WHYY is in a unique position to make a difference
in the lives of both older people and the communities
in which they live — turning the second half
of life into a time of personal and social renewal.
WHYY Wider Horizons addresses the needs and interests
of the population approaching and in the second
half of life — baby boomers planning their
retirement or new career, retirees and active elders,
children of aging parents and the homebound. Its
success lies in its collaborations, most importantly:
Coming of Age partnership with the Temple
University Center for Intergenerational Learning,
AARP-PA and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania;
and Caring Community, a volunteer coalition of more
than 100 local civic and healthcare organizations
convened by Wider Horizons who collaborate with
WHYY on content development, resources and outreach
around issues related to caregiving, chronic illness
and end-of life. In FY 2006, these partnerships
produced important television programming and a
Web site for baby boomers. In addition, Wider Horizons
achieved another milestone by launching a new digital
Wider Horizons continues the 'Circle'
Wider Horizons and its Caring Community coalition received a second grant from Sound Partners for Community Health, a national program of the Benton Foundation, funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which was matched by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Building upon its award-winning Circle of Love series, WHYY produced Circle of Care: The Arts in Medicine in March 2006, a documentary that explores how the creative arts are used to aid communication in healing and healthcare. The half-hour film visits hospitals, rehabilitation centers and adult residential communities throughout the region to intimately witness the process of expressing and communicating through music, dance, painting, theater and poetry.
The documentary was followed by a discussion broadcast live with leading local experts, documentary subjects and a studio audience on the role of arts and humanities in medicine. Viewers joined the conversation by e-mailing their questions and comments during the program.
Wider Horizons provides forum for discussion
Since its inception, WHYY Wider Horizons has been
a community convener, bringing citizens together
to discuss issues relevant to their lives. In partnership
with Coming of Age, WHYY hosted the second season
of BOOMERVISION!, a lecture/community dialogue
series aimed at baby boomers. The programs, which
were taped for digital broadcast, focused on "What
Boomers Want" and included author Ellen Freudenheim
on "Good Work"; neuropsychologist Paul Nussbaum,
Ph.D. on "Brain Health"; poet and activist Sonia
Sanchez on "A Creative Legacy"; and WHYY's Dr. Dan
Gottlieb on "Meaningful Relationships."
WHYY and Caring Community hosted their 6th Annual Wider Horizons Forum. The all-day event focused on "Pain Management at the End of Life," with discussions about the dimensions of suffering and approaches to managing pain. The forum was webcast live and included the Hospice Foundation of America's annual Living with Grief teleconference.
Wider Horizons also convened leaders in healthcare, the insurance industry, government and patient advocacy for a "Community Leadership Summit on Healthcare." The group identified pressing issues facing health and healthcare in the region, and sought solutions through collaboration and partnership with WHYY. Insights from the Summit will guide WHYY's development of future programming and outreach around health issues.
Wider Horizons in the digital age
WHYY Wider Horizons launched a digital channel in June, 2006, devoted to programming of interest to people 50+. Carried on Comcast Channel 242 and over digital receivers at 12.3, the WHYY Wider Horizons digital channel provides programs and information for baby boomers and others who seek engagement and ideas for living creatively. Weekdays begin with a block of news and public affairs programming, including WHYY Delaware Tonight and Charlie Rose. Viewers can tune to the live broadcast of Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on weekdays, and Voices in the Family with Dr. Dan Gottlieb on Mondays.
The regional collaborative Coming of Age launched a best-in-class
online resource, ComingofAge.org, on November 1,
2005, offering one portal where users can search
through thousands of volunteer and learning opportunities,
as well as access hundreds of local career, entertainment
and life-planning resources. The site covers topics
important to people age 50+, and offers inspiring
transition stories about local people who are active
in their communities. WHYY produced a series of
video profiles as the initiative's public awareness
campaign to inspire viewers to become engaged in
their communities and their own creativity. Completing
a three-year demonstration funded by the Pennsylvania
Department of Aging, WHYY and its partners see Coming
of Age as a model that could be replicated
in other markets.
Broadening its 'Horizons'
WHYY and Caring Community were one of 35 coalitions
around the country to receive funding for outreach
around Remaking American Medicine, a four-part
PBS series about quality improvements in healthcare
to air on WHYY-TV in October 2006. WHYY's outreach
plans include a national public radio documentary,
a town-hall meeting and a short television piece,
which will focus on the University of Pennsylvania
Medical School's LEAPP program as an example of
innovation in medical education.
Wider Horizons is also expanding its impact in the First State by developing a Coming of Age initiative in Delaware. Interested individuals and organizations are working with WHYY to develop a statewide project to engage baby boomers and retirees in volunteerism and lifelong learning.