Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Governor, Department of Health, and RI Broadcasters sponsor H1N1 Q&A tonight

Governor Donald L. Carcieri and the Rhode Island Department of Health are partnering with the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association (RIBA) members, WSBE Rhode Island PBS, WPRI-TV, WJAR-TV, and WLNE-TV to hold a live panel discussion and phone bank to answer questions on the H1N1-Swine Flu virus on Wednesday, November 4, 2009.

From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., medical professionals from the RI Department of Health (DOH) and clinicians will staff a phone bank at the Rhode Island PBS studios to answer questions on H1N1. The phone number for the public to call with questions from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. will be 401-222-8012.

(Please note, the phone bank number will ONLY be operational from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The regular DOH H1N1 Information Line is 401-222-8022, and is operational Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

This will be followed by a 60-minute panel discussion on H1N1, prevention tips, symptoms, and with some of the more frequently asked questions answered by the panel of experts. The program, H1N1 – Swine Flu: What You Need to Know, will be moderated by former TV anchor Dave Layman with participation from Dr. David Gifford of the DOH, and other physicians.

The local television stations will report live from the Rhode Island PBS studios throughout the evening broadcasts, and will air the panel discussion live, starting at 7:00 p.m.

In addition, the television stations will stream the panel discussion live on the station websites, including,, and, and replay the program on all channels throughout the next several weeks.

Several radio stations are also supporting this effort by airing promotional spots on where and when to find programming and coverage of the event within their newscasts.

“I want to extend my appreciation for the tremendous support by our media partners in helping to inform the public on how to prevent H1N1, the symptoms to look for, and the vaccination schedule,” said Governor Carcieri. “Providing accurate and up-to-date information is critical in keeping the public informed during what can be a stressful time for many Rhode Islanders, especially parents.”

“Rhode Island Broadcasters Association is proud to partner in this public service to provide information to our viewers and listeners from experts within our medical and health community, helping guide us to wellness protection and safeguard ourselves and our families,” said Lori Needham, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association.