County Launches Website Focused on Preventable Disease

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Orange County’s Health Care Agency is launching a wellness campaign focused on changing three behaviors linked to preventable diseases: poor nutrition, physical inactivity and smoking.

Six of 10 deaths in the county are linked to chronic diseases that are preventable through regular exercise, healthy eating and a smoke-free lifestyle.

The campaign, which will run until Labor Day, includes messaging at public events, bus ads and a website, myHealthOC.org, which county spokeswoman Deanne Thompson called the “centerpiece” of the program.

But for the time being the website will only be in English, despite the county’s high number of Spanish and Vietnamese speakers.

Thompson said later phases of the campaign could “potentially” involve translating the website and advertising in ethnic media.

“We’ve started with ‘eat, play, breathe,’ and we’re starting with English. But the plan is to roll it out in different languages,” Thompson said. “It’s a relatively new initiative for us. We’re doing what we can to make this first phase successful.”

The portal links viewers to existing content on the web, including articles about healthy eating and exercise, Youtube videos, interactive websites and tip sheets, many produced by other government agencies or nonprofit groups. It also includes links to county health resources, bike maps and a directory of parks and trails.

Thompson says the campaign is in the “absolute throes” of its first phase, which is geared toward the broader public. Currently, she said there are no plans to target any specific communities or public health issues.

WebMuscle, the Costa Mesa-based company that developed the site, was paid $11,500 to create and help market the site, which will be maintained and managed by Health Care Agency staff.

According to Thompson, the total advertising budget is $89,000, taken from State realignment funds, although there is “no firm budget or timeline for additional expenditures at this time.”

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