They are reaching out over the airwaves!
A local monthly medical television show explores a campaign by a Brooklyn hospital to spread health information to its neighbors in Brownsville, Canarsie, and East Flatbush. The guest on the upcoming episode of Medcast Plus, which will air on Brooklyn Free Speech Channel on Dec. 21, said that Brookdale Hospital has increased its outreach efforts in recent years.
“Education is the first line of prevention, and that’s where we’ve stepped up our communication,” said Khari Edwards, the hospital’s vice president of external affairs.
Informing people of serious health symptoms helps people to take care of their problems before they become dire, he said.
“Our prevention pieces — what are the signs of stroke, what are the possible signs of diabetes — [make people think] ‘Let me get ahead of these things so I don’t wind up in the emergency room,’ ” said Edwards.
The tactics used by Brookdale could apply to any health provider in Kings County, said the show’s host.
“Any time we talk about health in Brooklyn, it applies to the county as a whole. All the hospitals are in the same boat, with the same constraints,”said Dr. Jack Braha, a Brooklyn gastroenterologist.
And while the show broadcasts to New York City residents, disease prevention messages apply to everyone, said Braha.
“Colon cancer is colon cancer, whether it’s here or in Los Angeles,” he said. “I think that anyone in the world can watch.”
Speaking to a doctor can often be intimidating, so Braha said that he tries to give the show a more relaxed, collegial tone, and to keep its medical information at a level that everyone can understand.
“I try to ask questions that, if I was home watching, I would want to know,” said Braha. “As a doctor, it’s easy to get lost is the science, but we try to make whatever we’re talking about accessible to the audience, who might not have a medical or a science degree.”
“Medcast Plus” airs on Brooklyn Free Speech Channel 3 (Channel 56 on Spectrum, 69 on Optimum, and online at www.bricartsmedia.org/3). Dec. 21 and Jan. 4 at 12:01 am, 8:30 am, and 2 pm. Free.