers to engage with content in real-time and all you need is a Smart Phone. The video will also be available on Facebook after the event for those who can’t watch it live.
We hope the following Valve Disease Day graphics, posters, presentation slides, etc. will help you brand your event and engage with your attendees.
Use Adobe to add your logo to the x-frame banner sign. The banner should print at 32” x 69.5” and can be purchased with a stand on Post Up at https://www.postupstand.com/M-151/X-Frame-Banners?variantId=44260&st=Class&sid=1256.
You can also print a podium sign with the Valve Disease Day standard logo, or Listen to Your Heart theme logo.
Create a “selfie booth” by printing one of the selfie signs and encouraging event attendees to take a selfie showing that they Listened to their Heart. Encourage them to post the selfie on social media—using the hashtag #ValveDiseaseDay. With their permission, you could also take a picture of them with the selfie booth sign and share it through your social media, newsletters, and more.
Use the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day logos to create t-shirts for your attendees or representatives to wear. You can also purchase predesigned t-shirts on Zazzle where a portion of the proceeds go to raising awareness of heart valve disease through the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign.
Branded Event Merchandise
Purchase Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day items like pins, pens, mugs, and more on Zazzle, and share with staff, attendees, or others. A portion of the Zazzle proceeds go to raising awareness of heart valve disease through the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign.
There’s strength in numbers, so for your Valve Disease Day outreach consider joining forces with other organizations that are interested in raising awareness about heart valve disease. This could include current campaign partners as well as local libraries, places of worship, senior centers, schools, hospitals, recreation centers, community and civic groups, and local and national government agencies. They may want to co-host an event, help share materials and messaging, amplify your outreach, and more.See All Partners