As Telemundo Utah’s Advertising Sales Manager, Steve Downing had always been proud of his organization’s support of the American Heart Association (AHA). Their ongoing media sponsorship of AHA programs has brought heart-healthy messages to the Spanish-speaking community throughout the state.
Last year’s coverage included public service announcements, event coverage, social media and email promotions. Not only did they provide talent to emcee the 2016 Heart and Stroke Walk, they invited their viewers to join their company team in support of the campaign and extended an invitation to join the festivities on event day. To make sure their audience was accommodated during the event, a translator was provided to share the program in Spanish.
In the fall of 2016, Steve’s commitment to the AHA became more personal. His father Roberto had just been given the good news that he had turned the corner in his battle against leukemia. While traveling in Italy, he collapsed. He had a stroke from which he did not recover and died shortly after. Roberto had a history of high blood pressure, but was under a doctor’s care and took medication for his condition. The family was blindsided and devastated. Steve is pictured right with his parents Roberto and Maria Teresa.
His father’s passing prompted Steve, a 33-year-old father of three young children, to get his numbers checked. Fortunately, he does not share his father’s condition, but he is even more committed to funding research in the battle against heart disease and stroke, and sharing AHA preventative messaging with the Hispanic community.
In October, Telemundo’s Tu Salud health fair drew over 3,000 attendees. Participating hospitals provided free health screenings, flu shots, dental care and heart health information. The AHA also had a presence during the health fair offering heart health information in Spanish. But, the event was not meant to provide services just for that day. “We wanted the event to offer an opportunity to connect with the community in an ongoing dialogue about preventative healthcare,” Steve says.
Steve has recently joined the AHA’s planning committee of the 2018 Go Red Por Tu Corazón Luncheon. Go Red Por Tu Corazón is the AHA’s program that raises awareness about women’s heart disease in the Hispanic community. He has also recommitted Telemundo Utah’s support of the 2017 Heart and Stroke Walk.
“The American Heart Association is already doing so much to bring heart-health awareness to the Hispanic community. I am grateful and honored to be able to serve as an agent to take that message further.”