Ann Curry helps medical patients in ‘Chasing the Cure’
If a meeting between a patient and doctors on live television can have a successful result, Ann Curry wants to get it done.
The Emmy-winning news correspondent, former “Today” co-anchor and recent “We’ll Meet Again” host focuses on medical matters as an executive producer and the anchor of “Chasing the Cure,” which TBS and TNT both premiere Thursday, Aug. 8. The 90-minute episodes tackle real-life mysteries as people whose ailments have been unsolved, undiagnosed or misdiagnosed seek help from experts in real time, with social media and a dedicated website (ChasingTheCureLive.com) also as major components.
In an interview for this article, Curry discussed the series.
Q: What is your overall approach to doing “Chasing the Cure”?
A: It’s all about finding a new way of connecting people with top doctors throughout the country. Most of that will be happening online, where our website will be manned and womanned 24/7, then we will highlight cases for 10 weeks over 90 minutes – and see if we can punch a hole in what keeps people from getting all the information they need to live better, longer lives.
Q: How are you finding the medical community’s general reaction to this?
A: We can’t operate unless we’re well-embraced by the medical community, and their initial concern was the same concern I had as a journalist ... “What are the standards that we’re going to operate under?,” combining the talents of TV creators, journalists and technologists with medicine. What are the priorities? The first response was to proceed with caution, which speaks to how responsible we want our doctors to be. We did direct outreach to them, and they weren’t easy to find, because they weren’t looking to be on television.
The response now is that doctors, nurses and professors of medicine are saying, “Thank goodness you’re doing this.” I think everybody recognizes that something has to happen to allow more people into the fold. The best physicians will acknowledge that there are just too many ways that people are left behind, so what we’re getting now about this is a lot of excitement.
Q: You’ve been soliciting the public’s stories for “Chasing the Cure” via on-air ads and the show’s website. What have you found the response to be?
A: It’s been significant. In fact, we’re a little worried, because it might exceed our expectations. Even when this was just an idea, people were submitting things. It’s remarkable how many of us know someone who is struggling medically and is struggling to get a diagnosis. We’ve really tried to open our arms as wide as we can and do what we can for what we understand are millions of people.