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Healthy Conversations

Author: CVS Health

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Healthy Conversations brings together leaders and innovators in health care to talk about the biggest issues facing patients and providers today. Every month, we explore new topics to help uncover the clinical insights and emerging technologies transforming health care in real time.
53 Episodes
We’re re-releasing a special two-part episode about innovations in suicide prevention in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In this second episode, Dr. Seth Feuerstein, the CEO of Oui Therapeutics, talks about his company’s digital therapeutics aimed at reducing suicide – which he calls “the only leading cause of death without any prescription products.” He speaks with our host, Dr. Daniel Kraft, about using software as a medical device and explains the road to FDA approval for his company’s products. Dr. Feuerstein describes their digital therapeutic as “a multidimensional interactive experience” that typically lasts 10 to 12 weeks under the direction of a clinician. “You might work with a chatbot function, you might interact with other patients, you might work on practicing exercises to refine the way you brain might react to certain situations,” he says. Studies about its effectiveness have been promising.  Cara McNulty, President of Behavioral Health and Mental Well-being at CVS Health®, introduces this episode by looking at the many tools and programs available to help reduce suicide, including those listed below.Suicide prevention resources CVS Health mental health resources Oui Therapeutics American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Mental Health First Aid The Trevor Project The Jed Foundation
In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, today we’re re-releasing a special two-part episode with Dr. Seth Feuerstein, a psychiatrist and researcher who’s made the study and treatment of suicide his life’s work. Dr. Feuerstein is the CEO of Oui Therapeutics, which is building life-saving digital therapeutics to help in preventing suicide. He and our host, Dr. Daniel Kraft, have a wide-ranging discussion about misconceptions, data and innovations in suicide prevention. Dr. Feuerstein also challenges the way health care professionals think about suicide. “The suicidal state of the brain is a lot like the arrhythmia state of the heart,” he says. “It’s a relatively spontaneous period where there’s an elevated risk of sudden death.” Reframing our thinking about suicide in this way, Dr. Feuerstein explains, will make it easier for clinicians to talk about it. Cara McNulty, President of Behavioral Health and Mental Well-being at CVS Health®, introduces this episode by looking at the latest reporting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says suicide rates in the U.S. are again on the rise. She discusses how CVS Health is using a systematic approach to reduce suicide attempts and raise awareness of suicide prevention. Suicide prevention resources CVS Health mental health resources Oui Therapeutics American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Mental Health First Aid The Trevor Project The Jed Foundation
If you look around, you’ll probably notice that the U.S. population is getting older. In fact, one in five people will be retirement age by 2030. And the latest Health Trends Report, The Future of Healthy Aging, quotes the U.S. Census Bureau that three out of five people over the age of 65 manage two or more chronic conditions. “If we go back maybe 60 years or so, 40% of health care in America was delivered at home. Today it's only about 1% of care that is delivered at home,” Sree Chaguturu, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health, notes. “But when you ask people, especially seniors, ‘Where would you like to get care?’ Four out of five individuals say, ‘I would like to get care at home.’” The good thing is that while health care needs are growing for older adults, the options for value-based accessible local and at-home care services are expanding, as well.In this Healthy Conversations episode, Dr. Chaguturu details different ways CVS Health is bringing care services directly into the neighborhoods of older adults. For instance, CVS’ acquisition of Signify Health is helping understand patients’ health risks with 2.5 million in-home evaluations, which it then shares with providers, primary care teams, and health plans. He concludes, “It's incredibly simple but fundamental. By just spending time in a patient's home, it really allows us to make sure that that patient is getting what they need, and it's customized for their particular health situation.” Learn moreHealth Trends Report   MinuteClinic Age-Friendly Health Systems Commitment Embracing Healthy Aging  
Primary care is the backbone of the health care system. So the question is, how do you keep the primary care system itself healthy? That’s the timely topic of this Healthy Conversations episode, where Sree Chaguturu, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health, addresses the challenges of delivering the right care at the right time, and in the right place. As he puts it, “Almost 80% of individuals in America say that they're unsatisfied with their current health care experience. The average wait time to see a primary care physician is almost one month. But when you do have primary care, great things happen.”While primary care has been largely under-invested in over the last few decades, Dr. Chaguturu notes that the development of an omnichannel health care approach – in person, in clinic, virtually, or at home – is helping amplify accessibility. He also describes how an emphasis on value-based care can benefit both HCPs and consumers. In the end, as he says, “There is not going to be one right answer. We need all of these different models to succeed, to get primary care to a better state than what it is today.”Learn morePrimary care servicesVirtual primary care 
While the health care industry can be challenging, with complex regulations and long-established bureaucracies, an innovative company called Redesign Health is working to transform it from within. Redesign Health is one of a number of organizations that received fresh funding last fall to boost health care startups from CVS Health Ventures, a unit of CVS Health which focuses on data-driven medicine and digital health investments. And in just the last five years, Redesign’s New York-based team of about 300 has helped launch more than 50 tech-enabled health care businesses – providing not only talent and capital, but the scaffolding and support to launch them.Neil Patel, head of New Ventures at Redesign Health, explains how they’ve already improved patient care and touched the lives of more than 10 million people across health verticals that include treating cancer, tele-audiology, senior care, COVID-19 testing, metabolic health, as well as mental health. As he notes, “There's no shortage of problems to solve in health care, the question is the when and the how, as opposed to if you should do it.” Patel is joined by Andrea Messina, executive director and partner at CVS Health Ventures, who characterizes the investment in Redesign Health as an indirect opportunity to sustain and build new companies. "They take a lot of the most, as we see it, difficult elements of starting a new company out of the equation for prospective founders," Messina says.Learn moreCVS Health VenturesRedesign Health
How are we doing right now in terms of mental health in the United States?  According to Dr. Taft Parsons III, the Chief Psychiatric Officer at CVS Health, the situation is alarming: “Before COVID, we already knew that there was more need for mental health services than there were clinicians. And so we have seen an increased demand across all age groups, across all demographics taking place over the last couple years.” In a recent CVS Health Trends report, 39% of providers admitted to having a high level of concern about the mental health of their patients over 65. At the other end of the age spectrum, three in five teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in the latest research from the CDC.On this episode, Dr. Parsons talks about the importance of identifying people who are at risk for social isolation and providing greater access to care. As he says, one silver lining from the pandemic is that “There was kind of this acceptance of people talking about their emotional needs. If you ignore it, if you cover it up, you suffer all sorts of other health effects.”Learn more   Health Trends Report: The Future of Healthy Aging Mental health services from CVS Health
Genomics may seem like a field of study with minimal impact on our daily lives. But not for much longer — and certainly not to Dr. Deepak Srivastava, a cardiologist and president of the Gladstone Institutes. Rapid technological advances in this field are starting to surface across health care with significant and promising benefits. “The new world,” says Dr. Srivastava, “is going to be one where, as we identify the known genetic causes, we no longer have to accept that that mutation exists. We finally in medicine have the opportunity to think about curing disease.”The nonprofit Gladstone Institutes focuses on four key disease areas – the heart, brain (including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s), viral (like HIV and Covid), as well as immunologic disorders. On this episode of Healthy Conversations, Dr. Srivastava tells about advances like reprogramming support cells in the pancreas into new insulin-producing cells for diabetes: “So we can take skin or blood cells from any adult and turn those into cells that behave just like a human embryonic stem cell, which has the property that it can become once again any of our over 200 different cell types in the body.” The future may indeed be here, sooner than you think.    Learn more
It’s been more than 20 years since the human genome was first sequenced.  And now, a new version that’s been updated with 47 men and women of diverse origins, including African Americans, East Asians, West Africans, and South Americans, among others, promises to benefit all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity or ancestry. This new version, called the “pangenome,” was announced earlier this month by the National Human Genome Research Institute, a government agency that funded the research.On this episode of Healthy Conversations, Trish Brown, the Genomics and Precision Medicine Program Director for CVS Health, details for Dr. Kraft how we can translate genomics into access to care, and what’s the human impact, going forward.  “So what we're capable of, now, in terms of isolating, finding DNA and what we can do with it at different stages is just incredible,” Trish notes.  “We have next generation sequencing testing platforms where if you wanted to, you could sequence the entire human genome and then you use bioinformatic filters to just pull out of that what you think is relevant. And so those sorts of technological advances have really dropped the cost and really allowed for a broader set of testing.” Learn more 6 Things to know about genetic testing  The value of genetic testing 
Are Americans underestimating their mental health struggles? A new study from CVS Health and Harris Poll found that nearly three in four Americans describe their mental health as “excellent” or “good,” and only one in 10 say their mental health has gotten worse in the last year. Yet nearly 60% of physicians report declining mental health among their patients. Why aren’t more people willing to talk about their feelings of anxiety, sadness, or the “blues”? In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we present a special episode from LinkedIn’s Anxious Achiever podcast featuring, Cara McNulty, President, Behavioral Health and Mental Well-being at CVS Health. “Mental well-being is part of our physical well-being, which is a part of our total well-being,” says Cara. “Instead of trying to pretend that our head is not attached to our bodies, let's reframe how we talk about mental well-being.” In the interview with host Morra Aarons-Mele, Cara traces her career path as a population scientist along with her personal and professional experience with mental health. Cara and Morra open up about their mental health challenges as mothers and talk about the persistent myths around mental illness in our culture and health care system.   “Mental illness just means a chronic condition that you're dealing with like schizophrenia, like bipolar,: explains Cara. “That doesn't mean you're broken. … We don't tell people who have colon cancer that they're broken.”Learn more Mental health awareness guide for young adults (PDF)Mental health awareness guide for parents and caregivers (PDF)LinkedIn Presents: The Anxious Achiever 
A recent CDC study reported that one in 36 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism. Today’s guest, Temple Grandin, is one of the country’s most renowned voices on autism with an incredible ability to open up and share her perspective on the world with us. A professor of animal science at Colorado State University, Grandin has been a pioneer in improving the welfare of farm animals for decades. She is the author or co-author of more than 60 scientific papers on animal behavior and more than a dozen books that include the best-sellers “Thinking in Pictures” (which became an HBO movie starring Claire Danes) and “Animals in Translation.” Her latest book, “Visual Thinking,” explores neurodivergent thinking and the different ways our brains are wired. As she explains, “I didn't know until I was [in my] late thirties that other people thought in words. Everything [for me] comes up like snapshots and little mini-videos, and it was a shock for me to learn that other people were not visual thinkers.” In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, Temple spoke with Dr. Kraft about how the perception of autism has changed and how diversity of thinking makes us all stronger: “I think we need to have collaborations between the different kinds of thinkers, recognize that the different kinds of thinking exist and look at where there are complementary skills.”Learn moreTemple 
In part two of our conversation on clinical trials, we hear from two people directly involved in the effort to expand access to clinical trials in underserved communities. “There are challenges across the board, both in getting patients into studies and also getting them to stay in studies — what’s called retention,” says our first guest, Josh Rose, Vice President and Head of Clinical Trial Delivery, Site Solutions and Strategy for Clinical Trial Services at CVS Health. He explains how his team chose the 100 MinuteClinic sites to equip for clinical trials from among the more than 1,100 locations nationwide: “We specifically picked out those locations [near] the type of patient population that we were hoping to enroll – urban areas, areas with high patient density, areas with high diversity. That helps ensure that we are getting much more representation of the broader population.” Clinical Trial Services works with numerous trial sponsors, from large pharmaceutical companies like Moderna to smaller biotech firms like ProKidney, which is working on cell-based therapies to slow down and prevent kidney failure in order to help patients avoid the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dr. Joseph Stavas, Senior Vice President of Global Clinical Development at ProKidney, explains how their innovative cell therapy approach harvests a patient’s own cells, which are then processed, formulated and reinjected. Chronic kidney disease, says Dr. Stavas, is predicted to be one of the largest global problems in the next 20 to 30 years. Their Phase 3 trial is targeting the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease — hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Learn moreCVS Health Clinical Trial Services ProKidney
Today, in the first of a two-part episode on increasing diversity in clinical trials, we hear from Dr. Owen Garrick, Chief Medical Officer of Clinical Trial Services at CVS Health. The unit, launched in 2021, is creating a network of clinical research sites by equipping certain HealthHUB and MinuteClinic locations with the staff and resources needed to conduct complex clinical trial protocols. The goal is to expand access to clinical trials in underserved communities and encourage a more diverse population to enroll, leading to more effective outcomes. “Historically, there has just been less diverse participation in studies,” notes Dr. Garrick. “The risk is, if we don’t solve this issue around lack of diversity in clinical trials, as we get to precision medicine, we’re only going to exacerbate health inequity.”This new model combines precision patient recruitment from a diverse population with trial delivery and real-world evidence generation. Dr. Garrick believes it will be successful because it breaks down several of the barriers to trial participation – outreach to know a trial exists, convenience and, importantly, trust. “You already know CVS Health because you go for part of your health care, whether that’s retail prescriptions or specialty prescriptions or over-the-counter meds or MinuteClinic. So, you have this relationship that already exists,” he says. “As we introduce clinical trials and additional health care services, there’s this built-in trust.” Learn moreCVS Health Clinical Trial Services
In part two of our conversation about the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme from England’s National Health Service, our host, Dr. Daniel Kraft, continues his discussion with Dr. Tony Young, the program’s founder. They talk about a number of innovations brought about through the program, including two aimed at addressing health disparities. CardMedic uses a collection of “digital flashcards” to help improve communication between health care staff and patients across barriers ranging from physical impairment to language to PPE. And Written Medicine’s software uses human-generated translations to provide medication labels in 11 languages – and counting. To encourage innovations like these, the entrepreneur program is building a “health inequalities tool” to help potential entrepreneurs answer questions like, “Am I bringing in unconscious bias? Is this going to make health equity worse?” In addition, Dr. Young offers a number of tips for potential physician entrepreneurs, including the importance of persistence and surrounding yourself with like-minded people. He encourages entrepreneurs to be open to change. “Don’t fall in love with your solution,” he says. “Too many people go, ‘I’ve got just the perfect answer for this,’ but it’s not. Actually, fall in love with the problem and really work that through. And then bring people onboard that share that problem and really want it solved.” Learn moreNHS Clinical Entrepreneur ProgrammeWritten MedicineCardMedic
Clinicians are problem solvers by nature but taking an idea for a new innovation from concept to commercial market is not a skill widely taught in medical school. In 2015, England’s National Health Service (NHS) launched a Clinical Entrepreneur Programme to help provide just that type of knowledge and expertise. Our host, Dr. Daniel Kraft, speaks with Dr. Tony Young, the founder of that program who is an avid entrepreneur himself. Young is helping the NHS retain some of their brightest talent by fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in his colleagues and making connections where he can. The program has trained more than 1,000 clinical entrepreneurs, who’ve founded more than 350 startups, raised more than $500 million pounds, and impacted more than 100 million patients and professionals in the UK and beyond. You’ll hear all about Dr. Young’s career journey and the incredible innovations his colleagues are bringing to operating rooms as well as remote parts of the world. However, “the greatest medical innovation of all time,” says Young, “are the people who work in our Health Services, because they help put everything into action.” Learn moreNHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme  
One in four people in the U.S. has been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal (GI) condition, says the co-founder and CEO of Oshi Health, Sam Holliday. The patient journey to diagnosis is costly and long—often two to four years—and filled with tests, examinations and waiting rooms. Oshi Health is a startup and CVS Health Ventures partner that uses an integrated virtual care model to scale access to care and innovation for patients struggling with GI diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There’s an emerging understanding that the signaling between the gut and the brain can get dysregulated and trigger symptoms, notes Holliday. Oshi’s approach is to calm that signaling with a combination of FDA-approved digital therapeutics and a multidisciplinary care team that includes a dietician, psychologist, nurse practitioner and gastroenterologist. Learn moreOshi Health CVS Health Ventures
In Part 2 of the Healthy Conversations discussion with Dr. Brennan Spiegel, professor of medicine and public health at Cedar Sinai Health System, gastroenterologist, and VR pioneer, lets us peak into the future, and see some of the many ways VR is getting “real-er” – as he puts it: “You can experience life as someone with a disability, or as a different race, or with certain physical or visual handicaps. And that can give clinicians a bit of insight to what their patients are experiencing continuously.”
In the first of a 2-part episode on Healthy Conversations, Dr. Brennan Spiegel, a professor of medicine and public health at Cedars-Sinai Health System, gastroenterologist, and VR pioneer, discusses the exciting possibilities of virtual reality in terms of its affecting the human mind, as well as chronic diseases. As he puts it, "Rather than always bringing patients to the clinic, what if we can bring the clinic to the patient?"
In the second of a two-part episode about suicide, Dr. Seth Feuerstein, the CEO of Oui Therapeutics, discusses the exciting potential of digital therapeutics in preventing suicide.  As he says, “So we can use software to tackle problems where we already have lots of prescription options, but -- the thing that really excites me is where can we use software to solve problems that were not previously solvable.
Dr. Seth Feuerstein, the CEO of Oui Therapeutics, dispels misconceptions about suicide in the first of a 2-part episode of Healthy Conversations.
Where do things stand now in terms of COVID, Long – and even Medium COVID?  What have we learned after the past three years, and what should we, going forward?  On the latest Healthy Conversations episode, Dr. Kirsten Anderson, senior medical director for New England for Aetna and CVS Health, shares insights with Daniel, and tells why she feels the role of public health is more important than ever before now.
Comments (13)

Lonzo Brown

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Oct 15th

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Jun 30th

Julie Cezen

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Jun 11th



Apr 10th

Afsana Ana

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Apr 1st

linda shaffer

I am having good results by using the TRIPP program to decrease anxiety and anger in patients. I am a licensed clinical addictions specialist. Patients learn that self regulation is possible and they experience some mindfulness.

Feb 2nd
Reply (1)

ingeborg gallwas

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Sep 29th
Reply (1)

Muhan Majdi


Sep 24th
Reply (1)


Where can I find these podcast’s transcripts ?

Jul 23rd

Even J


Jun 18th