How TV Can Save Lives During Covid-19

This webinar discussed how to help create and encourage content to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus for those most at risk.

Hollywood, Health & Society, in partnership with the WGAE and WGAW, presents a panel via Zoom on messaging guidelines for Covid-19 protective behaviors that are built on research by the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Here’s how you can help create and encourage content to help slow the spread of the virus for those most at risk—and open people up to the idea of getting the vaccine. The panel was held Wednesday, Jan. 13 beginning at 4 p.m. (PST)

Speakers for the Jan. 13 panel:

LAWRENCE AN, M.D.—Dr. An is an associate professor of internal medicine at Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan. He is also co-director of the Center for Health Communications Research (CHCR), part of the Rogel Cancer Center. In this role, Dr. An oversees a multidisciplinary team that has developed over 150 tailored health programs across the continuum of care. Dr. An did his medical training and internal medicine residency at the University of Michigan before completing a fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar’s program. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Dr. An was on faculty at the University of Minnesota, where he worked closely with health plans, health care provider organizations, and the state health department. His research teams have developed and tested several web-based tailored interventions for health behavior change.

NEAL BAER, M.D. (moderator)—Dr. Baer, an award-winning TV writer/producer, author and a public health advocate and expert, is executive producer and showrunner for Designated Survivor (Netflix). He graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. Dr. Baer also holds master’s degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education and from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Sociology. Before working in television he spent a year at the American Film Institute as a directing fellow.

LINDA ONG—Ong is the CEO and co-founder of CULTIQUE, the cultural insights and strategy venture of CIVIC (a Seacrest Global Group Company). Founded with partner Sarah Unger, the firm develops cultural strategies for forward-looking businesses in media, entertainment, tech and consumer spaces. Launched in Fall 2020, CULTIQUE unites thought leaders, industry disruptors, academics, creatives and experts to maximize the impact of brands, content, and products in a world of constant change.

KEN RESNICOW, Ph.D—Resnicow is the Irwin Rosenstock Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and professor of pediatrics at UM Medical School. He is also the associate director for Community Engagement and Health Disparities Research at the Rogel Cancer Center, and chief scientific lead at the Center for Health Communications Research. His work over the past 30 years has focused on designing and evaluating behavior modification for a wide range of health behaviors, including smoking cessation, weight control, diet and physical activity. Much of his work has involved ethnic/racial and underserved populations. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has served on numerous advisory panels and review groups. In 2019 he joined the NIH Council for the National Institute for Minority and Health Disparity Research.

STEN VERMUND, M.D., Ph.D.—Dr. Vermund is an infectious disease epidemiologist and pediatrician, and serves as the dean of the Yale School of Public Health. His work has focused on diseases of resource-limited settings, including HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), tuberculosis, parasitic diseases, and the novel coronavirus. His methodological and field research background encompasses epidemiology, clinical trials, and translational studies. In 2020, his work pivoted towards COVID-19 research and intervention, collaborating with Chinese researchers on early insights from the December 2019-March 2020 outbreak. In March 2020 he worked with Yale economists on the use of protective masks. His research has also included safety in schools and arts organizations.