Health Care

3:46 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

BPR: Politics, John Hockenberry, All Revved Up, Unplugging From Work, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera

Peter Kadzis, Farah Stockman and John Hockenberry all talked about the Boston Marathon bombings on Boston Public Radio.
Credit Paul Woolley / Flickr

BPR 4/14/14

  • Farah Stockman from The Boston Globe and WGBH's Peter Kadzis broke down all the latest political news, from the Mass. governor's race to Scott Brown's entry into a New Hampshire contest.
  • John Hockenberry, host of The Takeaway, joined Jim and Margery in Studio Three. Hockenberry is broadcasting from Boston for the anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
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5:42 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Republican And Doctor Louis Sullivan On Why He Supports The ACA

President Obama took something of a victory lap last week when he announced that more than seven million Americans signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Republicans, of course, are still bitterly opposed to the law and continue to call for its repeal. But one prominent Republican says he has always supported Obamacare. 


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2:29 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

BPR: Politics, ER Doc On Marathon, Three-Year College, All Revved Up, Asia Runs On Dunkin'

Former US Senator Scott Brown is expected to announce his bid for a New Hampshire Senate seat this week. Joan Vennochi and David Bernstein talked about the impending run.
Credit Dan Kennedy / Flickr
  • For the Monday politics segment, WGBH contributor DAVID BERNSTEIN and Boston Globe columnist JOAN VENNOCHI looked at new state Rep. Evandro Carvalho, who just won the seat in the 5th Suffolk District. Bernstein and Vennochi talked about Scott Brown's anticipated US Senate bid as well.
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2:52 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

BPR: GM Ignition Switches, Art Caplan, Brian McGrory, Jared Bowen, Social Apps

A 2001 Saturn Ion, one of the first GM vehicles found to have ignition switch problems.
Credit Wikimedia Commons
  • GM CEO Mary Barra found herself testifying in front of a Congressional panel Tuesday. Barra addressed faulty ignition switches in GM cars that caused at least 13 driver deaths. What should happen to GM as a result? Do heavy fines and victim compensation take care of it, or should company executives go to jail, too?
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6:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

The Crisis Of Antibiotic Resistance: The Germs Are Winning

Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria this these cause infections in hospitals.
Credit CDC via NPR

An estimated 23,000 people die each year in the U.S. from infections that don’t respond to antibiotics.

Pamela Woodbury lives in a two-story house in Spencer, Mass. Three years ago, Woodbury was on her way to work when she took a spill on her steps and broke her ankle. She says she not doesn't have any mobility in her ankle. 

"It was a closed break. There was no skin broken, no blood, nothing. My ankle was in an L position. The leg went one way and the ankle went the other way," she said.  

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3:19 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Judging Obamacare: How Do We Know If It's a Success or Failure?

This March 1, 2014, file photo shows part of the website for as photographed in Washington.
Credit (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

One day very soon, the focus on Obamacare will turn from signing up new enrollees to quantifying the law's success 2014 or failure.

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5:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Tourniquets To Be Distributed Along Boston Marathon Route

Runners start the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., Monday, April 15, 2013.
Credit (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

In preparation for Marathon Monday, law enforcement and public safety officials have ordered thousands of tourniquet kits, many of which will be distributed to key personnel positioned along the Boston Marathon route.

Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon David King knows that when bombs and bullets fly, tourniquets save lives. King saw it last year after running the marathon himself, when the Iraq and Afghanistan-war veteran went straight to work caring for bombing victims.

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3:27 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Can Corporations Seek Religious Exemption From The ACA?

The Affordable Care Act heads back to the Supreme Court tomorrow. Two years after upholding the ACA’s individual mandate, the justices will now hear challenges to the law’s contraception requirement. It’s a case that pits religious freedom against public health.


2:57 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Beth Israel Physician Tells Story Of 'Miracle' Patient

Boston is home to some of the world’s best hospitals and most gifted clinicians. And so, it’s not surprising when we read about another medical breakthrough that’s been developed here. It is unusual, however, to hear a doctor refer to a patient this way:

As a physician, I never liked the word ‘miracle.’ I preferred to think in terms of ‘medical outliers.’ And yet that day did feel like a miracle.

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6:54 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

In Health Care Suit Against Catholic Bishops, The Specter Of An Early Defeat

Credit Tim Boyle / Getty Images

The story of Tamesha Means and her miscarriage three years ago, if it happened the way her lawyers claim it did, is truly awful: Means was 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke and she was rushed to a hospital in Muskegon, Mich. The fetus wasn't viable, and the pregnancy 2014 Means' third 2014 was doomed.

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2:35 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

BPR: Flight 370 Coverage, Brian McGrory, Art Caplan, Frontline On TB, Later School Starts

A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 landing at Hong Kong International Airport.
Credit Wikimedia Commons
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the coverage of the missing Malaysian Air flight 370? Jim and Margery asked listeners if they appreciate wall-to-wall coverage — even when it risks heading into aimless speculation. (Starts at 1:00)
  • Brian McGrory — Boston Globe editor — talked about his paper's coverage of Mayor Menino's cancer announcement.
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1:35 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Boston Globe Editor On His Interview With Menino

Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino revealed his cancer diagnosis to the Boston Globe last Friday. Globe Editor Brian McGrory talked to BPR about it.

Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio. McGrory talked about interviewing Mayor Menino about his cancer diagnosis. McGrory discussed the timing of the announcement — which came ahead of the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast in South Boston — and whether it was intended to influence one of Boston's most famous gatherings of politicos.

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4:29 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Stillborn Child, A Charge Of Murder, And The Disputed Case Law On 'Fetal Harm'

Credit Michael Fürstenberg/Flickr

Rennie Gibbs's daughter, Samiya, was a month premature when she simultaneously entered the world and left it, never taking a breath. To experts who later examined the medical record, the stillborn infant's most likely cause of death was also the most obvious: the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

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4:00 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Hacking To Improve Health Care

One team developed facial recognition software to detect rare diseases. Team member Sean Manton posed for the prototype.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Moalem.

Hundreds of students, doctors, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs gathered in an innovation incubator at MIT this past weekend. Their goal? To develop solutions to some of health care’s most perplexing problems.

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6:06 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

What Menino's Cancer Diagnosis Means

Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has been diagnosed with cancer.

Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who days ago announced he has an advanced form of cancer that has spread to his liver and lymph nodes, finds himself among the small percentage of people whose cancer can't be tracked back to its origin.

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7:51 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Treating Depression: Beyond Prescription Drugs

A new study shows that mindfulness meditation can help people who suffer from mild or moderate depression.
Credit iStockphoto via NPR

It’s called the common cold of mental health – depression – because so many people struggle with it. About one in 10 adults in the United States reports suffering from depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drugs are one way to manage depression, but there has also been a rise of alternative approaches.

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6:18 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Prescribing Food Like Medicine Would Save Medicare Millions

Cabbage is good for you.
Credit Ksenija Putilin / Flickr

In the continuing debate about how to control soaring healthcare costs, poor nutrition and lack of access to healthy food are routinely ignored.

This is the case despite the fact that in a country as wealthy as the United States, one in three patients nationwide enters the hospital malnourished, adding a host of additional health challenges to patients’ prognoses and millions in additional health care costs.

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Local News
2:00 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Warren Calls For More Investment In Women's Biomedical Research

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke at a National Policy Summit on Women’s Health held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Boston on Monday.

No one had ever considered the possibility that she had coronary disease. I’ve always assumed that was because she was a woman," Warren said. 

Warren was the keynote speaker at the summit that brought together policymakers, industry representatives, doctors and scientists to discuss disparities in biomedical research that affects health outcomes for women.


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Local News
7:36 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Narcan 'Brings People Back From The Dead'

In this Tuesday Feb. 27, 2012 photo, Kathy Deady holds up a tube of Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, in her Quincy, Mass., home.
Credit (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The recent death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman renewed the focus not just on heroin, but on the cheap, easy access more people have to this deadly drug. This week WGBH puts a focus on heroin abuse in our area.

Pat Byrne works at the Lynn Multi Service Center dealing with homeless men and women, and an endless stream of junkies.

Pat has never had an addiction himself, but says his son Jamie took up heroin 20 years ago as a college student.

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6:02 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

New Prescription Drugs That Break The Bank

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Walk around Kendall Square in Cambridge, and you’re surrounded by giants of biotech. Some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies are developing groundbreaking drugs right in our backyard.

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10:49 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Website Woes: Fixing The Health Connector

When the Obamacare website went live late last year, it was rife with problems and ravaged in the press. But here in Massachusetts, we dodged that bullet thanks to the 2006 state healthcare reform law, right? Wrong.

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2:45 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Gubernatorial Candidate Donald Berwick on BPR: 'I Expect To Be On That Ballot'

Donald Berwick is the former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Berwick is a Democratic contender for Mass. governor.
Credit The National Academy of Sciences / Flickr

Donald Berwick on BPR

Donald Berwick joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan for another Boston Public Radio interview. Berwick is the former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He was also CEO of Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Berwick talked about the imprisonment of former Mass. House Speaker Sal DiMasi, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Family Services, and the fun of running in the Mass. governor's race.

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Boston Public Radio Podcast
3:10 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Thank You For Not Selling: Historian Nancy Koehn On CVS' Tobacco Ban

Not for Sale
Credit Tomasz Sienicki / wikimedia commons

Last week CVS Caremark, one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in the nation, announced that it would stop selling all cigarette and tobacco products by October, 2014.  The rationale behind this  has to do with some serious cognitive dissonance.

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3:01 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

BPR: John King, Sal DiMasi, Donald Berwick,, Nancy Koehn

The most commonly-requested bribe on A tank of gas.
Credit / Flickr

BPR 2/11/14

Have you heard of Carrot Dating? It's a new phone app where prospective dates can be enticed with tokens of goodwill (the "carrot") like flower bouquets, dinners, or spa days. The most popular offer in Massachusetts? According to the website, a free tank of gas. Do you think this is ethical? Does this ruin the last bit of spontaneity in dating? Or is it a stroke of genius?

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4:26 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Alex Beam On The Great Diet-Book Swindle

Overwhelmed by diet books? Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam wrote about diet book hype in his latest column.
Credit Joel / Flickr

By this point in February, steadfast New Year's dieters have given the shake to 2014 resolutions. A brilliant plan to lose weight and exercise more can turn into a chore, or a misery, no matter how earnestly we start. What's worse than the shame of a blown resolution? According to Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam, two things: friends who foist their diet plans on you, and diet-book hucksters eager to move books that peddle questionable medical advice.

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2:47 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

BPR: 'Ask The' Secretary Matt Malone, Gov. Hopeful Jeff McCormick, Art Caplan, Brian McGrory

Sec. Matt Malone speaking at City Year graduation in 2013. Malone joined Jim and Margery for Ask the Secretary.
Credit City Year / Flickr

BPR 2/5/2014

Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matt Malone joined Jim and Margery for another "Ask the" segment. Amid one of winter's bigger snowstorms, Malone talked about snow days and Massachusetts schools. He also discussed the possibility of replacing the state's MCAS testing system..

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3:44 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

BPR: CNN's John King, Gov. Hopeful Charlie Baker, Reevaluating Woody Allen, Nancy Koehn

BPR 2/4/14

CNN's John King weighed in on the political issues of today — immigration, Pres. Obama's retirement plan known as "myRA," and former Gov. Mitt Romney's political future. King also talked about his new show, a relaunching of CNN's "Inside Politics."

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3:18 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

BPR: John King, Police Use of Deadly Force, Nancy Koehn, Sitting Vs. Standing

No one disputes that the job of a Massachusetts police officer is difficult and perilous, but research by reporter Jack Sullivan questions the extent of oversight of police use of deadly force.
Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

BPR 1/28/14.

CommonWealth Magazine's Jack Sullivan talked about police use of deadly force in Massachusetts. Police in Massachusetts killed suspects in 73 cases over 12 years. The review process for those cases is opaque — fellow police investigate incidents of deadly force, and district attorneys who often work hand-in-hand with police are left to decide whether to prosecute.

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2:55 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

BPR: Snow Days, Brian McGrory, Art Caplan, Brain Training, Arts Roundup

Snow day! A new Harvard study says it's worth it to call off school to make sure kids -- and parents -- are safe. Parents, are you calling shenanigans?
Credit Connie Ma / Flickr

BPR, 1/22/14.

Parents may dread the day school is called off. It means more work, daytime supervision, and maybe an unplanned day off for the parent, too. But even if they're a pain in the neck, a new Harvard study says the risk of accidents outweighs the small chance that you'll unnecessarily canceling school. Translation: if a snowstorm turns into a mere dusting, it's still wise for administrators to be cautious.

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2:58 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

BPR: Todd Zwillich, Brian McGrory, Women's Healthcare, Peter Kadzis, Gap Year, Joyce Maynard

National Security Administration headquarters. Pres. Obama has suggested a number of reforms to alter how the NSA obtains information and conducts its business.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Boston Public Radio 1/15/14.

Todd Zwillich from The Takeaway joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to offer an update on national news. Zwillich talked about Gov. Chris Christie's bridge fiasco, reigning in the National Security Administration, and the $1.1 trillion budget Congress has drawn up.

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