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The American Health Podcast is created by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, a project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Initiative works to tackle some of the most pressing challenges to public health in the United States: Addiction and Overdose, Environmental Challenges, Obesity and the Food System, Risks to Adolescent Health and Violence. Visit http://americanhealth.jhu.edu to learn more.
 
Advancing Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries Podcast. This podcast series aims to help listeners appreciate why health finance and governance must be addressed when working to improve health outcomes, and will include episodes which delve into the dynamics of topics like domestic resource mobilization for health, expanding access to healthcare through insurance, and the importance of “good governance” in creating responsive, patient-centered health systems. The Health Finance ...
 
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There was virtually no flu in the U.S. last year thanks to a confluence of factors including COVID-related mask wearing and social distancing. But, now that more and more of life is “back to normal,” what can we expect to see this year? Virologist Dr. Andy Pekosz returns to the podcast to talk with Stephanie Desmon about why a resurgence of flu cou…
 
School closures and unprecedented screen time may be contributing to vision problems for kids. Pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Megan Collins talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about a rise in near-sightedness in children, why vision problems are often missed without school screenings, potential health and learning effects, and how vision problems in kids…
 
In this episode, Dr. Josh Sharfstein talks with researchers who break down two papers in the news. Dr. Nikolas Wada talks about a study led by researchers in Bangladesh and the U.S. which tested whether masks really help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Kate Grabowski discusses a Lancet paper from the U.K. about “test to stay” programs in scho…
 
This week, Merck applied for FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 oral antiviral drug, molnupiravir. Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, talks with Stephanie Desmon about how the drug works to help people recover from COVID-19 quicker and the drug’s history…
 
Dr. Jay Varma, physician and advisor for New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio on the pandemic response authored an Atlantic called “Not Every Question Has a Scientific Answer.” In the article, Varma talks about the critical role of politicians in determining difficult COVID-19 policy questions. In this special bonus episode, Dr. Josh Sharfstein talks with …
 
Monday, October 11 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the U.S.—a day previously recognized as Columbus Day that is now reserved for reflection, education, and untangling the false narrative of discovery. Dr. Sophie Neuner of the Center for American Indian Health and co-host of a new podcast, Indigenae, talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about how non-Indige…
 
During the pandemic, many found solace outdoors on hikes and in city parks. Dr. Mamie Parker, ecologist, activist, and the first Black Head of Fisheries for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service talks with Josh Sharfstein about how getting back in touch with nature offers an opportunity to see just how connected we are to the earth, how much we depend…
 
As a zoonotic disease, COVID-19 can infect animals. Some, like farmed mink, are more susceptible to disease while others, like white-tailed deer, may only be carriers. But there’s always the chance that a new variant of COVID could impact more animals, potentially endangering wild and captive creatures. Veterinarian Dr. Meghan Davis returns to the …
 
How does a health department cope with a pandemic surge that coincides with one of the largest hurricanes to make landfall in 150 years? State health commissioner Dr. Joseph Kanter talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about the challenges of dual emergencies, how the pandemic and storm responses impacted one another, and how the health department is copi…
 
Where are we with our mental health these days given that we’re past the initial panic of the COVID-19 pandemic and into a more long-term fallout phase? Clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Murray returns to the podcast to talk with Stephanie Desmon about COVID as a collective trauma; overlap with other “high impact events” like Afghanistan, hurricanes,…
 
Dr. Shaun Truelove, an infectious disease epidemiologist, talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub’s models for the next six months into early 2022. Researchers projected what could happen under four scenarios of vaccination rates, including authorizing vaccines for children, and the possibility for new variants. Spoi…
 
What, exactly, is a booster shot? For which groups has the FDA authorized Pfizer boosters? What about boosters for Moderna and J&J? Will we need a fourth shot in the future? Will there be a delta-specific booster? Would it make a difference in world vaccine supply if the US refrained from giving any boosters? Stephanie Desmon interviews cohost Dr. …
 
Last spring, India experienced a catastrophic wave of COVID-19 infections with more than 100,000 cases per day, exceeding hospital capacity in some areas and leading to oxygen shortages. What has happened since? From their homes in India, infectious disease researchers Dr. Vidya Mave and Dr. Brian Wahl talk with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about the state …
 
With the rollout of vaccines earlier this year, the concept of “herd immunity”—the idea that enough people would become immune to COVID-19 that we could more or less “return to normal”—seemed plausible. But a number of factors are complicating the US’s fight against the pandemic and we’re still seeing thousands of people dying every day. Epidemiolo…
 
Where are we with testing technology? Why is the demand for testing surging and are there enough tests? When is the best time to use at-home testing given the cost? What’s the difference between PCR and rapid antigen tests and how accurate are they in different circumstances? Dr. Gigi Gronvall gives an update on testing and answers questions with S…
 
Mississippi is leading the nation in the rate of COVID deaths. Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state’s health commissioner, talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about the state's pandemic crisis, including its impact on pregnant women, the role of misinformation, and the impact on the health care system.By The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
 
How can we help the planet by rethinking our diets? In a new book, Can Fixing Dinner Fix the Planet?, Dr. Jessica Fanzo, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics points out how our food options are often unhealthy for human bodies—and for the planet. Dr. Fanzo talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about making changes at both p…
 
There is a long history of protecting health care workers during conflict, beginning with an 1859 battle in Italy that gave rise to the first Geneva Convention. But there’s never been a “golden age of compliance” and health care workers continue to face considerable risk while trying to reduce human suffering in war zones. Len Rubenstein, a public …
 
For a year and a half, Johns Hopkins infectious disease doctor Kelly Gebo has been working with people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Gebo and a team of medical professionals triage COVID outpatients in a “pod” outside of the hospital where people diagnosed with COVID can come for convalescent plasma and care. Gebo talks about seeing patien…
 
There are over 50 million Americans who are eligible to vote but are not registered. VoteEr is an organization at the intersection of health and voting, providing kits for health care offices and ERs that help patients check their registration status or easily register via a text message code while waiting to be seen. Dr. Alister Martin, VoteER’s f…
 
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks and the Anthrax events in the weeks that followed, Dr. Josh Sharfstein talks with Dr. Tom Inglesby of the Center for Health Security about the transformational impacts these events had on public health. They discuss what the attacks revealed about the US’s vulnerabilities, how an …
 
Stephanie Desmon talks to Dr. Stephen Patrick, a pediatrician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, about why the focus of COVID-19 right now needs to be kids, who have suffered mightily since the pandemic began and who are now filling up children’s hospitals as many are sickened by the Delta variant. They discuss how politicians an…
 
This year, National Suicide Prevention Week coincides with the 20th anniversary of 9-11. Amelia Noor-Oshiro, a Hopkins PhD candidate, is conducting research at the intersection of suicide prevention and Muslim Americans’ experiences with trauma, violence, and oppression. Stephanie Desmon talks with Noor-Oshiro about the importance of studying this …
 
Bloomberg Assistant Professor of American Health Tiara Willie studies the HIV epidemic among Black women in the American South, particularly among those in abusive relationships. In conversation with Dr. Josh Sharfstein, Dr. Willie discusses how to make HIV prevention a standard of care to help women by improving and expanding access to trauma-info…
 
What is a microbiome? Are they helpful or are they harmful? Do they cause disease or can they cure disease? And what does diet soda have to do with them? In this episode, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein speaks to Dr. Jotham Suez from the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology about the trillions of microorganisms that live ins…
 
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