July 20, 2009

CCP honors MTV exec for health communication work

The Bloomberg School’s Center for Communication Programs has awarded Cathy Phiri, the social responsibility director for MTV Networks International, the International Health Communication Gold Medallion Award for outstanding contributions to health communication. She received the award on June 23 at a ceremony during CCP’s Global Meeting, a weeklong gathering in Baltimore of CCP staff from around the world.

Phiri oversees MTVNI’s multimedia global initiative Staying Alive, which has evolved into the world’s leading media response to HIV and AIDS. The pilot program provides youth-targeted information promoting safer lifestyle choices and fighting the stigma and discrimination fueling the HIV epidemic in Kenya, Tanzania and Trinidad & Tobago.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Staying Alive is developing an expanded regional- and country-level approach to complement its existing campaign. CCP is collaborating with Staying Alive to monitor and evaluate the pilot program.

Phiri also served as executive producer of Uncensored, a talk show that deals with sexual health issues for young people in Africa, and as co-executive producer of Sexpress Yourself, which provided young people from Latin America and the Caribbean with an opportunity to speak freely about sex.

Susan Krenn, director of CCP, said, “We are proud to share a common goal with MTV in finding innovative ways to communicate health messages and to foster dialogue and promote positive change among the world’s most vulnerable populations.”