ACU alumnus launches health education campaign

For immediate release
August 5, 1999

The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK), and Rep. David E. Bonior (D-MI) joined forces with Abilene Christian University graduate and president of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, K. Michael Parker, Ph.D., to launch AACC's new HI 5 health education campaign. The announcement was made at a Capitol Hill news conference.

HI 5, or Health Indicators 5, is a health care awareness campaign that empowers Americans to monitor, manage and improve their own health by providing them with information and practical advice about 5 significant consumer health issues &endash;diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, thyroid disease and anemia &endash; and the tests used to prevent, diagnose and treat them &endash; glucose, cholesterol, prostate specific antigen (PSA), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and hemoglobin.

HI 5 encourages patients to learn more about these diseases, talk to their doctors about their blood test results during an annual physical, start a personal health file at home and compare test results from visit-to-visit.

"I'm going to spend the coming months spreading the HI 5 message in my district, the state and across our nations," Speaker Hastert said. "At every opportunity, I'll be touting the benefits of health education and offering up the HI 5 information as a great place to start," he said.

"With the help of Speaker Hastert, Rep. Watts and Rep. Bonior we will be able to reach millions of Americans with straight talk about becoming a real partner in our health maintenance process," said AACC president Parker. "This first step is to capture the public's attention, and we certainly thank these distinguished members of Congress for a job well done."

In addition to launching the HI 5 campaign, Speaker Hastert has recorded public service announcements that will begin airing in a few weeks in the top 200 U.S. radio markets. One-minute TV PSAs featuring the Speaker also will be distributed to 750 television stations via satellite beginning Aug. 10.

AACC has worked collaboratively with clinicians, lab professionals, patient advocacy groups and other health organizations to develop comprehensive materials for distribution to consumer, either directly, or through their physicians. On the AACC web site,, a section has been devoted to the HI 5 campaign, which offers backgrounder, fact sheet and answers to "frequently asked questions" about the HI 5 diseases and blood tests, as well as links to other information sources. The Association also is undertaking a media campaign to increase awareness about laboratory testing and its role in improving and maintaining health. HI 5 information brochures may be obtained by calling AACC at (800) 892-1400 (press option "1" on the voice menu).

AACC is an international nonprofit scientific/medical society of clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists and other individuals involved with clinical chemistry and other clinical laboratory science-related disciplines. Founded in 1948, the society has 11,000 members; a staff of 50 manages the Association's Washington, DC office.

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