Rethink Varicose Veins Public Awareness Campaign Is Launched
November 16, 2011—The Society for Vascular Surgery, American Venous Forum, and American College of Phlebology announced the launch of Rethink Varicose Veins, a public awareness campaign sponsored by Covidien (Mansfield, MA). The societies made the announcement at the VEITHsymposium in New York City.
The campaign seeks to elevate public awareness of varicose veins as a health concern worthy of medical diagnosis and treatment. It is designed to educate the public and engage health care professionals. The campaign will provide materials and resources concerning varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) to encourage awareness and action. The societies noted that more than 30 million Americans have venous disease, but only 1.9 million seek treatment annually.
Julianne Stoughton, MD, spokesperson for Rethink Varicose Veins, commented, “The development of varicose veins is often the first sign of venous insufficiency, and this can progress to more serious consequences of CVI including swelling, skin changes, and ulceration. It’s clear that this connection is largely misunderstood. As leading medical societies with a deep understanding of this condition, we believe the time is right for an educational campaign to help elevate awareness among patients and encourage dialogue with a vein specialist.”
The campaign’s Web site, www.rethinkvaricoseveins.com, provides information and tools for patients and physicians. On the site, health care professionals can join the campaign’s physician locator and download an electronic toolkit. The toolkit can be used to raise awareness about the campaign and includes an e-flyer, banner ads and content for physician Web sites, and Facebook and Twitter pages. Individuals can also visit the site to learn more about varicose veins and CVI, self-assess risk with an online tool, and find vein specialists who are trained in diagnosis and treatment. Throughout 2012, the Rethink Varicose Veins campaign will engage the public with a series of educational activities and materials through a national media campaign.