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Local RAM Coalitions

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Improving Health Care – Community by Community

The goal of Remaking American Medicine (RAM) and the national outreach campaign is to stimulate a dialogue about quality improvement and to issue a call to action. It is intended to help empower viewers to become advocates for better care and to motivate, inspire and connect individuals, organization and institutions.

In order to accomplish these objectives, the campaign has encouraged the creation of local RAM coalitions representing purchasers, providers, policy makers, regulators, public broadcasting, consumer advocates, the business community, patients and their families. Today, 30 RAM coalitions are actively engaged in a variety of local outreach activities. These coalitions selected a particular quality issue, set goals, established alliances, pooled resources and are taking positive action – community by community.

The following are brief examples of their efforts.

St. Louis, MO

Project Description:

KETC, the St. Louis PBS station, in partnership with Primaris, Missouri’s Quality Improvement Organization, and more than 30 local organizations is conducting a statewide public outreach campaign. The goal is to encourage the public to become stronger advocates for their own health care and to facilitate a public dialogue about the issues addressed in Remaking American Medicine.

The cornerstone is a four-part documentary series, Remaking Missouri Medicine, which is meant to inspire and empower viewers. The programs aired in April and will be rebroadcast in October around the national series. The local programs explored the advances being made to improve the quality of patient care in hospitals including how technology is advancing chronic disease management and facilitating access to health care. The RAM coalition assisted in the development of a companion consumer resource guide, Remaking Missouri Medicine: Guide to Quality Healthcare. They will also offer support in the statewide promotional campaign.

Surrounding the national premiere, coalition partners will hold RAM screening events across the state, make presentations to health care groups. KETC will also convene partners and community groups in their studios to participate in a national satellite broadcast of the Champions of Change: A National Symposium on Improving Health Care being held at the at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C. on September 27. The Symposium is the culmination of the RAM campaign.

See the coalitions' Web site at:


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Salt Lake City

Project Description:

KUED, working in partnership with HealthInsight Nevada, the Quality Improvement Organization, is developing a statewide campaign intended to address chronic disease management and how at-risk and low income populations access treatment in our state. Coalition members include AARP, the Utah Medical Association, the End of Life Care Partnership, Regency Blue Cross Blue Shield, University of Utah School of Medicine, Caregiver Coalition of Utah and Intermountain Health Care.

KUED will also host a screening and panel discussion of Program Three, “The Stealth Epidemic” on October 17th, to promote the RAM broadcast. Members of the RAM Utah Coalition will serve as members of the panel discussion and address issues highlighted in the program.

KUED will produce a 30-minute program on its public affairs series, Utah Now, which will feature the local Champions of Change and address chronic diseases and health care access.

In September, coalition members will participate in 16 statewide forums that will address quality health care and chronic disease management issues. Coalition members are providing consumer tools and resources for a special kit called RAM Workshops in a Box that will be distributed to hospitals and medical colleges throughout the state. The coalition will also develop a patient information flier. Members will assist in promotion efforts and a statewide media campaign.

Once selected, local Champions of Change will participate as campaign spokespersons and appear in local programming and discussion forums.


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New Jersey Network (NJN)
Trenton, NJ

Project Description:

Based on research from the New Jersey Collaborative Center for Nursing of Rutgers University, New Jersey is currently experiencing a serious nursing shortage with a projected 43 percent reduction in the workforce by 2020. New Jersey Network (NJN), the statewide PBS station and New Jersey Public Radio, along with other members of the RAM Community Partners Coalition, are mounting a statewide campaign about this important issue as well as the anticipated shortages by other health care providers.

The RAM Community Partners Coalition includes AARP, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, New Jersey Hospital Association, Rutgers University School of Nursing, Hackensack University Medical Center and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, among others.

In conjunction with the premiere of Remaking American Medicine, NJN will broadcast a statewide panel discussion, entitled Remaking New Jersey Nursing focusing on these issues. It will feature medical professionals, state agency officials, nursing education leaders and other policy makers. Coalition members will help select panelists and local Champions of Change, who will be featured throughout the campaign.

The coalition is working with several area hospitals to host RAM screenings and discussions. The station plans to hold a legislative reception prior to the airdate for the national series to focus on the health care shortages. Clips from the series as well as NJN’s local production will be shown at that time.


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South Carolina ETV (SCETV)
Columbia, SC

Project Description:

South Carolina’s rural community is nearly leading the nation in the percentage of its population suffering from chronic diseases. The RAM coalition’s statewide public education campaign is meant to empower patients to better manage their own health care with a special focus on seniors.

Coalition members include South Carolina ETV; the state’s Quality Improvement Organization, Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME); AARP; the South Carolina Hospital Association; and the South Carolina Medical Association, among others.

SCETV is producing a 30-minute documentary, Countdown to Better Care: Ten Tips to Help Protect Yourself Against Medical Errors, which will address prevention of medical errors. The documentary will be broadcast in conjunction with the national broadcast of Remaking American Medicine. It will also be video streamed on the station’s Web site and will serve as the focus for public screenings, events and presentations before target audiences.

The station is also producing Medical Error Countdown public information spots to be broadcast the month of October when the series airs.

Coalition members have selected Champions of Change who are being featured on the campaign Web site, in publications and in other publicity efforts. The coalition is also developing patient resources targeting underserved audiences. They will include lists of free medical clinics and services and monthly tip sheets on specific disease management. Coalition members are making quality improvement presentations to hospitals, home health care agencies and nursing homes and are distributing consumer tools and resources.


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Twin Cities Public Television (TPT)
St. Paul, MN

Project Description:

The goal of the RAM outreach campaign is to address issues of chronic disease management, specifically diabetes, and access to health care for underserved populations across the state. Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) has developed a Community Healthcare Awareness Initiative (CHAI) to focus on these issues. It is working in partnership with Stratis Health, the state Quality Improvement Organization, and the Buyers Health Care Action Group, among others.

TPT will produce two documentaries that will air in conjunction with Remaking American Medicine. Produced by Fred de Sam Lazaro, a health care field producer for NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, the documentary will feature Minnesota Champions of Change.

In addition, TPT will hold three community discussion forums facilitated by
Stratis Health in Minneapolis, Duluth and Rochester. The forums will feature Champions of Change as well as clips from Remaking American Medicine and the local documentary. One of the forums will be taped to be included in one of the documentaries.

Coalition members are developing a consumer tool kit that will be made available to viewers, distributed to health care organizations and related caregiver support groups, and provided to public libraries.


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Tampa, FL

Project Description:

WEDU and the FMQAI, Florida’s Quality Improvement Organization, are focusing on diabetes prevention and management within the Hispanic and Latino communities. Coalition partners include the American Diabetes Association and the Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative, which consists of a number of citywide health care organizations. The RAM coalition also includes local and statewide stakeholders, health care professionals, community organizations, non-professional caregivers and consumers.

WEDU, in collaboration with FMQAI, produced Diabetes & You, a 30-minute program that addressed diabetes prevention and treatment. Originally broadcast in the fall of 2005, it will be offered to other Florida PBS stations and rebroadcast around the premiere of Remaking American Medicine. Volunteers from the local chapter of the ADA will respond to callers during the program and viewers will receive Diabetes & You, a bilingual booklet focusing on the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Coalition members have assisted in selection of Champions of Change, are holding diabetes screenings and discussion groups and are distributing clips from the program to providers throughout the Tampa Bay area. A companion Web site,, includes consumer tools developed by coalition partners.

FMQAI's RAM web page:


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Arlington, VA

Project Description:

Heart disease is the number one killer of women. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), African-American women face a greater threat of death from heart disease than women of other races. WETA-TV is leading a patient- and family-centered campaign focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention and management among African-American women in the Washington, D.C. area. The campaign is meant to inform, provide useful tools and resources and encourage women to become stronger advocates for their own health care.

Coalition members include the Delmarva Foundation of the District of Columbia, the local Quality Improvement Organization; the D.C. office of the American Heart Association; the National Association of Black Nurses; the Capitol City Cardiovascular Wellness and Rehabilitation Center; Unity Health; and Chartered Family Health.

The role of the faith community in addressing health-related issues has been, and continues to be a vital part of African-American life. The RAM coalition will produce a series of Educational Forums focusing on treatment and prevention of heart disease for this target audience. These events, entitled Remaking the Districts Medicine, will be held in African-American churches and community centers. WETA and the Unity Health medical staff are conducting a focus group of African American women in May. The results of this qualitative research will help guide the overall awareness campaign including the Educational Forums.

Coalition members will provide speakers at local events and provide promotional support for the entire campaign. Local Champions of Change will be featured at the Forums as well as in brief videos to be produced and broadcast by WETA.


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Washington, D.C.

Project Description:

The D.C.-area RAM coalition and WHUT, Washington’s public television station, are initiating a major outreach campaign for Remaking American Medicine that underscores two issues: “Caring for Your Health” and “Quality Care for All.” The coalition includes the Delmarva Foundation, the local Quality Improvement Organization; Howard University Hospital; the D.C. Department of Health; the American Hospital Association; the D.C. League for Nursing; the National Medical Association; and NBC 4.

Under the umbrella “Caring for Your Health”, WHUT will explore chronic disease management emphasizing the role individuals can play in managing their own health care. The focus will be on strokes, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure -- all chronic issues that disproportionately affect WHUT’s diverse viewing community.

“Caring for Your Health” will include a local television program, a public service campaign, a community forum, Web site materials and consumer handouts. Topics of discussion will include patient-doctor and patient-pharmacist communications, and how patients can better understand and manage their diseases. Providers and patient advocates will show how to manage medical records and make the best use of local acute and preventive care facilities and resources.

“Quality Care for All” will look at regional disparities in health care and illustrate ways in which individuals and organizations are effecting positive change in acute and long-term care facilities. It will focus on the ways in which nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are creating a more patient-centered environment.


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Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indiana RAM coalition is addressing issues involving patient- and family-centered care. The objective is to encourage patients and families to become stronger advocates for their own health care. The campaign is focusing on medication management, communication with health care providers, patient safety in hospitals and chronic disease management.

Coalition members include PBS station WFYI; Health Care Excel, the state Quality Improvement Organization; the Indiana School of Medicine; Butler University; the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing; the Riley Children’s Hospital; and the Central Indiana Council on Aging.

The campaign Web site features Champions of Change from the Indiana School of Medicine who are pioneers in electronic medical records and chronic care. Additional Champions will be featured in local television and radio programming, online and in coalition partner publications. In addition, coalition members are providing monthly consumer Healthcare Tips that are posted to the campaign Web site and in the station’s Member Magazine. The station is also producing four spots that address the important themes addressed in the series.

RAM coalition members will conduct health care forums and Web casts. They have made presentations at statewide conferences and are promoting the series and campaign on their respective Web sites and publications. Several will host community screenings and discussions around the series premiere including forums at the Citizen’s Healthcare Forum and Butler University, Riley Hospital’s annual Family Health Day and WFYI’s Speaking of Women’s Health Day in August.

Julie Moretz, director of Family Services Development at the Medical College of Georgia Health System, who is featured in Program Four of the series, “Hand and Hand” will be interviewed in September for Sound Medicine, the station’s local NPR station.

WFYI's RAM web page:

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Detroit, MI


Detroit Public Television (DPTV) and MPRO, Michigan’s Quality Improvement Organization are the primary partners in a statewide effort that is focusing on improving quality of care for underserved populations.

RAM coalition partners include the Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, St. John’s Health, the American Medical Association, the state of Michigan’s Office of the Surgeon General and the statewide Chronic Illness Association, among others.

DPTV is producing a 30-minute program, To Help You Heal, which will feature local Champions of Change – individuals and institutions who are working to reduce disparities in health care. Physician volunteers will host a live phone bank in DPTV’s studios. The program will be broadcast in tandem with the national series and distributed to other Michigan PBS stations. Coalition members will also distribute program clips to health care providers.

DPTV will also produce a special program of its weekly public affairs program, "American Black Journal." It will feature a representative from MPRO who will discuss issues of access to health care.

In addition, DPTV and MPRO are developing a Physicians Literacy Workshop to be held at Wayne State University on the issue of cultural competencies. Coalition members are developing the curriculum. They will provide experts and assist with its implementation.


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