Urban Cancer Project

PHTV embraces a ground-up approach to health communication that calls on using a model called the “Triad of Expertise.”


Focus groups with target audiences serve as the base for discerning what people want and need to know about certain medical conditions, as well as culturally appropriate ways to package the messages. Then as media professionals, PHTV works with medical experts to create visuals and explanations that make sense to people, as well as messages to encourage healthy behaviors that are culturally and socially relevant. The Urban Cancer Project was presented at the 2003 annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus as a national model for addressing health disparities.

The screening and awareness part of the campaign included 15 news packages and a half-hour special broadcast on Cleveland’s ABC affiliate resulting in 1,606 calls to an Urban Cancer Hotline. The campaign generated lots of press coverage including a radio segment on Cleveland’s local NPR station, several articles in The Plain Dealer, and the endorsement by the newspaper’s editorial board about the power of using the community’s voice in cancer outreach efforts. Two of the television programs won prestigious Emmy awards for broadcasts in 1999 and 2002.