12 Finalists Announced for 2013 Sentinel Awards

Hollywood, Health & Society has announced 12 finalists from more than 70 entries for the 2013 Sentinel for Health Awards, showcasing a diverse range of topics such as alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug addiction, depression, malaria, climate change and mental illness.

➻Press release with full list of finalists here

Now in its 14th year, the Sentinel Awards recognize exemplary television storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. Nine categories are recognized: Primetime Drama (Major), Primetime Drama (Minor), Daytime Drama, Spanish-language Telenovela, Children’s Programming, Primetime Comedy, Climate Change, Global Health and a new one—Reality.  

“We are thrilled with the number of entries this year,” said Sandra de Castro Buffington, director of Hollywood, Health & Society. “Every day millions of viewers worldwide learn something new about health from TV storylines and take action on what they’ve learned. As more shows address health topics, there are more opportunities for people to learn.” 

The 72 entries—the most received thus far— spanned 15 networks and cable channels. All eligible submissions are reviewed for accuracy by experts at the CDC and partner organizations, and for entertainment value and potential benefit to the viewing audience by entertainment, academic and public health professionals. 

For many loyal viewers, TV dramas and comedies provide both entertainment and information about disease, injury and disability. Through their portrayals of characters’ lives, writers and producers have a unique opportunity to touch viewers’ lives. The way a popular character deals with a personal health decision can prompt audience members to think about their own choices. A compelling storyline that demonstrates risky behavior and consequences, or shows how to avoid risk, portrays social determinants of health or examines global health issues, can benefit millions of viewers around the world.