This year SCHA and DHEC teamed up to bring more attention to one of the biggest killers of South Carolinians: stroke. According to the CDC, our state has the seventh-highest mortality rate in the nation for the disease. More than 2,600 people in SC die from stroke each year with South Carolina hospitals treating upwards of 20,000 stoke patients annually.
Despite these numbers, one of the biggest impediments to improving stroke care is simply time. Many South Carolinians don’t know how to identify a stroke, so improving response and arrival times at the hospital is key to saving more lives. That’s why SCHA and DHEC, in collaboration with Gray Digital Media, led a year-long social media campaign focused on ways to identify stroke and the importance of acting promptly.
With the F.A.S.T. acronym for “face, arm, speech and time” as the central focus of the “Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.” campaign, we established a website, FaceArmSpeechTime.com, with resources and information and created video and still-image advertisements to draw attention to symptoms and the need for quick action. The F.A.S.T. campaign went live on Facebook and Instagram in May 2017 to increase education and awareness about stroke.
Thanks to advanced analytics, we know the campaign was a tremendous success. We reached 1.1 million people via Facebook and Instagram, and that engagement led to 4.2 million impressions, 349 comments, and 1,452 post shares. Many of those posts also directed users to FaceArmSpeechTime.com for more information or materials. That call to action resulted in more than 24,000 pageviews from over 18,000 unique users.
As stroke cases continue to rise in South Carolina, SCHA and DHEC will continue to engage the public to ensure people are aware and responsive to the disease as soon as it happens in order to save lives and improve the quality of life for stroke victims.