Sentinel for Health Awards

The Sentinel for Health Awards, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recognize exemplary achievements of television storylines that inform and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives.

Nine categories of storylines are recognized: Daytime Drama, Primetime Drama (major storyline), Primetime Drama (minor storyline), Primetime Comedy, Spanish-Language Telenovela, Reality Show, Children's Programming, Global Health Topic and Climate Change.

Each entry is screened by Hollywood, Health & Society staff for eligibility. Qualifying entries are evaluated in two rounds of judging. In the first round of judging, each storyline is reviewed for accuracy by a panel of topic experts who take the following into consideration:

• How the health problem can be prevented
• How a character’s choices affect his/her health or safety
• What causes the health problem and how it impacts the lives and relationships of characters
• Common myths about the health issue
• Which characters are at greatest risk for the health problem
• Professional standards and practices observed by health care providers

Finalists from the first round of judging are reviewed by a panel of invited experts from public health, academic, advocacy and entertainment organizations. The entries are evaluated on the following criteria:

• Potential benefit to the viewing audience
• Entertainment value

Thursday, September 19, 2013

call me crazy thumbnailThe Lifetime movie Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (co-starring Jennifer Hudson, pictured) took first-place honors in the Primetime Drama (Major Storyline) category for its portrayals of people dealing with mental illness. The film was among the winners of the 14th annual Sentinel for Health Awards that were announced in a ceremony Sept. 19 in Hollywood. Sentinel Awards recognize exemplary achievements in TV storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 sentinel_event_thumbnailWinners of the 2012 Sentinel for Health Awards for exemplary achievements of television storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives were announced at a ceremony Sept. 19 at the Writers Guild of America, West in Los Angeles. The NBC drama Law & Order: SVU received first place in the Primetime Drama (major storyline) category for accurately portraying the emotional effects and legalities around childhood sexual abuse. An episode of Fox’s Touch earned first place in Global Health for a storyline about domestic abuse, and NBC’s hit, Up All Night, won first place in the Comedy category for a storyline about the realities of childbirth. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

peter krauseWinning the first-place award in the category of Primetime Drama (Major Storyline) at the 12th annual Sentinel for Health Awards was the NBC series Parenthood, for an episode in which a couple struggle with how to tell their son that he has Asperger’s, a form of autism. The judges called the episode, titled “Qualities and Difficulties,” an “excellent depiction” and a  “great example of a family working together to deal with a very tough issue. [The episode] showed realistic struggles and coping strategies.” Shows from five categories were recognized: primetime major storyline, primetime minor storyline, global health, telenovela and children's programming. Parenthood co-stars include Peter Krause, Monica Potter, Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson and Dax Shepard.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

army wivesHollywood, Health & Society announced the winners of this year's Sentinel for Health Awards at a moving ceremony, followed by a panel discussion with the writers on September 22 at the Writers Guild of America, West, in Los Angeles. In its eleventh year, the Sentinel for Health Awards recognizes exemplary achievements of television storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. Five categories of storylines were recognized—primetime drama, primetime drama minor storyline, children's programming, telenovela, and global health storyline.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

maura tierney_erThe NBC drama ER received first place in the primetime drama category at the tenth annual Sentinel for Health Awards for a storyline involving a grandmother’s anguish as she makes the difficult decision to allow her grandson’s organs to be donated, giving meaning to his tragic death and a second chance at life to others. The same ER episode also earned first place for a primetime minor storyline about the use of a safe surgery checklist in the operating room, while ABC’s Desperate Housewives took first place in primetime comedy for a storyline about childhood obesity.