Conversations on Health Care

Conversations on Health Care

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.

Episodes

January 25, 2022 24 min

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome US Education Secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona, who discusses the Biden administration’s efforts to contain the pandemic’s impact while keeping students and teachers safe in school. He laments the influence of politics on the proven public health practices to prevent spread of the disease which includes mask wearing and widespread vaccinations. He says this pandemic has revealed...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome renowned epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, who has served 5 presidential administrations in preparing for pandemics and bio-terror threats. Dr. Osterholm says the highly infectious omicron variant will continue to threaten hospital systems, schools and supply chai...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, addressing confusion and frustration around lack of rapid COVID tests and need for more N95 masks for the public. She talks about the shifting plan of action from the Biden Administration in response to the dramatic surge in omicron-driven COVID cases, and the scaled up efforts to make rapid tests and high quality masks available to all ...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Vice Provost at the University of Pennsylvania and former member of the Biden administration’s COVID Transition Team. He and other former Biden advisors have called for a dramatic new approach to addressing COVID-19 saying we will not eradicate the virus, so we need new strategies to live with it. They’re calling for a radical re-tooling of our public ...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, and co-creator of a new, low-cost vaccine for COVID-19. Dr. Hotez discusses plans for Corbevax, a recombinant protein vaccine shown to be highly protective against COVID-19, which has just been given Emergency Use Authorization by the Indian government. Dr. Hotez’s plan ...

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This week, Mark and Margaret take a look back at COVID’s hold on 2021, the early promise of vaccines, the relentless march of mutations and the vicious rise of new variants leading to pandemic surges around the world. They revisit conversations with memorable guests from famed virologists and epidemiologists like Paul Offit and Michael Osterholm, to President Biden’s COVID team leaders Rochelle Walensky, Anthony Fauci and Rachel Le...

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This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned virus expert Dr. William Haseltine who has ‘grave concerns’ about Merck’s oral COVID drug Malnupiravir, which recently won narrow approval from the FDA advisory panel. He says the drug unleashes ‘dangerous’ mutations that could evolve the virus beyond control. He’s also urging extreme caution as the highly infectious omicron variant is sweeping across the US, sa...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome famed AIDS Researcher Dr. Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the HIV virus, which led to the first tests and treatments for AIDS. He is Director of the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Co-founder of the Global Virus Network, a consortium of research centers of excellence in 66 countries around the world, a nongovernmental agency...

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This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, for his perspective on the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. He says early data shows that it is highly transmissible, but apparently not more deadly. His greater concern is around the current Delta surge leading to more infections, low vaccination rates in developing countries leading to more vari...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter examine the latest details about the omicron COVID variant, including the important role community health centers continue to play in the pandemic. In addition, we revisit their recent conversation with Planned Parenthood Federation of America President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson on the Supreme Court hearing on the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks, posing the gre...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Gary Cohen, Founder of Health Care Without Harm, an award-winning global non-profit seeking to create an environmentally-responsible health system. Winner of the MacArthur Foundation’s ‘Genius Grant’ for his work reducing the health industry’s pollution footprint, he says the COP26 UN Climate summit in Glasgow didn’t go far enough to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees F...

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Update (11/12/2021): We are devastated to learn of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries. He was a thoughtful, brilliant guest whose innovative ideas we were lucky enough to hear firsthand on the show. Our deepest condolences to his family. He will be missed. This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Glen de Vries, Vice Chair for Health and Life Sciences at Dassault Systèmes and Founder and former CEO of Medidata,...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Nicholas Christakis, Director of Yale’s Human Nature Lab and expert on the influence of social networks on health and behavior. In his recent book, Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live” he examines the history of pandemics throughout human history, and says the ‘appalling” US response, driven by denial from the White Hou...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, on upcoming Supreme Court hearing on S.B.8., the Texas law banning abortion after 6 weeks. She discusses the record number of restrictive abortion laws across the country causing harm to patients and clinicians committed to providing family planning services, and the former administration’s Title X abor...

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This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome “the Nation’s Doctor,” US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Co-chair of President Biden’s White House COVID Task Force. Dr. Murthy explains the FDA’s latest approval for mixing vaccine brands for booster shots. He also addresses White House plans to roll out COVID vaccine support for the nation’s 5-11-year-olds pending FDA approval, and how vaccine requirements are ‘turboch...

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This week we speak with Dr. Ofer Levy, Director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and member of the FDA COVID Vaccine Advisory Panel. He talks about the recent decision to reject boosters for all recipients 16 and older, saying they didn’t have enough data for younger populations to make that recommendation. He says the review process for emergency aut...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb whose new book outlines America’s epic failure in our response to the pandemic, leading to more than 700,000 deaths. “Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic” examines the inherent flaws at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public agencies that left us vulnerab...

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This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Michael Mina, Epidemiologist and member of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard, where they are taking a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling the ongoing pandemic. Dr. Mina has long been a proponent of making cheap, rapid, at-home COVID tests available to all Americans as a much more effective way to curtail the pandemic’s spread, especially as ...

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This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned writer, environmentalist and climate activist Bill McKibben, whose seminal 1989 book “The End of Nature” was among the first to warn of the coming climate crisis. McKibben points to the dangerous rise in the earth’s temperature spawning droughts, destructive storms and other environmental catastrophes spurred by fossil fuel burning and deforestation. He says if ...

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This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, who also mapped the human genome. Dr. Collins laments the politicization of the pandemic, noting that ‘culture wars are killing people’. He urges patience on vaccine approval for families of younger children heading back to school, confident that scientific rigor will ensure vaccine safety. Dr. Collins, an...

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