HealthConnections

Tuesdays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

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.

Trauma suffered in childhood can have lasting effects, well into adulthood. But there are ways to reduce those effects and help children cope. In this edition of HealthConnections, Dr. Allyson Neal of the University of Tennessee talks about resiliency and hope in the face of childhood trauma. Dr. Neal speaks wirth HealthConnections creator Dr. Carole Myers.

An estimated 50 million American adults endure daily chronic pain. About a third of that group experiences chronic pain so severe that it interferes with daily life. But the quick reaction - issuing a prescription for painkillers - carries with it a risk of addiction. Recently, a national task force examined problems with prescription painkillers; last May, the panel offered recommendations to improve how healthcare providers and patients manage chronic pain.

Winter doesn't feel like an ideal time to get out and exercise. The days are shorter, the weather generally colder, and the landscapes less verdant than in spring and summer. As a result, many Americans let their outdoor time dwindle in the winter months. UT's Dr. Carole Myers says that can contribute to weight gain and other health issues.

In this year-end edition of HealthConnections, Dr. Myers tries to convince a skeptical Brandon Hollingsworth that winter is the right time to get out of the house and get moving. Will he be swayed? Listen and find out!

The Tennessee General Assembly goes into session early next month. In this edition of HealthConnections, Dr. Carole Myers is joined by physician and State Senator Richard Briggs. Together, they discuss some of the big health issues facing Tennesseeans, including vaping and opioid addiction.

It's estimated fully a third of healthcare spending in the United States is considered waste. that spending includes unnecessary tests and treatments that don't improve or change patient outcomes. Neil Goldfarb is the president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health.

Harm reduction is billed as a social approach to substance use. Created by people who have lived through addiction, harm reduction doesn't always have a firm, pre-ordained goal, such as sobriety. It employs a more nuanced approach that embraces smaller steps, such as using clean needles for drug injections or reducing frequency of drug use. It seeks to reduce the stigma many drug users encounter and help them better manage their health.

A pioneering study carried out in 1998 demonstrated that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can contribute to mental and physical problems not just in childhood, but well into adulthood. Subsequent studies have reinforced those findings. It's estimated 60 percent of American adults have been affected by ACEs, and those effects can include obesity, heart disease, alcoholism and drug use.

For more than two centuries, people have come to the University of Tennessee to learn. Now, increasingly the university is reaching out, beyond campus and into the community. In this edition of HealthConnections, Dr. Carole Myers speaks with UT's Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, Dr. Javiette Samuel, about the partnerships the university had formed to investigate and solve issues that involve health and well-being. On October 29, Dr.

The Affordable Care Act turns ten years old next spring. The debate over what comes next, and therefore the near-term future of health care and coverage in America, is in high gear. Democratic presidential candidates disagree on the way forward, with suggestions ranging from a public option to an eliminating private insurers.

Knox County helps local health care providers absorb the costs of treating 1,100 of the county's poorest residents. The indigent care program was adopted about three decades ago. The program's budget reached a high-water mark in 2007 and has been pared back since. This spring, Knox County's health department asked for a funding boost (to $4.5 million - a $200,000 increase). County mayor Glenn Jacobs had different plans.

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