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Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York, Inc. (WCNY)

  • Project Title: Becoming a Savvier Health Care Consumer
  • Priority Area: Empowering Health Care Consumers
  • Grant Amount: $100,207
  • Date Awarded: January 3, 2017
  • Region: Statewide
  • Region: Central New York
  • Website:
  • Grant Status: In Progress


The health care system is incredibly complex to understand and navigate, and consumer-friendly information about prices, quality, and other aspects of care is lacking. Arming consumers with information will help them make savvier decisions about their own health and health care and give them a greater sense of control over those decisions. The Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York—known as WCNY—serves as Central New York’s public media organization that works to engage, educate, entertain, and connect the communities it serves to a rich array of quality resources and experiences. To reach millions of New Yorkers and help them become more informed health care consumers, NYSHealth awarded WCNY a grant in 2017 to provide them with easy-to-understand health care information, tools, resources, and exemplary stories of real people actively engaged in their health care.

Under this grant, WCNY will develop and broadcast content designed to motivate consumers to become more informed about their own health care using a variety of platforms—television, radio, websites, and social media. A range of consumer empowerment issues will be explored, including navigating and understanding health insurance plans; accessing one’s own medical records; using cost calculators and provider rating tools; and choosing a specialist. The campaign will include: weekly radio broadcasts on WCNY’s statewide program, Capitol Pressroom; 90-second television spots involving consumers and experts from different regions of New York State (which will be broadcasted on six WCNY television channels and eight other PBS stations in New York State); a Web page featuring annotated recommended resources to direct consumers to educational tools; and related content via WCNY’s printed magazine, social media, WCNY’s television and radio programming, and in print and digital advertisements. WCNY will rebroadcast the television spots and maintain the affiliated Web pages for a minimum of one year, extending the content’s shelf life beyond its initial airing.

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