20-Minute Health Talk
A faster PCR Covid-19 test for everyone?

A faster PCR Covid-19 test for everyone?

January 26, 2022

In addition to Covid case counts, the need for testing has skyrocketed since the arrival of the omicron variant. With demand outpacing supply throughout most of December and January, labs nation wide have struggled to keep up. Dwayne Breining, MD, executive director of Northwell Health Labs, shares how his team was able to double their testing capacity using a new technology called LabGold. He explores how this highly reliable, low-cost testing platform — capable of processing up to 100,000 specimens per day — could help labs across the country quickly scale when facing a public health crisis like Covid-19.

Chapters

01:37 - Doubling Covid testing capacity

02:47 - Distinguishing omicron from delta

03:57 - Expanding access to Covid testing

06:24 - Developing "LabGold"

07:42 - A self-swab PCR test

09:55 - A new, scalable Covid test 

11:42 - A national strategy

15:11 - Omicron's long tail

16:30 - Testing in pro sports

What everyone needs to know about omicron, kids and Covid-19 testing

What everyone needs to know about omicron, kids and Covid-19 testing

January 20, 2022

Charles Schleien, MD, describes the effect the omicron variant has had on children amid the recent surge of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. In addition, Dwayne Breining, MD, joins the podcast to answer common questions about Covid-19 testing.

Meet the experts:

Dr. Schleien is senior vice president and chair of pediatric services at Northwell Health and chair of pediatrics at the Barbara & Donald Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Dr. Breining is executive director of Northwell Health Labs and Pathology

Chapters:

00:38 - Covid-19 antigen test vs PCR test

02:47 - What to do if exposed to Covid-19

03:58 - Testing for variants

04:32 - Using a Covid-19 at home test

05:00 - False negative rapid covid test

05:50 - Covid-19 at home test recommendations

06:21 - Omicron's impact on testing

07:41 - How omicron impacts kids

10:01 - Hospitalizations

11:10 - Omicron on Long Island

13:24 - Pediatric vaccination rates

15:28 - Kids and long covid

16:51 - Protective measures for kids, families

What is a caregiver? How to prepare for—and manage—caregiving

What is a caregiver? How to prepare for—and manage—caregiving

January 11, 2022

More than 1 in 5 Americans provide unpaid care to an adult family member or friend. Whether an act of love or sense of duty, carrying out this critical role takes a toll. On this episode, three experts in caregiving share practical tips, advice and resources to help guide listeners through this difficult and demanding time. They discuss caregiver support groups, planning for retirement, how hospital-based caregiver centers help and how Covid-19 has changed caregiving.

Meet our guests:

  • Maria Torroella Carney, MD, FACP is chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at Northwell Health, and former health commissioner for Nassau County. 

  • Kerri Scanlon, RN, is the executive director for Glen Cove Hospital.  
  • Amy Goyer, AARP family and caregiving expert and author of AARP’s “Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving” and “Things to Do Now That You’re…a Grandparent” 

Find resources for caregivers:

Contact Northwell Health's Geriatric and Palliative Care program by emailing: geripal@northwell.edu

Dr. Carney explains how caregivers can be advocates for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Join AARP's Family Caregiver Discussion Group on Facebook. 

Learn more about being a caregiver on AARP's Caregiving Home Page.

Access AARP's Financial Workbook for Caregivers: a practical guide focused on health, housing and money management.

Top 5 medical innovations of 2021

Top 5 medical innovations of 2021

January 4, 2022

The advent of the Covid-19 vaccines propelled us into 2021 and put a spotlight on the critical role of research and clinical trials. In this episode we spotlight five innovations coming out of the last year from researchers at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. The innovations aim to improve life for patients living with paralysis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease, Covid-19, brain cancer and PTSD.  

Chapters:  

  • 00:42 – Treating PTSD with inner-ear stimulation – Dr. Rebecca Schwartz and Dr. Theodoros Zanos 
  • 04:13 – Virtual trials – Dr. Christina Brennan and Dr. Mark Butler 
  • 08:30 – Artificial intelligence to help diagnose schizophrenia – Dr. Sunny Tang 
  • 11:17 – Restoring movement in paralyzed patients – Chad Bouton  
  • 13:30 – Treating glioblastoma with belly fat – Dr. John Boockvar   
  • 16:33 – Northwell's Top 5 moments in 2021  

In a bonus segment, we reflect on Northwell Health’s most newsworthy moments, including the release of The First Wave Documentary; the Northwell Health Nurse Choir competes on America's Got Talent; the 20th anniversary of 9/11; the authorization on Covid-19 vaccinations for children; and the anniversary of the first Covid-19 vaccination in the U.S.  

 

Meet our guests: 

Rebecca Schwartz, PhD, associate investigator, Institute of Health System Science at Feinstein Institutes and Director, Research and Evaluation, Northwell Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery 

Theodoros Zanos, PhD, assistant professor, Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell 

Christina Brennan, MD, MBA, vice president of clinical research at Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research 

Mark Butler, PhD, assistant investigator, Center for Personalized Health, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research 

Sunny Tang, MD, assistant professor, Institute of Behavioral Science, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell 

Chad Bouton, professor, Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Vice President, Advanced Engineering, Northwell Health, and Professor, Molecular Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell 

John Boockvar, MD, professor, Feinstein Center for Neuroscience and Laboratory for Brain Tumor Biology and Therapy, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Co-Director, Brain Tumor Biotech Center, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, and Vice Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Lenox Hill Hospital

 

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Omicron variant: should you be concerned?

Omicron variant: should you be concerned?

December 22, 2021

The new covid variant omicron has quickly overtaken delta as the dominant strain of Covid-19 in multiple countries, which now includes the US. New data released Dec. 20 shows omicron is responsible for 73 percent of new Covid-19 infections nationally during the week end Dec. 18; up from just 12.6 percent for the week prior. Bruce Farber, MD, chief of public health and epidemiology, and John D'Angelo, MD, senior vice president and executive director of emergency medicine services, discuss what is known so far about the more contagious Covid variant, how health systems are preparing, and urge the public to get vaccinated — and even more importantly to get a booster. 

Read more from Dr. Farber on the omicron variant.

Chapters:

  • 00:54 - Omicron becomes dominant Covid variant
  • 02:09 - How concerned should we be?
  • 02:44 - Handling a Covid surge
  • 03:36 - Improved Covid care
  • 04:20 - How contagious is omicron?
  • 05:50 - Covid reinfection rate
  • 06:17 - Boosters protect against omicron
  • 07:00 - How severe is omicron?
  • 08:08 - The science behind the Covid booster shot
  • 09:15 - Omicron's impact on work
  • 10:48 - Boosting vaccination rates
  • 12:00 - Renewing mitigation efforts
  • 14:15 - Lessons from the first wave in New York
  • 15:40 - Predictive technology combats Covid-19
  • 16:42 - Maintaining services during a surge
  • 17:41 - Expanding Covid-19 testing
  • 18:39 - Don’t wait, get the vaccine and booster

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The race to vaccinate - one year later

The race to vaccinate - one year later

December 14, 2021

Today marks one year since Sandra Lindsay became the first American to receive the Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trial; catapulting the critical care nurse at LIJ Medical Center into the public eye. She reflects on the lead up to that day and challenges she's faced since. She is joined by Yves Duroseau, MD, chief of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, who received his first dose minutes after Sandra, as well as Gregory Zuckerman, who writes about that day and the decades of work that went into the Covid-19 vaccines in his new book, A Shot to Save the World: The Inside Story of the Life-or-Death Race for a COVID-19 VaccineEach share their experiences addressing vaccine hesitancy and resistance, and commemorate the resilience, stubborn persistence and heroism of the researchers and scientists who worked tirelessly to achieve “one of the proudest moments in human history.”   

Preventing gun violence: The role doctors can play

Preventing gun violence: The role doctors can play

December 10, 2021
A .38-caliber bullet nearly killed Joseph Sakran, MD, when he was 17 years old. Now a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Dr. Sakran has dedicated much of his "second chance" at life to advocating for gun violence prevention. In 2018 he sparked a movement that became known as "This is our Lane." On Dec. 15 he will speak at Northwell Health's Gun Violence Prevention Forum on a panel moderated by Chethan Sathya, MD. Ahead of the event, the pediatric trauma surgeon and director of Northwell's Center for Gun Violence Prevention joins Dr. Sakran to discuss:
  • helping clinicians learn how to talk about gun violence 
  • the upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Forum
  • the link between social determinants of health and gun violence
The future of pancreatic cancer care

The future of pancreatic cancer care

December 7, 2021

Pancreatic cancer survival rates have doubled in the last few years from 5 to 10 percent. This is thanks largely to clinical trials that have led to better treatments and a better understanding of how to tailor them to the individual. Despite the advancements, pancreatic cancer remains difficult to treat and long-term survival remains low. But, experts are hopeful that cutting-edge technology such as organoids — a collection of a patient’s cells that are maintained in a petri dish — will lead to continued improvements in outcomes.

Featured speakers: Matthew Weiss, MD, physician-in-chief and director of surgical oncology for the Northwell Cancer Institute; and Sepideh Gholami, MD, F.A.C.S., cancer specialist and surgeon at UC-Davis in California.

How patient navigators help with high-risk pregnancies

How patient navigators help with high-risk pregnancies

November 30, 2021
Expectant moms dealing with high-risk pregnancies desperately need someone who can guide them through the medical system to ensure they get the right care from qualified specialists. That’s the exact job description for patient navigators, such as Jeanne Woods Ludwig, RNC, and Bernadette Smith, RNC, who work in Northwell Health's new Maternal Fetal Medicine Center. In this unique role, they improve communication between patient and clinician, break down barriers to effective care, and provide support throughout the patient journey. 
Surprising COVID-19 symptoms in older adults

Surprising COVID-19 symptoms in older adults

November 23, 2021

Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath. But research has revealed that a surprising number of older adults experience some atypical signs of the virus. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Gerontology. The principal investigator of that paper, Allison Marziliano, PhD, discusses her findings and their implications for older adults and clinicians. 

Dr. Marziliano is assistant professor in the Center for Health Innovations and Outcomes Research for the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.

Chapters:

00:29 - What are atypical COVID-19 symptoms?

01:24 - About the study

02:33 - Key takeaways

04:40 - What is functional decline? 

05:43 - Testing older adults for COVID-19

07:34 - Comparing outcomes in typical, atypical patients

09:21 - Explaining atypical COVID-19 symptoms

11:07 - Dementia and COVID-19

11:25 - Northwell Health older adult workgroup

13:21 - Future COVID-19 research

15:24 - Isolation during COVID-19

16:00 - Ageism in healthcare research

18:14 - Role of COVID-19 vaccines

18:54 - On a positive note

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