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Carole R. Myers, PhD launches #NPR @WUOT TN health policy news segment “Health Connections”

By Carole Myers

June 21, 2017

Senior Fellow Carole R. Myers PhD brings her health policy expertise to the airwaves twice a month to NPR’s Morning News on 91.9 FM WUOT in Knoxville, TN. Here’s the program write up from WUOT’s website where you can listen to her the segment:



This week marks the launch of a new series, HealthConnections. The brainchild of University of Tennessee associate professor Dr. Carole Myers, HealthConnections will bring the often-abstract world of health care, coverage and policy to a human level. What is access? How do marketplaces work? What’s the future of health insurance?

Dr. Myers and WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth will sort through these issues and more, all to give you a toolbox for understanding what you hear on the news, or to separate fact from fiction in the health care debate.

In the premiere episode, Dr. Myers and Hollingsworth introduce the series and get up to speed on the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

What’s on your mind? On Twitter, send your questions to @wuotfm, or send an email to newsroom [at] and use “HealthConnections” as your subject line.

Congratulations Carole! The entire team at the Center applaud you on this new platform where you will report on health policy.

Carole Myers

Honoring Pride Month: Repost of HealthCetera Radio: Supporting the T: Not just about a bathroom

By Kristi Westphaln

June 16, 2017

What do a bus, a water fountain, and a bathroom all have in common?

The Trump Administration rescinded President Obama’s Guidance regarding the rights of transgender children to use school restrooms of their choice; many are wondering if this truly is just about a bathroom. Many civil rights and child advocacy organizations are in opposition with the Trump position due to violation of the protections guaranteed in Title IX and the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. Title IX prohibits discrimination based upon sex in federally funded activities or education, however discourse continues surrounding the interpretation gender within the language of federal law. The issue of transgender youth and public school restroom use will be explored by the US Supreme Court this march, however many states have already opted to support transgender youth through local legislation.

Rescinding these guidelines places transgender youth at risk for bullying, violence, and discrimination. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners  have issued statements about the hazards involved in marginalizing children: Policies that exclude transgender children from existing within their gender identity will have detrimental effects upon health and well-being. When children experience adversity and lack of acceptance, they become increasingly susceptible to a host of challenges across their life course.

Data from  Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that there are approximately 150,000 transgender youth and 206,000 transgender young adults in the United States. Despite the growing numbers of transgender Americans, misunderstanding persists. Curious? Tune into Healthcetera Radio as Senior Fellow Kristi Westphaln delves into the experiences of transgender youth with Dr. Kimberly Aquaviva. Dr. Aquaviva is an authority on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) aging and end-of-life issues for the George Washington University School of Nursing.



Kristi Westphaln
Kristi Westphaln, RN MSN PNP-PC is a San Diego based Nurse Practitioner with a passion for pediatric clinical practice, child advocacy, and nursing education. She has over a decade of experience in pediatric emergency care, with a focus on trauma and abuse. She is pursuing a PhD, and as a senior fellow, produces frequent HealthCetera Radio segments.

Out In the Rural: Where and How Is Health Promoted?

By Diana J. Mason

June 15, 2017

Where and how is health created and promoted? If you think it’s in hospitals, you would be terribly wrong. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States; and yet, we have a health care system that spends billions of dollars every year to provide acute care. It’s costly and our health outcomes are worse than in other peer nations.

Today, there is a growing recognition that we have to move our attention and resources upstream to promote health of people where they live, work, learn and play. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has invested significant resources into exploring how to improve the health of communities and create a culture of health among all. The New York State Health Foundation is advancing this work in New York State and other foundations around the nation are investing in projects that build healthier communities through initiatives that will improve access to healthy, affordable foods; create safe places to exercise; bring jobs into the community; improve education; reduce pollution; and other aspects of what are called social determinants of health.

But why has it taken us so long to recognize and act on the connection between the health of a community and the health of people? In the 1960s, physician Jack Geiger had orchestrated a federal grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity as part of a major community development initiative begun by President Lyndon Johnson that represented the nation’s new “War on Poverty.” The grant went to Tufts University to build the Tufts-Delta Health Center in rural Mississippi. The Center was the nation’s first community health center that was the forerunner of the Federally Qualified Health Centers located across the nation to ensure that vulnerable populations have access to primary care. Geiger and his colleagues encountered significant resistance from both the white and black communities in Mississippi but prevailed, with the help of John Hatch, a community organizer.

What they soon discovered was that the Center would treat infected babies or malnourished and sick adults, only to have them return with the same health problems time after time. The local people in this poor community were grateful that they had access to this wonderful health center but noted that they wouldn’t need it so much if they could feed their families or had clean water, jobs, and adequate sanitation. Geiger and his colleagues worked with the community to launch major initiatives to address these concerns, empowering the community in the process and developing a generation of community and political activists.

This story has been detailed in a new book entitled Out in the Rural: A Mississippi Health Center and Its War on Poverty, by Thomas J. Ward, Jr., Chair of the History Department at Spring hill College in Mobile, Alabama. With a foreword by Jack Geiger, the book provides us with an exemplar of how to engage communities to promote healthier lives.

Today on HealthCetera, producers Kenya Beard, EdD, ANP, RN, and Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, interview Tom Ward about this story. Tune in at 1:00 to WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York City or streaming online at Or you can listen to the program anytime by clicking here:

An overview of the story is also shared in this documentary that was made in 2010 (the story starts 30 seconds into the video) :

HealthCetera is sponsored by the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at the George Washington University School of Nursing.


Diana J. Mason
Diana is a founder of the Center for Health, Media & Policy, and HealthCetera Radio. She is the President of the American Academy of Nursing, the Rudin Professor of Nursing at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, and a health policy expert and leader. Diana tweets @djmasonrn.