Public Health On Call

Public Health On Call

Evidence and experts to help you understand today’s public health news—and what it means for tomorrow.

Episodes

July 24, 2024 21 mins

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Every four years, the Olympics brings athletes and spectators together from all over the world in one of the largest mass gathering events. Planning begins years in advance, and public health security is a major consideration. Experts are brought in to map out possible threats and think through preparedness for everything from terrorist attacks to addressing rumors to responding t...

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Maryland receives the greatest number of unaccompanied migrant children of all U.S. states. Many have experienced significant trauma, underscoring the need for enhanced mental health services and improved language access in healthcare for this group.

Guests:

Sarah Polk is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her areas of clinical exper...

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The CMS Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid is tasked with research and development to improve health care costs and delivery. It’s also grappling with a challenging reality: The health care sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions which, in turn, are changing the climate in ways that impact our health. This is especially true of Medicaid/Medi...

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Gain-of-function research involves altering a virus to make it more transmissible or deadly in order to develop vaccines, therapies, and perform other research. But the practice has long raised concerns about safety. In May, the White House released new policies around gain-of-function research hoping to shore up both safety measures and trust in this field of research. In this ep...

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July 15, 2024 14 mins

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Meteorologists look at data and history to help make sense of weather patterns and make predictions. This work, in turn, helps inform individuals and policymakers to prepare for and respond to weather events. But with climate records being shattered at every turn, and extreme weather like flooding, violent storms, and heat domes becoming more common, patterns and precedent start t...

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Pulse oximeters—devices used to read blood oxygen levels in hospitals and at home—are far less reliable for people with darker skin tones. Falsely normal readings create the potential for clinical staff to miss life-threatening conditions.

In this three-episode special series, we explore a longstanding issue that only caught the nation’s attention in recent years. In episode 3: Ho...

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About this episode:

Pulse oximeters—devices used to read blood oxygen levels in hospitals and at home—are far less reliable for people with darker skin tones. Falsely normal readings have the potential for clinical staff to miss life-threatening conditions.

In this three-episode special series, we explore a longstanding issue that only caught the nation’s attention in recent years. In episode 2: What...

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About this episode:

Pulse oximeters—devices used to read blood oxygen levels in hospitals and at home—are far less reliable for people with darker skin tones... Falsely normal readings create the potential for clinical staff to miss life-threatening conditions.

In this three-episode special series, we explore a longstanding issue that only caught the nation’s attention in recent years. In episode 1: ...

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The Supreme Court has issued decisions in the two major abortion cases on its docket this year. For the time being, the drug mifepristone remains on the market and a federal law requiring that emergency rooms provide life-saving abortions even in states banning the procedure is upheld. But the court’s decisions—both upholding the status quo—all but guarantee both cases will be bac...

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Public health saved your life today and you didn’t even know it. But while public health makes modern life possible, efforts are frequently underfunded, undervalued, and misunderstood.

Today we bring you a special episode from Follow the Data, a podcast by the Bloomberg Philanthropies, that discusses "The Invisible Shield," a four-part documentary series on PBS. The series delves ...

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Our mental health and well-being are shaped by our environment: access to green space can be beneficial, while cities with high population density can affect the risk for mood, anxiety, or even substance use disorders. A recent study explores how cities can be more mental health-friendly for adolescents and emphasizes the importance of life skills, open-minded interpersonal relati...

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, world health officials agreed that many more lives could have been saved had there been better global coordination. In 2021, countries came together to draft a pandemic treaty committing to better future responses and pledging to sign it within two years. But deadlines have come and gone, the draft revised many times over. In a race to secure ...

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In 2021, Texas passed the extremely restrictive Senate Bill 8 which bans most abortions with very few exceptions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected—as early as five or six weeks of pregnancy. 2022 data suggested a noticeable uptick in infant mortality in Texas. A new study looked into the connection between the two and is among the first to show evidence evaluating the impacts...

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What’s behind the significant increases in adult diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—historically thought to be a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood? A new understanding of symptoms, better diagnoses, and some of the best treatments in psychiatric medicine mean more and more people are benefiting from the evolving science behind ADHD.

Guest:

Dr. D...

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An uptick of measles cases in the U.S. is raising concerns, especially heading into summer when travelers may bring back more cases from Europe. This most infectious human virus can cause severe and even fatal complications, especially for unvaccinated children—sometimes years after what seemed to be a mild case. Pandemic disruptions and rampant mis- and disinformation online have contribut...

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The International Criminal Court, a justice system inspired by the Nuremburg tribunals after World War II, holds individuals responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  In May 2024, the Court's chief prosecutor requested arrest warrants for three leaders of Hamas and, separately, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, for alleged crimes...

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June 17, 2024 18 mins

Overview:

Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021 amidst a national reckoning with race. Four years later, the observation finds us at a time of continued polarization and attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Reflecting on the historical significance of Juneteenth can help us think about how to celebrate and observe the day, and how to recommit to healing and social justice ...

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The U.S. Coast Guard is charged with safeguarding Americans through missions including maritime law enforcement, antiterrorism operations, and search and rescue. Members of the Coast Guard carry out these missions at sea and in the air in all sorts of extreme conditions requiring specialized medical care to ensure their health and safety. In this episode, we hear from a flight surgeon w...

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What is the relationship between food industry giants like General Mills and a social media movement aimed at pushing back on diet culture and unrealistic body images? An investigation by health journalists at The Examination found that food companies and dieticians appear to be co-opting the hashtag “antidiet” to promote their products.

Guest:

Sasha Chavkin is a senior r...

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, has been the gold standard for buying time in a medical emergency. But it’s not very effective, especially for the majority of cardiac arrest cases. What is much more effective: employing advanced machinery like ECMO, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, that can keep people alive for hours or even days and weeks while physicians address the m...

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