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



Rochester, New York (June 27, 2011) – The national healthcare series Second Opinion, produced by WXXI, the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), and West 175 Productions, brought home two Communicator Awards of Distinction in the category of Health and Wellness. The Communicator Awards, presented by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals.

Second Opinion’s “Spinal Cord Injury” and “Bipolar Disorder” episodes garnered the awards. Hosted by Dr. Peter Salgo and filmed at WXXI’s Studios, Second Opinion presents actual medical cases to a panel of experts to debate the pros and cons of diagnostic testing, interpret test results, and prescribe the best course of action. Dr. Roger Oskvig, associate professor at URMC, serves as the series chief medical advisor.

In the award-winning “Spinal Cord Injury” episode, Dr. Brad Berk, the CEO of the URMC shares his story of the bicycle accident that severely injured his spinal cord. Dr. Berk is joined by his wife Mary Berk, and by spinal cord injury patient Charlie Durkee. Durkee shares the trials he has faced since his accident, which left him paralyzed at the age of 22.

In the “Bipolar Disorder” episode Second Opinion’s panelists look at this brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide.

Second Opinion’s executive producers are Elissa Orlando and Elizabeth Brock. Fiona Willis is the series producer. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association nationally underwrites the series. Second Opinion airs Fridays at 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD, and on more than 250 PBS stations across the country. To learn more about the series visit

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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