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Spotlight Health 2017

Tuesdays at 3:30 P.M.

Spotlight Health is a series of programs in partnership between Aspen Public Radio and the Spotlight Health conference of the Aspen Ideas Festival. Hosted by Alycin Bektesh and Christin Kay, the six episodes present speakers and leaders from around the world that are working on cutting-edge health issues.

Our guest today is Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University. Julianne studies the effects of social relationships and social isolation on health and longevity.   

Her research has found that loneliness can be just as unhealthy as smoking and obesity, and she’s encouraging the medical community to consider the importance of relationships when talking to patients.  

             

Our first guest is Steven Keating.  When a tumor was discovered in Steven’s brain, he wanted to know everything he could about it, even choosing to stay awake during the surgery that removed the mass. But getting information about his own treatment was much more complicated than he anticipated. His experience led him to become a patient advocate.  He now works on technology that would make medical data more accessible and easier to understand for patients themselves.  

We speak to Dr. Andrew Morris-Singer, president and founder of Primary Care Progress, or PCP.  His organization provides leadership development and training to primary care doctors. Part of this training is centered on how a focus on collaboration and relationships can help doctors treat patients more effectively.

This week we talk to Dixon Chibanda, a psychiatrist and researcher at the University of Zimbabwe.  He focuses on community mental health and developed the "Friendship Bench" community mental health intervention.  It's now been scaled up to over 70 primary care clinics in Zimbabwe.  

We talk with Ngozi Erondu, an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Topical Medicine and co-founder of the Global Bridge Group.  She is an infectious disease epidemiologist and global health policy expert. Her research looks at where "gaps" happen in health systems, things that might prevent people from receiving treatment if health workers don't have the resources they need.  

Hosts Alycin Bektesh and Christin Kay talk with Minda Dentler. When she was an infant in India, she contracted polio, which left her legs paralyzed.  She was adopted into an American family.  Minda began competing in triathlons, using a handcycle and a racing wheelchair.  In 2013, she became the first official female handcyclist in history to complete an Ironman Championship.  She's also a passionate advocate for global immunization and polio eradication.