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Other PBS Activities

These are programs by other PBS stations related to CRITICAL CONDITION and supported by a special series of minigrants from our funders, to encourage more coverage and community-based activities on health care issues.

"Hispanic Health Care in Crisis" — NJN Public Television, New Jersey

La Salud en Crisis/Hispanic Healthcare in Crisis, a special edition of NJN's weekly talk show series "Images/Imagenes," addresses an important need in the Latino community concerning access to quality health care. Broadcast on NJN Public Television and carried on NJN Public Radio during the week of October 18, the program will promote and complement the PBS broadcast of Critical Condition: How Good is Your Health Care? NJN will preview copies of the program available by September 15 and will alert program managers in areas with high Latino populations, such as San Antonio, Los Angeles and Miami.

The main goals of the program are to inform and educate the Latino public concerning: the state of the current health care system in the Latino community in New Jersey; what can be done to ensure that access to quality health care is available; the extent to which the Latino population is uninsured or underinsured; and some practical suggestions on self advocacy.

Copies of the SCETV video and discussion guide will be made available to health and community centers. To encourage the use of the video in Latino communities, a preview party and special screening of the program will be held. The event will feature not only the press, politicians and leaders of the Hispanic community but also the real VIPs in our outreach efforts-the people who will schedule the video, conduct the discussion and carry the issues of medical access and self-advocacy into the community.

Other projects components will include an Internet Web site, designed and supported by the NJN Web site. Presented in both English and Spanish, the site will include material covered on the program as well links to health institutions, advocacy groups and social service agencies. To reach those without Internet access, a pamphlet will be distributed to social service agencies, community groups and community health centers.

NJN will build on existing support from the Images/Imagines Advisory Committee, which has representatives from the varied segments of the Latino community. This project will also partner with several Hispanic organizations to distribute pamphlets and schedule screenings and discussions at community centers and health fairs. Those groups include Focus Community Health Center, an initiative of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ); La Salud Hispana, a magazine that covers Hispanic health issues at a national level; Hispanic Health Association at UMDNJ; and Forest Hills Family Health Associates of Newark, N.J.

"Critical Condition: A Local Perspective" — Thirteen/WNET

The number of New York residents without any health insurance has risen over the last decade to approximately 30 percent today. More than one in four New York state residents and more than two million New Jersey citizens receive their care through health maintenance organizations. These residents have health coverage but are often confronted with a complex array of regulations that leave them confused and uncertain about where to turn for assistance. The needs of the chronically ill, barriers to care and health coverage, and quality assurance are all crucial issues to tri-state area residents.

Thirteen/WNET's Educational Services and Outreach Department will produce a multifaceted outreach for Critical Condition: How Good is Your Health Care? in the fall of 2000 that will explore health care challenges currently facing tri-state area viewers and providers. Through this outreach, Thirteen will shed light on some of these issues and present information about resources that can help viewers access needed services.

Specific goals include building audiences for Critical Condition, exploring selected topics featured in the program from a local perspective, and providing tri-state area viewers with information about local resources that address issues such as access to quality care, insurance coverage, chronic care services and caregivers' support.

Thirteen will promote Critical Condition during Women's Health Day, a well-established programming event that will air four days prior to Critical Condition. Other components will include spotlighting resources relating to services for chronically ill, access to care and health insurance coverage, distributing tune-in fliers with the Women's Health Day promotional mailing and posting tune-in information on Thirteen's Web site.

Through these initiatives, Thirteen will direct viewers to the broadcast of Critical Condition and extend the usefulness of the national program by localizing selected issues and resource information. By linking Critical Condition and Women's Health Day, we will endow the national program with a trusted local brand in health programming, which increases its appeal to our tri-state area viewers. The outreach for Critical Condition will continue Thirteen/WNET's tradition of excellence in health promotion and education.

"Creating Health—Connecting Wisconsin Women" — Wisconsin Public Television

Motivated by viewer interests and national health debate, Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) is in the middle of a two-year initiative focusing on women's health. Entitled Creating Health, this multifaceted initiative is exploring topics of vital medical concern, promoting dialogue and information sharing, and increasing awareness of emerging women's health issues. The principal goal is to help women make informed decisions and encourage them to take a more active role in their own health process.

The Critical Condition documentary will greatly enhance and extend the impact and reach of this current effort. By blending the documentary and supportive materials into the local effort, WPT viewers will have an opportunity to hear about two areas not covered in the local effort—chronic care needs and access problems of the uninsured. Efforts will include a half-hour broadcast, Web links, organization of discussion groups and promotion of the Critical Condition broadcasts. The broadcast will be wrapped under the umbrella of Creating Health and incorporate a tag at the end of the broadcast for available print materials.

WPT will produce a special half-hour broadcast examining the state of women's health in Wisconsin. This broadcast will be produced under the Creating Health umbrella and will examine the health behaviors of Wisconsin women, health risks and how access to health care comes into play. This will be the lead-in for the three broadcasts examining women's health throughout various life stages.

The Creating Health project has an active partnership with the University of Wisconsin Extension—Cooperative Extension. Collaboration with the Cooperative Extension, and specifically the Family Living Project, is a key element of the project. WPT is also working under the guidance of an Advisory Group made up of community organizations, health care providers and health advocates. The group, which meets every other month and advises WPT on the content and activities, will also assist with the activities surrounding the Critical Condition documentary.

"Maine on Health: Critical Condition" — Maine Public Broadcasting Corp.

Maine Public Broadcasting Corp. (MPBC) will produce a one-hour, live television special on the state of health care in Maine as a companion to the national Critical Condition program. Focusing on access to and the quality of health care in Maine, the program elements will include several field segments, health care panelists and live, viewer call-in opportunities. A companion Web site will also be developed.

The local program will air as a lead-in to the national program. The goal is to support the MPBC mission of engaging the minds and enriching the lives of the people of Maine's communities by increasing public awareness, confidence and understanding of access to health care issues and resources in Maine.

The production of a local program is important and timely. An estimated 15 percent of all Maine residents lack health insurance, according to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, which also states that proportionately more residents lack health insurance in Maine than any other New England state. Approximately 96 percent of Maine businesses have fewer than 50 employees, and the number that provide health insurance coverage is on the decline. Problems of the underinsured and uninsured have been a top issue on the public policy agenda in Maine for more than a decade.

This local companion program will significantly benefit a recent partnership between Maine PBS and MaineHealth, a nonprofit organization of 65 health care providers throughout Maine. Maine OnHealth, a new six-part series launched in May, focuses on health care topics including diabetes, senior health and cardiovascular health. This opportunity to create a local special that specifically focuses on health care quality and is tied to a national program will significantly increase the promotional opportunities and audience impact for this important effort.

Additionally, MaineHealth just received an "Access to Community Health" grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Communities in Charge Initiative, which closely dovetails to the efforts of Critical Condition.

"KPBS Health Care Project" — KPBS, San Diego, CA

In San Diego County, 25 percent of the residents are uninsured, which is one of the highest percentages in the nation. Meanwhile, 18 percent, or nearly 140,000, of San Diego children under 18 are uninsured. Although these children can receive health coverage at little or no cost to their families, most of the families are unaware of this option.

According to the Coalition for Quality Health Care, hospitals and clinics face a financial crisis with the amount of charity or free care they must provide to this population. Indeed, access to quality health care is threatened for all San Diegans.

In light of these staggering statistics, KPBS will use Critical Condition as a springboard for a multi-pronged effort to increase community awareness of the health care problems in San Diego and spark discussion, action and community mobilization. A series of community outreach activities will be designed to stimulate discussion during the 2000 election campaign and use KPBS' Ready to Learn service to help parents in underserved neighborhoods learn about insurance options for children.

Specific goals are to inform the consuming public about different health care systems, access and quality care; educate the child care providers to become advocates for the health of the families they serve; and to use the KPBS Ready to Learn service as a vehicle to support to County of San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency's major campaign, "100% Enrollment Health Coverage for All Kids." KPBS will work with community partners to set up a hotline during the broadcast to provide additional information to interested viewers.

KPBS will partner with the Coalition for Quality Health Care and the League of Women Voters of San Diego County to convene a "Public Dialogue on Health" forum in which San Diego's candidates for Congress will speak about their solutions on the county's and nation's health care problems. KPBS will also work with the California Department of Health Services and San Diego Kids Health Assurance Network to distribute information on free and affordable medical and dental coverage for children.

"Healthy Kids" — UNC-TV, North Carolina

There are few "natural resources" as important to the future of the state of North Carolina and the nation as our children. The investments in the health of our children can have tremendous payoffs in terms of the health and vitality of these young people as they mature into adulthood and become the backbone of our society. Thus, our investment in their early development is critical.

While most of North Carolina's children do mature into healthy adults, there are substantial numbers of infants, young children and adolescents who appear to be left behind. Despite some alarming statistics, North Carolina has also begun to make great progress in some areas of child health.

This project will provide North Carolinians with a framework for understanding the challenges faced by the general public, health care providers, managed care plans, standard insurance plans and public policy makers in providing quality health care to North Carolina's children. Accomplishing these goals will include broadcasting Critical Condition, producing and airing three eight-minute segments and a 30-minute production entitled Healthy Kids. Healthy Kids provides an opportunity for agencies to work together to strengthen partnerships and share scarce resources, providing information to residents on ways to access resources and information, and empower them to take more responsibility for their own health care needs. An additional component of the project will be a health fair specifically designed to target the rapidly growing Latino community, providing them information in Spanish about the initiative and other available resources.

UNC-TV has established relationships with several organizations that will contribute to the success of this initiative, including the North Carolina Prevention Partners, the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Latin American Resource Center and El Pueblo, and the North Carolina Partnership for Children.

"Critical Condition Outeach Project" — WPSX-TV Penn State Public Broadcasting, Pennsylvania

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania has the nation's largest rural population of more than 3.7 million residents. Many rural Pennsylvania communities experience poverty, high rates of unemployment, geographic isolation and limited access to health care services. Leading indicators including mortality and morbidity suggest that rural residents are not as healthy as their urban counterparts. Although Pennsylvania has nine medical schools, two thirds of the doctors in the state practice in just three urban counties.

The Critical Condition outreach project will allow WPSX-TV to reach beyond the conventional viewing audience by traveling to the underserved communities where quality health care information is not always readily available. The project will stimulate informed discussion on our rural health care systems and the associated access issues.

Penn State Public Broadcasting (WPSX-TV and PRSU-FM) is an outreach service of Pennsylvania State University, reaching more than 1.3 million people in 29 counties in Central Pennsylvania and Southern New York. WPSX-TV's Critical Condition project will travel to communities representing six to eight underserved areas, bringing health care providers and the public together to discuss important rural health issues. Information dissemination will take place in a town meeting setting with multimedia educational resources.

Other components of the project will include an awareness building ad campaign, a Web site, community discussion groups and a Take Note call-in program.

This project provides an excellent opportunity for WPSX-TV to work with the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health and Penn State Cooperative Extension to fulfill their missions of improving health of rural communities and their residents. WPSX-TV will also work with health care providers and facilities in four other communities as well.

"Take Charge: Health Care in the 21st Century" — WGCU-TV

WGCU-TV and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Health Professions, Florida Gulf Coast University, will produce a three-part, thirty minute series of local programs to be distributed on-air and videotape in conjunction with Critical Condition: How Good is Your Health Care?

This local series will provide Southwest Florida viewers with the information necessary to identify the full range of health care options available to them, evaluate and select the best health care options for their individual needs, and select the best payment system and plan to gain access to quality health care. These programs will target the general public, with a special focus on Southwest Florida's large population of older adults, diverse minorities and parents of young children.

WGCU will also distribute the SCETV discussion guides and videos through the patient education programs of local chapters of health care advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Foundation, local medical societies, county health departments and other related organizations. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies will use these materials and offer sessions to the public through the Florida Gulf Coast University Renaissance Academy, which provides learning experiences, discussions and debates on topics for those 50 and older. A Web site will also be created to provide information regarding health care issues and options, as well as links to other available resources.

Health Care Forum - Western Illinois WMEC, WQEC, WSEC

West Central Illinois Educational Telecommunications Corporation (CONVOCOM) is the licensee for public television stations WMEC, WSEC and WQEC. CONVOCOM will conduct and produce a forum addressing critical health topics in five counties identified as medically underserved in Western Illinois.

Representatives from the McDonough County District Hospital, the Health Center from Western Illinois University, the Institute for Rural Affairs, the McDonough County Health Department, the McDonough County Physician's Association, local politicians, and invited citizens will come together to discuss the four major topics presented by CRITICAL CONDITION with Hedrick Smith.

The forum will have dual goals of providing a forum for citizens to voice their concerns and for elected officials to learn more about the health care situations facing their constituencies. Forum sponsors hope that an end result will be increased attention to meeting the health care needs of people in this rural, medically underserved part of Illinois.

KSYS - Southern Oregon Public Television

KSYS will produce and broadcast a three-part program designed as a companion piece to CRITICAL CONDITION. This local production, presented as a combination of field production and in-studio panel discussions, will be moderated by health care expert Dr. Robin Miller. Oregon State Governor John Kitzhaber, an emergency room physician, has tentatively agreed to appear in this local broadcast.

KSYS will present three program components focusing on (1) Medicare, (2) the Oregon Health Plan often touted as a blueprint for universal access and affordable care, and (3) the dilemma of people who don't qualify or can't access health coverage in Oregon.

This project includes an evaluation component that will measure viewer satisfaction through a focus group, a questionnaire in Spanish distributed through a public health clinic, and a survey included in the viewer guide.

"Borderline Health" — Mountain Lake PBS, Northeastern New York

Mountain Lake PBS in Northeastern New York will examine patient problems and needs and suggest ways patients can access quality health care by producing a local television special on the state of health care in the local community. This live, call-in program will be devoted to the unique health care environment on the Canadian boarder and will be called "Borderline Health."

Building on a firm foundation of broadcast activities which feature critical health care issues, Mountain Lake PBS will (1) broadcast CRITICAL CONDITION and FRONTLINE with "Reaction Line" a viewer response answering machine, and (2) produce and broadcast a live, call-in program devoted to examining and comparing health care options in the U. S. and Canada. The program will include roll-ins with interviews with patients, local hospitals, insurance providers, politicians and drug companies. Success will be measured by the number of calls received on "Reaction Line" and by viewer response during the live broadcast. The station plans to publicize the national and local broadcasts in a variety of ways.

"Lakeland Health Report" — Lakeland Public Television, Minnesota

In response to CRITICAL CONDITION, Lakeland Public Television will produce and broadcast a 5-part series entitled, LAKELAND HEALTH REPORT, to be broadcast as part of the week night news program, LAKELAND NEWS.

Project goals include (1) surveying northern Minnesota residents about their problems and needs and providing information on how they can access quality care, (2) providing an update on the state of health care in the northern and central areas of Minnesota, and (3) surveying residents in northern Minnesota on what health issues they need to know more about.

This Lakeland Health Report series will be video taped for future use in resource libraries and will also be featured on the Lakeland Public Television web site. In addition, the station will host several "survey" luncheons/breakfasts designed to offer citizens a place to discuss critical health care issues.

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