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Conversations on Health Care


Community Health Center

Community Health Center


Middletown, Connecticut




Community Health Center






Dr. Anthony Fauci: A Conversation on Where We Are and What’s Coming Next

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Team. They discuss the decades of science behind the ‘remarkable’ vaccines, the decision by the US and G7 members to scale up global vaccine donations, and the virulent variants that pose a greater risk to the unvaccinated. He also predicts the dramatic discovery around COVID-19 will pave the way for a vaccine for HIV/AIDS within the decade. The post...


Congressman Patrick Kennedy on Pandemic’s Impact on Increased Awareness of America’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with former US Congressman Patrick Kennedy, founder and CEO of The Kennedy Forum, an organization dedicated to advancing policies and best practices to improve access to mental health and addiction services. Congressman Kennedy, who co-sponsored the 2008 Mental Health Parity Act, addresses the devastating toll the pandemic has had on mental health and addiction, and talks about Biden Administration efforts to address the mental health...


Latino Community’s Pandemic Toll: National Hispanic Medical Association’s Dr. Elena Rios on Quest for Equity

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Elena Rios, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, representing the interests of the nation’s 50,000 Latino Physicians. She discusses the devastating toll the pandemic has taken on the nation’s Hispanic population who have suffered a greater death toll and significant economic as well as mental health burdens. Dr. Rios NHMA’s efforts to improve pipelines for young Latinos to enter the medical field,...


CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Talks Boosters, Masks and Health Equity

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Walensky defends the science behind lifting mask restrictions for vaccinated Americans, examines the ongoing research on vaccine efficacy against emerging COVID variants and possibility of a need for booster shots. She also outlines efforts underway by the CDC and the Biden Administration to leverage provisions in the American Recovery Act to...


World Health Organization’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove Speaks About the Global Pandemic

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead at the WHO. They discuss the world’s lack of readiness and supply chain infrastructure to confront the pandemic. She says the lessons learned from this collective ‘trauma’ is sparking new efforts to build more robust surveillance and response systems for emerging pathogens, the concerning new variant out of India, and the need to accelerate global vaccinations to stop the continued...


Understanding Vaccine Resistance Among Conservative Voters: Dr. Tom Freiden

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies seeking to save 100 million lives globally by addressing cardiovascular disease and preventing pandemics. Dr. Frieden discusses their report on building a stronger global health infrastructure that can deploy rapidly to contain the next threat. He talks about work with GOP pollster Frank Luntz to develop messaging to...


200 Million Vaccines and Counting: Emory’s Dr. Carlos Del Rio on Effort To Target Vaccine Resistance

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with leading infectious disease expert Dr. Carlos Del Rio, Executive Associate Dean at the Emory University School of Medicine, and lead researcher on HIV/AIDS and now, COVID-19. Dr. Del Rio applauds the Biden Administration’s achievement of 200 million vaccine doses delivered in the US, but warns vaccine resistance in this country, and lack of supply globally, must be addressed to bring the pandemic fully under control. He lauds the...


The J&J Vaccine Delay: Brown University’s Dr. Ashish Jha Says Minimal Clot Risk Shouldn’t Inhibit Vaccine Uptake

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Jha is a world renowned expert on pandemic preparedness and addresses concerns around the rare blood clot risk with the J&J vaccine, saying the brief pause in distribution is further evidence our scientific surveillance is working. He also talks about the impact of the pandemic to propel meaningful change in public health in the US, and the global... Read More...


White House Vaccinations Chief Dr. Bechara Choucair on the road to vaccinating America

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Bechara Choucair, White House Vaccinations Coordinator. Dr. Choucair discusses the remarkable pace of vaccine distribution in recent weeks, and the Biden Administration’s plans to deliver 200 million vaccines in 100 days. He addresses the challenges at vaccine production facilities, the impact of the American Rescue Plan on efforts to scale up vaccine production and delivery, as well as the important role played by community...


Biden COVID Transition Team Advisor Dr. Celine Gounder on Race Against Variants

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Celine Gounder, who served as a COVID advisor on the Biden transition team. Dr. Gounder says we are in a race between vaccinations and the variants driving coronavirus infections in the US and around the world. She warns that we must scale up our genomic surveillance of the variants as they pose a continued threat to containment of the pandemic. The post Biden COVID Transition Team Advisor...


Dr. Eric Topol on Variants, Vaccines and AstraZeneca’s Data Reporting

This week Mark and Margaret speak with Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. Dr. Topol calls drug maker AstraZeneca’s recent controversial under-reporting of complete safety data to US regulators for its COVID-19 vaccine ‘disturbing’ and ‘unprecedented’ in his clinical trial career. He calls the rapid development of highly successful and effective COVID vaccines one of biomedicine’s greatest achievements and predicts the pandemic crisis will pave the way...


Dr. Michael Osterholm Says Variants Will Cause More Havoc

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Michael Osterholm, renowned pandemic expert and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Policy and Research (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. A recent advisor to President Biden’s transition team, Dr. Osterholm warns of another COVID-19 surge on the horizon as the more contagious UK variant, which is causing more lockdowns across Europe, is becoming the dominant strain in the US. He says vaccination rates must be...


Dr. Rick Bright to Lead Bold Pandemic Preparedness Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Rick Bright, Sr. Vice President for Pandemic Preparedness and Response at The Rockefeller Foundation, former chief of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at HHS, and member of the Biden Transition Team on COVID-19. Dr. Bright is launching a new pandemic preparedness initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation, creating the first-of-its-kind national and global pandemic surveillance infrastructure...


Nursing on the Front Lines: ANA President Dr. Ernest Grant on Protecting Nation’s 4.3 Million Nurses

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Ernest Grant, President of the American Nurses Association, the largest organization representing the nation’s 4.3 nursing professionals and the patients they serve. He talks about the myriad challenges nurses have faced throughout the pandemic, the need to ensure more protection is put in place to shield them against the effects of COVID-19 and other workplace harm, and plans to advance the nursing the profession across the...


From Ebola Survivor to COVID Warrior: Dr. Craig Spencer on the Pandemic’s Lingering Threat

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Craig Spencer, Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center. A an emergency medicine and epidemiology expert on the board of Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Spencer talks about what he learned battling Ebola in West Africa, surviving the deadly...


Vaccines and Communities of Color: Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana on Quest for Equitable Distribution and Lasting Solutions

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is Co-Chair of the Working Group on Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination, CommuniVax, which just released a detailed report, “Equity in Vaccination: A Plan To Work With Communities of Color Toward COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond”, with recommendations for state and local governments to support a...


COVID-19 Is Shape-Shifting: Dr. William Haseltine Warns Variants & Lack of Containment May Weaken Vaccine Efficacy

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with scientist and entrepreneur Dr. William Haseltine, founder and CEO of ACCESS Health International, who warns the growing number of COVID-19 variants will help the virus evade the vaccines currently being deployed. He cautions that lack of strict public health measures, particularly in the US, will lead to more widespread infection and endemic outbreaks. Dr. Haseltine urges the pharmaceutical industry to provide more nuanced data on...


Pandemics and Social Networks: Influencer Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding on COVID-19 Messaging in the Age of Twitter

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, a global policy think tank dedicated to using science and scientific analysis to make the world more secure. The former Harvard professor and researcher has leveraged a significant Twitter following to share large volumes of aggregated information, research and data on the rapidly evolving pandemic, culled from multiple sources around the world. The...


Will Vaccines Work Against the New Variants? Virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen on Unraveling the COVID Mysteries

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Angela Rasmussen, who leads the core virology team at the Viral Emergence Research Initiative at the Georgetown University Center for Global Health, Science and Security. A renowned expert on emerging pathogens that pose great harm to human health, she helps us unlock some of the mysteries around Sars-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus. She talks about the swift production of the vaccine as a “scientific achievement of our lifetimes”....


COVID Variant and Delayed Vaccines: Dr. Megan Ranney on Pandemic Perils

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with ER physician Dr. Megan Ranney, Assistant Dean of the Institute for Translational Science at Brown University and Director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. A frequent spokesperson across the media landscape on the COVID-19 pandemic, and founder of #GetUsPPE and the MyCOVIDrisk app, Dr. Ranney warns the new COVID-19 variant which is highly transmissible could spark a new wave of super-spreader events, and that poor...