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April 1, 2022 29 mins

Ryan Gorman hosts an iHeartRadio nationwide special featuring Dr. Jay Bhatt, Executive Director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the Deloitte Health Equity Institute. Dr. Bhatt breaks down the latest phase of the pandemic. David Sharkis, Director of Operations at Children’s Dyslexia Centers, also joins the show to discuss dyslexia and the resources they provide to help children overcome it. 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to I Heart Radio Communities, a public affair special
focusing on the biggest issues impacting you this week. Here's
Ryan Gorman. Thanks for joining us here on iHeart Radio Communities.
I'm Ryan Gorman, and we have some important conversations lined
up for you. In a moment, I'll talk to a
public health innovator about this latest phase of the pandemic,

including some of the more recent news on the vaccines
and booster shots. Then I'll talk to the director of
operations for Children's Dyslexia Centers about the work they do
helping children across the country deal with that condition. Right now,
to get things started, I'm joined by Dr J. Bott,
Executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and

the Deloitte Health Equity Institute. Dr Bott, thank you so
much for coming on the show. And let me start
with what appears to be this new phase of the pandemic.
You of the CDC issuing new mass guidelines and cases
and hospitalizations continue a downward trend across the country. Are
you experiencing in your work in Chicago health clinics and

do you find that most of the patients you've come
across are in fact already vaccinated. Brian, thanks so much
for having me on the show. It's just really grateful
to be in conversation with you about just a really
important topic right now, and it has been for the
last several years. And I think that you know, we
continue to emphasize, certainly in my practice with my patients

that layered protection is important. So that includes vaccinations first
and foremost, masking were appropriate, distancing if you can, and
when appropriate. But again, you know, the risk when you're
outdoors decreases significantly, and the risk decreases significantly if you're vaccinated,
fully vaccinated. So what I'm seeing in the community, I

serve nearly of our populations vaccinated, and it's largely people
of color under served community UH that I serve, and
so I'm encouraged that, but we've got more work to
to go close the last mile. And those are the
conversations I'm having right now. And you compare that nationally
with SEV vaccinated, fully vaccinated, and I think the challenging

piece about boosted UM. So I'm continuing to combat UH
misinformation with science. Listen with Empathy discussed the fact helped
people along in their vaccination journey their health journey. UH,
they'll give you an example. One of one of my
patients last week's surprise me. During the first several conversations

about the vaccine last year, she expressed many common fears
and concerns, gave her the fact, acknowledged her personal agency
and the decision. And and the third time I saw her,
I didn't talk about the vaccine, but focused on her diabetes,
focused on her abdominal pain that she had. UH. And
then in the follow up a week later, UH, this

was about a year into our first conversation about the vaccine,
she UH actually asked me about the vaccine again and said,
what's your latest information? What do you think? And I
just encouraged her again with science and with information about
how it protects people from severe disease and hospitalization and death.

And she said, when can I be scheduled for my
first dose? Now? Every conversation is important. Every conversation builds trust,
builds understanding to a point where you can get to
that moment um where even though later than I would
have liked, got someone vaccinated, and that's person one more
person protecting the community, protecting themselves, protecting the family. Um.

And so there are nuances, but it starts with just
helping people along and listening. The only thing I'd say
is that we also have to ask the right questions
to help people distinguish between what might be another health
issue and what they might attribute to the vaccine, because
those myths or experiences UH that people have that arn't

miss becomes perpetuated as a side effect of the vaccine
when it's really not. A woman who after four conversations,
got the vaccine her first dose UM. Later that day, uh,
she developed a double paint symptoms UM a bit of diarrhea.
And then the next day when I talked to her

and then had brought her into the office, UH, and
we have the conversation, asked about what she ate that day,
and she had raw seafoods, which likely caused her viral
infection in her guests or intestinal system leading to the symptoms.
So it wasn't the vaccine, but that's what she believed
and that's what she told others. So you know, it's

it's that opportunity to help people understand where they're at,
what they're experiencing, and come out come, you know, with
that journey uh with them to talk about the science
and distinguish between what is laid to the vaccine versus
what is not. And again, it's really important to understand
if there are adverse effects UH to the vaccine. I'm

Ryan Gorman Johan right now by, executive director of the
Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the Deloitte Health Equity Institute,
Dr J. Bott. I'm sure you've heard all kinds of
different reasons for individuals not getting vaccinated being hesitant to
get vaccinated. What are some of the most common ones though,

So in this question, I'd like to talk about some
of the work that we've done at Deloitte in a
survey of three thousand US adults that Deloitte conducted to
better understand which vaccine strategies work and how the lessons
learned over the passage can be applied to future vaccination efforts.
We learned a great deal and so across all income levels,

access scheduling and convenient hours or barriers of vaccination for
those who want the vaccine UH. And I certainly see
this in my community, to the point where we go
to factories, where we go to people's homes, we go
to meet them where they are if they can't make
it to the office. Transportation issues are barriers for vaccination
for one in five of respondents in that survey at

Deloit that we did who wants the vaccine. This is
higher among lower income individuals. Of consumers with a household
income less than dollars per year cited inability to get
to a vaccine site because of transportation issues. And then
we also found that access issues remain a top there
for racial acilicly create diverse consumers in those living with disabilities,

A third of unvaccinated Hispanic consumers who wants the vaccine
cited inconvenient hours of the top reason. Additionally, of Asian
consumers and twenty one percent of Hispanic consumers that are
unvaccinated UH cited that they wanted the vaccine but inability
to gain access due to disabilities and so um we're
as a result of some of this information, the Deloit

Health Equiscus collaborating with Robin Hood and local frederlquaved health
senters like the Want of Access in and community organizations
to increase access to vaccines and under surve areas also
strengthening the underlying public health infrastructure for community outreach and
engagement and for us in our community and with my patient, um,
you know, one of the other biggest reasons and misinformation

and disinformation, and so it takes building wor trusted relationships,
having those repeated conversations with nuances, getting out into the community.
And then what we've done is activate those individuals, those
patients who have um gotten the vaccine and benefited from
that information education, that journey, to be vactine ambassadors in

the community. And so we set up time where they
have group conversations where they have one on one conversation.
Where's that the clinic or in the community where people live, work,
learn and play. And I think that's been really, really helpful.
You know, it's interesting you mentioned some of the issues
with access to the COVID nineteen vaccines and then might

come as a surprise to some listening who have felt that,
you know, in their particular community where they live, it's
actually pretty easy to just go and get a COVID vaccine.
Can you talk a little bit more about some of
the challenges that the different communities face across the country. Sure,
you know, I think communities are not created equal. We

know that there are inequities in access in communities because
of UH barriers that individuals may have in their own
circumstances to get to a site. Now you could go
to a pharmacy, you could go to the clinic. Often
what we find with underserved communities that I care for
and racially ethically diversities is that they want to be

in a place that they trust and that often is
there doctor or health care professional and UM. That conversation
happened differently in different places UH, and we've been so
I think grateful UH in this country to have numerous
access points and the way that UM pharmacies and community

based orgitizations have stepped up to provide access as well
as UM going to the community through mobile units and
in person in people's homes UM. But at times when
there was high demand, UH, it was hard to drive access.
And so if we take about some of the data
from UH last year, UH there were challenges because of

UH the influx of people at different points wanting to
get vaccinated. And then as things loosened up and there
was less demands, then I think access was less of
an issue, but still an issue for those that they
have had language difficulties, disabilities, literacy challenges. I mean I
you know, vaccinated hundreds in their homes who have had trouble,

and that you have to have the right infrastructure and
support enabled it and time for all professionals to do
that against an already challenged environment and so stem so
UH it's not one fits all. I think there's a
lot of learning that went from community to community to
help understand how community that we're having challenges access could
get better. And I think if that there have been

a e steps that the administration UH and communities have taken,
both government, private sector, h and community based organizations to
try to UH close the gap on access and have
made progress. But again, I think literacy is also important.
There's UH confusion at times around where to go, um

when to go, and so that may may reflect as
an access barrier, but it's really a literacy barrier. I'm
Ryan Gorman joined by Public Health Innovator Executive director for
the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the Deloitte Health
Equity Institute, Dr J. Bott, who was also a Senior
Vice president chief Medical Officer at the American Hospital Association.

A lot of news about additional booster shots, with Fiser
asking for authorization for a fourth booster for those over
the age of sixty five, Madonna asking for one for
all adults. What's the most important thing to know right
now about booster shots and whether it's necessary for any
age to have them? Ryan, thanks for this question. And

this is just such an important issue. Uh. We know
the booster coverage, as I mentioned earlier, across the country
remains low, especially for certain groups if you serratify by
certain communities or demographics. Uh, there are challenges with booster upticks. Now,
some Americans may think that they not need they don't
need a booster, don't think the booster is effective, and

I like again emphasize that the science shows that a
booster is indeed another layer of protection against severe disease,
hospitalization and depth, but also protecting others in your family
and your community. And that's the data is repeatedly strong
around the effectiveness you know of the boost s. UH.
And as the A two becomes more prevalent, boosters provide

another crucial layer of protection. UH. We know that there
are reports out that the FDA would discuss uh this
this issue of the fourth booster for the fourth vaccination
today and that's what I would also say that it's
important to think about this as UH vaccination series, just
like we do you know, other vaccinations that we have

had in the past, UH and the center the CDC
will then review the FDA discussions and make recommendations and
along with that well likely give guide to how to
implement it UH in the field around the country as
the process has gone throughout the pandemic with other immunizations
in the series, and UH, I think the immunizations will

be available for people to make individual decisions based on
their health, risk, talent, cern age and UM I think
you know, we've seen this in the past where those
that are most vulnerable UM UH may be asked to
have access to the vaccine earlier than the general population.
But again I think UM, I would say that will continue.

You need to look at the data UH and and
know that UM do we need to do everything we
can from vaccines using mass in appropriate places UH to
protect against further infection. And let's say the other thing
that the booster is important for is we are still

learning about long COVID. We know that unvaccinated individuals that
have COVID nineteen may have increased risk for longitudinal symptoms
that impact their daily life and their work. UH. And
so even if you are vascinated, you still can have
a chance of being exposed along COVID, although the risk

is significantly less, we are still learning about this phenomenon,
and so I know that that's another important consideration, um is,
because you don't want to get affection, because you don't
want to infect others in your family, or you can
nor um is. It's really pleasant from those patients that
I've seen, and I've had patients who have had very

challenging experiences, patients that are seeing symptoms twelve or fifteen
months after initial infection. And final question for you, what
about kids? Is it important for children to be vaccinated?
And even if the vaccine maybe doesn't last long again
some of the current variants, So I would say vaccinations
only protect your child from deadly diseases such as once

we have seen in the past Folio tennus indytheria. In
this case, they can also keep children safe as they
have and others by eliminating or greatly decreasing UH spread
from child and child, as well as keeping families safe
as well. UM. I think there's more data that will
need to come out UH to see UM the JOSS

from either two or three, and we're seeing some of
that discussion happened now. Uh, but we see from the data,
particularly with kids five to well, um that uh it's
safe and effective, and I would anticipate, uh that that
be the same for kids under five. Uh. Again, we
know that vacinations and children are protective and really can

help herbs spread in community, from child to child and
among families. Public health innovator, executive director of the Deloitte
Center for Health Solutions and the Deloitte Help Equity Institute.
He's also former Senior vice president and chief Medical Officer
at the American Hospital Association. Dr J. Bott with some
really fantastic information for us. Dr Bott, thank you so

much for taking a few minutes to come on the show.
We really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Trying all right,
And finally let's turn to David sharkis director of operations
at Chill Dren's Dyslexia Centers. You can learn more at
Children's Dyslexia Centers dot org. David, thank you so much
for taking a few minutes to come on the show
and talk about dyslexia. And let's start there. Tell us

about the condition itself. Sure Ryan dyslexia is a language
based learning difference, we don't really consider it a learning
disability to learning difference. Children are individuals with dyslexia just
process information less efficiently than than a non dyslexic would.
It affects nearly about one in five people, and it

makes it harder for them to read, write spell. What
we find from working with our kids is they're typically
very bright and often very eager to learn, but they
make a lot of mistakes and it affects not just
reading and writing, it could limit their ability to learn
in any subject, including math science. They have to work

incredibly hard because of their information process and efficiencies to
keep up with their classmates and and this can be
devastating to these young learners. State they experience anxiety, frustration,
and a lot of doubt in in reading in school,
and these feelings, if left untreated, can persist throughout their life.

We find that low self esteem is a common trade
amongst the kids we serve. The signs of dyslexia can
impear early kindergarten and earlier, but unfortunately, many of our
treat teachers are not trained in how to recognize it
and this leaves literally millions of kids on diagnosed and
falling behind. And it's hard for them to overcome this

with without support. And that's why our our organization exists
to provide them with the proper tools to enable them
to reach their full potential. So what are some of
the signs that a child might be dealing with dyslexia. Well,
what we look for is is unexplained differences in in

in the reading abilities. You know. Well, we'll look at
at children who have all the signs of having uh
normal or maybe even above normal intelligence, but who just
have trouble with vocabulary with reading. You know, a lot
of folks think that, oh, they it's just the switching

of letters. It's much more than that. It could be sequencing,
it could be rhyming. Were trying to some of our
dyslexia kids have trouble with rhyming with phonetics. So you
look at for an unexplained reason why they're not performing
well with language based instruction. So do we know the

root cause of dyslexia and is it treatable in some way? Well,
it's you can't cure dyslexia. Uh, Like I said, it's
it's a hard wired way in which they they process information,
but we can provide them with tools and techniques that
that helped them compensate for it. So the underlying reason

is is literally it's a it's it's the way that
they their brain processes information. But yes, we can work
with them and make them successful. Many of our students,
it's a very proud moment when we see students who
we're very struggling in school, all of a sudden we

hear that they're on the honor roll, they've been accepted
into colleges and prestigious universities. So we know we can
help these kids if given the time and the opportunity
to do that. I'm Ryan Gorman, joined by David Sharkis,
Director of Operations for Children's Dyslexia Centers. You can learn
more about all the work they're doing at Children's dis

let see a Centers dot org. So how did this
organization come about? Well, it was back in uh when
a member of our fraternity, the Children's Dyslexi Centers as
part of the Scottish Rite Free Freemason of Fraternity up
in the Northern Masonic jurisdiction, and we're up in Lexington,

mass And an individual by the name of Phil Berkwist
saw that there was some issues with some children and
he was aware of We had partnered with the Language
disorder unit in mass General Hospital and and started literally
in Newtonville, Massachusetts, with a center where we were going

to help these kids free of charge and develop the
develop a program. And from that one center sprung forth
in an initiative that has now grown to include forty
centers and in thirteen states. We've we currently have about
eleven kids enrolls. We have about three hundred educators and

training and since we've we've worked with over fifteen thousand
students and have certified four thousand educators. And essentially we
do this all free of charge. And let's talk more
about the work that you do because you provide a
number of different educational resources and services. Also you do
research on dyslexia. Tell us more about some of the

other services you provide. All right, we have we operate
out of thirteen states. Ryan we are basically east of
East of Michigan, UH north of uh Pennsylvania, Ohio, and
we go up into the northeast. That's a region of
the country. We have a threefold mission. The first thing

we need to do to work with kids is we
need to train educators on how to work with dyslexic children.
So that is our our foundational mission is education certification
and we train them in the in what is known
as the Orton Gillingham approach. It's a multisensory way of

teaching reading, spelling, and writing, and that becomes a foundation
for what we do. Once we have educators trained, we
computor kids and typically our our tutoring program for children
UH it's an after school program. They come twice a

week for two to three years. Every lesson is specifically
designed for that child for that lesson. It is a
one on one program. It's a it's a very intensive program.
By doing this for what's approaching, we just finished our approaching.
Past two decades of doing this, we've collected a substantial

database of of what works, what doesn't work UH different methodologies,
and we present that at national conferences. We present that
amongst ourselves. We are into like accredited UH and also
members of the IDEA, so we share that information freely

with educators nationwide. I'm Ryan Gorman, joined by David sharkis
Director of operations at Children's Dyslexia Centers. You can learn
more at Children's Dyslexia Centers dot org. The kids who
go to your centers, what is their experience like? Well,
when when a child accepted into the center, they're matched

with the tutor and and that becomes there what i'll
call their learning partner for their their entire time at
the center. They'll come into that center and we'll work
them very carefully through uh what we'll call a scope
in sequence based upon their level of proficiency in in

in certain tasks and methodologies. So what we'll do is
work with them until they reach proficiency in a particular lesson,
and then they'll do some oral reading, we'll do some
review and and it just builds lesson upon lesson until
they pass through. UM. We do some things that are

probably surprising too. I know it surprising to some of
our parents and even some educators who go through our training,
and that as the children advanced towards the upper levels
of our program, we actually spend time teaching them the
history of language, Latin roots, Greek roots. So the kids

that come to our program when they see a word
they've never seen before, by giving them knowledge of Latin
and Greek. They can decode these words, and that's something
that I think you should be spread into our general
school population. So it's a very intensive program, and I'll

tell you you know it's effective when I can't tell
you how many times Ryan, when it's time for a
child to leave the program, it's it's it's a very
emotional time because they don't want to leave their tutors.
They want to stay. And when you think about these kids,
it's after school they go to school, and that's a

tough thing for them. They have trouble reading, their trouble
keeping up with their kids, with their classmates, and after
school they may have We have kids to drive an
hour plus each way to go to our center. So
they drive an hour an hour and a half. They
have a one hour lesson, the most intense lesson of

their day. They literally sit right across the table from
a from their teacher for an hour focused instruction, the
toughest hour of their day. And then they got to
drive home and go do their homeworks. And these kids
do this religiously for two to three years and then
we have to convince them it's time to stop. That

tells you a lot about the program. For those who
can't get to one of your centers, are there resources
that you put on the website Children's Dyslexia Centers dot
Org that everyone across the country can check out. Our
website has a listing of resources, including how to advocate
for your child. Many parents just don't understand what they

could do if they see a child or they suspect
the child as dyslexia. There's resources available on our website
for that. Also included is a directory of many of
the educators we've trained that are willing to take on
private duty tutoring, so that's available. We're all so uh

in the process of looking at how we can leverage
what we learned during COVID. COVID really threatened our very existence.
As I described to you earlier, we are one on one,
across the table, every face to face type of instruction,

and COVID protocols basically threatened our our very being of
how we operated. But we knew we had to work
with the kids because if you're a child who's having
trouble reading online instruction was was their worst nightmare. So
we quickly developed some techniques and mythologies and we conducted

over seventy thousand lessons, so we're a thousand kids on
Zoom in the last year. UM. We're now taking what
we learned and evaluating how we might be able to
offer both training for educators as well as tutoring in
an online environment. So that's that's that's the big project

that we're working on now that we're looking at at
how to our expand our mission outside our geographical boundaries.
And one final question for you real quick, what can
people do to support the work that Children's Dyslexia Centers
is doing well? If if there, if there in our area?
We are Our biggest need right now is for individuals
willing to learn how to how to train and tutor. Uh.

It requires a bachelor's degree as as our instruct our
training is at the graduate school level. UH. That is
our biggest need to develop to develop more teachers and training.
And if you're if if there is any school teachers
out there in in in our area, please contact us
so that we could train you so you can bring

those tools to your school system them. UM additionally on
them you know, we are a charitable organization. We spend
about eight million dollars a year in providing these sources,
so we're always looking for opportunities for for funding and
grants and the like to continue our mission and expand

our mission. David sharkis director of Operations at Children's Dyslexia Centers.
You can learn more at Children's Dyslexia Centers dot org. David,
thank you so much for the time. We really appreciate it.
Thank you. Ryan. All right, and that's going to do
it for this edition of iHeartRadio Communities. As we wrap
things up, one off, our big thanks to all of
our guests and of course to all of you for listening.

I'm Ryan Gorman. Will be back, same time, same place,
next weekend. Stay safe.
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