100 episodes

Evidence and experts to help you understand today’s public health news—and what it means for tomorrow.

Public Health On Call The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    • News
    • 4.6 • 571 Ratings

Evidence and experts to help you understand today’s public health news—and what it means for tomorrow.

    778 - The White House’s New Rules Around Gain-of-function Research

    778 - The White House’s New Rules Around Gain-of-function Research

    About this episode: Gain-of-function research involves altering a virus to make it more transmissible or deadly in order to develop vaccines, therapies, and perform other research. But the practice has long raised concerns about safety. In May, the White House released new policies around gain-of-function research hoping to shore up both safety measures and trust in this field of research. In this episode: a breakdown of the new policies and their general reception among scientists and the public.
    Guests: Gigi Gronvall is a senior scholar at the Center for Health Security and an associate professor in Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
    Host: Lindsay Smith Rogers, MA, is the producer of the Public Health On Call podcast, an editor for Expert Insights, and the director of content strategy for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
    Show links and related content: United States Government Policy for Oversight of Dual Use Research of Concern and Pathogens with Enhanced Pandemic Potential—The White House
    White House overhauls rules for risky pathogen studies—Science
    Lab practices go under the microscope—Politico
    Gain-of-Function Research: Balancing Science and Security—Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine
    Contact us: Have a question about something you heard? Want to suggest a topic or guest? Contact us via email or visit our website.
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    • 14 min
    777 - Meteorology and Climate Change

    777 - Meteorology and Climate Change

    About this episode: Meteorologists look at data and history to help make sense of weather patterns and make predictions. This work, in turn, helps inform individuals and policymakers to prepare for and respond to weather events. But with climate records being shattered at every turn, and extreme weather like flooding, violent storms, and heat domes becoming more common, patterns and precedent start to fall away. So how are meteorologists making sense of all these changes and what could we expect to see in the future?
    Guests: Brian McNoldy is a senior research associate at the Rosenstiel School of Marine Atmosphere and Earth Science at the University of Miami.
    Host: Lindsay Smith Rogers, MA, is the producer of the Public Health On Call podcast, an editor for Expert Insights, and the director of content strategy for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
    Show links and related content: Brian McNoldy’s Blog
    @‌BMcNoldy on X
    2023 was the world’s warmest year on record, by far—http://NOAA.gov
    Contact us: Have a question about something you heard? Want to suggest a topic or guest? Contact us via email or visit our website.
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    • 14 min
    Special Series: Racial Bias and Pulse Oximeters Part 1–A Problem Hiding in Plain Sight

    Special Series: Racial Bias and Pulse Oximeters Part 1–A Problem Hiding in Plain Sight

    About this episode: Pulse oximeters—devices used to read blood oxygen levels in hospitals and at home—are far less reliable for people with darker skin tones... Falsely normal readings create the potential for clinical staff to miss life-threatening conditions.
    In this three-episode special series, we explore a longstanding issue that only caught the nation’s attention in recent years. In episode 1: How COVID-19 shined a light on an issue that was known, but largely ignored.
    Listen to Part 2: What Went Wrong?
    Listen to Part 3: Fixing Pulse Oximeters.
    View the transcript for this episode.
    Host: Annalies Winny is a co-producer of the Pulse Ox series for the Public Health On Call podcast, an associate editor for Global Health NOW, and a contributor for the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine.
    Show links and related content: The Problem with Pulse Oximeters: A Long History of Racial Bias
    Estimating COVID-19 Hospitalizations in the U.S.—JMIR Public Health Surveillance
    How a Popular Medical Device Encodes Racial Bias–Amy Moran-Thomas
    People with darker skin are 32% more likely to have pulse oximeters overestimate oxygen levels, report says–CNN
    Racial Bias in Pulse Oximetry Measurement—The New England Journal of Medicine
    Dynamic in vivo response characteristics of three oximeters: Hewlett Packard 47201A, Biox III, and Nellcor N-100—Sleep (1987)
    Contact us: Have a question about something you heard? Want to suggest a topic or guest? Contact us via email or visit our website.
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    • 31 min
    Special Series: Racial Bias and Pulse Oximeters Part 2—What Went Wrong?

    Special Series: Racial Bias and Pulse Oximeters Part 2—What Went Wrong?

    About this episode: Pulse oximeters—devices used to read blood oxygen levels in hospitals and at home—are far less reliable for people with darker skin tones. Falsely normal readings have the potential for clinical staff to miss life-threatening conditions.
    In this three-episode special series, we explore a longstanding issue that only caught the nation’s attention in recent years. In episode 2: What went wrong, including inaction from manufacturers and regulators, market forces, and racism in medicine that goes beyond this one device.
    Listen to Part 1: A Problem Hiding in Plain Sight.
    Listen to Part 3: Fixing Pulse Oximeters.
    View the transcript for this episode.
    Host: Nicole Jurmo is co-producer of the Public Health in the Field series on pulse oximeters, the associate director for public relations and communications for the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, and a current MPH student. She recently completed a practicum with the Public Health On Call podcast.
    Show links and related content: The Problem with Pulse Oximeters: A Long History of Racial Bias
    Racial Bias in Pulse Oximetry Measurement—The New England Journal of Medicine
    Pulse Oximeters Are Not Racist—Orange County Business Journal
    Inventing conflicts of interest: a history of tobacco industry tactics—American Journal of Public Health
    Performance Evaluation of Pulse Oximeters Taking Into Consideration Skin Pigmentation, Race and Ethnicity—FDA Executive Summary (pdf)
    Pulse Oximeter Accuracy and Limitations—FDA Safety Communication
    Dynamic in vivo response characteristics of three oximeters: Hewlett Packard 47201A, Biox III, and Nellcor N-100—Sleep (1987)
    Racial bias is built into the design of pulse oximeters—The Washington Post
    November 2023 Attorneys General Letter to the FDA On The Inaccuracies of Pulse Oximetry When Used On People With Darker Toned Skin (pdf)
    Defining race/ethnicity and explaining difference in research studies on lung function—European Respiratory Journal (abstract)
    Is Facial Recognition Software Racist?—The Daily Show
    Contact us: Have a question about something you heard? Want to suggest a topic or guest? Contact us via email or visit our website.
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    • 31 min
    Special Series: Racial Bias and Pulse Oximeters Part 3—Fixing Pulse Oximeters

    Special Series: Racial Bias and Pulse Oximeters Part 3—Fixing Pulse Oximeters

    About this episode: Pulse oximeters—devices used to read blood oxygen levels in hospitals and at home—are far less reliable for people with darker skin tones. Falsely normal readings create the potential for clinical staff to miss life-threatening conditions.
    In this three-episode special series, we explore a longstanding issue that only caught the nation’s attention in recent years. In episode 3: How engineers are working to improve the design of pulse oximeters, and how advocates from across the medical industry including patients and students are leading efforts to keep the pressure on to improve equity in pulse oximetry…and beyond.
    Listen to Part 1: A Problem Hiding in Plain Sight.
     Listen to Part 2: What Went Wrong?
    View the transcript for this episode.
    Host: Annalies Winny is a co-producer of the Pulse Ox series for the Public Health On Call podcast, an associate editor for Global Health NOW, and a contributor for the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine.
    Show links and related content: The Problem with Pulse Oximeters: A Long History of Racial Bias
    Right2Breathe.org
    US race-neutral lung assessments to have profound effects, study finds—Reuters
    Why more than 14,000 Black kidney transplant patients are moving up on the waitlist–NPR
    COVID-19 made pulse oximeters ubiquitous. Engineers are fixing their racial bias.—NPR
    Innovative technology to eliminate the racial bias in non-invasive, point-of-core (POC) haemoglobin and pulse oximetry measurements—BMJ
    Roots Community Health Center Sues to Halt Sales of Flawed Pulse Oximeters—Roots Community Health Center press release (PDF)
    Racial Bias in Medicine Episode 1: Disparities with Pulse Oximeters.—Joel Bervell (YouTube)
    Contact us: Have a question about something you heard? Want to suggest a topic or guest? Contact us via email or visit our website.
    Follow us: @‌PublicHealthPod on X
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    • 23 min
    Bonus Episode - Mifepristone and EMTALA SCOTUS Rulings: A Holding Pattern

    Bonus Episode - Mifepristone and EMTALA SCOTUS Rulings: A Holding Pattern

    About this episode: The Supreme Court has issued decisions in the two major abortion cases on its docket this year. For the time being, the drug mifepristone remains on the market and a federal law requiring that emergency rooms provide life-saving abortions even in states banning the procedure is upheld. But the court’s decisions—both upholding the status quo—all but guarantee both cases will be back, putting mifepristone and EMTALA once again under fire.
    Guests: Joanne Rosen is an expert in public health law and a co-director of the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
    Host: Dr. Josh Sharfstein is vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a faculty member in health policy, a pediatrician, and former secretary of Maryland’s Health Department.
    Show links and related content: The Two Major Abortion Cases Coming to The Supreme Court—Public Health On Call
    Despite Supreme Court ruling, the future of emergency abortions is still unclear for US women—ABC News
    OB-GYN Training and Practice in Dobbs’ Shadow–Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine
    The Threat to Abortion Rights You Haven’t Heard Of—Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Contact us: Have a question about something you heard? Want to suggest a topic or guest? Contact us via email or visit our website.
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    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
571 Ratings

571 Ratings

trying2Brational ,

Posted All Three Episodes at Once!

Didn’t have to wait for subsequent episodes about oximeter defects and analysis of reasons why this has occurred. So smart. I have learned so much good science and policies from this podcast. Best practices in public healthcare always presented.

BeaSpada ,

Great topical and timely resource!

I stumbled upon it and I have been hooked ever since. I look forward to hearing every single episode and I always come away with more knowledge, greater understanding, and more inspiration. Public Health On Call should be on the “reading list” of anyone who is remotely interested in public health and any person who cares about people, animals, and planetary health! Could not recommend it more! 👏🫶🏼

Ginagina Smith ,

Thank you

For all the great info AND the tip about the Zoom play: Enemy of the People

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