MJHS, one of the most expansive charitable not-for-profit health systems in the Greater New York area, is unveiling a new TV spot tomorrow that addresses the very real subject of pediatric hospice care in a tender, relatable and compelling way. The story behind the commercial is equally unique: a classic, soulful Beach Boys song is used explain pediatric hospice to millions of New Yorkers. Equally moving is the 11-year-old actress who shaved her head for the role and donated her hair to an organization that helps cancer patients.
“Parents never expect to outlive their children, so when a child is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, there is a natural desire to fight and seek aggressive treatments versus accept hospice care," says Diane Ashley, MJHS Chief Marketing Officer. "Our "In My Room" commercial explains that with MJHS, parents have another choice: They can seek curative care and receive the benefits of our compassionate and quality hospice care at home, in a hospital or soon, our hospice inpatient residence that will be the first in New York City to care for adults, as well as children.
Music selection for the TV spot was crucial. The sounds of the Beach Boys 1963 hit “In My Room,” which was re-recorded and sung by children, reflects the heart and soul of the MJHS Hospice pediatric program. Song lyrics include: "There's a world where I can go/ And tell my secrets to/ In my room...In this world I lock out/ All my worries and my fears/ In my room...Do my dreaming and my scheming lie awake and pray/ Do my crying and my sighing laugh at yesterday...But I won't be afraid/ In my room."
Ashley says, "Many families with children that have life-limiting illness want their child to be at home, where the child can feel safer, more comfortable and more like a kid, rather than a patient. At home, they are surrounded by his/her belongings, family, friends and love.
Dealing with terminal illness can be difficult for any family and is often more so when the patient is a child. MJHS is one of the few programs in New York State to receive a New York State Department of Health Pediatric Palliative Care Waiver. This allows eligible children and their families to receive palliative care services while pursuing curative treatment for a child's life-limiting medical condition. It also means that they may receive music and art therapy, pastoral care, as well as home visits by doctors, nurses and social workers who are board certified in hospice and palliative care.
The spot, “In My Room,” concepted by MJHS agency-of-record, Baltimore-based GKV, takes the viewer through the daily activities of a pediatric hospice patient in her own home. We see her writing her deepest thoughts in her diary, painting her nails, interacting with her brother, all in the safety and comfort of her bedroom. The spot also shows the MJHS nurse providing care to the terminally-ill girl, and talking with her mother. It is this comprehensive palliative and hospice support provided to the family, as well as the patient, that helps the entire family to enjoy their time together with a little less stress and a lot more support.
The 11-year-old actress featured as the terminally-ill child in the spot donated her hair to "Locks of Love."
“I have been creating advertising for more than 30 years and this is the most emotional television spot I have ever worked on,” stated Jeff Millman, Chief Creative Officer of GKV. “No one ever wants to think about these types of things, but it is critical to know that health care leaders like MJHS are providing a variety of solutions when families need them most.”
The MJHS “In My Room” television spot breaks on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.view more - Creative