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Health Care Quality - Public Relations Case Studies

Red Ball  Telling the Quality Story IPRO
Red Ball  Addressing Health Disparities IPRO
Red Ball  Educating Minority Seniors on Medicare Rights IPRO

Telling the Quality Story

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As senior public relations counsel to IPRO – New York’s Medicare quality improvement organization (QIO) – for 10 years, Dennis Tartaglia developed dozens of media campaigns around the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ national quality improvement work and other programs.  Tartaglia’s efforts with IPRO helped the organization build a national profile, and supported its health care quality evaluation and reporting initiatives in New York.

These earned media programs, geared toward consumers, providers and practitioners, included the release of New York results from Medicare’s national Nursing Home, Home Health, and Hospital Quality Initiatives; reports on quality of care in a range of clinical areas, from heart attack treatment to flu immunization; bylined articles and op-eds by IPRO executives, which were placed in a range of trade and consumer publications; and the release of the annual New York State HMO Report Card.  Tartaglia designed the initial strategy for launching the HMO report, published by IPRO and the New York Business Group on Health, and released nine consecutive editions to consistent state-wide media coverage. These campaigns received PRSA’s Big Apple and other awards.

Testimonial from IPRO

Addressing Health Disparities

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Over the 10 years he worked with IPRO, New York’s Medicare quality improvement organization (QIO), Dennis Tartaglia designed a number of  communications programs to address health disparities in the state. His media relations campaign on pneumococcal immunization disparities resulted in four New York Times articles and an op-ed, as well as media coverage throughout New York State.  This coverage helped spur the formation of an IPRO-led provider task force on immunization disparities.

Dennis Tartaglia and colleagues worked with IPRO to target inner-city African-American  seniors through media campaigns on lipid testing disparities among beneficiaries with diabetes, and similar campaigns, targeting female beneficiaries, on mammography disparities. Tactics included radio PSAs and ads; radio and television talk and public affairs show appearances; op-eds in senior and African-American newspapers such as the Amsterdam News; editorial board meetings; and media relations campaigns pegged to annual data releases. The first diabetes disparities campaign was described in the August 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Community Health, which reported a decrease in disparities and an increase in lipid testing among minority seniors with diabetes.

Educating Minority Seniors on Medicare Rights

Blue Line
Few New York Medicare beneficiaries file complaints about the quality of health care they receive under the federal health insurance program.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services looked to IPRO to conduct a special pilot study to determine if a brief, intensive public awareness campaign about Medicare rights could increase the number of calls to a complaint line.  Dennis Tartaglia worked with IPRO to design a multilingual, multifaceted social marketing campaign to reach the state’s seniors. New York’s large Latino population was a special focus.

The “Su Salud.  Su Voz.”  (“Your Health. Your Voice.”) partnership with AARP New York, the Institute for Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly, El Diario La Prensa and Univision Radio enabled IPRO to engage Latino elders and encourage them to begin using a special bilingual complaints line. The results were significant media coverage, 160,000 Web hits and a 35% increase in complaint calls – all in just three months! This campaign won a Mature Media Award.



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