CDC Sentinel for Health Award
ABC Daytime's "One Life To Live" Has Won The First-Ever CDC
Sentinel For Health Award For A Daytime Drama
The ABC Daytime drama, "One
Life to Live," won the first-ever Centers for Disease Control Sentinel for
Health Award for a Daytime Drama in ceremonies that took place Saturday, Oct.
14, in Los Angeles. The storyline, "Viki's Breast Cancer," was selected from
four finalists, all of which are ABC Daytime dramas. The announcement was made
at Soap Summit V, an educational conference hosted by Population Communications
International for writers, producers and network executives of daytime dramas.
In the award-winning storyline, Viki (Erika Slezak) was stunned to receive a
diagnosis of breast cancer following a routine mammogram. The strong-willed
newspaper publisher faced her greatest battle ever as she was forced to come to
terms with the devastating disease without the support of her estranged fiance,
Ben (Mark Derwin). She found comfort and strength from her children, and
underwent a modified radical mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. "One Life to
Live" devoted an entire episode to Viki, as she prepared to enter the hospital.
Viki later dealt with the devastating effects of chemotherapy, which included
the loss of her hair. Viki and Ben finally reconciled and she was able to share
her fears and triumphs with the man she loves. This powerful story is ongoing,
as "One Life to Live" is committed to following through with Viki's difficult
ABC Daytime's other nominated storylines were the "Matt Walks" storyline on
"Port Charles," which dealt with the misconceptions of disability; "All My
Children's" story of "Drunk Driving Revisited," which explores the impact of
drunk driving on family members over time; and "Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS
Awareness" on "General Hospital," which combined prevention messages with the
positive effect the dedication of a community can have on raising awareness of
this deadly disease.
The Sentinel for Health Award for Daytime Drama recognizes exemplary
achievements of daytime dramas that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make
choices for healthier and safer lives. For many loyal viewers, daytime dramas
provide both entertainment and incidental information about disease, injury and
disability. Through their portrayals of characters' lives, writers and producers
have a unique opportunity to touch viewers' lives. The way a popular character
deals with a personal health decision and its impact can nfluence audience
members to think about their own choices. A compelling storyline that
demonstrates risky behavior and consequences, or shows how to avoid risk, can
benefit millions of viewers and their loved ones.
The Sentinel for Health Award for Daytime Drama was developed by the CDC and
is supported by the CDC Foundation to encourage more health storylines and more
accurate portrayals of health topics in daytime drama. CDC analysis of data from
the 1999 Healthstyles Survey shows that nearly half of regular viewers of soap
operas report that they have learned about a disease or how to prevent it from a
soap opera, and more than one-third have taken some action as a result.
"One Life to Live," created by Agnes Nixon, launched July 15, 1968. The
popular drama consistently ranks among the top five in the key demographic of
Women 18-49. "One Life to Live" airs MONDAY-FRIDAY (2:00-3:00 p.m., ET) on the
ABC Television Network. Jill Farren Phelps is the executive producer; Megan
McTavish is the head writer.
ABC Daytime Media Relations:
Nancy Sherman (212) 456-7749