This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the course "Telenovelas, Culture and Society" at the University of Georgia during Spring 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Using Television to Educate Audiences on Health Issues

I was particularly fascinated when Dr. A informed our class that the Colorado Health Foundation created a 12-episode telenovela highlighting the importance of healthcare and other health-related themes. I was so curious by this that I decided to do some online research about why the CHF chose to create telenovelas to educate the citizens of Colorado on the importance of health. Research has shown that Latinos are disproportionally represented among the uninsured in Colorado. This is so important because those with insurance have much better access to better health resources. By focusing on this population, the CHF showcased the unique issues that Latinos in Colorado face in these areas.

This phenomenal idea has made a great impact, which is why it is a growing trend. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation are trying to reach out to television audiences to spread health information and educate Americans. They are trying to imbed social messages in television programs.


  1. On behalf of the Colorado Health Foundation, thank you for spotlighting the telenovela project and noting that Latinos are disproportionately represented among Colorado’s uninsured. Part of the Foundation’s mission is to ensure health coverage for all Coloradans. Please let us know if you need any further information, and if you’re interested in learning more about what the Foundation does in this area, please visit

    Keep up the good work.


    Amy Latham
    Senior Program Officer – Health Coverage The Colorado Health Foundation

  2. Amy, on behalf of my students and myself, thanks for taking the time to read our class blog and to post a comment. My class would be incomplete without bringing in the Colorado Health Foundation telenovela project.

  3. Thank you so much for reading my blog post! I really appreciate the effort that The Colorado Health Foundation is putting forth. I hope to see more of this throughout the United States in the future.


  4. Great post Amy! I wanted to add that telenovela actors are of course widely known throughout Latin America. They are useful in spreading messages to the community, due to the "intimate" connection they make with their audiences daily. I found a video of two actors, that we've studied closely in class: Guillermo Garcia and Marisa Roman. Together they filmed a public service announcement to encourage the use of contraceptives against the spread of HIV. I think this is also an excellent way for the those involved in the telenovela industry to encourage their audiences towards preventative health measures. Feel free to Check out the video below: