Women & Infants and Latino Public Radio Launch ESCUCHE Radio Program

Providence, RI, January 28, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Almost one year to the date after announcing the receipt of a $138,000 National Institutes of Health grant that will have a major impact on the health and science literacy of listeners of Latino radio, researchers took to the airwaves on January 26 to introduce their program and to test their theories.

Maureen Phipps, MD, MPH, director of the Division of Research at Women & Infants and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and community health at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Pablo Rodriguez, MD, associate chair of Community Relationships in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants, clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Alpert Medical School, and president of Latino Public Radio, are co-principal investigators on the study, entitled “ESCUCHE – Evaluating the Spanish Radio Community’s Understanding of Clinical Research and Health Topics.”

ESCUCHE (which in Spanish means “listen”) is now a 10-week radio program airing on Latino Public Radio designed to improve health and literacy in the Latino community. Each week, Dr. Rodriguez will be discussing different health topics and answering listeners’ questions. The program will air on 10 consecutive Wednesdays from January 27 through March 31, 9 to 10 am on Latino Public Radio (WELH 88.1FM, lprri.org).

“Our inaugural broadcast gave us an opportunity to introduce ESCUCHE to the community,” said Dr. Rodriguez. “I was joined by Women & Infants’ health educator Lizbeth Graham and the hospital’s new chief operating officer, Mark Marcantano. We had a lively and informative discussion about the importance of health and science literacy in improving the health of the Latino residents of our community. Our hope is that we will be able to gain even further support from the community for this most important initiative.”

During the first phase of the study, Drs. Phipps and Rodriguez held a series of community forums to determine which health topics would be most relevant to the Latino community. The topics that were decided upon are health screenings, immunizations and HPV (human papilloma virus), cardiovascular disease, diet and exercise, diabetes, breast cancer, contraception, HIV/AIDS, smoking, and asthma.

The evaluation phase of the ESCUCHE program includes 50 listeners who:

Consented to participate in the radio program;
Completed a health and science literacy assessment, a “pre-test;”
Will listen to the 10 radio programs;
Will complete a brief survey after each program to offer feedback about their interest in the show;
Will complete a final health and science literacy assessment after the tenth program airs, a “post-test.”

“The pre- and post-tests will enable us to assess changes in the participants’ health and science knowledge over the 10-week period,” explained Dr. Phipps. “The surveys after each program will give us vital information about how many shows the participants actually listened to and will provide the opportunity to give feedback on the quality of the shows, the relevance of the topics, and the success of our guests.”

ESCUCHE will involve interactive radio sessions including phone-in questions from the radio audience. The opportunity to listen to past programs will also be made available through the radio station’s website and by request to the radio station.

For more information about ESCUCHE, contact Crystal Jocelyn at (401) 274-1122, extension 2855 or cjocelyn@wihri.org.

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. The primary teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, Women & Infants is the seventh largest obstetrical service in the country with more than 9,000 deliveries per year. In 2009, Women & Infants opened the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Center of Excellence from the American College of Radiography; a Center for In Vitro Maturation Excellence by SAGE In Vitro Fertilization; and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group. The hospital was named Rhode Island’s Best Place to Work by Providence Business News and a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health by the federal government. For information about Women & Infants, log on to womenandinfants.org, and for the name of a physician on the Women & Infants’ staff, call the Health Line at 1-800-921-9299.

Women & Infants Hospital
Amy Blustein