Hollywood, Health & Society director Vicki Beck joined a panel discussion entitled How Entertainment Is Being Used to Deal with Social and Health Issues Around the World at PCI's 2005 Entertainment Summit. The Summit seeks to increase resources for programs designed to improve women’s health and status, HIV/AIDS awareness, and other health and social issues by harnessing the power of entertainment.
In 2005, the Sentinel for Health Awards program added the Spanish-language telenovela category. The CBS drama Without a Trace won first place in prime time drama for an autism storyline, "Volcano" and the ABC soap opera All My Children received first place for its "Autism Spectrum Disorder Storyline." The WB drama 7th Heaven took first place for primetime minor storyline with "Leaps of Faith," a storyline about sickle cell anemia. ABC's The George Lopez Show received first place in primetime comedy for a storyline on teen sex, "Prescription for Trouble." The Telemundo show Anita, no te rajes took first place in the new Spanish-language telenovela category for "Graciela Refuses to Have Cancer," a storyline about breast cancer.
As scientists learn more about the human genome, important and challenging questions continue to arise. If you carry a gene mutation linked to cancer, can you do anything to prevent or delay the onset of the disease? Could genetic information be used against you by insurers or employers? What are the latest options for couples who have a family history of a genetic disorder like Tay-Sachs and worry that they may pass it on to their children? Is new genetic knowledge also leading to new treatments? Difficult ethical issues are also surfacing. Why do babies in some states receive screening for certain genetic disorders while infants in other states don’t? Will genetic testing and treatment be available only to those who can afford it? Will human cloning and selective reproduction become commonplace?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently held a symposium on Hollywood, Health & Society and its work in Hollywood on behalf of NCI. Held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, the symposium included presentations by HH&S staff on outreach and evaluation activities as well as panel discussions with colleagues from NCI, other NIH institutes and the Telemundo network. Representatives from NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality attended, and others tuned in via webcast.
Hollywood, Health & Society held a panel presentation titled "What's in/on the Air: A Multi-method Evaluation of TV's Effect on Environmental Health" at the American Public Health Association's 132nd Annual Meeting and Exposition. TV has an impact not only for commercial entities but also for health promotion. The panelists in this session described the ways in which TV-mediated health messages are understood by the public and the implications for health promotion activities.
In 2004, the Sentinel for Health Awards program expanded to include primetime dramas and comedies. The NBC drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit received first place in primetime drama for "Choice," a storyline on fetal alcohol syndrome, and the CBS soap opera The Young & The Restless took first place in daytime drama for a storyline about a teen with chlamydia, "Lily and Kevin: The Danger Within." The Lifetime drama Strong Medicine took first place for primetime minor storyline with "Heartbeats and Deadbeats," a storyline about HIV/AIDS in the elderly. The UPN show One on One took first place in primetime comedy for a storyline about alcoholism, "No More Wire Hangers." The awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Writers Guild of America, West.
Hollywood, Health & Society program director Vicki Beck presented a paper on “Measuring the impact of TV storylines and community outreach to educate the community about health in the United States” at the Entertainment Education Fourth International Conference, “EE4: Community and Context.” The conference was held near Capetown, South Africa.