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Metro Newsroom


Monday January 26, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – (January 26, 2009) The Public Broadcasting series UNNATURAL CAUSES: Is Inequality Making Us Sick has won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. The award was presented last week at a gala in New York City hosted by Katie Couric of CBS. The duPont-Columbia Awards are considered the most prestigious in broadcast journalism, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes. 
    Much of the ground-breaking health series was shot in Louisville. The first episode, which sets the stage for the entire series, features interviews with Metro Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Adewale Troutman as well as the opening of the Center for Health Equity in Louisville. UNNATURAL CAUSES explores how the social conditions in which Americans are born, live, and work profoundly effect health and longevity, even more than medical care, behavior, or genes. The lives of Jim Taylor, CEO of University Hospital; Tondra Young, a medical technician and lab supervisor; Corey Anderson, a maintenance worker, and Mary Turner of the Portland neighborhood illustrate how social class shapes access to power, resources, and opportunity, all of which effect our health and life expectancy. 
    “It’s wonderful that UNNATURAL CAUSES has won this prestigious award,” said Metro Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Adewale Troutman. “It is evidence that the public is beginning to recognize that what determines how healthy we are involves more than just access to health care and making good life-style choices. It also involves social determinants such as our income, our education, our access to resources and the neighborhoods we live in.”
    Unnatural Causes was broadcast by PBS in the spring of 2008 and had its Louisville premiere at an event sponsored by the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in March. Since then, more than 12,000 community dialogues, policy forums, trainings and town hall meetings built around the series have taken place around the country, expanding the nation’s dialogue over health and what the country can and should do to tackle health inequities. 
    The Center for Health Equity, an arm of Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, continues to hold community dialogues using UNNATURAL CAUSES as a tool to facilitate these important discussions and develop action plans to decrease health disparities locally. 
    The Center is currently setting up a series of facilitator’s trainings for those who would like to learn more about how to lead Health Equity Dialogues. To find out more information about this and other activities at the Center for Health Equity,
contact 574-6616.