Public Health

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer a discussion of what is commonly referred to as "long-haul syndrome" or "long COVID." Our guest is Dr. Stan Schwartz, who's the chief medical officer of The Zero Card, a digital-health enterprise. He's also a former medical director of Tulsa's Warren Clinic. Dr.

State officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday at the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence in Stillwater.

The center was announced in October, and its more rural location was always the plan. State Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur said human and animal health are closely related because of diseases that jump from animals to humans or that affect food supplies.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Calling it as much about protecting your community as yourself, especially as flu season arrives during a global pandemic, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum received flu shots at a Tuesday press conference and urged Tulsans to do the same.

Monday the 31st will bring the first day of classes for Tulsa Public Schools, and given the current pandemic, this is certainly going to be a very different school year. All TPS students, for starters, will be participating in either of two distinct programs: Distance Learning or Virtual Academy. How do these differ? And what should TPS parents be expecting -- and/or planning for -- as the new school year begins?

Our guest on ST is Bina Venkataraman, a journalist and former adviser in the Obama administration who has helped communities and businesses prepare for climate change. She tells us about her book, "The Optimist's Telescope," which is now out in paperback. This work explores why we as human beings tend NOT to think ahead -- and what can be done to change that.

Should schools reopen? Should we be playing (or practicing) team sports right now? And which type of mask is the safest one to wear? On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak about these and other matters with Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department. Dr. Dart, who last appeared on our show back in March, offers an update on COVID-19 in our community at present.

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.

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.

Oklahoma Blood Institute

Oklahoma Blood Institute will provide all donors 18 and older with free COVID-19 antibody tests.

Testing will be offered at donor centers and mobile blood drives. OBI President and CEO Dr. John Armitage said donations were down about 20% at worst during the pandemic, but surgeries and other procedures being on hold at the same time offset the drop.

Now that those are picking back up, OBI needs more donors to meet hospital needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a number of areas where government was unprepared despite years of preparation, but it has also revealed a very un-governmental nimbleness in responding to the economics of the pandemic-induced recession. Economist Joshua Gans says there was no pandemics playbook on how to keep an economy running in a situation like this, and despite the real hardships many are facing today, policymakers have made more right decisions than wrong to this point.

As our current pandemic continues, we hear from historian John M. Barry, who wrote one of the definitive accounts of the worst American pandemic, the Influenza pandemic of 1918-19.

Trust for America's Health

Oklahoma spent almost $172 million on public health in fiscal year 2019 — up 12% from the year before — but cuts at the federal level are undermining progress.

Trust for America’s Health Executive Vice President and COO Nadine Gracia said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s overall funding has been essentially flat since 2011, and its $2 billion a year public health grant fund is getting less than half its intended funding from Congress.

On this edition of our program, we speak with two different doctors -- one in Boston, and one here in Tulsa -- about the current medical, hospital-level fight in the U.S. against coronavirus. First we hear from Dr. Daniela Lamas, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Brigham & Women's Hospital who is also on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Then we hear from Tulsa native Dr. Jabraan Pasha, an associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency program at OU-Tulsa.

Public health officials in Tulsa -- and everywhere else, of course -- are now monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus, COVID-19. This virus was first identified in China in January. Late last week, the first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced in Tulsa County: a man in his fifties who had recently visited Italy. On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer an update on this still-evolving, fast-changing situation. Our guest is the Tulsa Health Department's executive director, Dr. Bruce Dart, who has worked in public health for forty years.

It's easy to take safe drinking water for granted, but so very much of public health stems from having it (that is, having lots of it) on hand. Moreoever, the problems that've recently affected Flint, Michigan -- and other communities -- have brought the whole potable-water issue to the forefront for many Americans. Where does Tulsa's drinking water come from, and how does it get here? How safe is it, and how clean or "pure" is it? And how do we know these things? How is our water monitored? And how often?

US Public Health Service working in Haiti after 2010 earthquake
US Public Health Service

Over the years, the U.S. Uniformed Public Health Service has contributed to containing pandemics in Africa, preventing disease outbreaks after natural disasters,  and helping move forward public health initiatives like the Clean Air Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act, but it also has been criticized for its role in the notorious Tuskegee syphillis study which followed African-Americans with the disease for decades, even after penicillin was known to cure the illness. Today, there are proposals to slash the funding for this organization, or eliminate it altogether. Our guest is Dr.

Faculty and fellows participating in the HEAL Initiative in Hinche, Haiti. (UC-San Francisco)

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, an interesting discussion of global health -- that is, thinking about the health and well-being of the world's populations in a global context, and moreover, about how to serve those populations by improving care (and achieving equity of care) for all people. It's about seeing health care as a basic human right, and thus as something that people all over the world are fully entitled to. Our guest is Dr. Phuoc Le of the University of California at San Francisco, who also teaches in the public health program at UC-Berkeley. Dr.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Judy Melinek, a board-certified forensic pathologist practicing forensic medicine in California's Bay Area, where she is also the CEO of PathologyExpert, Inc. Lately, Dr.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the City of Tulsa's in-depth and multifaceted efforts to address issues of resilience, equity, and racial disparity across various demographic and geographic sections of our community. Our guest is DeVon Douglass, who was recently appointed by Mayor G.T. Bynum as Tulsa's Chief Resilience Officer. Before this appointment, Douglass served as the Economic Opportunity and Poverty Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, a detailed discussion of how being "housing insecure" can seriously and negatively affect an individual's -- or a community's -- health and well-being. Our guest is Dr. Megan Sandel of Boston Medical Center, who is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, we offer a wide-ranging chat with Dr. Harold Pollack, the Helen Ross Professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. He's written prolifically on the inter-related topics of poverty, policy, crime, and public health; his articles have appeared in scholarly journals like Journal of the American Medical Association and Social Service Review as well as in political magazines like The Nation and The New Republic.

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Dr. David Kendrick, CEO of the locally based nonprofit, MyHealth Access Network. This network, serving more than 2 million clients throughout Greater Tulsa, works to link health care providers and their patients in a digitally-driven data network aimed at improving the health of patients, reducing inefficiency and waste, and coordinating care more effectively. As Dr. Kendrick tells us today, MyHealth Access Network has recently received a $4.5 million federal grant to establish the Route 66 Accountable Health Community.

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, we offer an interesting discussion about water conservation and related subjects with Noah Roberts, the proprietor of a recently opened shop in downtown Tulsa called The Water Co. This business sells water-bottle filling stations as well as reusable bottles, cups, and straws. And it does so, as noted on its website, in order to "improve community health and habitat by providing drinking water systems and reusable drinkware as an alternative to single-serve plastic bottles and cups.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we discuss a systematic, wide-ranging, and newly released effort to improve the health of the people of Tulsa County (where more than 60 percent of the population is overweight or obese). Our guest is Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department, who tells us about his organization's multi-faceted Community Health Improvement Plan (or CHIP).

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, we speak with Scott Phillips, a Tulsa-based entrepreneur and innovator -- and avid "hacker" -- who was recognized as a "Champion of Change" in a 2013 ceremony at The White House.

On this edition of ST, we are pleased to welcome back to our program Dr. Gerard Clancy, TU's Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the Oxley College of Health Sciences. (Dr. Clancy has also been designated as the next President of the University.) He joins us to talk about a newly announced effort aimed at addressing mental illness and substance abuse in the Tulsa area.

What do we mean by the phrase "public health"? What exactly does this term refer to? What sorts of treatments, goals, activities, and populations does it cover? On this edition of our program, we speak with Dr. Bruce Dart, who is Executive Director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department -- and who's also a Visiting Associate Professor at the OU-Tulsa College of Public Health. Dr.

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, an interesting chat with Katie Plohocky, who is one of the founders of the locally based Healthy Community Store Initiative. This organization, as noted at its tulsarealgoodfood.org website, was formed "to address the food desert problem in Tulsa, Oklahoma....

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