By Sharon Brooks, September 2012
Weekly, Chenango Health Network (CHN) in NY hosts Health Talk; a radio show that covers a wide range of topics from flu, lymphedema, Hospice services, personal stories of survivorship, important cancer screening, diabetes, heart health, public health insurance. Speakers include local and national health care professionals. Chenango plans the show carefully and has been very successful in reaching middle aged and older adults with critical health information; especially breast health information.
Once a topic is determined, appropriate presenters (s) are recruited. While Chenango staff work with the subject matter expert (s) to develop the show's content, staff contact the radio station and an appointment is made to record the spot either over the phone or at the station. Each program requires hard work to facilitate. A letter or phone call is made to the prospective speaker inviting him or her to be a guest. Multiple contacts occur from start to finish as content is refined, dates for recording and for the program to air are arranged with the presenter and the station. The station representative edits each program and makes a recording available for CHN and the speaker. In the case of "lay" presenters who might be, for example, breast cancer survivors, or other non-professionals who have a story to tell, there is additional time spent to help them put together their presentation. A thank you letter and recording of the guest's presentation is sent to each. Chenango's model of reaching women through the airwaves takes time but can easily be replicated with the support of a local radio station. They encourage you to consider this as a fun and effective outreaach and education tool!