For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

SECOND OPINION ADDRESSES NATIONAL CONCERN ABOUT H1N1 VIRUS WITH A ONE-HOUR SPECIAL

Rochester, New York (October 7, 2009) – As concerns about the H1N1 virus escalate, Second Opinion, the national healthcare series has initiated the most comprehensive media effort to help people deal with the H1N1 pandemic.

The foundation of the initiative is an hour-long television special, Second Opinion: H1N1 Special Edition. The television program provides viewers with credible information on how to avoid getting H1N1 and keep their families safe. Second Opinion: H1N1 Special Edition airs Thursday, October 8 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11), and on PBS stations across the country beginning October 11th. It also airs on PBS World (DT21.2/cable524) on Thursday, October 15 at 10 a.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Friday, October 16 at 2 a.m., and Saturday, October 17 at 5 a.m., 11a.m., 5p.m. and 11 p.m.

A radio version of the program airs Friday, October 9 at 12 noon on AM1370/HD-FM91.5-2, followed by a special edition of Healthy Friday at 1 p.m. Doctors from the Monroe County Health Department will take calls and questions from Rochester area listeners. The program can also be heard online at WXXI.org.

“The flu season is a major concern in communities across the country,” said Norm Silverstein, President of WXXI Public Broadcasting, the PBS station that produces Second Opinion in partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center and West 175 Productions. “It is our hope that this special edition will give viewers a better understanding of the H1N1 virus, and connect them with resources to protect themselves and their families.”

Hosted by Dr. Peter Salgo of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Second Opinion: H1N1 Special Edition features a panel of national experts fielding questions from Dr. Salgo, and from a studio audience in Rochester, NY. The panel answered videotaped questions from viewers in selected southern states hard-hit by the H1N1 virus.

The panel includes: Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), CDC; Mark Shelly, MD, Epidemiologist, Infectious Disease and Travel Medicine, Highland Hospital/University of Rochester Medical Center; Richard Barbano, MD, Chief of Neurology, Rochester General Hospital; Lisa Harris, MD, Primary Care Physician, Temple Medical Internal Medicine and Pediatrics; Janet Corson-Rikert, MD, Executive Director, Gannett Health Services, Cornell University; Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Executive Director, Boston Public Health Commission.

The program will be available on-demand for online viewing at <secondopinion-tv.org> on Thursday, October 8, 2009.

Major funding for Second Opinion: H1N1 Special Edition is made possible by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which recently announced that all 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are making a collective effort to enable their policyholders to receive the H1N1 vaccine.  Additional funding for this special edition is made possible by USA TODAY.

The Second Opinion series is produced by WXXI, The University of Rochester Medical Center, and West 175 Productions, and underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The series is nationally distributed by American Public Television to more than 250 public television stations, and features medical professionals discussing diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions.

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