Good, Healthy Life

Good, Healthy Life is a new series produced by NET in conjunction with Nebraska health partners

Episode 2: Worksite Wellness and Community Partnerships

Big business

Health care in America accounts for about one-sixth of the entire economy.  More than any other industry. It’s become a myriad of insurance costs, changing government policies and skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs, while many other countries are not having the same experience. Good, Healthy Life takes a look at how America’s health system got to be where it is and how consumers can navigate it.   

Health at a personal level            

Cancer and heart disease are the two leading causes of death among Nebraskans.* Two serious and high profile illnesses.  They account for nearly half of the deaths in the state.  That means though, that all other causes of death together account for the other half.   For example, accidents are the fifth leading cause of death. There are a myriad of health and wellness issues Nebraskans could learn more about that could help them live longer and healthier lives.  Good, Healthy Life will examine the causes of illnesses, how Nebraskans can prevent them and how they can recover.

*report cited

Up-to-date health information, available to all Nebraskans via NET Television

Along with health partners, NET Television begins a long term effort focused on the health and well-being of Nebraskans.  Good, Healthy Life partners with healthcare providers, medical facilities and others associated with wellness, to address health concerns, offer practical guidance for healthy living and provide information for those who are affected when a loved-one deals with a health issue. 

This effort can save and improve lives            

Good, Healthy Life will be produced on multiple platforms.  Television programming, web content and promotion will all be part of Good, Healthy Life series.  An advisory team will inform what topics to examine and who the leaders are in the state to address them.  These programs will be studio based with informative discussion and will include some pre-produced segments.  The series will feature medical and wellness professionals, real Nebraskans dealing with and overcoming health issues and local and national health policy experts.

Helping Nebraska families become and stay healthy

Programming will reach viewers on NET World and is also available on demand. Like NET, the partners are driven by educational and altruistic motives. Good, Healthy Life is intended to expand the audience receiving healthcare information.

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Policies & History

Aelwen Wetherby, Ph.D., UNL History Instructor, describes events and policies in U. S. history
that have shaped the healthcare system we have today


Joann Schaefer, M.D. Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska; Marty Fattig, Nebraska Hospital Association; and
Dr. Rob Rhodes, Nebraska Medical Association talk about problems in the current health care system


Joann Schaefer, M.D. Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska; Marty Fattig, Nebraska Hospital Association; and
Dr. Rob Rhodes, Nebraska Medical Association talk about some solutions for better health care


Joann Schaefer, M.D. Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska; Marty Fattig, Nebraska Hospital Association; and
Dr. Rob Rhodes, Nebraska Medical Association talk about the value of Good, Healthy Life

The Good, Healthy Life Advisory Team:

Joann Schaefer, MD
Executive Vice President at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska

She oversees the company’s Health Network Services, Case Management, Quality, Pharmacy, Medical Policy and Wellness areas. Prior to joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, Dr. Schaefer served in a dual role as chief medical officer and director of the Division of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2013. Before that, she practiced family medicine and served as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Creighton University Medical School.

Marty Fattig
Nebraska Hospital Association Board Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Nemaha County Hospital, Auburn, NE

The Nebraska Hospital Association was founded in 1927.  NHA’s mission is to serve its members by being the trusted leader to improve health, well-being and quality of life of all Nebraskans.  NHA serves as the influential voice of its members in health care legislative arenas, promoting quality health care and influencing public opinion of hospitals and health networks.

Mr. Fattig has been involved in healthcare for over 40 years.  He began his career as a bench Medical Technologist.  He is currently the CEO of Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn, Nebraska where he led the effort to install their EHR in 2004.  He is Chairman of the Rural Health Advisory Commission.  He is a member of the Critical Access Hospital Advisory Council, and the Critical Access Hospital Advisory Board on Quality.  He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Nebraska Hospital Association.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration.

Robert Rhodes, MD
President, Nebraska Medical Association, Family Physician, Southwest Family Health in Lincoln

The Nebraska Medical Association was founded in 1868, and represents nearly 3,000 active and retired physicians, residents and medical students from across the state of Nebraska. The mission of the Nebraska Medical Association is to serve physician members by advocating for the medical profession, for patients and for the health of all Nebraskans.

Dr. Rhodes earned his medical degree from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine and completed his residency with the Lincoln Family Practice Program and UNMC. He is Board Certified in Family Practice. Dr. Rhodes is an adjunct instructor at UNMC and a clinical associate professor at the University of South Dakota. He is a founder/President Emeritus of Clinic with a Heart.

Susan Bockrath, MPH, CHES
Executive Director, Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors

As Chief Health Strategists in districts that cover from 1 to 11 counties, Nebraska’s local public health departments identify and respond to local health priorities and needs.   NALHD and member local public health departments maintain partnerships with government agencies, academic institutions, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and representatives from business, education, healthcare, housing, and other entities. 

Ms. Bockrath is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors (NALHD)—the statewide, non-profit professional association of local health department directors.  In this role, she applies her experience in public health, organization and project management, evaluation, and health literacy to amplifying local health departments’ efforts to make “the good life” a healthy one for all Nebraskans.  Ms. Bockrath is a longtime advocate of health literacy as a tool for improving health outcomes for individuals and communities—including immigrant newcomers and English Language Learners.  Her most recent work in this area focused upstream, on building health professionals’ and educators’ health literacy skills.  Susan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health (1998) and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. 

Melanie Dawkins
Series Host

Ms. Dawkins is an experienced television host and anchor.  Her career includes twelve years in the television field, reporting on a wide range of subjects.  She has experience reporting on a number of health topics while working closely with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, which included weekly health stories. Ms. Dawkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism.