Hollywood Health & Society

Providing the entertainment industry with free, expert information for storylines on health and climate change.

History / HH&S By the Numbers

In 1994, an expert panel was convened by the HIV program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to consider CDC's role working with the entertainment industry in order to reach the public with health information about HIV. Members of entertainment, public health, academic and advocacy organizations came together and discussed the issues involved in this type of collaboration for two days. The panel's final report urged the CDC to work with the entertainment industry to inform writers about HIV and all other health issues that CDC was addressing.

In 1997, the director's office of CDC launched a pilot project that provided information and expert consultants to writers in Hollywood. The pilot project was successful, so in 2001, the CDC awarded the USC Annenberg School's Norman Lear Center a five-year cooperative agreement grant to lead this project in Hollywood. Since then, Hollywood, Health & Society has turned into a full-blown program, with funding from a range of federal agencies, partner organizations and private foundations.

Vital Statistics | October 2009-September 2015:

• Worked with 91 TV series on 35 networks
• Worked with shows that have as many as 15 million viewers 
• Received over 1,500 inquiries from television writers 
• Conducted 188 expert briefings 
• Covered almost 700 topics in inquiries and briefings 
• Worked with 483 experts in inquiries and briefings
• Confirmed 877 air dates for storylines resulting from HH&S consultations
• Monitored 6 seasons of prime time TV for health and climate change content (October 2009-September 2015)
     - More than 1,000 hours of content
     - More than 100 different health issues
• Evaluated 10 storylines for audience impact
• Published 8 peer-reviewed journal articles 
• Provided more than 2,000 links to public health information on show websites 
• Worked with 4 shows to broadcast PSAs, info spots, toll-free numbers 
• Produced 24 quarterly Real to Reel newsletters featuring 95 public health topics, including 46 CDC priority topics
• Produced nearly 150 CDC tip sheets on priority health topics 
• Presented at over 70 professional conferences 
• Presented over 40 Sentinel for Health Awards