Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
On Out Own Terms: Moyers on DyingOn Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying - HomeThirteen/WNET New YorkPBS Online
Home End-of-Life Tools Care Options Final Days Therapy and Support
End-of-Life Tools

Talk About it
Community Action
Local Connections
National Outreach
Project Staff
Publicity Tools
Video Conference
About the Series
Site Map

Issue #14: News Update


1. Coming Down to the Wire

2. Steering Committees' Activities Amaze

3. Outreach Associates Build on Momentum

4. Make a Big Impact With No Cost Promotion

5. Partner With Local Business

6. Extend the Reach of Your Resource Directory

7. Publicity Materials Available from Films for the Humanities and Sciences

8. Your Future Plans

9. Important Upcoming Events


As the broadcast premiere grows ever closer, the activity level of the outreach only increases. We have lots of exciting news to report- creative Steering Committee activities; a major initiative by an Outreach Associate; new, easy promotion ideas -we truly have it all in this news update. There will be one more news update before the broadcast airs in September, so remember to share any activities you would like to see featured by contacting us at We would love to hear from you.


As we reported in the last news update newsletter, the number of steering committees is growing every day. Remember to check out our steering committee contact list on the On Our Own Terms web site. It is updated regularly so please, if your steering committee does not appear on this list, let us know. You can contact us at

Here are some of the steering committee activities that have been shared with us. (Don't forget to use the discussion boards on our web site to post your activities or read about what others are up to. You can find them at:

A small sampling of what is going on across the country:
  • The steering committee in HONOLULU, HAWAII has created a series of four public service announcements with local celebrities to be shown in November, National Hospice Month. The theme of the series is "Let's Talk About It." The steering committee is hoping to continue the focus on end-of-life issues that On Our Own Terms has begun.
  • The BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS steering committee is working with WGBH, their local public television station, to put together a packet of local resource materials. They will be available to anyone who utilizes the call-in number that will be displayed following each program in the series.
  • The steering committee in AUGUSTA, MAINE, which includes Maine Public Television, is coordinating ten to fifteen small discussion groups statewide. These groups will continue to meet and discuss end-of-life issues after the series airs. MPTV also is planning to broadcast a one-hour follow-up show in November, which will document the results of the discussion groups and promote local resources.
  • The DENVER, COLORADO steering committee is working with Centura Hospital to offer an interactive program entitled "On Our Own Terms: Understanding Options at the End of Life." The programs will be an hour and a half in length and will have a panel of experts speaking to various components of end-of-life care. The panels will be open to the public.


    The Outreach Associates are not only bringing attention to the series, but also helping to create a sustainable movement to improve end-of-life care in this country. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has created a series of consumer brochures, developed in conjunction with the National Hospice Foundation, which can be used during any meetings, seminars or other community outreach efforts that are planned. The three brochures are:
  • Communicating Your End-of-Life Wishes: Why it's important to share your own end-of-life wishes with family and loved ones and tips for bringing up the end-of-life conversation with a loved one.
  • Hospice Care: A Consumer's Guide to Selecting a Program: Information on what hospice care is, what services are provided, and what key questions should be asked when evaluating and selecting hospice care.
  • Hospice Care and the Medicare Hospice Benefit: An explanation of what hospice care is, what are the eligibility requirements for and what services are covered under the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
    If you are interested in ordering any of these brochures, you can do so at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's web site located at:


    PBS is encouraging public television stations across the country to launch a person-to-person promotional campaign for On Our Own Terms by using fax cover sheets, e-mail signatures and "on-hold" messages to announce the upcoming premiere and encourage the public to tune in. This is a no-cost idea that is easy to do and can make a huge impact.

    If every member of your local coalition asked the organization they belong to/work for to use these strategies as a public service to raise awareness for On Our Own Terms, the campaign's reach would literally extend by millions of people. Following are some examples of announcements that can be customized by including information on your local coalition's activities.

  • Telephone Hold Script:
    Don't miss ON OUR OWN TERMS: MOYERS ON DYING, Sunday, September 10th through Wednesday, September 13th at 9 p.m. on PBS.
    This compelling 4-part series shares intimate journeys of patients and their families as they struggle to balance medical intervention with comfort and compassion and to find meaning at the end of life.
    ON OUR OWN TERMS: MOYERS ON DYING, beginning Sunday September 10th at 9 p.m. on PBS.

  • Fax Coversheet:
    ON OUR OWN TERMS: MOYERS ON DYING September 10-13, 2000 at 9 p.m.
    Bill Moyers invites you to follow the intimate journeys of patients, their families and caregivers as they struggle to balance medical intervention with comfort and compassion and to find meaning at the end of life.

  • Email Signature:
    Don't miss ON OUR OWN TERMS: MOYERS ON DYING beginning Sunday, September 10 at 9 p.m. on PBS.


    There are many low-cost or no-cost ways that local business can provide a public service and help to encourage dialogue on end-of-life issues. Here are some good ideas that have come to our attention. If you have additional suggestions post them on the discussion board at:

  • Customize the poster in the publicity tools section of the Web site ( and ask a local grocery store and/or department store to print in quantity and distribute to customers with their receipt.
  • Ask large local employers to include a notice about the series and your local outreach activities as an insert in paycheck envelopes two weeks before the series airs.
  • Ask your local utility company and/or cable TV provider to include OOOT tune-in information and your local activity information in bills that will arrive in late August/early September.


    Many community coalitions are well underway doing the research for a local end-of-life resource directory. Now is the time to think about how to get this information to the widest possible audience. One strategy that has worked very effectively on other Bill Moyers projects is asking your local newspaper to print the directory as an insert or special section. For advice on how to approach your local newspaper to request this public service, call Colby Kelly at Kelly & Salerno Communications at (212) 632-0156.


    Films for the Humanities and Sciences has a limited number of free publicity posters which contain information about On Our Own Terms available for your use. If you think you could utilize one of these posters for an event, please contact Films for the Humanities and Sciences by calling their Customer Service Department at (800) 257-5126. Orders may also be faxed to (609) 275-3767.

    Films for the Humanities and Sciences will also have video copies of the series available. For professional organizations and educational institutions, the 4-part series will be offered at a price of $299. The set will come with full public performance rights, which permits the legal use of the programs for public screenings and group activities. In a clinical or teaching environment, the program could be shown on closed circuit to multiple locations within the buyer's facility.

    Films for the Humanities and Sciences is also offering a version which comes without public performance rights and may be used for private, home viewing only. This version is being offered at a price of $99.95. Outreach Associates, steering committees, and steering committee members are entitled to a special, introductory price of $79.95. You should identify yourself as an official outreach partner and use the code DJE10472 when ordering.

    Orders may be placed by calling Films' Customer Service Department at (800) 257-5126. Orders may also be faxed to (609) 275-3767. For information regarding educational sales, contact Diane Bilello at (609) 419-8039. Prospective dealers who would like information about distributing the program to the Educational market should contact Danielle Marchese at (609) 419-8055. Prospective dealers who would like information about distributing the program to the Home Video market should contact Doug Humphrey at (609) 419-8012.


    We are interested to know what plans you may have made beyond the series. Will you continue to work to improve end-of-life care in your community? What ideas for activities do you have? Will the entire steering committee stay intact or are you passing off members to another organization already in operation? Is your committee planning to institutionalize or formalize itself? We would love you hear what your plans are.

    Our future plans include conducting an evaluation of the outreach work we have undertaken during this campaign. Seeing what was attempted; what worked and what didn't. You all are a critical element of that process. We will be sending out an evaluation survey for you to complete and return expected shortly after the broadcast. Our next news update newsletter will provide in-depth information about our evaluation process. Please take a few moments to complete the survey, letting us know any thoughts you may have regarding your participation in this effort. Your input is vital to our success and we appreciate your time and effort!


    Join Bill Moyers on Monday, September 11th at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Yahoo! Chat for an hour-long discussion about On Our Own Terms and care for the dying.

    Look for the launch of the full ON OUR OWN TERMS companion website beginning August 28th offering a broad variety of resources on end-of-life care. Visitors to the site will find:
  • An in-depth assortment of articles, written by experts in the field, on aspects of end-of-life care ranging from pain management to grief counseling for children.
  • A guide to financial planning for end-of-life care.
  • A digital diary of one dying patient's hospice experience.
  • A debate between two leading doctors over the pros and cons of physician-assisted suicide
  • Resources for art therapy for the dying and their loved ones.
  • Audio and video clips from the ON OUR OWN TERMS program.