Ever wonder where writers for shows like ER, SVU, even The Bold and the Beautiful, get their health information? Turns out there’s a whole non-profit organization, called “Hollywood, Health & Society,” that consults to scriptwriters looking to get their health plots right.
Launched by the CDC and the Norman Lear Center at USC, HH&S aims to get health messages out to the public via TV. Since its inception in 2001, the organization has helped writers incorporate information on topics as diverse as STDs,bioterrorism preparedness, heart disease, HIV, environmental health hazards, teen pregnancy, and TB into their scripts.
When I first heard about the program, I mentally cringed, as I’m not a big fan of a lot of mainstream television programs. But on second thought, I realized I’m a minority in that regard. If scriptwriters have a chance to build CDC-verified information into story lines for shows that millions of Americans watch, I have to say “go for it.”