A marketing company named FHI360, based in Washington, D.C., needed an expert video production company to handle a public health conference taking place in Atlanta.  The conference was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the REACH program, or Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health.  Optimum Productions was called upon to help.

We’ve had quick turnaround times before, but this was quite a . . . REACH (sorry, couldn’t resist)!  Amidst the conference sessions, we set up our “studio” in a hotel suite and shot 12 interviews, starting on Monday afternoon and finishing on Tuesday afternoon.  Then we had half of Tuesday and a very long Wednesday to edit the footage, go through two rounds of revisions, and piece the video together.  Essentially, once we had the raw footage, we turned the video around in 36 hours!

Knowing how tight the schedule would be, the Optimum Productions team built all the motion graphics ahead of time, so that we could have good-looking graphics that could be easily adjusted at the editing stage.  In the end, we delivered a product that made our clients very, very happy.  They were able to present the final video to hundreds of people at the national conference during the closing session at 8 a.m. on Thursday.  It was a TON of work but well worth it.

The conference tagline was “Improving Lives and Inspiring Hope.”  REACH engages members of the local community from the very beginning of the public health program, calling upon them to design their own solutions to public health disparities.  The CDC then supports those initiatives, demonstrating trust that the local community appreciates.

Stories captured on the REACH video show novel approaches for reducing health disparities among ethnic groups.  The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma uses a cooking show to encourage healthy food choices by taking traditional recipes and switching out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ingredients.  A hospital group of Thai cancer survivors put on a fashion show that invited women to get cancer screening, resulting in 70 percent of the women getting screened annually.  In the deep South, 170 women trained as community advisors hosted Hat Shows at local churches, reaching 3000 women with the message of getting regular mammographies.

In Boston, public health workers provided home visits and case management for over 900 asthma sufferers, reducing the need for asthma-based hospitalization of children by 80%.  Another program fighting childhood obesity in the Bronx piloted an initiative to offer lowfat or nonfat milk in schools, a policy then adopted across all the New York City schools, causing a dramatic fall in the caloric consumption of one million children.  In Los Angeles, community groups of African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Pacific Islanders use “instant recess,” incorporating exercise and dance, to encourage physical activity at work.

And to think that all these stories and interviews were gathered right in the midst of a national conference!  Video production proved to be a great medium for sharing these success stories with a large audience, both during the conference and later for  those who were not able to attend.