FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2023
$13K Per American for Health Care: What Are We Getting?Each American now spends an average of nearly $13,000 a year on health care. We have one of the highest health care costs in the world but we don’t lead on the best outcomes. How can we get more value from the $4 trillion in total the U.S. spends on health care?Dr. Margaret Hamburg is co-chair of the Health Affairs Council on Health Care Spending and Value, which has been looking at that question. Their recommendations range from administrative streamlining to spending growth targets.Hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter have her unpack the report and ask this former U.S. Food & Drug Administration commissioner what bumps are ahead for what they call a “roadmap to value.”
THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2023
Long COVID: Skeptics Are Wrong, Researchers SayYale University researcher Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., says immune profiling shows how Long COVID patients have distinct features not found in control groups. These patients, who also exhibit elevated levels of exhausted T-cells, cause her to express surprise at skeptics.Iwasaki joins Fiona Lowenstein, editor of “The Long COVID Survival Guide,” to discuss patients who say they’re suffering from Long COVID for as much as two years after their acute phase of the disease.Iwasaki also explains why her lab’s effort to move forward with a COVID nasal spray faces financial hurdles.Listen in to this important conversation with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter.
THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2023
Healing to Homeless People: A Doctor’s NYT Best-Selling StoryAcclaimed author Tracy Kidder has tackled another major public health story. This time he looks at Dr. Jim O’Connell’s “urgent mission to bring healing to homeless people” in Boston in the new book “Rough Sleepers.” Dr. O’Connell discusses the challenges running the nonprofit, hurdles to providing housing and the Biden Administration’s plans for reducing homelessness.This conversation with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter is available now as we all seek to find ways to understand this growing public health issue.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2023
NYT’s Nicholas Kristof: Smarter Way to Reduce Gun DeathsWe’ve had 82 mass shootings in our country so far this year and the number keeps growing; we’ve never had so many occur in such a short time frame. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for young children and teenagers in the United States. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof shares with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter smarter ways to reduce gun deaths as advocates look for answers to this public safety and health crisis.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2023
Biden COVID Advisor Urges Greater Paxlovid Use: ‘People Have Died Unnecessarily’Paxlovid is an oral antiviral pill to treat COVID; data show it reduces serious illness, hospitalization and cases of Long COVID. That’s why Michael Osterholm, Ph.D. wants more doctors to prescribe it. He serves as a White House advisor and is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He says, “People have died unnecessarily because they were unable to get Paxlovid when they could have and should have.” This compelling conversation with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter is available now.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2023
Sierra Club Executive Director Sees New Energy for Climate Change FightBen Jealous, the former NAACP president, is taking charge as the new executive director of the Sierra Club. It’s America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization with nearly 4 million members and supporters.With a strategy focused on equity and activism, Jealous and the Sierra Club are committed to retiring coal plants, preventing new fossil fuel plants from being built, and working to stop the expansion of fracked gas.Jealous joins hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter to talk about his vision and discuss his new book, “Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing.”
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2023
FDA Advisor Dr. Offit’s Latest Findings on COVID Vaccine & Young ChildrenFDA vaccine advisor Dr. Paul Offit’s recent article in JAMA Pediatrics looks at the millions of 5- to 11-year-old children who received the COVID vaccine. His in-depth research review found that the mRNA vaccine was effective at preventing COVID, symptomatic infection, hospitalization, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. The vaccine was also safe; myocarditis occurred in very rare cases. Dr. Offit joins hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter to discuss his findings and why he supports the end of the public health emergency.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023
Why Are Only 5% Of Doctors African American? Dr. Louis Sullivan Tells UsDr. Louis Sullivan’s leadership and advocacy for equity in the health professions have taken him from the classroom to the seats of power in Washington. He reflects on his own journey and the challenges that still exist in training people of color to become doctors and for other medical roles.Dr. Sullivan believes, “It’s a combination of a lack of adequate preparation, lack of financial resources, and also a lack of role models.” He shares his inspiring story from the then-segregated South and the influences that helped him.Dr. Sullivan served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is the co-author of the new book “We’ll Fight it Out Here: A History of the Ongoing Struggle for Health Equity.”We’re honored to have him join hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter to discuss these topics, the gaps COVID has exposed, and the current political battles over equity.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2023
WHO: What China Must Do Now to Help Fight COVIDA top World Health Organization public health official is adding nuance to the agency’s call for more transparency from China, which is coping with a crippling COVID-19 outbreak since it ended its zero-COVID policy last month.Maria Van Kerkhove, Ph.D., WHO Technical Lead for COVID-19 Response, tells “Conversations on Health Care” that “We really need better understanding on the burden and the hospitalizations and we need more information on the sequences…they have detected known sub-variances…but we need those sequences to be shared publicly. We want China to work with us to really determine within those sublineages…is there anything else within those sequences that’s different. And we need a global community to look at that. And work directly with us to do a full risk assessment.“Right now they’re going through a massive wave of Omicron. This virus, as transmissible as it is, is passing through the population. They are sharing information. It’s just not enough. It’s just not as detailed as we’d like.” Van Kerkhove joins hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter to share her insights.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2023
Former CDC Chief Questions U.S Reaction to Chinese COVID OutbreakDr. Richard Besser, who once led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doesn’t believe the recently enacted U.S. COVID testing requirement for anyone arriving from China will have much of an impact. Besser, who is currently president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says he feels such actions are often “more for show than truly for controlling a public health threat” and recalls that 14 years ago possible border closings during the H1N1 outbreak were seen as ineffective. Besser joins hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter to share his insights about the XBB.1.5 Omicron Subvariant, ways to strengthen public health and the tripledemic threat (RSV, COVID and the flu).
THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2023
Health Policy Moves in ’22 Set the Stage for New YearThe health care public policy debates that swirled in 2022 will continue to make news in 2023. These issues ranged from the Dobbs abortion decision to the outcome of the midterm elections.Many of the nation’s leading experts joined “Conversations on Health Care” during the past 12 months to share their perspectives. Join hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter as we look back at the year that was in health care policy.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2022
COVID’s 3rd Year: Experts SpeakWe’re proud to have again served as a platform for trusted, informed experts during the third year of the pandemic. This week “Conversations on Health Care” looks back on some of the most insightful comments from doctors and scientists who are on the frontlines of fighting COVID. In addition to NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci we had as our guests Dr. Peter Hotez from Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Zeke Emanuel at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Michael Osterholm from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Mary Bassett with the New York City Health Department and others. Listen in as hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter capture their insights about these extraordinary medical challenges.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2022
The Interview That Made News in ‘22: Fauci on COVIDIn early November Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Biden, joined us with important pandemic details. It marked his 7th interview with us during his amazing tenure.His COVID comments on our program were picked up by ABC, NBC and many other news outlets and they’re still relevant right now as we face what he called “the emergence of sublineage variants of Omicron.”Listen in as Dr. Fauci shares his wisdom with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter as he prepares to leave NIH after over 50 years of public service.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2022
Hear From a Progressive and Conservative - Can We Find Common Ground in Health Care?Roughly 112 million Americans voted in the recent mid-term elections and the candidates and issues they voted on will have profound implications for health care policy in the states, at the national level and ultimately in all of our lives. We’re following up on our series called “Health Care on the Ballot” with this discussion focused on the results and what they mean.Join hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter in conversation with Dr. Donald Berwick, former CMS Administrator in the Obama administration, and James Capretta, a former Bush administration budget official. Perhaps surprisingly, we found areas they agree on, including the value of telehealth.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2022
Hear From the Author Who Wrote the New Book Peace & HealthIf we agree that Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege, how do we make that a reality?Author Charles Barber has captured the engaging details in the new book “Peace & Health: How a group of small-town activists and college students set out to change healthcare.”Veteran news anchorwoman Thalia Assuras interviews Charles about how Community Health Center, Inc., transformed the delivery of health care for populations who had been ignored.“Peace & Health” is available from online retailers Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble and a growing set of local booksellers.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2022
Holidays & Mental Health: Interventions, Treatment & EquityIt’s a joyous time, as families begin to gather for Thanksgiving. But experts also say the holidays see a rise in mental health and addiction issues. This week we present an encore interview with Patrick Kennedy, a former member of Congress and a nationally acclaimed mental health and addiction advocate. He’s the founder of The Kennedy Forum, which seeks to revolutionize health care. Kennedy discusses with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter his insights about how families are key for interventions and the role policymakers can play in creating mental health parity.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2022
Alzheimer's Foundation Head Discusses Breakthroughs: Can Biomarkers & Vaccines Offer Hope?Dr. Howard Fillit, the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, focuses the nonprofit on supporting scientists around the globe who are investigating novel drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease.He explains to hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter how those investments are paying dividends in terms of diagnostic tools and treatments and why the upcoming holidays are a perfect time to assess if a loved one is showing signs of dementia.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2022
What Does Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban Know About Fixing Health Care? Are There Lessons for All of Us?Billionaire Mark Cuban never holds back his opinions on TV’s “Shark Tank” and now he’s trying to take a bite out of the health care sector — it might be his biggest challenge yet. Cuban understands he’s up against entrenched lobbyists and bureaucrats as he tries to reform how Americans purchase their pharmaceuticals.Hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter ask Cuban to explain his venture Cost Plus Drugs, its financial model and how some insurers are already joining in.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2022
Dr. Fauci Prepares for His Next Steps; Offers Leadership Lessons to Younger GenerationDr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Biden, tells “Conversations on Health Care” that he’s thinking about what occurs after he leaves his position at the end of the year. Fauci says he’s strictly adhering to ethical rules and not negotiating for any position until after he leaves the government but he broadly wants to utilize his 54 years of experience at the National Institutes of Health for writing, lecturing and serving in an advisory capacity to inspire the younger generation to pursue their interests in medicine, science and public health.Hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter note that this is Fauci’s fifth interview with them since the pandemic began and they again use the opportunity to ask him about the latest COVID details.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2022
'Dopesick' Author on Opioid Treatment InnovationsThe data show that 80,816 people died in the U.S. from overdose deaths involving opioids in 2021 - a tremendous loss. But what hope can medical experts, policymakers and law enforcement officers take to stem the trend?Award-winning author Beth Macy, who wrote the acclaimed book 'Dopesick' about the origins of the opioid crisis, now has a book exploring innovative thinking and breakthrough approaches.She joins hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter to discuss "Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis."
Episodes - Community Health Center Presents Conversations on Health Care
Conversations on Health Care is a radio show about the opportunities for reform and innovation in the health care system.