Health Care

More than 3,200 households in Oklahoma and Kansas will have a total of $5.2 million in medical debt wiped out by the area’s United Church of Christ conference.

The UCC Kansas-Oklahoma Conference raised $40,000, which was sent to RIP Medical Debt, a New York–based nonprofit that buys medical debt for pennies on the dollar.

The Rev. Chris Moore, lead pastor at Tulsa’s Fellowship Congregational Church, said the act is more about justice than charity.

Velvet Brown-Watts, a locally-based advocate for Sickle Cell Awareness and Treatment, and her son, Jeremiah Watts, Jr. (Photo used by permission of the Watts family.)

November is National Caregiver Awareness Month, and in that regard, our guests on this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday are Velvet Brown-Watts and Jeremiah Watts, Sr. They are the caregivers for, and the parents of, Jeremiah Watts, Jr., who is a 16-year-old student attending Union Public Schools here in our community, and who was diagnosed with Sickle Cell as an infant. Velvet Brown-Watts and Jeremiah Watts, Sr., are also the co-founders of a nonprofit called Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease, which they tell us about.

Our guest is Chicago-based therapist and social worker, Joey Miller, MSW, LCSW, who has counseled women and their families for nearly two decades. She joins us to discuss her important new book, "Rebirth: The Journey of Pregnancy After a Loss." (You can learn more about, or contact, Joey Miller here.) A much-needed guidebook concerning a subject that many find difficult to talk about -- let alone deal with or confront -- "Rebirth" explains the challenges mothers and their partners can face after the loss of an infant.

City of Tulsa / MedWise Urgent Care

Beloved Tulsa-based gas station and convenience store chain QuikTrip is expanding into the health care market. 

The QuikTrip Corporation is the sole investor in a new entity known as MedWise Urgent Care, according to a press release from MedWise and the city of Tulsa. 

Patrick Aguilar, a physician serving as the new company's first chief medical officer, said Friday that it makes sense for the brand to enter the medical sector.

A high-sodium diet can be a deadly diet -- high levels of sodium have been linked to high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. And yet, salt is everywhere. It's all but inescapable on the American foodscape; salt (and plenty of it) is in packaged foods, fast foods, canned foods, table-service restaurants, etc. So...why hasn't salt received the sort of public attention and regulatory action that sugar and fat have? Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Michael Jacobson, who set out to answer this question.

(Note: This discussion first aired back in June.) What happens when a woman seeking an abortion in the U.S. is turned away? Our guest is Diana Greene Foster, PhD, who set out to answer this question as definitively as possible.

Credit Shane Bevel Photography

A doctor at Saint Francis Health System has died, reportedly of COVID-19.

"We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of our colleague Dr. Giancarlo Piano," Saint Francis said in a Saturday statement. "He was a well-respected member of the medical staff and known for his kindness and compassion."

"We pray for the heavenly repose of his soul and that his wife and sons be surrounded by love and the healing presence of Christ during this time of mourning," the statement concludes.

Our guest on this edition of ST Medical Monday is Dr. Jonathan M. Berman, who tells us about his important new book. That book is "Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement." As was noted of this work by Publishers Weekly: "Science professor Berman debuts with a useful guide for readers concerned about the opposition to vaccinations.... The book's greatest value comes from its insights into how common cognitive errors can lead even the well-informed to see false correlations between vaccination and health problems.

It's scary, but by now it's also obvious -- our environment today contains thousands (literally, thousands) of toxic chemicals that it did NOT contain just a few decades ago. How are these chemicals affecting our health? And what can we, as individuals, do about this? Our guest on ST Medical Monday is the co-author of a new book called "Non-Toxic: Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World." Dr. Aly Cohen is a board certified rheumatologist and integrative medicine specialist, as well as an environmental health expert based in Princeton, New Jersey.

(Note: This interview first aired back in May.) What do we mean by the phrase "patient-centered care"? And why is this expression being used more frequently in medical circles? Our guest is Dr. Saul J. Weiner, a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He tells us about his book, "On Becoming a Healer," which is essentially a med school-based memoir/study as well as a critique/guidebook focused on how to become a more competent, more compassionate physician.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

The medical director of the Emergency Medical Services Authority, or EMSA, said Wednesday that while the ambulance service has experienced some additional demand, it remains far from being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Yes, we are in unusual times," said Dr. Jeffrey Goodloe during a virtual meeting of the authority's board of trustees, "but the actual case load, case burden, number of incidents related to COVID-19 certainly comes nowhere close to the majority of patients that we take care of on a day-in, day-out basis."

There are many, many different skin-care products out there...and keeping skin healthy has long been a booming industry...but how did we get here? And why are there so many confusing messages from health experts regarding the care of our skin? Why are there so many ineffective treatments? Our guest is a preventative medicine physician and staff writer for The Atlantic whose new book explains the surprising (and often unintended) effects of our modern-day hygiene practices; his book also offers an introduction to the new science of skin microbes and probiotics.

Pixabay

Administration may be the big fight over Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma.

Lawmakers leading the discussion are confident they can use a plan vetoed by Gov. Kevin Stitt as a funding fallback. It used an increased assessment on hospital revenue to come up with around $130 million, most if not all of Oklahoma’s share of around $1 billion in expansion costs.

Our guest is Pam Fessler, an award-winning correspondent with NPR News who mainly covers poverty, philanthropy, and voting issues. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Carville's Cure," which is tells the fascinating and little-known story of the only leprosy colony in the continental United States. This facility, located in remote Carville, Louisiana, somehow became -- over the course of the 20th century -- much more of a refuge than a prison.

(Note: This interview first aired last summer.) Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Adam S. Cifu; he's the co-author of an interesting book about "medical reversal" -- i.e., what happens when doctors start using a medication, procedure, or diagnostic tool without a robust evidence base...and then stop using it when it's found not to help, or even to harm, patients.

Our guest is Dr. Syeachia Dennis, who joined the OU-Tulsa family medicine residency program in 2013, and who more recently completed a master's program from the John Hopkins School of Public Health. An Oklahoma native, Dr. Dennis is an Assistant Professor in the OU-Tulsa School of Community Medicine's Department of Family Medicine. She joins us for a candid, local-level discussion about the racial disparities that exist today in American health care: troubling, long-running disparities in access, treatment, perceptions, and outcomes. Dr.

We welcome to our show Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist. He was appointed health director of Detroit, Michigan, at age 30, and he was formerly a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. El-Sayed's new book, which he tells us about, is "Healing Politics: A Doctor's Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic." As was noted of this book by Bill McKibben with 350.org: "This is a very important book.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Jennifer Clark, a Visiting Associate Professor of Community Health at TU's Oxley College of Health Sciences; she teaches in TU's Health Care Delivery Science Program. Dr. Clark is also a contributor/commentator for the ongoing, thrice-weekly Project ECHO updates regarding COVID-19. These online, open-to-the-public updates, originating from Oklahoma State University and freely streamable, are medically-driven information sessions presented by a multi-institutional array of doctors and scientists.

The Economic Benefits and Perils of Adopting Medicaid Expansion

Jun 30, 2020
KWGS News Photo

The campaigns on both sides of State Question 802 have made numerous claims about the potential benefits and perils of Medicaid expansion. Independent producer Dan Epstein checked out some of those claims for Oklahoma Engaged.

Medicaid expansion is just one complex element of the larger even more complex healthcare machine. There’s not enough time  to look at every potential economic impact Medicaid expansion may have. But perhaps the best starting point is something no one disputes. Oklahoma would get a little more than one billion dollars from the Federal government.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in February.) Our guest is Dr. Adam Hill, who works in the Pediatric Palliative Care Unit at Indiana University's Riley Hospital for Children. He joins us to discuss his memoir, "Long Walk Out of the Woods: A Physician's Story of Addiction, Depression, Hope, and Recovery." As was noted of this book by Library Journal: "[Hill] shares a deeply personal story...in an effort to improve access, treatment options, and resources for all affected by similar conditions.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about State Question 802, the Medicaid expansion initiative that Oklahoma voters will cast ballots for or against on Tuesday of next week. This measure, per ballotpedia.org, would "expand Medicaid in Oklahoma under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. It would provide Medicaid coverage for certain low-income adults between 18 and 65 with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

Our guest is Dr. Vinayak K. Prasad, a practicing hematologist-oncologist and internal medicine physician based in San Francisco. He joins us to discuss his important new book, "Malignant: How Bad Policy and Bad Evidence Harm People with Cancer." This work explains how hype, money, and bias can -- and often do -- mislead the public into thinking that many worthless or unproven cancer treatments are effective. As noted by Dr. David P.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Bon Ku, an ER doc and Assistant Dean for Health and Design at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Ku is also the co-author of a new book, "Health Design Thinking: Creating Products and Services for Better Health." This novel and fascinating work argues that the principles of human-centered design can and should be applied to today's health care challenges. The book's focal points range from the design of drug packaging and exam rooms to the use of internet-connected devices for early detection of breast cancer. As Dr.

What happens when a woman seeking an abortion in the U.S. is turned away? Our guest is Diana Greene Foster, PhD, who set out to answer this question as definitively as possible.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Mikkael Sekeres, a leading cancer specialist who writes regularly for The New York Times. He tells us about his new book, "When Blood Breaks Down: Life Lessons from Leukemia." This work carefully examines leukemia in its different forms as well as the development of drugs to treat it.

Integris

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City-based hospital system on Tuesday began allowing limited visitation to most patients, including those with the coronavirus, as the state continues to reopen.

Integris Health said some patients can designate one person as a “patient representative” who can visit between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

Patients in obstetrics, pediatrics and neonatal intensive care may have two representatives, but no visitors will be allowed for patients in isolation except for those near death.

What do we mean by the phrase "patient-centered care"? And why is this expression being used more frequently in medical circles? Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Saul J. Weiner, a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He tells us about his new book, "On Becoming a Healer," which is essentially a memoir/study/critique/guidebook focused on how to become a more competent, more compassionate physician. As was noted of this work by Dr. Ronald Epstein, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry: "Dr.

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s state medical board has approved almost 200 doctors for temporary licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An executive order from Gov. Kevin Stitt allows the board to approve 90-day critical care licenses for out-of-state physicians. As of last week, 192 doctors had been approved.

Many are primary care physicians, but there are also several emergency medicine doctors and specialists from neurologists to infectious disease specialists in the mix. 

Medical board member Dr. Mark Fixley does not expect they will be needed, though.

https://fshoq.com

Doctors at many hospitals in Oklahoma are performing elective surgeries again.

Gov. Kevin Stitt lifted his order against elective surgeries, effective Friday. Ascension St. John, however, is not among the hospitals performing them again. CEO Mark McBride said doctors have been performing surgeries needed during the ban, but hospital officials thought it prudent to take a couple more days to work out the logistics for elective procedures.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has put a state question to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma on the June 30 ballot.

State Question 802 supporters turned in more than 313,000 signatures last year to qualify the proposal for a statewide vote. It needed 178,000.

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