NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 25 The HCA Foundation, thephilanthropic arm of Nashville-based hospital company Hospital Corporation ofAmerica (HCA), today announced the launch of the Clean Hands are Cool HandsBack to School campaign to prevent the spread of Methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a common yet highly contagious bacteria thatfrequently inhabits a person's skin or nostrils. HCA teamed up with popularteen actor and recording artist Mitchel Musso, best known for his role as"Oliver" in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, to create a publicservice announcement educating kids and their parents on the importance ofhand washing to prevent the spread of MRSA in schools.
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"I am happy to be a part of this important campaign to prevent the spreadof MRSA and help raise awareness among my fans and kids of all ages to stayhealthy," said Musso. "Hopefully they will see me in this PSA and get themessage that clean hands are cool and most importantly are less likely tospread germs."
Because of its resistance to antibiotics, MRSA accounts for 19,000 deathsin the United States each year, 86% of which are healthcare-associated and 14%which are community acquired.(1) HCA's 169 hospitals across the nation, underthe leadership of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, haveimplemented more aggressive infection prevention protocols to tackle thisissue.
"The growing prevalence of MRSA in hospitals and communities, including inschools, is creating new challenges for the healthcare community," saidPerlin. "It is important to make parents and kids aware of the little thingsthey can do at home and at school to prevent its spread, such as washing theirhands with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer."
The 30 second television PSA was shot in July in Los Angeles, Californiaand features Musso interacting in an animated world of everyday items that canpass on germs and make us sick. Musso emphasizes how easy it is to come incontact with germs throughout the day and how something as simple as washingyour hands can dramatically reduce the spread of these germs and help preventthe illnesses that they can cause.
"We chose to partner with Mitchel due to his popularity and appeal to ourtarget audience -- young kids, tweens, teens and even parents," Joanne Pulles,Executive Director for the HCA Foundation. "MRSA is becoming an increasingconcern and cause for absence in schools, and we think Mitchel's participationin this campaign will help deliver the message that hand washing is the singlemost effective and simplest way to prevent its spread."
The PSA aimed at kids in grades K-4, is set to debut later this month ontelevision stations across the United States. Dr. Perlin and Mitchel Mussowill also be promoting the campaign through broadcast media tours, TVappearances, and kick-off events in cities throughout the country, includingLas Vegas, Nashville and Tampa.
Images from the PSA will be featured on The Reuters Sign in Times Squareand information on the campaign will be available online starting August 15 atwww.cleanhandsarecoolhands.com. The site provides a fun, interactive place forkids and parents to learn about MRSA and how to prevent its spread, digitaldownloads of pictures and videos, as well as a streaming file of the PSA.
About The HCA Foundation and HCA
The HCA Foundation was established by Nashville-based hospital companyHospital Corporation of America. (HCA) to provide leadership, service, andfinancial support to non-profit organizations. As the philanthropic arm ofHCA, its mission is to promote health and well being, support childhood andyouth development and foster the arts in Middle Tennessee and beyond. The HCAFoundation supports organizations that have a well-defined sense of purpose, ademonstrated commitment to m