CHC Radio Archives - Healthy Communities Online

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By: Community Health Center, Inc.

Conversations On Health Care features in-depth discussions on health policy and innovation with industry newsmakers from around the globe. The podcast is produced by Community Health Center, Inc., Connecticut’s largest provider of medical, dental and behavioral healthcare to the underserved, and hosted by Founder, President and CEO Mark Masselli and Vice President and Clinical Director Margaret Flinter.

Why Are Only 5% Of Doctors African American? Dr. Louis Sullivan Tells Us
Last Wednesday at 10:05 PM

Dr. 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...

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WHO: What China Must Do Now to Help Fight COVID
01/17/2023

A 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...

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Former CDC Chief Questions U.S Reaction to Chinese COVID Outbreak
01/12/2023

Dr. 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...

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Health Policy Moves in ’22 Set the Stage for New Year
01/04/2023

The 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.

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COVID’s 3rd Year: Experts Speak
12/27/2022

We’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...

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Hear From a Progressive and Conservative – Can We Find Common Ground in Health Care?
12/14/2022

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...

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Hear From the Author Who Wrote the New Book Peace & Health
12/09/2022

If 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...

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Long COVID: Skeptics Are Wrong, Researchers Say
12/01/2022

Yale 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...

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Holidays & Mental Health: Interventions, Treatment & Equity
11/22/2022

It’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...

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Alzheimer’s Foundation Head Discusses Breakthroughs: Can Biomarkers & Vaccines Offer Hope?
11/17/2022

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.

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What Does Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban Know About Fixing Health Care? Are There Lessons for All of Us?
11/10/2022

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.

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Dr. Fauci Prepares for His Next Steps; Offers Leadership Lessons to Younger Generation
11/03/2022

Dr. 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...

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‘Dopesick’ Author on Opioid Treatment Innovations
10/27/2022

The 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...

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All of Your Health Information Is Now a Right Not a Privilege – ONC Head Tells Us More
10/21/2022

As of October 6, 2022, all health care organizations in the United States are legally required to give patients unrestricted access to all their health records in a digital format. Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., National Coordinator for Health IT at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, is excited about this change and its ability to empower patients. Yet the free flow of data also poses security risks. He tells hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter what protections Americans can...

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Your Vote & Health Care: Why It Matters
10/17/2022

Early voting has already started in some parts of the United States as Americans make important decisions about who they want to represent them. The polls show that health-related issues are some of the most important ones to voters this year. We discuss health care on the ballot with policy experts from two prominent Washington D.C. think tanks. Joseph Antos, Ph.D., with the American Enterprise Institute and Emily Gee, Ph.D., with the Center for American Progress join hosts Mark Masselli...

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Health Care on the Ballot: What’s at Stake Nov. 8?
10/06/2022

In less than five weeks Americans should know the outcome of the midterm elections. Will overturning Roe v. Wade propel Democrats to surprise wins? Will Republicans seize the moment with their vision of how to fix health care? Sheryl Gay Stolberg with The New York Times and Victoria Knight with Axios examine how the November results will likely impact health care policy in the next two years and beyond. They’re guests this week on “Conversations on Health Care” with hosts...

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How Will We Know When the Pandemic is Over? Brown Univ. Pandemic Center Director Explains
09/29/2022

Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo leads the Pandemic Center at the Brown University School of Public Health; she was initially hired for the role by Dr. Ashish Jha, who is now the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Dr. Nuzzo tells hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter that COVID remains a fairly significant health threat, especially in terms of possible variants, but we’re not in the same situation we were two years ago. She reacts to President Biden’s recent statements about the state...

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White House Preview: How Can We Tackle Hunger, Nutrition, and Health?
09/22/2022

Wednesday, Sept. 28, the Biden-Harris Administration will host the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the first one in over 50 years. What will the experts and community leaders discuss? How will we reach the goal of ending U.S. hunger and reducing diet-related diseases in a majority of Americans by 2030? “Conversations on Health Care” hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter get answers from Dan Glickman, the former Secretary of Agriculture, and Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a renowned expert...

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Who’s Community Health Centers’ Top Ally? Powerful House Leader Makes the Case
09/15/2022

Majority Whip James Clyburn, the third-most powerful Democrat in the U.S. House, makes a passionate case for community health centers. His goal is to get a center within commuting distance of each American. “Every time legislation comes forward on health care I’m always trying to figure out how we can get community health centers to benefit from this legislation…not satisfied with where we are because we are not where we need to be yet,” he says. Clyburn also confirms to...

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Monkeypox Update from Top White House Coordinator
09/08/2022

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator, joins “Conversations on Health Care” to discuss the latest details about this rare, infectious viral disease. Dr. Daskalakis talks with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter about the spread of the disease in the U.S., the vaccination efforts, and how the entire health care community is careful to avoid stigmatizing any community while focusing on the virus itself.

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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on COVID Fall Booster Details
08/29/2022

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and colleagues will soon review data for the new bivalent booster shot for COVID; she says it relates to very small changes in the mRNA sequence and that “shouldn’t impact safety at all…if we wait for those data to emerge in human data…not just mice data but human data…we would be using what I would consider to be a potentially outdated vaccine…it’s best to use a vaccine that’s tailored to the variant we have right...

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Former CDC Director Dr. Frieden’s Thoughts on Dr. Fauci and His Next Chapter
08/23/2022

Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden shares his thoughts about the news Dr. Anthony Fauci will soon leave government service. Frieden explains how the next director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will need to be realistic that he or she will have big shoes to fill. Frieden, who now leads the nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives, also tells hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter that he endorses an independent commission to...

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USAID Global Health Leader Atul Gawande Addresses Global Partners’ Concerns Over Women’s Reproductive Rights
08/18/2022

Dr. Atul Gawande, Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), joins us to share how countries are responding to the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. He says, “There have been some instances of concern about a possible chilling effect…I’ve been in touch to address questions and meet with our partners…the United States is the largest supporter of family planning around the world…we are the leading experts in how to ensure modernized...

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He Helped Eradicate Smallpox – Listen to His Concerns About Monkeypox
08/09/2022

Renowned epidemiologist and innovator Dr. Larry Brilliant says we’ve entered an “age of pandemics” as the Biden administration declares the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. Dr. Brilliant is the chair of the advisory board of Ending Pandemics, a nonprofit working to find outbreaks faster around the world. His expertise is a result of his success in helping the World Health Organization eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He also discusses with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter the limits of...

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Are Long Covid Patients Exaggerating? Biden Top Doctor Says No: “Long COVID is real”
08/04/2022

U.S. health officials now estimate 7–23 million Americans have developed Long COVID, which can last weeks or months. Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, joins “Conversations on Health Care” to push back against Long COVID doubters. She says, “We don’t know exactly what is causing Long COVID, it might not be one thing, but Long COVID is real and those patients need support and they need treatment. We want to...

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West Alabama Women’s Center Director Talks About the Impact of Roe
07/28/2022

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, overturning a constitutional right to abortion, has led to abortion services ending at West Alabama Women’s Center, Inc., in Tuscaloosa. The clinic’s director, Robin Marty, explains that the states making abortion illegal are also the ones blocking Medicaid expansion. She says their idea appears to be that “It’s too expensive to give people health care but you can force them to give birth against their will.” Amanda Allen is senior counsel and...

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Dr. Eric Topol: COVID BA.5 variant “worst we’ve seen”
07/20/2022

Dr. Eric Topol, one of the most prominent and prolific COVID experts, provides his thoughts on the COVID BA.5 subvariant. He says, “it’s the worst variant… [because of] the immune escape…the ability to have growth, fitness and advantages that we haven’t seen before…the properties are getting worse…and lasting longer. The virus has not finished its evolutionary arc. There’s more to come, unfortunately.” Conversations on Health Care hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter also talk to Dr. Topol about Dr. Anthony...

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How VA Innovation Affects the Entire Health Care System
07/13/2022

The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system. But how much do you know about how well VA Medical Centers and clinics identify innovative therapies, practices and policies and then diffuse them across a large footprint? Ryan Vega, MD, MSHA, leads the Innovation Ecosystem within the Veterans Health Administration. This initiative focuses on being the catalyst for enabling the discovery and spread of mission-driven health care innovation to advance care delivery and service. Dr....

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Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege: A Commitment for 50+ Years
06/22/2022

For over 50 years Community Health Center, Inc., has focused on one key thought: Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege. “Conversations on Health Care” is CHC’s nationally syndicated program that brings the mission to life. This week guest host Thalia Assuras, a CBS and ABC News veteran, continues her talk with Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter about CHC’s anniversary, the interview program and its first guest Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. They also discuss how CHC’s experience...

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50 Years of Community Health Center, Inc.: A Special Conversation
06/15/2022

We’re marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of Community Health Center, Inc., by turning the tables on hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter. Join former CBS and ABC News anchor Thalia Assuras as she asks Mark and Margaret to share their memories on this special occasion. You’ll learn about the early challenges of starting CHC, the patients it’s helped and how it fits into the larger effort to improve U.S. health care.

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How Do We Make Healthy Buildings the Next Public Health Revolution?
06/08/2022

Joseph Allen is the director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. As the co-author of “Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity,” his views are closely followed as we try to move quicker than COVID can spread. “Conversations on Health Care” co-hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter talk with Allen about new efforts to elevate the quality of indoor spaces in an overall health strategy.

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COVID Expert Dr. Hotez On His Own Positive Case: What He’s Learned
06/02/2022

Dr. Peter Hotez, who helped develop a patent-free COVID-19 vaccine, has tested positive himself for a breakthrough strain of the virus. He explained to “Conversations on Health Care” that he’s doing “pretty well” and is confident that’s because he’s fully vaccinated and double-boosted. Dr. Hotez shared with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter that he’d been taking the oral antiviral medication Paxlovid when the interview was recorded. He said it’s a good drug with solid evidence but also suggested that...

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A Teacher From Parkland H.S. Reflects on the Uvalde & Buffalo Mass Shootings
05/26/2022

Parkland, Florida, teacher Sarah Lerner shares her poignant thoughts as the nation reacts to the latest deadly school shooting. Lerner was teaching the day a former student killed 17 at her high school; she has gone on to help lead Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence. Lerner discusses with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter how public health must continue its focus on stopping gun violence and what lawmakers can do.

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Harm Reduction in U.S. Substance Use Disorder Efforts: Top Official Explains How It Works
05/18/2022

This week “Conversations on Health Care” discusses the Biden administration’s National Drug Control Strategy. Tom Coderre, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), explains what harm reduction is and how it’s helping. Join us as Coderre answers questions from hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter about SAMHSA’s mission to reduce the impact of substance use disorder and mental illness on America’s communities.

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Why the Path to Mental Health Goes Beyond Science: America’s Former Top Mental Health Leader Explains
05/11/2022

Former National Institute of Mental Health director Dr. Thomas Insel discusses how he’s combining his long-standing neuroscience and genetics studies with advocacy for better patient services, which is a topic in his new book, “Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health.” Conversations on Health Care hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter ask him about efforts to build public awareness and support for those with mental health issues. He says, “The real tragedy here isn’t that we’re stigmatizing [those...

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Pulitzer Prize Winner Explains Why “There Is No Way of Getting the Risk of Future Pandemics…Down to Zero”
05/06/2022

The Atlantic staff writer Ed Yong says the threat of future pandemics requires society to aggressively face and fix racial, economic and health disparities. The acclaimed journalist also explains how his reporting is showing big differences in how COVID is still affecting the U.S. — some communities are “cautiously optimistic” while others are “nearing…the height of the Omicron surge in terms of new admissions.” Conversations on Health Care hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter also talk with Yong about the...

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Dr. Deborah Birx Reacts to Vice President Testing Positive for COVID; Criticizes Trump White House Pandemic Communications
04/26/2022

Former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx shared her perspective about Vice President Kamala Harris testing positive for COVID with “Conversations on Health Care.” Birx says, “I think [the vice president’s diagnosis] illustrates our very dilemma right now. She was vaccinated, boostered and then reboosted just a month ago and I’m sure she will do incredibly well. She has access to all of the really critical therapeutics…people get infected despite full vaccinations and boosting.” Birx told hosts Mark...

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TV’s Jane Pauley’s Personal Story: Why Community Health Centers Matter to Her
04/21/2022

Jane Pauley has been a familiar face on America’s TV screens since she started on NBC’s “Today” and continues as anchor of CBS “Sunday Morning.” Her interest in mental health has grown through the years as she faced her own challenges and as she became connected to behavioral health leaders in her home state of Indiana. Now her name graces the front doors of the Jane Pauley Community Health Center and she’s a powerful advocate for the services they, and...

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Reaction to Philadelphia’s New Mask Orders: “A Little Premature”
04/13/2022

“It feels a little premature…I might have waited a little longer to see what happens.” That’s the reaction from COVID expert Dr. Robert Wachter to Philadelphia’s decision to again require people to wear masks indoors, including in schools and daycares. It’s the first major American city to take this step. Wachter is chair of the Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco and a popular voice on Twitter. He also shares that policymakers, including those looking at renewing public...

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APHA Executive Director: $10B in New COVID Funding Needed, Being Spent Responsibly
04/06/2022

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, says the legislative agreement for $10 billion in new federal COVID funding is “really a drop in the bucket.” He says more dollars are needed to build up public health in all parts of the U.S. He responded to some political complaints by assuring taxpayers that public health officials are indeed financially accountable. Conversations on Health Care hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter also asked Dr. Benjamin about the...

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