I love May.

Maybe it’s because May Day is my birthday. Or, perhaps it’s because Cinco de Mayo presents a wonderful excuse to indulge in my penchant for Mexican food. When you factor in Mother’s Day, National Nurses Day, Memorial Day—all reasons to celebrate / recognize / remember pretty remarkable people—it just seems like a month-long party.

Turns out there’s another May observance worth recognizing, one I didn’t even realize existed until recently: World Hand Hygiene Day, which takes place each year on May 5.

When we learned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with support of the CDC Foundation would be launching a campaign to improve hand hygiene adherence among healthcare providers in U.S. healthcare settings—and they needed a creative agency to help bring their messages to life—we jumped at the opportunity.

Did you know some healthcare providers perform hand hygiene less than half of the times they should? Or that patients can—and should—serve as their own advocates when it comes to ensuring their providers’ hands are clean?

It’s significant, given hand hygiene is an important step in staying healthy and preventing the spread of disease.

According to CDC, on any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection in the United States.

But you can only practice effective hand hygiene if you know what it is, which is one reason why this campaign is so important.

An 8-week project timeline is an ambitious one in our line of work, especially considering most of our projects unfold over a year or more. But in this case, we had two months to develop a series of brochures, fact sheets, infographics, and posters, as well as a campaign logo and a draft video.

It was a whirlwind.

Thankfully I work with this guy:bill2

My colleague Bill Marchant served as the creative genius behind the work, responsible for developing the concept and then translating it to the various pieces CDC and the CDC Foundation needed in support of their campaign.

He did an excellent job. We all love where it landed—and we all learned a lot about this area of public health along the way. We hope you do, too.

Happy World Hand Hygiene Day!

We want to know: who do YOUR Clean Hands Count for?