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What is Remaking American Medicine?

Remaking American Medicine…Health Care for the 21st Century is a four-part primetime television series that was broadcast on PBS in October 2006. Crosskeys Media, an award-winning media company, was the producer. KQED in San Francisco was the presenting station.

Remaking American Medicine
tells stories of change. The goal is to inspire and empower viewers, both members of the general public and health care professionals, to join in efforts to transform American health care.

Drawing on unprecedented access to health care institutions across the nation, the series presents detailed and emotionally engaging profiles of individuals struggling to fix our broken health care system. The stories are told through the eyes of doctors, nurses, administrators and patients, showing their struggles, their setbacks and their victories.

For more about the series visit About Remaking American Medicine.


What is the National Outreach Campaign surrounding Remaking American Medicine?

The campaign was intended to help motivate, re-energize and inspire individuals, organizations and institutions to support activities that improve the quality of patient care in their respective communities. The overall goal was to stimulate a national dialogue about the importance of improving American health care.

The campaign's goals were to:


Who was involved in the campaign?

One of the major elements of this massive effort was a unique National Partnership Program. National Partners agreed to promote the series and encourage their members to participate in coalition efforts throughout the country. Those participating in coalitions developed local events and/or local television programming in conjunction with the national broadcast of Remaking American Medicine. National Partners played an important role including alerting their members and encouraging them to participate in community-based activities.

National Partners

At the time of the PBS broadcast of the series in October 2006, there were 49 national organizations representing health care providers, purchasers, consumers, patient-advocacy groups, health care quality experts and government and regulatory agencies. Collectively, National Partners reach more than 100 million Americans.

In addition to the National Partners, the campaign also worked closely with the nation's Quality Improvement Organizations. Operating under a specific contract from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) work with consumers, physicians, hospitals, and other caregivers to refine delivery systems to make sure Medicare beneficiaries receive quality care.

Many QIOs developed local coalitions, working collaboratively with PBS stations and other important stakeholders. Some of these QIOs received special grants from CMS to undertake campaign outreach activities designed to help further their ongoing quality improvement work.

What was the purpose of the RAMcampaign Web site? acted as the "nerve center" for the Remaking American Medicine national outreach campaign. The site presented information about the series, the companion outreach effort and many of the issues involved in improving the quality of health care in America. The site was designed to provide a way for those interested in Remaking American Medicine to connect with each other, especially with QIOs, which were spearheading the development of local coalitions around the country. The Web site was intended to facilitate discussions; provide useful, promotional and motivational information and ultimately to encourage viewers to become involved in their respective communities. The site also acted as a portal to the quality improvement tools and resources available through National Partners and QIO Web sites..

How could individuals and organizations become involved in the campaign?

We encouraged visitors to this website to contact representatives from National Partner organizations and QIOs, many of whom had already begun to develop local coalitions in their respective communities. There were several places in the website that featured information about National Partners and QIOs. We suggested that those individuals interested start with the Connecting with Others section to retrieve Partner and QIO contact information.

How could individuals access various tools and resources in their community that supported the RAM campaign?

There were several ways to access tools and resources. Clicking on the Resources button on the Navigation Bar on the left side of this and every page on the Web site. The downloadable Leadership Guide, available in the Resources area would assist organizations in developing sustainable quality coalitions. Other items available include: promotional flyers that could be used as handouts at meetings and conferences; and a PBS Primer that could help coalition organizers work more effectively with their stations. Also available was localizable press materials that coalitions could use to promote media coverage of efforts to improve the quality of health care, as well as their own coalition activities.

Where can Best Practices models in health care improvement be found on the website?

Remaking American Medicine's goal was to highlight effective improvements in the quality of health care taking place around the country. Some of the best practice examples in quality improvement stories that was presented in the television series were also included in the Champions of Change section of this site. In addition, many examples of best practices were presented by the campaign's National Partners and the QIOs and featured in this same section. Visitors to this site could visit the Connecting with Others area to lean about more great examples of effective improvement practices.

How can individuals learn more about the campaign?

By subscribing to the Remaking American Medicine bi-monthly E-Newsletter. The sign-up form is available at the top of the Home Page and on every page throughout this site. Also, by visiting this Web site often. We'll added new information to the "Connecting with Others" section, more information in the "Resources" area on a regular basis. That's also where visitors could get the latest information about the television series and the campaign.