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WTTW Press Room

For Immediate Release:

September 18, 2006

WTTW11 Presents Remaking American Medicine™...Health Care for the 21st Century

Four-Part national series takes a look at America's critical healthcare issues.

WTTW Airdates
Silent Killer – Sunday, October 8 at 4:00 pm (Part 1)
First Do No Harm – Sunday, October 15 at 4:00 pm (Part 2)
The Stealth Epidemic – Sunday, October 22 at 4:00 pm (Part 3)
Hand in Hand – Sunday, October 29 at 4:00 pm (Part 4)

Chicago – As many as 98,000 Americans die each year in hospitals due to preventable medical errors. One million more are injured. In fact, medical errors kill as many people per year as breast cancer, HIV-AIDS and car accidents. These and other equally startling statistics underscore the chaotic conditions within the American health care system. Remaking American Medicine™...Health Care for the 21st Century explores the quality crisis and the innovative solutions being undertaken by providers, patients and their families to transform the care provided by the institutions we all depend on. The four one-hour programs are scheduled to air on WTTW Channel 11 on Oct. 8th,15th,22nd and 29th at 4 pm.

Each program examines critical health care issues facing Americans today including patient safety, medical and medication errors, hospital-acquired infections, family-centered care and effective management of chronic disease. But rather than assign blame for the failings in health care, Crosskeys Media®, series producers, offers solutions by showcasing the stories of individuals and institutions who are working to ensure better health care for everyone.

PBS stations in Illinois have various outreach efforts to promote the series, with most, including WTTW surrounding the third segment The Stealth Epidemic. WTTW has received materials and assistance from the Illinois Foundation for Quality Health Care, the Quality Improvement Organization representing Medicare, to promote the series to their target audience. "We're proud to be a partner with the PBS stations in the state involved in the promotion of this series," states Beth Hackman, vice president, IFQHC. "This series covers several areas we promote in preventive care, including diabetes awareness and immunizations."

The first program, Silent Killer, sets the stage for the issues that will be explored throughout the series. The program highlights the efforts of Sorrel King, whose 18-month-old daughter died at one of the most respected hospitals in the world, Johns Hopkins.

Program Two, First Do No Harm, takes a critical look at the impact of medical errors and patient safety in two hospitals and follows the efforts of physicians who are challenging their colleagues to live up to their oath to "first do no harm."

The series then moves to the challenge of treating chronic diseases that affect nearly 100 million Americans. The Stealth Epidemic examines the human and economic costs of effectively managing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions that consume nearly 70 percent of all health care resources.

As medicine continues to become more and more technologically sophisticated and the systems that deliver medical care become increasingly complex, the relationship between providers and patients and their families is more important than ever. The final program, Hand in Hand tells the story of patients and families who have formed a unique bond in a teaching hospital in Augusta, Ga.

Additional information on the series is available by visiting, or

As part of WTTW's Remaking American Medicine community outreach campaign, we are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the Illinois Foundation for Quality Healthcare to highlight local healthcare organizations that serve as Champions of Change – healthcare institutions that are seeking new ways to improve healthcare and better serve their community:

In medicine, communication and teamwork are everything. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) is championing change in health care by putting communication and teamwork first. A pioneer in interprofessional healthcare education, RFUMS allows future MDs, podiatrists, physical therapists, physician assistants, lab scientists, pathologists' assistants and others to work side by side for the benefit of the patient – truly, the most important member of the healthcare team. RFUMS trains future providers using the latest innovations in simulator technologies and communications methodologies to create a team that approaches patients with confidence, and a true understanding of patient-centered care. Learn more at

Sacred Heart's CEO Edward Novak's vision is to make a difference and implement change in the battle against drugs and alcohol. His idea to start a three-day drug and alcohol program renewed hope and over the past nine years had made a difference within the community. The program received a stamp of approval generating a success rate upwards of 87%. A major advantage of the socio-cultural program is that it redirects men and women from the negative aspects of dependency on drugs and alcohol. Essentially, our program is changing behaviors and the perception that men and women have concerning life without addiction.

Studies have proven that our environment has a definite impact on how we feel and, therefore, on how we heal. Creating an environment in which patients are comfortable and nurtured back to good health is a primary goal of Swedish Covenant Hospital. We are proud to be Chicago's first and only member of the Planetree Alliance, an international organization dedicated to healing the whole patient – body, mind and spirit. We have implemented many unique programs, including massage therapy, aromatherapy, international patient menus, animal-assisted therapy and horticultural therapy, to name just a few.

(Local Champions of Change highlights were provided by outreach campaign participants)

Illinois Foundation for Quality Healthcare (IFQHC)
Community Outreach Partner

Located in Oak Brook, Ill., IFQHC is the quality improvement organization (QIO) for the state of Illinois. QIOs work with physicians and health care professionals to promote high quality medical care for Medicare beneficiaries. As the Medicare-contracted QIO for Illinois, IFQHC is responsible for protecting and improving the quality of health care in the state by concentrating quality improvement efforts in four health care settings: Acute Care, Home Health, Nursing Home and Physician Practice. For more information on IFQHC, visit our website at

Additional information on the series is available by visiting

Shaunese Teamer
(773) 509-5441

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