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 to October 2012:

• Worked with 91 TV series on 35 networks 
• Worked with shows that have as many as 15 million viewers 
• Received over 840 inquiries from television writers 
• Conducted 86 expert briefings 
• Covered almost 700 topics in inquiries and briefings 
• Worked with 483 experts in inquiries and briefings
• Confirmed 565 air dates for storylines resulting from HH&S consultations 
• * Monitored over 660 hours of media 
• * Analyzed over 30 shows for health content 
• Evaluated 4 storylines for audience impact
• 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 
• Published 6 peer-reviewed journal articles 
• Produced 12 quarterly Real to Reel newsletters featuring 95 public health topics,
including 46 CDC priority topics
• Produced more than 100 CDC tip sheets on priority health topics 
• Presented at over 70 professional conferences 
• Presented over 40 Sentinel for Health Awards

* These statistics are derived from the HH&S TV Monitoring Project over the last three years for which data are available: January–May 2009, 2010, and 2011.