Health Matters

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Health Matters focuses on the health care needs of the mountain region. The program is a co-production of Morehead State Public Radio and the Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center (AHEC). AHEC's offices are located at the Saint Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead. Host Dr. Tony Weaver and his team of health experts interview guests and discuss health issues like obesity, tobacco use, heart disease, exercise and other topics concerning the well being of eastern Kentuckians.

Health Matters won the 2013 American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons media award!
Credit MSU

Why Does the Hubble Constant Change so Much? Show

Sep 4, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Scientists believe our universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. The Hubble constant is a number expressing the speed of expansion of the universe. There are several methods of measuring the Hubble constant, and each one leads to a substantially different value. Scientists don’t blame each other when the numbers don’t add up, they simply agree that they need to understand the universe better. We need to understand each other better, which is why we talk about vertigo, lying about your age, CBD oil, and whether old people smell or not.

Reminds Me of Freshman Year Show

Aug 27, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Brought to you by skin safety (“blame it on the melanoma”), we have our top 10 true false questions about melanomas, advice on healthcare policy and a look at the Affordable Care Act from Ezekiel Emmanuel, a discussion of life and the value of life after age 75, and some information about CBD oil. As Morehead State University goes back to school, freshman year is all around us.

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over Show

Aug 13, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

45 years ago this weekend, Gerald Ford took office as ex-president Richard Nixon left the White House in disgrace. After taking the oath of office, Pres. Ford declared, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.  Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.” We felt these words still have meaning in modern times. Leaving words of wisdom behind, we explore digital pills, 10,000 steps, and the perils of fried food.

Farewell, Hahnemann Show

Aug 5, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

This show salutes Hahnemann University Hospital, a safety net hospital in Philadelphia, caring for uninsured and poor people in the city, which will be ceasing operations in September. Hahnemann has changed hands between various corporations, and caring for these poor people is simply not profitable. For us at Health Matters, its loss is symbolic of our lack of vision and inability to attend to the most basic needs of civilized society.

Therapy Cows Show

Jul 30, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Between therapy cows, emotional support ducks, and forest bathing, we rural Kentuckians have a cornucopia of mental health treatment options available to us, and they are free.  Unfortunately, none of them involve human beings, and they are not working well so far.  This show discusses these options, as well as the definition of high blood pressure, lack of benefit of marijuana, and cosmetics  injuries in children.  Know your blood pressure, and enjoy the show.

We’re Back and It’s Worse Than We Thought show

Jul 23, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Back at it after a one-month layoff, the rust clearly shows.  This show is a compilation of rants and irritations that we have stored during our summer hiatus, including liquor stores in an earthquake, our deteriorating healthcare system, ticks, mosquitoes, and melanoma incidence.  Remember to use DEET on your skin and permethrin on your clothing to repel biting insects. It doesn’t get much better than this (unfortunately).

Our Final Show until Summer Hiatus Initiates (OF SUSHI)

Jun 10, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

We celebrate the Return of Rick with this tech-infused mess, including chat bots, smartphone apps, and Trauma Care in a Rucksack. We make fun of the latest American College of Cardiology tool for remembering primary prevention, which starts to look a lot like “My Plate” We also discuss our astonishing fall in life expectancy since the 1960s, when the USA had the highest life expectancy in the world.

Two Weeks until Summer Hiatus Show (TWUSH)

Jun 4, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

If we sound more intelligent this week, you should send a cash donation to Station Manager and All-around Good Guy (SMAAAGG) Paul Hitchcock, who took time out of his busy schedule to help record our show during the students’ summer break. We talk about the health effects of skipping, the contribution of healthcare to longevity (it’s not as significant as you might think) avoiding sugar, and how to use an ER waiting room.

Farewell, Emperor Akihito show

May 28, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Japanese Emperor Akihito, son of Emperor Hirohito, has abdicated the throne. Was it love? Was it some type of scandal? No, he simply wanted to retire. We salute those who are ready to move on, including our shows late, great producer Bryan Courtney with this discussion of vampire facials, measles outbreaks, soda taxes, and the latest guidelines on screening for breast cancer.

Is it Hot on this Planet, Or is it Me? Show

May 14, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Unfortunately, we had so much health stuff to discuss, we never got to the climate change material (Thanks a lot, Rick).  We do talk about Ebola, Measles, and Kentucky’s delayed response to our massive and deadly Hepatitis A outbreak.  Learn about the singular problems of healthcare in Indiana,  new warnings on sleeping pills, and how about that life-saving giant pothole? 

Peculiar Perils of Pills show

May 7, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Every day, 750 senior citizens are hospitalized due to serious side effects from one or more medications. Nearly 20 percent of seniors take ten drugs or more daily.  Health Matters thinks we take too many pills, and they cost too much.  We also discuss new recommendations on aspirin, and how to manage spring allergies.

Duluth and Nothing but Duluth Show

Apr 30, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Duluth Minnesota, population 84,380, sits at the westernmost tip of Lake superior. It is built into a steep rocky cliff side and is rated by Money magazine as one of the top four midwestern small cities based on livability. Duluth also has been featured in the New York Times as one of the cities with the infrastructure and location necessary to survive climate change. By mid century, the climate in Duluth will begin to approximate that of Toledo Ohio. Health Matters talks about climate change, brain stimulation, and avoiding dementia.

Health Matters Radio Show

Our show is named after the title of a Time magazine article summarizing recent research on vitamins and supplements. 30,000 adults recorded their use of supplements and details of their diets. Researchers could find no benefit from supplements. Some supplements were actually harmful. According to the authors, “Over half of Americans use supplements and the reason is to improve or maintain health. That mindset needs to be changed, given the evidence.” We agree.

Kentucky Courage Show

Apr 17, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

A local law firm refers to “Kentucky Courage” when people sue for personal injury. But there is a different kind of Kentucky courage. Every day, Kentuckians face unnecessary cancers and unnecessary diseases because of our life choices. This show salutes those bad decisions, and gives practical suggestions on how to make better ones.

Splendid Periodic Table Show

Apr 2, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Who is Alex Trebek? Show

Mar 26, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

Be Nice to Your Children Show

Mar 19, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

“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.

The Tobacco Moment Show

Mar 12, 2019
Health Matters Radio 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.

My Batteries Are Low and It’s Getting Dark Show

Mar 5, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

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.

Heartily Trying Show

Feb 27, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

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.

Government Shut-down Show

Feb 13, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

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.

Blow Thou Winter Wind Show

Feb 4, 2019
Health Matters Radio Show

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.

The Mildly Amusing Show

Nov 12, 2018
Health Matters Radio Show

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.

Natural Instinct for Science show

Nov 5, 2018
Health Matters Radio Show

“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.

Blame it On the Russian Twitter Bots show

Oct 23, 2018
Health Matters Radio Show

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.

Wrong Town, Wrong Time Show

Oct 17, 2018
Health Matters Radio Show

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 show

Oct 9, 2018
Health Matters Radio Show

“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.

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat Show

Oct 2, 2018
Health Matters Radio 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.

The Lunch Cancer Show

Sep 26, 2018
Health Matters Radio Show

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.

The Cloud of Stupid Show

Sep 18, 2018
Health Matters Radio Show

“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.