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.

Many of us have COVID anxiety to one degree or another. But we can’t forget that children are also aware things are different and unsettling now. As school starts back, parents and kids probably have lots of questions about what happens next, and how they will stay safe.

In this edition of HealthConnections, the University of Tennessee's Dr. Allyson Neal tells us how to talk to kids about COVID worries and how you can help them deal with uncertainty. HealthConnections creator Dr. Carole Myers is your host.

This edition of HealthConnnections is different that our usual fare. We’re going to be talking about a polarizing but important topic: the role of racism in American healthcare.

We know this is a galvanizing topic, because people generally don’t like the idea of their actions being considered racist. But Dr. Carole Myers, of the University of Tennessee College of Nursing, says it is time to have this difficult conversation and make positive changes in healthcare.

Close to half a million Tennessee children are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches. For many of those students, the food they eat at school might be the most substantive meal they get all day. When schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that reliable daily connection to nutrition was severed. School systems scrambled to provide workarounds, usually in the form of food pickup sites.

Tennessee has asked the federal government for permission to make significant changes to the way it funds and operates the state's modified Medicaid program, TennCare. Those changes would impose work or community service requirements for TennCare eligibility, and move TennCare's federal funding to a block grant model.

Stress is natural, and it is inevitable. But these days, there may be many more stressors pressing down on each of us, from the dismal news cycle to job losses and health concerns. Left untreated, that stress can be detrimental to mental and physical health. It can even shave years off your life.

More than half a million Tennesseans have filed for unemployment since March 15. Many of them likely lost their health coverage along with their regular paycheck (national figures show about half of Americans have employer-provided health insurance). For those now living through an unexpected loss of coverage during a health crisis, a critical question is, what now?

COVID-19 is affecting minority populations at a disproportionately high rate. There are number of causes, from background health problems that make a person more vulnerable to coronavirus complications, to the high number of Minorities, particularly African Americans, are also tested less frequently than white people.

With the field of major-party presidential candidates down to two -- presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump -- we thought it would be a good time to explore what we know about the respective candidates' plans for health care in America.

Like any specialized field, epidemiology has a language all its own. While its vernacular may be well understood in medical circles, it's less known to a public whose understanding of the words pandemic or contagion comes from Hollywood medical thrillers.

In this edition of HealthConnections, we define and explain some of the terms most commonly used to describe the scope and nature of the novel coronavirus pandemic. UT's Dr. Carole Myers is your guide.

How are you spending your time during this period of social distancing? When the weather permits, lots of people are heading outside, whether for a walk around the block or a bike ride down the street.

But those kinds of activities are feasible only where it's safe to walk or bike. In many parts of East Tennessee, streets aren't ideal for anything but cars. On this edition of HealthConnections, Knoxville/Knox County Planning transportation planner Ellen Zavisca shares why it's important to make the built environment safer for people in all modes of getting around.

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