Does Anyone Care that March Is ________ Month?

Years ago, I began my career as a hospital public relations intern. My responsibilities included promoting National Hospital Week which occurs each year in May. I really tried to make the general public aware of this momentous occasion, but I eventually realized that no one outside of the hospital really cared. I was disappointed that my well-written news releases failed to convert that week into a newsworthy event.

Over time I discovered that almost every hospital professional (except for PR interns) had a day or week designated in their honor. For example, National Doctors Day is celebrated on March 30.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, the birth date of Florence Nightingale. During that week there is a National Student Nurses Day and also the globally-celebrated International Nurses Day. To further complicate things, each subspecialty within nursing has a special day or week—emergency nurses, gastrointestinal nurses, oncology nurses, pediatric nurses, cardiovascular nurses, neonatal nurses, perianesthesia nurses, nurse anesthetists, operating room nurses, IV (infusion) nurses, neuroscience nurses, school nurses, ad infinitum.

Oh, and don’t forget about the national days and weeks recognizing pharmacists, physical therapists, dietitians, occupational therapists, food service workers, respiratory therapists, social workers, home health providers and medical transcriptionists.

Red Cross Month begins today

March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since then, every president has designated March as Red Cross Month. This is a time when we hope to remind everyone about the work of the American Red Cross. We also want people to understand how we depend on public support to help people in need.

So, as you celebrate Red Cross Month, please don’t be distracted by March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, Super Tuesday, Earth Day, Daylight Savings Time and the beginning of Spring (the vernal equinox). Furthermore, please don’t be sidetracked by those hapless PR interns who have been assigned the task of writing news releases to educate you that March is also:

  1. Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month
  2. National Caffeine Awareness Month
  3. National Collision Awareness Month
  4. National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
  5. National Craft Month
  6. Deaf History Month
  7. Dolphin Awareness Month (Go Chiefs!)
  8. National Endometriosis Awareness Month
  9. National Ethics Awareness Month
  10. National Eye Donor Month
  11. National Feminine Empowerment Month (Wonder if I could raise enough money to launch a Masculine Empowerment Month.)
  12. Foot Health Month
  13. Frozen Food Month
  14. National Furniture Refinishing Month
  15. Gardening Books Month
  16. Honor Society Awareness Month
  17. Humane Education Awareness Month
  18. National Humorists Are Artists Month (Now that’s funny!)
  19. Improve Management Skills Month
  20. Irish American Heritage Month
  21. International Listening Awareness Month (Isn’t it ironic that it’s the same month as Deaf History Month?)
  22. National Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
  23. National Middle Level Education Month
  24. Music in Our Schools Month
  25. National Noodle Month
  26. National Nutrition Month
  27. National Optimism Month (I’m somewhat pessimistic that this will catch on.)
  28. National Peanut Month (Please don’t confuse this with National Peanut Butter Lovers Month which comes around in November.)
  29. Philatelic Society Month
  30. Play the Recorder Month
  31. Poison Prevention Awareness Month
  32. Preschool Education Month
  33. Rosacea Awareness Month
  34. Save Your Vision Month
  35. Science Month
  36. Social Work Month
  37. Trisomy Awareness Month (Without a month set aside in its honor, I would have never known this condition existed!)
  38. National Umbrella Month
  39. Women’s History Month (Sorry guys, but there’s no Men’s History Month)
  40. Workplace Eye Wellness Month
  41. Youth Art Month

Did I miss anyone? If not, let the celebrations commence!

9 Responses to Does Anyone Care that March Is ________ Month?

  1. Duane,
    I’m so glad we could celebrate National Caffeine Awareness Month this morning! As always, I throughly enjoyed the chance to visit with you!

    I also enjoyed this blog post – it puts presidential proclamations and awareness months into perspective. Are they really newsworthy? Perhaps some are noteworthy & serve a purpose. For example, breast cancer awareness month really does create a huge spike in the number of women that go in for mammograms. I would argue that does matter & is valuable. But, I’m not really sure how anyone benefits from National Noodle Month or National Recorder Month.

    For what it’s worth, I checked into how many presidential proclamations are issued to declare awarness months. President Obama alone is responsible for over 400 proclamations. He even has to issue a proclamation each year to declare Thanksgiving Day. The good news is that we might stand a good chance in having our own awareness day. They seem to be pretty easy to come by. 🙂


    • Duane Hallock says:

      Thanks, Meggan, for meeting me at Starbucks to launch National Caffeine Awareness Month! Great meeting of the minds!

      Like you, I question the value of presidential proclamations. I had no idea Pres. Obama has made 400 of them. Kind of dilutes the currency, doesn’t it? Neither did I know that the president has to declare Thanksgiving each year. I learned new things from your comment. Thanks for weighing in.

  2. And why don’t we properly celebrate Adopt a Guinea Pig month? Let’s give credit where credit is due. Entertaining and well developed post, Duane!

    Furthermore, I agree. PR interns and volunteers should receive recognition through a national holiday. We do the important work, navigating social media sites like Twitter and Facebook all day (solely for professional purposes, of course).

    • Duane Hallock says:

      Thanks for your comment, Valerie. Glad you’re part of the Red Cross’s PR and communications team helping us promote the fact that we’re now into Red Cross Month!

  3. Tina says:

    Another good one, Duane. I subscribed to your Dartboard and enjoy your writings!

  4. Oh, you forgot my favorite medical professional’s celebratory week: National Radiologic Technologist Week in November.

    But on a serious note, I’m working with a health organization and some of these dates will come in handy for the blogging schedule, so thank you for that.

    • Duane Hallock says:

      Natasha, thanks for reminding me that National Radiologic Technologists Week comes around in November. I completely forgot about it last year (and all previous years). This year, however, I’ll add it to my list of things to give thanks for.

  5. jyelick says:

    By having so many different causes represented by any particular month, it actually just makes everything seem trivial.

    The real debate is which of the things you listed is the most trite. I would go with Play the Recorder month, but it reminds of the movie “Clifford” therefore at least moving it up in top 20.

    Anyway it is good press for these causes. I have been sharing these with friends.

    • Duane Hallock says:

      Thanks, Joseph, for your comment. Glad to see you are blogging. A new post just today. Keep it up.

      As you note, having so many different causes in a month adds to the clutter and even dilutes the currency. I don’t think it’s wise to invest too many resources into promoting these events. Just my opinion, though.

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