Pharmacy Focus: Limited Series - Celebrity Endorsements in Public Health

Season 2, Episode 13,   Mar 20, 01:00 PM

This episode highlights using celebrities and local advocates to promote public health initiatives and raise awareness of health topics. Experts shared examples of how Oprah Winfrey and the Ice Bucket Challenge raised awareness of issues like racial health disparities and ALS, respectively. Ensuring authentic connections between celebrities and health issues as well as coordination among stakeholders were highlighted as important factors for effective celebrity endorsements. The role of pharmacists in public health advocacy and screening efforts was also discussed.

Experts Include:
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP, the Public Health Pharmacist; Alfred L’Altrelli, PharmD, CFMC, MBA, the senior director of pharmacy at UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside; Andrew Mcnab, MD, professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia; Troy Trygstad, PharmD, PhD, MBA, the executive director of CPESN USA; and Sean Young, PhD, executive director of the University of California Institute for Prediction Technology

Key Takeaways
1. Celebrities can raise awareness of important public health issues through documentaries, music videos, and viral campaigns.
2. Leveraging local trusted figures like community leaders and healthcare providers may be more effective than pop culture celebrities for spreading health messages.  
3. Involving patients and those with lived experiences can provide an authentic and relatable voice to promote issues.
4. Ensuring coordination between advocates, health care professionals, and stakeholders helps campaigns feel collaborative.
5. Authenticity and personal connection to the health issue are important for effective celebrity endorsements.
6. Pharmacists are well-positioned community members who could further support public health screening and education efforts.

1. Isaac Sewornu Coffie, Ernest Yaw Tweneboah-Koduah, Elikem Chosniel Ocloo, Victoria Mann, The moderating influence of celebrity endorsement on intention to engage in infection prevention behaviours, Health Promotion International, Volume 38, Issue 6, December 2023, daad150,
2. Macnab AJ, Mukisa R. Celebrity endorsed music videos: innovation to foster youth health promotion. Health Promot Int. 2019;34(4):716-725. doi:10.1093/heapro/day042