St. Luke's brews up campaign to increase heart attack, stroke awareness

110,000 coffee cup sleeves to be distributed at Cedar Rapids-area coffee shops

Published: January 22 2014 | 1:49 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:30 am in

A new UnityPoint Health- St. Luke's marketing campaign is using your morning cup of coffee to increase awareness about heart attack and stroke.

The hospital purchased 110,000 coffee cup sleeves with information about heart attack and stroke symptoms that will be used at all Brewed Awakenings, Coffee Smiths and Blue Strawberry Cedar Rapids locations in January, February and May. Additionally special valet hangers will be placed in all valet parked cars at the hospital, St. Luke’s Medical Office Plaza and the PCI Medical Pavilion.

February is American Heart Month and May is National Stroke Awareness Month.

"We chose coffee sleeves because many people drink specialty coffees and this is another way to be in front of a captive audience," said Sarah Corizzo, a spokeswoman for St. Luke's. "We wanted to reach out to as many people as possible with this life-saving information. We hope people hang onto the coffee sleeves and use it to start a discussion on knowing the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes."

Heart disease and stroke remain the first and third leading causes of death for men and women.

Nationally, about 600,000 people die of heart disease and 130,000 Americans die of stroke each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also estimates that about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack each year.

“Too many people are unaware of the signs of a heart attack and stroke,” said Jenny Houlihan, director of Acute Adult Services, in a press release. “As Cedar Rapids’ Heart Hospital we felt it was our responsibility to educate individuals on what warning signs to look for and if they have any of these symptoms to call 911 immediately. Any delay in emergency care can lead to serious consequences or even death.”

St. Luke's is not the first Corridor organization to use coffee cups for marketing purposes. Hancher Auditorium has promoted various events on sleeves at Java House locations in Iowa City for more than six years.

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