Dr. Tony Weaver

Health Matters host

“Be nice to your children. After all, they are going to choose your nursing home.”-- Comedian Steven Wright.  

This show explores some of the problems we have with managing Alzheimer disease. The condition appears to be significantly worse in the winter, the over-the-counter treatments are foisted on desperate families, and the prescription Alzheimer drugs have been poorly studied, and probably don’t work. Protect your brain with regular exercise and mental activity, and listen to this show.

Recently, executives from large pharmaceutical companies testified in front of a congressional subcommittee on the outrageous price increases for prescription drugs.  The New York Times hoped for a “tobacco moment”, when the execs would be held accountable for the misery they have caused, but instead, they received a “stern talking to”, and virtually nothing was accomplished.  Our Tobacco Moment show memorializes yet another lost chance to improve America’s healthcare.  We also talk about measles, health watches, and liver transplants.

Dedicated to the Mars rover Opportunity, we discuss buying insulin abroad, and fun facts about people who live to be greater than 100 years old. The rover was designed for a 90 day mission, but continued to send scientific information for more than 15 years. It traveled almost 50 times as far as planned, and sent over 200,000 images back to earth. If our healthcare system performed as well as Opportunity, there would be no need for Health Matters. Of course, there is no need for Health Matters anyway.

From measles outbreaks in Washington state to swallowing toothpicks, this show discusses the things you need to know to get through February. Brought to you by the symptoms of heart attack (only half of US adults know these symptoms), we also talk about a safe insulin needle that you swallow and myths about the importance of breakfast in your diet.

Having just returned from a long shut down ourselves, Health Matters sympathizes with those affected by the government shut down. While Shelley is off to see if it is cold in Isonville, Rick and Tony discuss aspirin for preventing diseases, cancer in Kentucky, and how much life expectancy you lose if you eat fried chicken.

Health Matters returns from our long winter hiatus with this clunker.  Brought to you by the World Health Organization top 10 threats to health in 2019, Rick discusses the new electronics at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. Tony discusses a cancer moonshot for rural Kentucky. And as a bonus feature, we get through the entire show without slapping each other, at the request of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dedicated to our enthusiastic but misguided fans, this show discusses weather conditions and heart attack, the increased prevalence  of dementia in the winter, and predicting suicidal behavior.  Let us take your mind off the discomfort of your fall flu shot by discussing a new flu drug, the first in 20 years.  We wrap up by worrying about marijuana and being encouraged by the success of the HPV vaccine, now recommended for all below age 45.

“I have a natural instinct for science.”

US President Donald Trump on why he disagrees with the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change.

Brought to you by the vaccination league and shoes with tread, Health Matters discusses why, since the ancient Greeks, science has been about systematic exploration, not relying on instincts. Rick and Tony discuss falls, the fall of IBM’s Watson computer, bucket lists and teen vaping.

Sponsored by the Vaccination League ("Don't be late, vaccinate!"), we reopen our discussion of cancer-sniffing dogs, review the "New Coke", analyze the Fitbit murder investigation, and (of course) explain how Russian Twitter Bots are trying to undermine our life-saving vaccination program.  The conversation is unusually lively, since our very own Health Matters RickBot is there to assist with the Health Matters website info.

This show expresses Health Matters’ bewilderment at the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh hearings. While our show is not political, the spectacle in front of us clearly invites some commentary. Once the show starts, we stick to what we know, including marital stress and sudden death, influenza numbers, and five terms that doctors should stop using.

“Wealth, education and zip code are the three most important determinants of your health.”-- Dr. Robert Califf How can they film a reality show about real patients in real hospitals?  They can’t.  Three Boston hospitals were fined $1 million for violating patient confidentiality. We discuss this, psychiatry chatbots, and the “New Coke One” on today’s show.

Dedicated to the hurricane-related victims in the Carolinas this year and in Houston last year, this show includes a discussion of the Apple watch, tackle football, and breast cancer screening recommendations.

We were invited to speak on lung cancer, but the brochure unfortunately had us speaking on lunch cancer. “Lunch cancer” is my new favorite term for obesity. This show discusses Rick’s worst day in PE class, and treating cholesterol in the elderly.

“Stupid is what gives us our power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” (Obi-Wan Kenobi, paraphrased).

A coworker commented, “I feel like I’m working in a cloud of stupid”. And that was all it took. This show is dedicated to foods with liquid nitrogen (which literally produce a cloud of stupid), the lack of benefit of aspirin for healthy people trying to prevent disease, flu vaccinations, and smartphones.

Chuck Roast Show

Aug 28, 2018

Chuck Mraz has served as news and sports director for Morehead State Public Radio since shortly after our show started in 2003. He first came to WMKY in 1986. He is a real classy guy, although weird in a way that you can’t quite put your finger on. This show is our retirement salute to Chuck. We also talk about suicides, high blood pressure guidelines, and the new colon cancer screening recommendations from the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Kip Guy show

May 16, 2018

Growing up in rural Mississippi, Kip Guy decided he wanted to do scientific research. He headed to the West Coast, began working on a more environmentally friendly way to make the cancer drug Taxol, and developed collaborations all across the country.

“I enjoyed the spring more than the autumn now. When does, I think, as one gets older.” (Virginia Woolf). The joy of spring is present each year, but there is a special joy for those in healthcare after a harsh influenza season. The earth renews itself, and we must as well. This show failed to launch, and I mostly blame Rick. We talk about Royal babies, electric cars and pacemakers, cancer and coffee, and marijuana.

This show salutes the late theoretical physicist, hero of today’s youth, Stephen Hawking. Hawking was able to link certain behaviors of black holes to an explanation of how the universe was born. He described the characteristics of a black hole, and predicted that it would emit radiation. Health Matters talks about coffee, and prescription and recreational drugs during pregnancy.

Let’s be clear: Health Matters does not approve of fun razor activities. Razors are for grown-ups, and should be used carefully. However, Morehead State Public Radio just finished their fun razor week, and maybe you should contribute some money to help alert them to the dangers of fun razors. This show is about credit cards, soft drink taxes, the importance of weight loss, and the consequences of “negative wealth shocks”.

Our profound thanks to UK dietetic intern Hannah Mayse, perhaps the only bright spot in a show about orange popsicles, diarrhea, swimming in contaminated water, and artificial sweeteners. Hannah is from Elliott County, adds lemon to her water, and prefers grape.

Tip: antibiotics wreak havoc with your ecosystem. Use them for severe or life-threatening infections, but avoid them when possible.


On the 95th anniversary of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Health Matters revisits this classic American poem. We talk about insomnia, low blood pressure and suicide, legalizing marijuana, and a cancer “Ground Shot” for Eastern Kentucky.

Tip:  Sleep experts are focusing on avoiding white light at night. They even suggest using sunglasses if you wake up and must look at a screen.


Joe Polchinski show

Mar 14, 2018

Joe Polchinski was an early pioneer of string theory, describing tiny particles of matter as vibrating strings of energy and the possibility of multiple universes. The show conveys our admiration and respect for his work. Since we don’t understand it, and can’t explain it, we discuss sugar sweetened beverages, dietary recommendations, and the death rates on Grey’s Anatomy.

Tip: Adding a tax on sugar sweetened beverages is one tool to end our misguided reliance on getting energy from carbohydrates. The other tool is cheese.

Prompted by our visit to the Rowan County Fiscal Court to listen to the debate over supporting legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky, this show includes a discussion of the alarming lack of scientific data on marijuana, skepticism over recent research on cleaning products and emphysema, and the benefits of cold water.

Tip: Women experience heart attacks differently than men. The pain is more likely to be in the jaw, neck, arms, or between the shoulder blades, and women were nearly twice as likely to perceive the problem as anxiety.

Oh, the dedication of our cast and crew! We were scheduled to record this show on the evening of Valentine’s Day. We subsequently realized that no one (no one!) had any conflict on that day. So, we spent the most romantic evening of the year in the studio discussing brain implants, vaccinations, and colon germs. Please, please – give generously to Morehead State Public Radio.

Tip: at age 65, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends two different pneumonia vaccines (Prevnar and then Pneumovax) one year apart.

Aaron Burr Show

Feb 20, 2018

On February 17, 1801 the US House of Representatives broke an electoral college tie, and chose Thomas Jefferson as our president over Aaron Burr. Mr. Burr was the consummate politician for modern times: questionable business practices, character assassination, and even sex scandals. Health Matters looks back at Mr. Burr with this offering on Marlboro Heatsticks, generic Viagra, and Restasis.

In his State of the Union address, President Trump described a new tide of optimism that was sweeping the nation. We had Health Matters can feel it, and dedicated the show to that concept. Unfortunately, the only tide we could find in the medical literature was Tide Pods, which are being eaten by disturbed teenagers seeking attention. Soooo, we just did our usual depressing health update.

Tip: The new American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology blood pressure guidelines emphasize aggressive treatment with hypertension being any blood pressure above 130/80. For those over age 60, the American College of Physicians/American Academy of Family Physicians guidelines begin treatment at 150. It will take time to sort out which guideline prevails.


There comes a certain time when winter becomes tiresome. We have reached that time. This show is a unique combination of gripes about Kentucky’s disability rates and new blood pressure guidelines and about good news and how to be happy in 2018. Consider it your radio “seed catalog”, with hopes for a better Spring.


The Hole Truth Show

Jan 24, 2018

President Trump’s alleged statements comparing certain developing nations to the human posterior diaper area aroused concern among our nation’s leaders, but gave Health Matters an opportunity to teach you about your private parts. Tune in for our “Is It Uranus or Your Anus?” Quiz.

Tip: This flu season appears to be particularly nasty with a strain of virus that causes more illness and is harder to vaccinate against. Get your vaccine now if you haven’t before, and wash your hands frequently.


Dr. Kip Thorne show

Oct 18, 2017

When Health Matters was a young boy, we received a letter from Dr. Kip Thorne, our hero, the winner of the Nobel prize in physics for his research on gravitational waves, the scientist who wrote “Interstellar”, the man responsible for Stephen Hawking appearing on the Big Bang Theory.  To say that we were “best buds” in high school MAY be an overstatement, but at least we have his autograph.