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Health Center Documentary News Show Scam
NACHC has received several reports about a "public television" production company called American Milestones. Their producers are calling S/RPCAs to produce broadcasts about Community Health Centers. This is likely a scam.
These aren't press requests even though the “pitch” is packaged like one. The organization uses the name and reputation of former ABC news anchor Joan Lunden to convince people that this is a legitimate documentary news show. In this case, the organization called American Milestones, relies on non-profits to pay over $20,000 up-front to produce 3-5 minute educational programming that may or may not ever air on TV. The Indianapolis Business Journal has a story about them called “Local PBS station warns of potential scam.”
You should know that they're trying to sell you something before you listen to their extensive pitch – we recommend that you don’t call them back, but a helpful way to respond if they speak to you is to say, “We are fully aware of your service, and we are not interested.”
Theirs is similar to a service that was affiliated with former 20/20 news anchor Hugh Downs that made similar pitches a few years ago (http://consumerist.com/2008/08/so-called-pbs-production-company-sues-blogger-for-20-million.html).
Please let Amy Simmons know if any of your health centers are also getting this pitch – so far NACHC has only heard from S/RPCAs. They are also happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have about this.