Public Education Partnerships: Program on Public Health Information and Partnerships
The Foundation’s Program on Public Health Information and Partnerships serves as a resource for the public and media on public health issues. A particular focus is on reaching young people with information about reproductive and sexual health issues, such as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and unintended pregnancy. Other recent public education campaigns have addressed parent-child communication, raised awareness about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for low-income families, and helped to bridge the digital divide.
Our primary means of reaching the public with critical health information is through public health partnerships with leading media organizations. Current and recent partners include leading television networks such as MTV, CBS, Nickelodeon, Univision, BET, and UPN, and popular consumer magazines such as Essence and Latina (Essence Communications), Family Circle, Glamour, Self, seventeen, Teen People and YM. We also have two general campaigns: Talking with Kids About Tough Issues, a national initiative to support families, and It’s (Your) Sex Life, a print and online initiative to provide information on sexual health issues.
Our partnerships are multi-faceted efforts that use a range of approaches to getting out the information. In addition to customized public service messages, special joint programming and editorial, we also provide extensive resource and referral services for those seeking additional information. We create customized free resources – print and online -that are distributed through dedicated toll-free hotlines and/or websites, which tag all our messages and programming. The Foundation works collaboratively with its partners providing both expert substantive support as well as financial support for research, production and campaign operations.
Through the Kaiser Public Health Advertising Partnership the Foundation has the capacity to develop our own public service messages from concept to final product. We work with leading creative and production companies – or, in some instances, with the in-house production teams at a partner network – to develop high-quality, high-impact public service messages. Our PSAs do not look like typical PSAs. We work collaboratively with our media partners to develop creative that will most effectively reach our target audience, and we secure placement that will maximize visibility. To inform our message development, we regularly conduct surveys, focus groups and other communications research, so that we can better understand what our audiences know as well as how they learn about these issues.
The Program also serves as a general resource for public health information for the media. Our main effort in this area is the New York city-based Kaiser Media Resource Project on Reproductive and Sexual Health, which serves as on-call resource and provides technical assistance for journalists. The Kaiser Media Resource Project also develops fact sheets, issue updates, and other information pieces on a range of sexual health issues as well as conducts a quarterly briefing series for journalists on Emerging Issues in Reproductive Health.
Tina Hoff, Vice President and Director, Program on Public Health Information & Partnerships