The Career Channel
The Pulse
Issues in Healthcare with Host Leslie Bruce.

Date: 1/13/2017
The number of overweight and obese children in the United States has doubled and quadrupled among adolescents in the last 30 years. San Diego County is making some strides in combating the epidemic but the rates remain alarming, especially among Hispanic children and those in disadvantaged communities, says Cheryl Moder, founding director of the Childhood Obesity Initiative. In this month's Pulse podcast, Moder paints the full picture of San Diego County's status relative to childhood obesity, using results from the latest report published in late 2016, and the impacts of the broad-based collaborative efforts she directs. Recorded on 11/29/2016.

Date: 9/2/2016
Fresh out of graduate school 30 years ago, Debra Kelley began work in San Diego for the American Lung Association. Her first assignment? To help pass a statewide initiative that would establish smoking and no-smoking areas within restaurants. Smoke-free restaurants seem so normal now. "We've come a long way, and it is so gratifying to be a part of dramatically changing social norms and saving so many lives," Kelley says. Kelley currently has her sights on a California ballot initiative to raise the tax on cigarettes by $2 a pack. The tobacco industry spent more than $100 million to defeat the last initiative, Kelley says. To take on this foe, as well as others she's faced as director of advocacy at the nonprofit, Kelley describes drawing on a "deep understanding of the political system," much-in-demand grant writing skills, a comfort with budgets and spreadsheets, as well as ease in public speaking she developed over time.

Date: 7/29/2016
About 48 million Americans, or one in six, get sick from food-borne illnesses each year, 128,000 of them requiring hospitalization, and 3,000 of them dying as a result. Twin brothers Michael and Charlie Kalish bring food-manufacturing, processing, packaging, and farming experience to this cause with the goal of promoting a safer food supply chain. Hear how they parlayed a background in cheese making into a thriving food safety consultancy in this month's Pulse podcast.

Date: 7/1/2016
"What do you want to be doing in five years?" That's the question Rick Kronick's wife posed to him in 1987, five years before he would fulfill his dream and join the Clinton administration in tackling health care finance reform. Reform itself took much longer to effect, but after a series of career twists and turns, including more than 25 years as a UC San Diego professor, he was appointed by President Obama to help implement the Affordable Care Act. "I can't imagine a more exciting way to spend my time," Kronick says about his three-year stint as deputy assistant secretary within the Department of Health and Human Services. Listen in as he talks about his experiences in Washington, DC, including his two-and-a-half year role as Director of the federal agency dedicated to healthcare safety in hospitals, the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality.

Date: 6/3/2016
The public perception of substance abuse is changing dramatically, opening up unprecedented opportunities to treat addicts rather than incarcerate them, says Pulse podcast guest Jerry Synold, who's spent more than 40 years specializing in drug and alcohol treatment with the U.S. Navy and elsewhere. "The demand [for counselors] has never been greater," Synold says, with a 22 percent increase anticipated over the next decade. Listen as he discusses everything from Prince's demise to the legalization of marijuana, highlighting both the enormous challenges and sources of help and hope in the field of addiction and recovery. Recorded on 05/06/2016.

Date: 5/6/2016
Paul Hegyi spent years working in the state capital, even running for State Assembly himself. Today, he brings more than a decade of legislative experience and a zeal for representing the needs of physicians to San Diego's Medical Society. In this month's Pulse podcast, the chief executive officer shares how his focus on polling data and the diverse needs of physicians helped the California Medical Association (CMA) turn around a flagging membership. Listen in as he describes the education and experience he brings to bear on behalf of San Diego's physicians.

Date: 4/1/2016
Nearly 5. 3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias today and that number will rise to 16 million by the year 2050. The fatal, neuro-degenerative disease's long duration, costly care, and the absence of a cure or treatment will have dramatic effects on families, health care systems, as well as financial models in the years to come. Mary Ball, who serves as the president and chief executive officer of Alzheimer's San Diego describes collaborations among leading research organizations to generate treatments and cures as well as preventive measures. Recorded on 03/02/2016.

Date: 3/4/2016
The Affordable Healthcare Act may have improved access to health care but some races and ethnicities continue to experience implicit bias, structural barriers, and poorer health outcomes than other groups. In this month's Pulse podcast, Dr. Rodney Hood, a board-certified internist and the managing director of CareView Medical Group in San Diego, shares his career path, research, and community health initiatives that dramatically improve patient outcomes while saving health care systems millions of dollars. Recorded on 02/18/2016.

Date: 1/22/2016
If you had $3 million to devote to improving the health of vulnerable citizens of San Diego and Imperial County each year, what would you fund? In this month's Pulse podcast, executive director of Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nancy Sasaki describes approaches of some of the more non-traditional grant recipients what she and the AHF board look for in all potential grantees. Sasaki also details the milestones in her career and how she came to head the foundation. Recorded on 01/12/2016.

Date: 11/13/2015
James Brady, the area Chief Information Officer at Kaiser Permanente Orange County, knows how intimidating the jump can be the jump into health care information technology from outside the field. Brady did it himself 13 years ago, parlaying his tech experience and educational background into a health care career that now finds him overseeing information technology initiatives that affect nearly a half-million Kaiser members. Named "CIO of the Year 2015" by The Los Angeles Business Journal, Brady explains how to overcome the barrier of job descriptions that call for more than five years electronic medical record experience, which most applicants from outside health care cannot fulfill.

Date: 10/9/2015
Melissa Stafford Jones has overseen the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, despite ongoing court battles and political skirmishes surrounding Obamacare. The results? The regional director of Health and Human Services reports in the October Pulse podcast that 16 million Americans have gained coverage under the new law, 1.4 million of them in California alone. Recorded on 09/11/2015.

Date: 9/18/2015
Injured and nearly killed in the line of duty in 1978, Chris Van Gorder was retired from the police force and ended up working as a security guard at the hospital where he had been rehabilitated. This month's Pulse podcast guest, Van Gorder shares how he worked in hospitals and pursued his masters in healthcare administration to rise through the ranks and become president and CEO of San Diego's Scripps Health. Recorded on 08/27/2015.

Date: 7/31/2015
Bipartisan agreement is hard to come by on Capitol Hill. Yet, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) shares how Republicans and Democrats are coming together to propel advances in biomedical research and to bolster funding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She also shares her perspectives on running for office, proffering seasoned advice for women in particular.

Date: 7/17/2015
This month's guest on The Pulse, Issues in Healthcare is Nora Vargas, who grew up in Tijuana and became the first Latina vice president at Planned Parenthood in 2001. She describes her "amazing journey," starting as a volunteer at the organization more than 20 years ago. She assumed her current post in 2008, overseeing education and public affairs initiatives in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties, as well as in a binational program with Mexico. Vargas shares her insights about working at an organization where employees bring passion to a wide variety of positions in education, healthcare delivery and administration, and points out that one in five women relies on Planned Parenthood for birth control and reproductive health services. Recorded on 07/02/2015.

Date: 5/29/2015
San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, whose interest in running for the board stemmed from a passion for the well-being of children in the foster care system, talks about collaborations with his colleagues on a range of new health-related initiatives. These include a new Alzheimer's initiative to speed up the search for a cure and boost services for those afflicted and their caregivers. Alzheimer's disease currently affects 60,000 county residents and it's estimated the annual cost to hospitalize local dementia patients will roughly double by 2030, to upwards of $1.5 billion. Recorded on 05/14/2015.

Date: 5/1/2015
Paul Viviano, CEO of the UC San Diego Health System explains the allure and challenges of leading a major academic medical center through transformational times in healthcare. Viviano also describes the impact the new Jacobs Medical Center will have on patients from across the street to around the world and the new jobs and economic boost that will result. Recorded on 04/23/2015.

Date: 3/20/2015
In her role as the Public Health Officer for the County of San Diego, Dr. Wilma Wooten has championed efforts to prevent epidemics and the spread of disease while promoting healthy behaviors since 2001. In this interview she talks about how she meets the challenges, especially in an era fraught with potential disease outbreaks that include the measles, Ebola, H1N1 and others that have not yet reached our shores or borders. She also highlights some of the innovative initiatives underway at the county to improve the health among various sectors of county residents. Recorded on 03/10/2015.

Date: 2/20/2015
Dimitrios Alexiou, the new CEO of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, talks about the transformation of acute care hospitals, including expanded insurance coverage but shrinking reimbursement, efforts to improve quality and prevent readmissions, and the new payment models which reward high-value care rather than the volume of services provided. He discusses the increasing pressure to manage transitions of care more efficiently from outpatient, to inpatient, to follow-up care.

Date: 1/16/2015
Gary Rotto shares with listeners the vital role that community clinics play in providing primary care to millions of the nation's uninsured, underinsured, and underserved people, including children and veterans. He talks about the impact of the Affordable Care Act in increasing demand for healthcare services and the "funding cliff" that face clinics both locally and nationwide at the end of September 2015.

Date: 12/19/2014
Aaron Byzak, director of Government and Community Affairs for UC San Diego Health Sciences, talks about what's next in the campaign to make residential care facilities for the elderly safer and more accountable. Recorded on 12/11/2014.

Date: 11/28/2014
Suicide prevention expert Stan Collins examines the realities and mysteries of why people choose to end their own lives.