Hemochromatosis Rural Awareness Campaign

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Click here to see the crowdfunding page: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/28234#description-tab

Program Description You will be helping fund the production costs of a Hemochromatosis Rural Awareness Campaign. Your donation will pay for the printing of a Public Service Announcement Poster that is being designed by students of the Art Institute of Dallas. One of the many benefits of a poster campaign is that posters can be used in a variety of locations to reach people who may not have access to or regularly access the Internet.  Posters are capable of conveying an unforgettable message immediately and have proven to be successful at increasing public awareness. The campaign will use a “Get Tested” approach and will feature one poster designed by students of the Art Institute of Dallas. The posters will be provided to doctors and clinics that are members of the various rural public health association to be posted in high patient visibility locations within offices or clinics.  Specifically, the poster will contain information about the signs and symptoms of hemochromatosis and information on how and where to get tested.

Background According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than one million people in the United States that have the gene mutation that can cause hereditary hemochromatosis.  Hereditary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation in a gene that controls the amount of iron your body absorbs form the food you eat.[1] According to the CDC, “Early detection of iron buildup is important because prompt diagnosis and treatment of hemochromatosis can help prevent the more serious problems caused by the disease.”  Left untreated hemochromatosis may cause serious adverse health effects such as arthritis, cirrhosis, diabetes, and heart disease.

Statement of Need
 Hereditary hemochromatosis is the most common single-gene disease in Western populations, affecting 1 out of every 200-300 people. Yet it is almost unheard of by the general public, and many health professionals are insufficiently aware of it.[2]    Access to information concerning the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of hereditary hemochromatosis by rural communities is limited.  Most information concerning this disorder is available online, at public libraries, or college/university libraries.  However, according to the Federal Communication Commission’s Eighth Broadband Progress Report released on August 21, 2012, over 19,000,000 Americans live where fixed broadband networks do not reach; 14,500,000 of those live in rural America.  According to the most current federal statistics report on public libraries, public libraries have seen reductions in operating revenue, service hours, and staffing.[3]  Access to information at college and university libraries is also limited.  For example, the three largest public university campuses by enrollment as of 2012 were all in major metropolitan areas.[4]  Based on the limited availability of information concerning hereditary hemochromatosis, a public awareness campaign in rural communities is needed.

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