Conversations on Health Care-logo

Conversations on Health Care


Community Health Center

Community Health Center


Middletown, Connecticut




Community Health Center






Health Law Scholar Professor Tim Jost: Roadmap After the Election

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Timothy Jost, Professor Emeritus at the Washington and Lee School of Law. Professor Jost is considered one of the preeminent analysts of health law in America, particularly the Affordable Care Act. He discusses the rocky road ahead for the health law with a Biden presidency blocked by a GOP controlled Senate and a heavily conservative-leaning Supreme Court which will soon hear another case aimed at repealing some, or all,...


Public Health Expert Harvard’s Dr. Howard Koh On Leveraging Best Weapon in the COVID-19 Fight

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Howard Koh, the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. A former Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, and says the lack of a national public health response to the pandemic has led to poor outcomes in the US, but he says we can still turn that around with a solid national... Read More Read More The post Public Health...


Health Disparities: Dr. Uché Blackstock Talks About Advancing Health Equity

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Uché Blackstock, Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, an organization dedicated to addressing racial disparities in American health care and in medical education. An Emergency Medicine physician and Medical Contributor to Yahoo News, Dr. Blackstock is a rising activist seeking to address inequities that greatly impact people of color and ethnic minorities – leading to poor health outcomes in the pandemic, and across...


Dr. Anthony Fauci on COVID-19: What’s Working, What’s Not, and His Advice For America’s Youth

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, who is leading the COVID-19 response at the NIH. Dr. Fauci addresses the ongoing pandemic and concerning rise in daily infection rates in the US, vaccine development, monoclonal antibodies, and what we all need to be doing to stop the spread of the disease. The post Dr. Anthony Fauci on COVID-19: What’s...


340B & Pharmaceutical Profiteers: Connecticut Attorney General William Tong on Going After Illegal Price Gouging By Big Pharma

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who recently called out pharmaceutical giants for intimidating safety net providers and Community Health Centers offering low cost drugs to vulnerable patients protected through the 340B Pricing. Tong is also leading a team of Attorneys General from 51 states and territories in a huge Antitrust suit, alleging criminal price-fixing and price gouging among multiple pharmaceutical giants...


The Opioid Crisis Hasn’t Gone Away: NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow on Addiction Epidemic Amid COVID-19

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Volkow discusses her pioneering work in brain imaging which has given us a window into how addiction works in the brain. She discusses her recent report on susceptibility to COVID-19 for those with Substance Use Disorder, her concerns about increase in overdoses during the pandemic, and the need to curtail the...


Can Facebook’s Two Billion Users Slow the Pandemic? Dr. Farzad Mostashari on the COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Farzad Mostashari, Founder and CEO of Aledade, former National Coordinator for Health IT, and Chair of the COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge, a partnership with Facebook Data for Good, Carnegie Melon, Duke, University of Maryland, Resolve to Save Lives and organized by Catalyst @Health 2.0. The challenge is encouraging developers to create tools to mine data submitted by tens of millions of Facebook users, tracking real time...


CMS Administrator Seema Verma Talks Expansion of Telehealth, Development of COVID-19 Vaccine and Answers Recent Allegations

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Trump administration, a trillion dollar-a-year agency providing health coverage for 130 million vulnerable Americans on Medicaid and Seniors on Medicare. She discusses the agency’s dramatic transformation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including hundreds of waivers lifting restrictions for providers across the country, a swift expansion of...


Guns, America and the “Violence Inside Us”: US Senator Chris Murphy Explores Origins of the Nation’s Gun Culture and His Own Odyssey for Reform

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, whose critically acclaimed new book examines America’s long, unique history of violence and its embedded gun culture. His book, “The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy”, examines the birth and growth of America’s gun culture, the conditions that perpetuated it, and his quest to pass sane gun laws in response to the Sandy Hook School shooting. The post Guns,...


National Pediatric Leader Talks About Returning To School In Pandemic

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Sara Goza, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the largest organization dedicated to advancing the physical, mental and social health of the nation’s infants, children and young adults. Dr. Goza discusses how pediatricians can help inform the tough decisions families are making to keep kids safe while sending them back to school, the vital importance of continued well-visits and vaccinations for kids, and the...


Should I Send My Kids Back To School? Renowned Scientist Dr. William Haseltine Has Advice for Families

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. William Haseltine, President of ACCESS Health International, a global health think tank. He is also a renowned scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of Harvard Medical School’s HIV/AIDS and cancer research centers. He discusses his two new books: A Family Guide to COVID: Questions and Answers for Parents, Grandparents and Children, and A COVID Back To School Guide which are continually-updating ‘living e-books’...


New York Times Science Reporter Apoorva Mandavilli On The Challenges of Covering COVID 19

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with New York Times Science and Global Health Reporter Apoorva Mandavilli, who has been covering emerging discoveries around the COVID-19 pandemic. She discusses the rapidly-evolving science on how this novel pathogen spreads, the guidelines for sending kids and teachers back into schools, and the rapid development of therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent infection. The post New York Times Science Reporter Apoorva Mandavilli...


COVID-19 Vaccines: When Will They Be Ready? Will They Work? Listen to Leading Expert Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev, Deputy Director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He examines the scientific guidelines governing COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 clinical trials, including a broad demographic representation to ensure vaccine safety across multiple populations, and the need to address vaccine hesitancy as well as the global supply chain needed to distribute billions of...


Dr. Eric Topol: What Lies Between Now and COVID-19 Vaccine

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Eric Topol, Founder and Director of the Scripps Translational Institute, and author of “The Creative Destruction of Medicine”. Dr. Topol is a renowned cardiologist and health data champion, and shares a harsh assessment of federal handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US. He’s heartened by the many collaborations yielding significant scientific discovery around rapid testing technology and vaccines. He’s concerned the...


Pandemic: Dr. Zeke Emanuel on the Timeline for America Returning to ‘Normal’

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. A former advisor to the Obama Administration, he predicts the pandemic won’t be fully brought under control until late next year, when an approved vaccine can be successfully deployed across hundreds of millions of Americans. He discusses his new book, “Which Country Has the Best Healthcare” addressing the failure of America’s...


COVID-19’s Deadly Grip: Former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt on America’s Next Right Steps

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of CMS under President Obama. He is founder of United States of Care and Town Hall Ventures, two entities committed to advancing health coverage and health reform in the US through bipartisan coalitions. Mr. Slavitt analyzes the failed national response to COVID-19 here in the US, the need for a more unified and robust strategy to protect the public, and his recommendations for fixing...


COVID-19 and American Indians: Dr. Donald Warne on the Devastating Toll of the Pandemic on Native American Populations

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Donald Warne, Director of Indians Into Medicine (INMED) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. A renowned expert on American Indian health policies, Dr. Warne talks about the devastating toll COVID-19 is exacting on communities of color, particularly American Indians, who already suffer the effects of long term poverty, health disparities and Congress’ repeated failure to fully fund Indian Health Services which...


Front Line Warriors in Pandemic and Care Delivery: Dr. Susan Hassmiller on Impact of Nursing in American Health Care

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Susan Hassmiller, Senior Advisor for Nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Advisor to the President for Nursing at the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Hassmiller talks about the dramatic role America’s 3.8 million nurses are playing in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, how the nursing profession is playing a critical role in meeting challenges in primary care and health disparities, as well as her work crafting...


Inflection Point: US House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Race, Police, and the Pandemic

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with House Majority Whip, US Congressman James Clyburn who says we have reached an inflection point in American history in addressing the high cost to communities of color from health disparities, policing injustices and economic inequality. Congressman Clyburn examines important legislation aimed at stemming racially motivated police brutality, as well as improving health care access for vulnerable Americans through expansion of...


COVID 19: We’re in the Second Inning – According to Noted Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Michael Osterholm, world-renowned epidemiologist, pandemic expert and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease, Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. The author of The Deadliest Enemy: Our War with Killer Germs, Dr Osterholm has warned for years of the likelihood of a pandemic such as COVID-19.He extols the need for ongoing measures to protect the public health and front line health care workers through...