Spotlight Health

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Good afternoon, you’re listening to Spotlight Health on Aspen Public Radio. This is the third episode in our series on critical health issues.

Today we hear from the doctor who keeps an eye on infectious diseases for the National Institutes of Health. With the measles outbreak in December, he’s tackling the vaccine controversy head on by getting the word out to parents who have not already vaccinated their kids.

“I would try and convince them by, first of all, not attacking them.”

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Vaccines have gotten a lot more attention in the last few months. Officials, parents, and others are grappling with a measles outbreak that started in Disneyland, in late December. Doctor Anthony Fauci is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That’s at the National Institutes of Health. Fauci spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher. He says there could be more measles outbreaks, because there are so many unvaccinated people in the United States.

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Good afternoon, you’re listening to Spotlight Health, on Aspen Public Radio.

This is the second episode in our series on critical health issues.

Today, we’ll find out what living longer can mean both emotionally and logistically.

“I ask people on a regular basis, if you have an extra 30 years, where would you put them. And no one has ever said, ‘I’d want to make old age longer.’ ”

We’ll also hear about one way of becoming younger by using blood. That’s right, blood.

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Life expectancy in the United States is radically longer now compared to a hundred years ago. Researcher Laura Carstensen studies what life is like during our later years. She’s Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, and spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher about exploring what we can do with longer lives.

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This is Spotlight Health on Aspen Public Radio.

This is the first episode in our series on critical health issues.

Today we’ll check in with the world of prosthetics and light therapy, and how medical technology is changing.

We’ll also examine why healthcare is so expensive in the United States, even though the quality of care isn’t always that great.

That’s this hour on Spotlight Health.

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New medical technology is a growing part of improving health care across the globe. Krista Donaldson is part of an effort to make tools, like prosthetic knees, affordable and effective. Her San Francisco nonprofit, called D-Rev, is working to improve accessibility for people in places like India. 

Spotlight: Health Closing Session – A Conversation with the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius was the 21st United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. She served from 2009-2014.  Sebelius resigned her post as President Obama’s head of HHS in April 2014. She was the key person involved in implementing health care reforms under the “Affordable Care Act” aka “Obamacare”. Sebelius had previously served as Governor of Kansas (2003-2009).

Kathleen Sebelius, Walter Isaacson

How Do We Nourish Nine Billion People?

About half the world’s population suffers from some form of malnutrition – 2 billion people are undernourished, 1.4 billion are overweight or obese, and 800 million are hungry – and as climate change advances, the threats will likely worsen. In the US, cutbacks in the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program mean some Americans run out food every month. Lacking the right nutrients to grow and thrive, billions around the globe cannot rise from poverty. What food and nutrition priorities should the international community set as the UN’s Millennium Development Goals expire? What is the blueprint for strengthening access to nutritious foods and sustainable agriculture? What is the role for the private sector?

Josh Lozman, Ronald Shaich, Marc Van Ameringen, Dan Glickman, Toni Verstandig, Derek Yach

How Can We Die With Dignity?

The hospice movement and other cultural and system-wide innovations in palliative care have been welcome strategies for easing the dying experience, but many people still do not have their final wishes respected. If we are to guide patients and families through life’s final stage with dignity, we need to have wiser conversations, better services, and a clearer ethical framework. What is it like to be present with people as they approach death? What roles can the young and the healthy play? What investments do we need to make to smooth the passage away from the living?

Arthur Leonard Caplan, Ai-jen Poo, Akaya Windwood, Ray Suarez

Can Congress Come Together to Build a Healthier Nation?

There's much more to health politics than the Affordable Care Act. Along with remarkable new advances in medicine by 2024, we will see Baby Boomers swamping the health care system, more veterans needing services, and the impact of climate change becoming ever more apparent. Leaders from both political parties in both houses of Congress should be shaping the vision, negotiating the legislation and committing the funding to improve the nation’s health. What can Congress do to promote better health for more Americans? How can our elected officials reach consensus?

William Frist, Thomas Daschle, Julie Rovner, Mickey Edwards

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