Apart from providing many years of riveting entertainment for its loyal followers, General Hospital
has received numerous Daytime Emmy award and countless more nominations. Besides being cited for its creative excellence however, the long-running soap has also been rewarded for incorporating timely and relevant health-related storylines into their episodes.
This year, General Hospital
took top honors at the Sentinel for Health Awards which acknowledge television programs for content that informs, educates and motivates audiences towards choices that promote healthier and safer well-being.
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took first and second place at the awards for their storylines on HIV and Lung Cancer. The episode entitled “Patrick's HIV Scare” was adjudged the winning installment while “Alexis' Lung Cancer” came in at number two. The Bold and the Beautiful
's “Taylor's Alcohol Addiction” placed third for its take on alcohol abuse.
The qualifying soaps and their respective episodes were sifted through two rounds of screening, starting with an initial cycle with over a hundred topic experts divided into 20 panels. The panelists assessed and evaluated the shows and their installments based on how accurately they portrayed their individual health concerns.
The 16 finalists who made it to the second round were then screened further at USC by another group of experts from academic, entertainment and public health organizations. They were rated according to entertainment value and potential benefit to the viewing audience.
The Sentinel for Health Awards dates back seven years ago to 2000, when it was first established as a means of recognizing daytime dramas for addressing health issues in their program.
“Television writers and producers are in a unique position both to entertain and to inform viewers,” Martin Kaplan, the Norman Lear Chair at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and director of the Lear Center, said. “The Sentinel for Health Awards are a chance to shine a spotlight on master storytellers who use their power not only to make hits, but also to educate audiences about crucial issues.”
-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of The Norman Lear Center)