Protect! Don’t Infect! ™ (PDI)…A germ fighting campaign.

State: FL Type: Model Practice Year: 2010

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The campaign was developed in response to an OCHD strategic objective focusing on education and awareness of flu and pneumonia and a request from our local school system for educational information on ways of reducing the spread of germs. Despite the proven health benefits of handwashing, many people don't practice this habit as often as they should and risk contracting infectious diseases, like the flu, that are commonly spread through hand-to-hand contact. Research has shown: - We have between two and 10 million bacteria between our fingertips and elbow. - A sneeze or cough can produce over 10,000 germs spread at over 100 mph. A significant number of people do not wash their hands or don’t use correct handwashing techniques. School children, teachers, and parents learn the importance of washing their hands, covering their cough or sneeze, and staying home when they’re sick to avoid spreading germs.

The goal of the PDI campaign is to educate and inform the public on ways they can reduce their risk of illnesses that are spread by germs. One of the PDI campaign objectives was to minimize illness by reminding people that by following three simple steps, they can greatly reduce their risk of illness from a cold, the flu, infections, some life threatening diseases, and other not-so-nice things. Common cold statistics provided by government agencies indicate that, on average, children have six to 10 colds per year, but some children have as many as 12. We intended to collaborate with our school system to more effectively reach our primary target population to educate them on the importance of: 1. proper handwashing, 2. covering a cough or sneeze 3. Staying home when sick.

This campaign utilized a partially animated video, awareness and educational support materials, and a dedicated website, www.protectdontinfect.com, to spread the prevention message. Our second objective was to recruit PDI agents to support and share the prevention message with others while taking the steps outlined in the video which are necessary to avoid getting and spreading germs. Through extra efforts at some local schools, PDI agents were recruited to support and share the message with others while taking the steps necessary to avoid getting and spreading germs. After viewing the PDI video and a discussion on germ prevention, students were invited to “take the challenge” in order to become an official PDI agent. Those taking the challenge were rewarded with an official PDI badge like the one seen on the video. We identified targeted schools and concentrated more effort on them. Because Orange County has 186,000 students, every year we choose a small number of schools and provide them with a toolkit, additional materials, and technical support.

Objective 1. Of 182 children participating in the pilot, pre/post test revealed: 55.5% increase who knew a proper handwashing technique, 45% increase who knew the proper techniques for stopping the spread of illness from airborne droplets, 95.3% increase who recognized the 3 steps to stop the spread of germs.

Objective 2. Results of agent badges distributed revealed: during the pilot phase, 182 children took the challenge and received their ‘official’ PDI agent badge; at least 100 badges were provided to each of the 5 selected schools; through school nurses, an additional 300 students received the badge

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Orange County Health Department
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Protect! Don’t Infect! ™ (PDI)…A germ fighting campaign.
The campaign was developed in response to an OCHD strategic objective focusing on education and awareness of flu and pneumonia and a request from our local school system for educational information on ways of reducing the spread of germs. Despite the proven health benefits of handwashing, many people don't practice this habit as often as they should and risk contracting infectious diseases, like the flu, that are commonly spread through hand-to-hand contact. Research has shown: - We have between two and 10 million bacteria between our fingertips and elbow. - A sneeze or cough can produce over 10,000 germs spread at over 100 mph. A significant number of people do not wash their hands or don’t use correct handwashing techniques. School children, teachers, and parents learn the importance of washing their hands, covering their cough or sneeze, and staying home when they’re sick to avoid spreading germs. The goal of the PDI campaign is to educate and inform the public on ways they can reduce their risk of illnesses that are spread by germs. One of the PDI campaign objectives was to minimize illness by reminding people that by following three simple steps, they can greatly reduce their risk of illness from a cold, the flu, infections, some life threatening diseases, and other not-so-nice things. Common cold statistics provided by government agencies indicate that, on average, children have six to 10 colds per year, but some children have as many as 12. We intended to collaborate with our school system to more effectively reach our primary target population to educate them on the importance of: 1. proper handwashing, 2. covering a cough or sneeze 3. Staying home when sick. This campaign utilized a partially animated video, awareness and educational support materials, and a dedicated website, www.protectdontinfect.com, to spread the prevention message. Our second objective was to recruit PDI agents to support and share the prevention message with others while taking the steps outlined in the video which are necessary to avoid getting and spreading germs. Through extra efforts at some local schools, PDI agents were recruited to support and share the message with others while taking the steps necessary to avoid getting and spreading germs. After viewing the PDI video and a discussion on germ prevention, students were invited to “take the challenge” in order to become an official PDI agent. Those taking the challenge were rewarded with an official PDI badge like the one seen on the video. We identified targeted schools and concentrated more effort on them. Because Orange County has 186,000 students, every year we choose a small number of schools and provide them with a toolkit, additional materials, and technical support. Objective 1. Of 182 children participating in the pilot, pre/post test revealed: 55.5% increase who knew a proper handwashing technique, 45% increase who knew the proper techniques for stopping the spread of illness from airborne droplets, 95.3% increase who recognized the 3 steps to stop the spread of germs. Objective 2. Results of agent badges distributed revealed: during the pilot phase, 182 children took the challenge and received their ‘official’ PDI agent badge; at least 100 badges were provided to each of the 5 selected schools; through school nurses, an additional 300 students received the badge
Despite the proven health benefits of handwashing, many people either don't practice this habit as often as they should or, do not practice the proper handwashing technique and risk contracting infectious diseases that are commonly spread through hand-to-hand contact. Research has shown: - We have between two and 10 million bacteria between our fingertips and elbow. - A sneeze or cough can result in over 10,000 germs being spread at over 100 mph. - A significant number of people do not wash their hands or don’t use correct handwashing techniques. Through this campaign, school children, teachers, and parents learned the importance of washing their hands, covering their cough or sneeze, and staying home when they’re sick to avoid spreading germs. The Protect! Don’t Infect!™ campaign was developed in response to an agency strategic objective focusing on education and awareness of flu and pneumonia. The strategic objective was developed due to the fact that combined flu and pneumonia are a leading cause of death in Orange County. In addition, our local school system communicated to us a need for educational information on ways of reducing the spread of germs.Through this campaign, school children, teachers, and parents learned the importance of washing their hands, covering their cough or sneeze, and staying home when they’re sick to avoid spreading germs. The Protect! Don’t Infect!™ campaign’s core prevention message – wash your hands, cover your cough and sneeze, and stay home when sick, is a key public health message for reducing the risk of the spread of germs causing illnesses such as the flu. By educating children who comprise a large portion of our population and who don’t often practice these good health habits and are at higher risk of contracting some preventable illnesses, we can make an impact.We conducted an internet search to determine if there are any other campaigns similar to the one created by the OCHD. We were unable to locate information that would lead us to believe that there was a public health program or campaign that was as comprehensive as Protect! Don’t Infect!™ and promotes the 3 health steps that are the cornerstone of the PDI campaign in order to avoid spreading germs. Our PDI campaign contains an educational video, educational materials and toolkit with lesson plan that can be utilized by classroom teachers, a dedicated website to the campaign, a county-wide roll out to children; all created by one organization – the Orange County Health Department. We did locate some educational programs that had similar ideas/messages/materials but none had all the components that make up PDI in one program or campaign that is geared towards children. Many sites linked out to other programs or resources for the information that were not their own. To the best of our knowledge, other public health agencies have not developed a comprehensive approach to this public health issue using a variety of tools, particularly a partially animated, award winning, video that uses humor to communicate the PDI message effectively and that is appealing to children and adults alike. Our approach also included: • A dedicated and interactive website (www.protectdontinfect.com) where the video can be viewed, educational information and activities can be downloaded, viewers can take the ‘challenge’ to become a PDI agent and take a quiz to test their knowledge of how to stop the spread of germs. Educational information is available in both English and Spanish, • Developing educational materials and an educator toolkit that included a lesson plan and that was embraced by school staff including curriculum resource teachers and school nurses • In addition to the PDI message being communicated in the school setting, it was reinforced through multiple venues that included placement of the health message in a family newspaper that is distributed to elementary school students and local outlets that are frequented by children and families, and in an education guide. Through grass root efforts, the PDI message was shared at health fairs and expos, back-to-school events, and with and by local leaders.
Agency Community RolesThe former Office of Communications at the OCHD took the lead in the development of this project, along with the Health Marketing and Promotions staff who continued to manage the project with the support of senior leaders. The health department’s public information officers provided assistance with translation of the campaign’s website while information technology staff created the website. During Phase 2 of the campaign the health department’s school health nursing staff was instrumental in reinforcing the PDI message through presentations and education to local school students. When the concept of the campaign was initially developed, the Health Marketing and Promotions staff contacted the Orange County Public Schools K-12 Health, PE and Wellness Resource Teacher to discuss the campaign and determine a potential implementation plan. Her input was sought out in the final phases of the development of the video. The school system was excited about the campaign and agreed to assist in getting the message out to their students. Dissemination of the video and poster was coordinated with the school system’s public information officer and we premiered the video at a school chosen by the school system after getting requests from multiple schools to host the premier. During subsequent meetings with the K-12 Health, PE and Wellness Resource Teacher, we presented the educator PDI toolkit for their review and approval to be utilized as part of their health curriculum. Upon receiving approval and determining the focus would be on 2nd and 3rd grade students, we worked with the Resource Teacher to identify schools to pilot the PDI toolkit. The Health Marketing and Promotions staff met with representatives from the selected schools and provided an overview and training on the PDI toolkit. Schools implemented the curriculum and additional schools are receiving the PDI toolkit as part of our ongoing collaboration. During Phase 4, which occurred during the H1N1 virus event, we were approached to collaborate on how to reduce the risk of students and teachers contracting the H1N1 virus. We were able to rapidly respond and we worked together to place additional PDI materials in every public school (260) as well as private schools (120) and day care centers (977). In addition to the community stakeholders mentioned above, during the H1N1 event our local hospitals CEOs and our OCHD Director utilized the PDI campaign during a press conference in which they encouraged people to get their seasonal flu shot and to practice the PDI message of proper handwashing, covering a cough or sneeze, and staying home when sick. During Phase 1 of the campaign we reached out to our county’s parks and recreation department to pilot the PDI video, poster, and handouts. We conducted presentations to students attending summer day camps. We worked with the Orange County Library System and conducted PDI presentations and made the video available for check out through the library.   We collaborated with two of our local WalMart stores to showcase the PDI video in their store’s pharmacy area as a way to protect its customers during the H1N1 event. As the program continues to grow and expand we will continue to reach out to community stakeholders such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, faith-based organizations, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, to name a few.   Costs and ExpendituresTo start-up we produced a video to appeal to children and adults who could reinforce the campaign message. Production costs are estimated at approximately $25,000. To recoup some of our start-up costs, we made the video and materials available to nonprofit and government organizations outside of Orange County at minimal costs. The campaign was initially implemented in 3 phases. 1. We piloted the campaign prior to the beginning of a new school year at five summer camps throughout Orange County to determine effectiveness of the video and materials. A pre/post test was administered to camp attendees and results were analyzed. Anecdotal input from camp staff, attendees, and the public school Resource Teacher was noted. No significant costs were incurred during Phase 1 2. After reviewing the data and feedback from Phase 1 and determining no significant changes were needed, we implemented phase 2 which consisted of distribution of the PDI video/poster to local public schools. The video was shown during the schools’ morning announcements and in classrooms. Health department school nurses conducted presentations at their assigned schools. Local schools linked to the PDI website, which was developed by an OCHD staff member. The website showcases educational messages and downloadable materials/activities. Estimated cost : $4,500.00 3. An educational toolkit was developed containing: • Letter of introduction • Lesson plan • Pre/post Test • Video • Challenge • Agent badge • Posters • Educational materials (bookmark, games, door hanger, fact sheet) • Black light/ powder that simulates germs Estimated costs: $650.00 We met with local school personal at identified schools to provide an overview of the campaign and training on the curriculum. The curriculum was implemented in second and/or third classrooms and students not only learned about the three simple steps to reduce the spread of germs, they took the PDI challenge and became official PDI agents. 4. This phase was not in our initial plan. However, due to the 2009 H1N1 event we were able to enhance our communications on how to reduce the chances of getting and spreading germs. The success of our rapid response was due in part to the fact that we had the campaign and materials readily available. Working with every local public (260) and private (120) school, and daycare centers (977), we were able to quickly respond with prevention materials. Estimated costs : $6,000.00. Phase 1 through 3 funding was allocated as part of the Orange County Health Department annual budget for the Office of Communication/Office of Community Health. The source of this funding comes from the Florida Department of Health. Funding for Phase 4 promotion and implementation was provided through H1N1 federal funding allocated through the Florida Department of Health. ImplementationObjective 1: • Contact OCPS to get support to promote the PDI campaign in schools • Schools sent out an invitation for schools to participate in the premier of the PDI video. One school was selected by OCPS staff and arrangements were made regarding date, time, class size, etc. and the PDI campaign and video were rolled out. • Had additional meetings with OCPS to discuss piloting PDI to a select group of schools throughout Orange County. An announcement was sent out to all elementary school curriculum resource teachers letting them know of the opportunity of bringing the PDI campaign to their school. Many schools responded with their interest; however, the initial pilot was for only five schools. The first five schools responding were chosen. • Health Marketing & Promotion staff followed up to schedule a meeting with the school representative to outline the project. PDI educator toolkits were provided and training was given on how to implement the lesson plan. • The PDI campaign and curriculum were implemented in second and/or third grade classrooms at each of the five schools. Objective 2: • Developed the Challenge and included it in the PDI toolkit • Developed a mechanism that enabled web viewers to receive education on the PDI message, take the challenge, and print out a downloadable badge from the website • Provided additional badges to schools and school health nurses as requested. Objective 1. The tasks for this objective occurred over a one year period beginning in April 2008 and ending in March of 2009. It is important to note that this timeframe was just for the initial part of this ongoing project. Objective 2. These tasks were completed within a six month timeframe. It is important to note that this timeframe was just for the initial part of this ongoing project.
The goal of the PDI campaign is to educate and inform the public on ways they can reduce their risk of illnesses that are spread by germs. Objective 1. PDI campaign objective was to minimize illness by educating children on how they can greatly reduce their risk of illness by following 3 simple health habits – washing their hands, covering their cough and sneeze, and staying home when sick. Our expectation was that the children who viewed the PDI video and received education would increase their awareness and knowledge of the 3 simple steps. Objective 1. During the pilot, Health Marketing and Promotions staff collected data from pre/post tests administered to every child participating in the pilot. We attempted to collect additional data from pre/post tests to be administered by the teachers utilizing the toolkits; however, we had minimal pre/post tests provided to us for analysis. Objective 1. The pre-test/post-test data was collected during the Phase I of this campaign which was the pilot project. We collected test results over a two month period of time from five different summer camp locations throughout Orange County. Objective 1. After analyzing the data results, they were shared with the Office of Communication’s Program Manager. Results showed that a number of students had difficulty answering one of the pre-test/post-test questions and it was determined that the answer was not clearly stated in the PDI video and presentation. While the test was written at a 2.4 grade reading level, a number of students had difficulty reading the questions and had to have assistance. Objective 1. Of 182 children participating in the pilot, pre/post test revealed: 55.5% increase who knew a proper handwashing technique, 45% increase who knew the proper techniques for stopping the spread of illness from airborne droplets, 95.3% increase who recognized the 3 steps to stop the spread of germs. Knowledge gained regarding the prevention message will continue to have an impact on students, perhaps throughout their lives. Parents shared that their children are practicing PDI behaviors at home and are encouraging other family members too. Objective 2. Our second objective was to recruit PDI Agents to support and share the prevention message with others while taking the steps outlined in the video which are necessary to avoid getting and spreading germs. We expected to recruit hundreds of PDI Agents who would carry the message throughout the community to other students, parents, friends, family members, etc. Objective 2. During the pilot, 182 children took the challenge and received their ‘official’ PDI agent badge. In addition, we provided at least 100 badges to each of the 5 selected schools that utilized the toolkit. The badges were distributed as part of the lesson plan after students took the challenge. Through our school nurses, an additional 300 students received the badge and became a PDI agent. Potentially many more students watched the video, read the educational information, took the quiz and the challenge and became PDI agents through the PDI website where they could download the badge. Objective 2. The number of students receiving a PDI badge was tracked through the number of badges requested by the schools utilizing the PDI toolkit as well as the school nurses. This data was collected over a 6 month period during the distribution of the toolkit. Objective 2. Only Health Marketing and Promotions staff reviewed the data results. It became apparent that a standard mechanism for tracking the number of badges distributed needs to be put in place. No modifications were needed to the process of how children obtained the PDI agent badge as a result of the data findings. Objective 2. Results of agent badges distributed revealed: during the pilot phase, 182 children took the challenge and received their ‘official’ PDI agent badge; at least 100 badges were provided to each of the 5 selected schools; through school nurses, an additional 300 students received the badge    Outcomes provided above were from a limited period of time and we continue to recruit additional PDI agents.
The school system had communicated their need for this type of health education and we were able to meet their needs. In light of this, as well as the fact that each of the schools and day care centers have the PDI video and some educational materials, and can download the support the materials from the PDI website for free, we are confident that the commitment to continue offering the PDI campaign is there on behalf of these stakeholders. There will always be a need for educating children and students on the importance of practicing good germ prevention behaviors. We offer the PDI video, poster, and badges for free to schools, day care centers, and government offices throughout Orange County. We offer the same materials to government entities outside of Orange County and to non-profit organizations throughout the country for a minimal fee. This helps to offset some of our costs to provide the PDI campaign within Orange County. In addition, we were able to utilize H1N1 funding to expand our efforts and help sustain the campaign.
 
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