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MC&Associates produces groundbreaking health TV show

Published:Wednesday | March 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Sara Lawrence on set of Doctor's Appointment

Doctor's Appointment, a half-hour health television show, is set to redefine Jamaican's accessibility to health information.

Brainchild of Melody Cammock-Gayle, director of marketing and communications firm MC&Associates, and her team, the show aims to present relevant health information in a relatable manner.

"Even the setting was deliberately chosen to convey a relaxed atmosphere where persons feel comfortable to discuss and share. We are in the living room of Chateau Belle, a cosy bed and breakfast run by Audrey Anderson, formerly of the Jamaica Tourist Board," said Cammock-Gayle.

Each Sunday, in the thought-provoking series, host Dr Sara Lawrence will lead discussions with top-billed health practitioners on potentially life-altering health issues.

The programme will focus on informing, educating and encouraging viewers to be pro-active about their health.

"Health is everybody's business," reinforced Cammock-Gayle, director at MC&Associates.

She further explained: "We decided that this programme was more than necessary in the Jamaican landscape as nothing like this exists - especially since we have an admittedly flawed health system. We wanted to give Jamaicans access to industry professionals which many perhaps could not afford to visit," said Cammock-Gayle.

Key partnerships with stakeholders such as NCB Insurance and the NCB Pro-Care brand, who saw the value of the programme and jumped on board, have made the essential product a reality.

"Against the backdrop of the ever-rising cost of health care today, Jamaicans need to understand that being proactive and taking care of one's health is critical to not only one's survival, but financial well-being," said Anntonette Cowan Palmer, NCB Insurance regional manager - Individual Line.

"Aligning our brand with Doctor's Appointment, therefore, presents the opportunity for us to underscore the importance of seeking medical advice, as this is the best way to mitigate illnesses and better help our loved ones put their best lives forward," Cowan Palmer added.




The show will be broken down into three segments with every episode detailing the illness, how it has impacted persons - who give their personal experiences - and ultimately, possible solutions.

The show will address matters such as silent mental illnesses, infertility, fibroids, heart disease and cancer, to name a few.

"As a medical practitioner, I find that programmes like these are still relevant to patients, not only making them more knowledgeable, but generally less apprehensive about health issues, and ultimately addressing these issues through the proper channels," said Lawrence, the programme's host.

"This is why I had to be involved in this project. My mandate each week will be to explore specific health topics in the most relatable way possible so the average viewer can be more equipped and empowered about specifics concerning their health," added Lawrence.

Another key partnership is the link formed with The Gleaner, where further information from each episode will be published in The Gleaner's Health section on Wednesdays after the show airs.

Doctor's Appointment ultimately aims to provide a platform to change the way Jamaicans see their health.

"Jamaicans have been known to delay health care, sometimes out of sheer fear or in favour of home remedies and even self-diagnosis. We want to nip that in the bud, encouraging persons to get help by seeking medical attention. Also, with cancer, heart attack and stroke being among the big killers, a show of this nature puts said issues into perspective, allows us to focus on our mortality, and gives people the confidence to know that having an illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but a condition that is often times treatable, preventable and ultimately not always a death sentence," said Cowan Palmer.

The show will premiere on Sunday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m. on TVJ.