I'm Dennis Stretar, creator of the Our Community Broadcasting Network. I have lived in Aurora Colorado since 1995 with my wife Sue. I started in broadcasting in 1999 with the creation of the public affairs radio program, Colorado Today, with Sue as co-host. The program was broadcast on AM 1430 KEZW radio through 2006. We presented weekly segments about living a healthy lifestyle with interviews featuring healthcare and lifestyle experts, government officials and community activists to share topics of interest to area families. Kaiser Permanente became our primary sponsor and gave us access to their healthcare professionals for interviews to inform the listener about maintaining good health through lifestyle choices.
Among our many interview guests were the Secretaries of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Donna Shalala (President Clinton), Tommy Thompson (President Bush 1st term), and Michael Leavitt (President Bush 2nd term). Colorado Governors; Bill Owens, Bill Ritter, and John Hickenlooper. Senators; Wayne Allard, Mark Udall and Ken Salazar. House Reps; Bob Beauprez, Diana DeGette, and Tom Tancredo. Denver Mayor Welligton Webb and Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer. Health and wellness organizations as well as lifestyle experts from all over the country were welcome guests and valuable resources for the program.
In 2002, HHS granted us funding through the National Aging Services Caregiver Grantprogram to allow us to expand into public television and various print publications along with our radio program. The Rose Community Foundation provided additional funding through their community grant program to aid in our multimedia growth. The expansion into public television featured fifteen programs on caregiving your elderly loved one and was hosted by Sue. The broadcasts promoted best practices in eldercare and provided useful and necessary information for the family caregiver. The grants were managed by Healthy Aging Today, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and I served as the organization's executive director for the two year grant period.
During this period, I produced a local PBS special, Fighting Breast Cancer, A Personal Story, broadcast in October 2002 on KBDI-12 PBS, as their feature broadcast for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sue was both the broadcast journalist and the breast cancer survivor. The Susan G Komen Foundation was a major collaborator and Porter Adventist Hospital, where Sue received her cancer treatment, was a major funder for the project. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also provided funding. Sue's doctors and healthcare providers were interviewed on camera, as the viewer was shown the process from breast cancer diagnosis, followed by surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and finally with aftercare, in Sue's battle with the disease. Although it's been 20 years since the original broadcast, the program still has relevance in showing possitive outcomes with early detection and treatment of breast cancer. I encourage everyone to view and share this program with your network. It can be life saving.
Getting back into broadcasting by creating OCBN is my way of "paying it forward" to the community that has given me so much over the years. I hope you find these programs informative and will share them with your network. Your suggestions and input about topics and guests are welcome and thanks for your interest in the Our Community Broadcasting Network.