Sandbox Wins Humanitarian Award from Healthcare Marketer’s Exchange

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Marketing agency’s work with Children’s Heart Foundation won the hearts of judges

Sandbox, an independent, full-service marketing agency, was honored with a Humanitarian Award for its pro-bono work for The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) to fight Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs), the leading cause of infant death due to birth defects in America today. The awards, which recognize both a company and an individual whose contributions and dedication have made a positive impact on the welfare of humankind, are sponsored by Healthcare Marketer’s Exchange, a monthly print and online publication designed to create a sense of community through personal, human-interest editorial. Winners were announced in the November issue and will be honored in March at an awards ceremony in New York City.

According to Nancy Leonard, publisher of The Exchange, “This honor was bestowed on Sandbox because of their dedication, commitment, and tireless efforts to generate awareness of CHDs and of the importance and cost effectiveness of at-birth testing for the condition in newborns.”

Joe Kuchta, Chief Client Officer of Sandbox, said, “We’re honored to receive this award in recognition of our work with CHF and its impact both on patients and physicians.” Geoff Melick, Chief Innovation Officer, agreed, adding, “The good thing is that it doesn’t have to be too late to save a life if you look for CHF early. When you learn more about early-on screening for heart defects, you begin to understand the difference days and even hours can make — and the lifetime health consequences that detection, or failure to detect, has on the babies and their families.”

CHDs, which affect approximately one in 100, or 40,000 newborns each year, are potentially fatal. While there is no known prevention or cure for these defects, advancements in research and treatment have made it possible to correct and/or treat the conditions … if detected early. However, because CHDs are often overlooked by physicians and/or hospitals, many undetected cases leave the hospital without even knowing their child has a CHD – until it’s too late.

Sandbox tapped The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) as a natural target for its volunteer efforts. This was in large part because several of Sandbox’s senior executives went through the pain of living with, or losing, a child with a CHD. The agency's objectives: to promote awareness and education of CHD to parents who suffered from a similar loss, and to physicians, stressing the importance and cost effectiveness of CHD testing at birth. CHF is the leading organization solely committed to advancing the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of CHDs, helping fund millions of dollars of research each year.

Sandbox and CHF have worked together now for more than a decade, with Sandbox helping CHF raise money and promote an understanding of CHDs and their after-effects. Sandbox’s staff of interactive, creative, production and project management people have spent untold hours of their time, producing a plethora of interactive and educational materials, developing and maintaining the CHF web presence, creating print and interactive materials, promoting events and participating in corporate sponsorships.

This year, Sandbox and CHF expanded the program, targeting FPs/GPs, internists, Ob/Gyns and pediatricians through a series of banner ads, emails and videos to encourage physicians to visit CHF’s website to learn more about CHDs and the need for early screening. Sandbox also worked with two of the nation’s leading physician specialists to explain the importance of pulse oximetry, a quick and inexpensive screening device that can detect a CHD and save the lives of infants born with it.

According to Kuchta, “We also partner with almost a dozen other charitable organizations. Some are larger groups like Operation Care Package, which supports U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the Celiac Disease Center and University of Chicago. But we also provide support to smaller mostly local organizations, most local, which provide a valuable service to the community but struggle to find larger corporate donors.. This gives our employees a range of opportunities they can participate in. Our giving-back programs are among the things people find so rewarding about working at our agency.”

About Sandbox
Launched in 2016, Sandbox is an independent, full-service agency formed by four complementary entrepreneurial agencies united by a "play well together" ethos of collaboration. Headquartered in Chicago, Sandbox operates from seven locations across the U.S. and Canada. Its roster of clients includes some of the most respected names in human and animal healthcare, agriculture, biotechnology, financial services, travel, and consumer products. To learn more, visit

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Martha Hall

Cynthia Amorese
Julie A. Laitin Public Relations
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