Prevention Prostate Cancer Women's Health

Hospital Asks Couples To Combine Date Night with Cancer Screenings

Earlier this week I learned on Twitter (thanks @MissDanaSmith) about a marketing program promoting cancer screenings to couples. Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana has adopted a leading advocacy and awareness campaign called “Hand in Hand” to educate couples about the risks of gender-specific cancers and to motivate them to take action to protect themselves and the ones they love from the threat of cancer. Here’s the interesting part: This community health campaign encourages couples to make cancer screenings part of date night. Imagine that. Couples can come together, hand in hand, for “couples-only screenings” for breast cancer (mammogram), prostate cancer (PSA) and other cancer screenings. Meanwhile, the hospital tries to bring a little romance to the occasion by supplying wine, cheese, chocolate and just the right music to get the patient in the mood for that all important screening.

The campaign was developed by Spirit Health Group, and is available free of charge to hospitals across the country. This includes all educational and promotional materials. If you’re not familiar with Spirit Health Group or the Spirit of Women Health Network, it is a national network of hospitals dedicated to advancing the cause and business of women’s health. Spirit Health Group seeks to improve the lives of women and families as well as hospital financial outcomes. (

Below is a link that will take you to a local TV news story about Memorial Hospital’s Hand In Hand screening event. Below that I’ve posted some of the materials from the campaign including a print ad and a program fact sheet.


Ultimately, the Hand In Hand campaign is designed to increase cancer screenings and decrease cancer deaths by raising awareness and educating consumers, specifically couples, on the risks of gender-specific cancers and the benefits of screening and early detection. I am in no way affiliated with Spirit Health Group, but I am a fan of their good work. I’m also a big fan of date night (Thursday evening in my family). This program is something novel. When it comes to encouraging people to take action and participate in cancer screenings, I welcome novel approaches. We’re not going to improve outcomes if we just keep doing the same old thing.

Hand In Hand Print Ad Template
Program Fact Sheet

The Hand In Hand promotion comes complete with a comprehensive tool kit for any hospital that adopts the program. The tool kit includes a program fact sheet, a print ad template, press release template, postcard template, eblast template and more. Below is a screen shot I took of the creative tool kit page of their website.

To visit the toolkit online and to download, go to

4 comments on “Hospital Asks Couples To Combine Date Night with Cancer Screenings

  1. Thanks!!!!!!!

  2. Dan, thanks for sharing this. A very interesting concept. Do you have any idea if this program has been successful for Memorial? It may be too early for any sort of campaign wrap up, but if you do have any insights, please share. I also wonder if such a program will be more successful in a small, rural community vs. a larger, urban one. Do you know if Spirit Health Group is targeting one type of hospital over another?

    • dandunlop

      Thanks for commenting. Regarding the effectiveness of the program at Memorial, I recommend speaking with Dana Smith of Spirit Health Group. You’ll find that she’s very helpful. Here’s her email address: Dana Smith – She’ll also be able to speak to your question about smaller, rural hospitals vs. larger, urban hospitals. Good luck!

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