Spotlight Health

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Dr. Margaret Hamburg is catching her breath, after finishing up six years as head of the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. The agency is one of the most influential in Americans' everyday lives, regulating products that account for twenty cents of every dollar consumers spend. As Commissioner, Hamburg faced tremendous challenges, and spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher about her time there.

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

Today we’ll hear from a health expert who noticed patients spend a lot of time in hospitals without much to do and how that changes when there is art and music in the building.

“I witnessed moments where patients would listen to the concert, and that could be the last beautiful thing they’ve heard.”

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Doctor Iva Fattorini started her career as a dermatologist. After a stint in the world of e-medicine, or telemedicine, she’s now focusing on art and music in hospitals. Fattorini is founder of if the company Artocene.She’s also Chair of the Cleveland Clinic's Global Arts & Medicine Institute. In the United States, the medical center has an extensive art collection, and art and music therapy. The Cleveland Clinic recently opened a new center in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Fattorini is charged with implementing arts and music at the new location. She spoke by Skype with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher.

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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.

Guests: Krista Donaldson, CEO D-Rev & Elizabeth Bradley, Director of the Yale Global Health Initiative.

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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. 

A Conversation with the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Jun 27, 2014

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?

Jun 26, 2014

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?

Jun 26, 2014

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

Personalized Medicine: The Future is Now

Jun 25, 2014

Personalized Medicine: The Future is Now

Personalized medicine is upending hierarchies with consumer products like Scanadu, designed to track physiological signals, and 23andMe.com, which provides raw genetic data. Meanwhile, our exploding knowledge means treatments can increasingly be custom-tailored — the genetic characteristics of a tumor can predict the most effective drug to fight it; a medical image can reveal which artery-opening device will be most effective for a particular individual. How does personalized medicine change the way medicine is practiced? Is it possible to know too much? Does the US need a new regulatory framework for this unprecedented era?

Women’s Health: The Unfinished Revolution

Jun 25, 2014

Women’s Health: The Unfinished Revolution

The phrase “women’s health” slips off the tongues of clinicians, public health experts, community advocates and legislators with ease, but the ideological battles of the past three decades have clouded this once-useful term. Reproductive health services and access to family planning promote health and combat poverty, but they do not represent the sum of women’s health needs or rights. Women also differ from men in how they develop, age, and respond to treatment, yet the science of their unique characteristics is alarmingly incomplete. What is “women’s health” really about, and how we do re-imagine its future?

Jane Otai, Sisonke Msimang, Courtney E. Martin, Betty King

THE ASPEN LECTURE When Experts Disagree: The Art of Medical Decision-Making

Despite medical advances and the application of scientific principles to modern medicine, there seems to be increasing controversy about the “right” diagnostic and treatment choices, even for very common medical issues – such as how best to treat high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, whether to take vitamins, especially vitamin D, and who should be screened for cancer with mammograms and PSA. And the debate is very public, fomenting confusion with almost daily stories in the media. Why are experts disagreeing? Why isn't there a clear “right” answer? And what support do patients need to make decisions in the face of such controversy?

Jerome Groopman, Pamela Hartzband

Colorado's "Right to Try" Law: A Lifeline or False Hope?

Colorado’s new “right-to-try” law, signed in May, allows terminally ill patients access to investigational drugs without federal approval. Similar legislation is being considered in other states. Supporters call it a ray of hope for people with few alternatives, while skeptics argue that the hopes could be false and the suffering worsened. The US Food and Drug Administration already has compassionate-use mechanisms in place, but action at the state level is a first. What are the clinical and ethical implications of Colorado’s action? Are states usurping federal authority? What are the rights of dying people here?

Elliot Gerson, Joe Garcia, Diane E. Meier

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

This is our final episode in our series on critical health issues.

Today we’ll hear about a program to get more humanities students to become doctors, even if they major in, say philosophy.

“And then come to medical school without having had to take many of the traditional science requirements, and without having to take the MCAT.”

That’s the Medical College Admission Test, for all of you who’ve avoided the rigors usually required to become a doctor.

And those more well-rounded physicians could end up working in what Doctor Kenneth Davis calls the hospital of the future

“The providers of health care have no choice but to change. What we have to ask ourselves is with those changes, will we be improving access, and will we be improving quality.”

That’s this hour, on Spotlight Health.

feministing.com

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

Today we’ll hear about ways technology is making it easier for people to live their lives. That includes prosthetics and robotics. Think of one of those really cool science terms you learned back in grade school or middle school. Exosekelton! A Roaring Fork Valley resident is using one to start moving again.

And the ever expanding field of 3-D printing could make that even more effective.

That’s this hour on Spotlight Health.

Amanda Boxtel, Bridging Bionics Foundation

Many people already use prosthetics to get around; now robotics is becoming another way to help people move. It’s already the case for a Basalt resident, Amanda Boxtel, who’s been paralyzed below her pelvis for decades. Boxtel is Executive Director of the Bridging Bionics Foundation. She says it’s been important to her to aim for the best quality of life possible. She talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

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