Healthcare in the spotlight: Medical professionals help Hollywood writers tell the COVID story

University of Southern California, Yale University and University of Michigan have signed onto a COVID-19 messaging campaign spearheaded by Cultique, an advisor on cultural issues to the entertainment industry, CNBC reports.

"Someone who hasn't studied science for twenty years would rather hear a story," said Sten Vermund, dean at the Yale University School of Public Health who is working with the group. "Those of us in science need to do much better with storytelling."

Cultique launched its "Be a Protector" messaging campaign in January as a way to encourage entertainment industry professionals to model safe COVID-19 behavior, according to the April 8 report. Yale, University of Michigan and USC's Hollywood, Health and Society program have joined the initiative alongside the Ad Council and the Creative Coalition, a nonprofit that collaborates with actors, directors and entertainment industry workers to educate on social issues.

The Creative Coalition is currently working with writers from shows including Grey's Anatomy and New Amsterdam to combat vaccine hesitancy. The group disseminates information, holds Zoom meetings and provides raw data on COVID-19 for writers to implement into their storylines, according to the report.

The Creative Coalition is also working with the Yale University School of Public Health on a series of short public service announcements that aim to sway public opinion in favor of the COVID-19 vaccines. The first PSA featured Morgan Freeman and aired April 5.

"It's about how you use the power of entertainment and arts for social good," Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk told CNBC. "We are working as fast and furiously as we can to get the message out."


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