At this year’s Super Bowl, Hologic leveraged Mary J. Blige’s halftime performance to launch its “Her Health is Her Wealth” campaign. The relationship is now set to continue with the “Good Morning Gorgeous” sweepstakes, designed to encourage women to prioritize routine health screenings.

Sweepstakes entrants can win tickets to one of 20 concerts on Blige’s current tour, which is sponsored by Hologic. A PSA featuring the singer will be aired during the concerts.

VP of corporate communications Jane Mazur said that Blige’s commitment to encouraging regular screenings is grounded in her own experience: A late screening, Mazur said, ultimately resulted in the shortening of the life of Blige’s aunt.

“Many women just don’t talk about their health. It’s almost a taboo topic,” Mazur explained. “So that’s where Mary, who started taking her health more seriously as she entered her 40s, comes in. And as a busy woman — an entrepreneur, an actor, a singer — if she is going to stop to make time for herself, she wanted to make sure that her fans did too.”

Mary J. Blige.
Mary J. Blige.

According to Hologic research, half of women aged 16 to 54 have not had a health screening in the last year.

Mazur described Blige as a critical partner in the effort. “When we started to work with her, her first question was, ‘How are you going to actually get to these women?’ How are they going to get care?’” she recalled. “Mary wasn’t going to put her name on something she didn’t believe in.”

While the pandemic has unquestionably impacted screening rates, Mazur believes there are numerous other underlying causes of the screening deficit.

“Women tell themselves, ‘I don’t feel unhealthy. I don’t have access to the care that I need. I am working. I don’t have time. I don’t have childcare,’” she said.

Persuading women to proactively prioritize preventative screenings is a central goal of Blige’s work with Hologic and the company’s Project Health Equality initiative.

Mazur described the program as a “three-legged stool” based around data collection and research, access to care and awareness. Blige’s PSA and the sweepstakes are clearly central to that third pillar.

“The campaign communicates the need to go and see your doctor, the types of things women need to be screened for and the questions they should be asking,” Mazur added.

Project Health Equality attempts to forge health-centric partnerships with local organizations. It has prompted the opening of healthcare sites in Chicago, Washington, DC, and other cities. Another arm of the program, based in Florida, provides patient navigators to help patients overcome language barriers, transportation issues and appointment scheduling.

As for the Blige PSA, it focuses on the mission of awareness.

“Mary brings a belief that all women should understand their options and, specifically, that preventative screening saves lives,” Mazur said. “The importance of going for your annual checkups to get your mammogram and to be tested for cervical cancer and then to ask questions of your care provider — these are the things that Mary wants the world to understand.”