Health Matters

Saturdays @ 10AM and Sundays @ 6AM

Health Matters is a hour-long program that focuses on the health care needs of the mountain region. The weekly program is a co-production of Morehead State Public Radio and the Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center. AHEC offices are located at the Saint Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland. Host Tony Weaver, a practicing physician in Rowan County, and his team of health experts interview guests and discuss health issues like obesity, tobacco use, heart disease, exercise and other topics concerning the well being of eastern Kentuckians.

Health Matters won the 2013 American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons media award!
Credit MSU

Salute to Matt Bevins show

Nov 25, 2015

Kentucky made history as the earliest and most enthusiastic adopter of the Affordable Care Act.  Now, we may make history again as the first state to dismantle or modify ACA provisions.  Looking forward, what will happen to Kentucky’s Medicaid recipients?  Obviously, we haven’t a clue, but we’re a radio show, so why not talk about it anyway?  We also discuss careers in marijuana dispensing and the rise of retail clinics.


Salute to Kristi Show

Nov 19, 2015

Kristi likes our Facebook page. A lot. Common sense like that should be celebrated, and that’s why we titled our show. We talk about 3-D printing, sleep apnea, dietary supplements, and the benefits of chronic pain.

Tip: the clues to sleep apnea include snoring, feeling tired, having high blood pressure, BMI greater than 35, male gender and a large neck size. Take the StopBang questionnaire to assess your risk.


The StopBang questionnaire

Salute to Abu Dhabi Show

Nov 11, 2015

Abu Dhabi, on the Arabian Peninsula, is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is also in danger of becoming uninhabitable, with temperatures regularly exceeding 135° by the end of the century, according to the journal Nature Climate Change. That sober reminder makes for a fun-loving show on antibiotics and childhood obesity, the rising rates of diverticulitis, and antioxidant vitamins helping cancer cells to metastasize. Join us for another one-hour health-related yukfest.

“Chang'e 3 Lunar Lander show”

Nov 4, 2015

Did a winter birthday doom Tony to be short?  Do cancer survivors eat junk food, or do people who eat junk food survive cancer?  Will you have enough retirement money to pay someone to carry your retirement number around for you?  This show doesn’t answer any of those questions, but it is “mildly entertaining”.

Tip:  Lung cancer screening has been slow to be accepted, but we feel it may be important for eastern Kentucky.  If you are a long term smoker, aged 55-77, talk to your doctor.


“Patchy Valley Fog, Drive Carefully” Show

Oct 28, 2015

Brought to you by your good friends at the vaccination league, the show tells you how to prevent EpiPen injuries, discusses the outrageous price hikes for the anti-parasite drug Daraprim, announces the effective end of the Ebola epidemic, and tells you where to get the best night’s sleep in America.

Tip: It’s October; it’s time for your flu shot. Everyone age 6 months or older with very rare exceptions should get a flu shot.


The Electronic Sniffer Dogs Show

Oct 21, 2015

We recently read an article on the use of smell and physical diagnosis, which included the concept of Electronic Sniffer Dogs. It sounded like an excellent name for a rock ‘n roll band or a show title, so we snatched it before the band formed. The show includes fun facts on vision, motivational text messages, dressing like a doctor, and cancer risk by height.

10.5th Annual Fall Fall Spectacular

Oct 15, 2015

Sponsored by “Shoes with Tread”, the annual Fall Fall Spectacular focuses our attention on the cost and aftereffects of falling down. We talk about deer stand falls, ladder falls, falling TVs, and falling senior citizens. Sure, you can spring into Spring. Just make sure you don’t slip into Fall.

Tip: Flip-flops are not a good shoe for any occasion. Try to find shoes with arch support, good tread, beveled heels, and a raised “collar”, supporting your heel.


“Geewhiz, We Love Grapefruit” show

Oct 7, 2015

It started innocently enough. We did a segment on interactions between medicines and grapefruit. Then came a rather imperious letter from the Florida Department of Citrus. We had an emergency meeting at the Secret Clubhouse, shared a few fart jokes, and wrote this show. It includes our rebuttal on grapefruit, mouth guards that test your saliva, bee stings in the diaper area, and the health hazards of convertibles.

ICD 10 And My Skis Are on Fire show

Sep 29, 2015

As the medical community gears up for yet another round of regulations, this time involving ICD 10, the 10th version of the International Classification of Diseases, Health Matters has some fun with the more bizarre diagnoses on the list. We also talk about extra-virgin olive oil, bicycle injuries, Chinese smokers, nearsightedness, and a 3-D printed titanium rib cage. Join us to learn how to avoid diagnosis code W5541XA, “being bitten by a pig”.

The Purple Potato Eaters Show

Sep 23, 2015

Where do you stand on the church potluck eating controversy? Jean Jones and Tony Weaver are clearly very selective about church potluck foods, while Rick wishes to reassure his church friends that he is “all in” (except for cold salads). St. Claire dietitians Jean Jones and Andrea Campbell are our guests. We discuss botulism, purple potatoes, saturated fats, and picky eating.

Dr. Tim Tracy Show

Sep 15, 2015

Dr. Tracy is the Provost at the University of Kentucky, and former Dean of the College of Pharmacy.  Born in southern Ohio, with family in Eastern Kentucky, he has risen from a small town pharmacist to a researcher with a national reputation and to the highest levels of administration at UK. We discussed grapefruit juice and how it affects your medicines, improving student diversity at UK, and UK’s strategy for research and community outreach.

President William McKinley Show

Sep 8, 2015

William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States, led the nation to victory in the Spanish-American war, annexed Hawaii, and protected American workers with protective tariffs and trade negotiations. At the time of his assassination on September 6, he was arguably the most popular sitting president in our nation’s history. We salute him with a very uncomfortable show involving avalanche burials, airplane poop, female sexual desire, and toxic potato salads.

Salute to Donald Trump Show

Aug 31, 2015

Donald Trump has emerged as an important figure in American politics, and has gone on record supporting single-payer health care, but also suggesting vaccines may cause autism. Health Matters, never a stranger to controversy, endorses Donald Trump as “a really strange guy”. The show is about refrigerator seizures, retirement choices for pot smokers, Kentucky’s long battle with narcotics, and 3-D printing your medicines.

Dr. Ellen Hahn show

Aug 25, 2015

Everyone in Kentucky owes Dr. Ellen Hahn a vote of thanks. Without her pioneering work in the 1990s, Lexington and other communities in the Commonwealth would never have gone smoke-free. We thank you, and our children thank you. Dr. Hahn discusses her latest work on radon and we remember tobacco wars and discuss e-cigarettes.


The Dr. Thomas Whayne show

Aug 19, 2015

Dr. Thomas Whayne is a veteran cardiologist, and a Professor at the University of Kentucky’s Gill Heart Institute. He was also smart enough back in the 1960s to change his PhD work to the emerging specialty of lipid metabolism. Throughout a distinguished cardiology career, he has continued to research, publish, and care for patients. Please join us for the privilege of hearing the thoughts of an outstanding doctor as he approaches the end of his professional career.

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall show

Aug 4, 2015

According to Health Matters, summer would be great if you could only avoid Tiggers and chicks. That is way more funny than avoiding chiggers and ticks, and the comedic high point of the show. Otherwise we talk about the states cancer rates, the dangers of detergent pods and how to see with your tongue.

Tip: DEET 10-35% strength is still the best way to repel ticks. It is not as good as avoiding ticks by staying out of the high grass and leaves and tucking your trousers into your socks.

Water Over the Bridge Show

Jul 31, 2015


Jason Pierre Paul Fireworks Spectacular

Jul 23, 2015

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre Paul injured his hands in a fireworks accident over the Fourth of July weekend. In his honor, Health Matters presents this anthology of pathology, including tanning rates, sports injuries, bariatric surgery, swimming safety—anything but fireworks.

Tip:  In an endurance event, use your thirst to guide your drinking.  Don’t strive for set amounts of fluids.  If an endurance athlete becomes dizzy and delirious, they need medical help, not more water.


Salute to the UK Ag Tractor Team show

Jul 23, 2015

Every year, the UK Ag Tractor Team builds a one quarter scale working tractor; students present the design and building process, and the tractor competes with machines from other universities. Three out of the past four years, the UK team has taken first place. We salute their consistency and excellence with the show. Unfortunately, it’s Health Matters, so we talk about high heels, vaccination, grapefruit and melanoma risk, and how to prevent skin cancers.

The Best of Times/Worst of Times Show

Jul 9, 2015

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear proudly notes that Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion will create 17,000 new jobs, and bring in over $15 billion over the next seven years. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Hospital Association claims they will lose $1 billion and lay off employees. Who is right? They both are. We will attempt to explain.

Tip: Don’t waste too much time and money on brain building games and puzzles. The time probably would be better spent on physical exercise and maintaining social engagement, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Salute to Kim Kardashian Show

Jun 30, 2015

Producers of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” were stunned at viewer outrage over a guest appearance by media celebrity Kim Kardashian. Health Matters doesn’t get many viewer responses, outraged or otherwise. And that, in a nutshell, is how major programming mistakes occur. We talk about tattoos and cancer, cats and schizophrenia, and senior citizens with chronic illnesses.

Kerry John show

Jun 24, 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry fell in Switzerland and fractured his femur. At the time we go to press, he is recovering from surgery to pin his thigh bone back together. This show asks the important question, “Will Iraniain nuclear disarmament be curbed by Kerrianian femur dislegament?”  (We don’t even know what that means). We also discuss tattoos, tanning, apple watches, and pills with tiny sugar needles in them.

Hooray for Communist China Show

Jun 17, 2015

They have done it! Beijing, with 50% smoking rates, in a country with one third of the world’s smokers (a country that has a state-run monopoly manufacturing cigarettes) has passed an indoor smoking ban. Kentucky has not. Oddly enough, Health Matters has an opinion on this, as well as some of the top medical advancements in the past 20 years and the epidemic of narcotic overdoses that claimed over 140,000 lives in the past 20 years.

It’s not the best title but it gets your attention. We discuss robots at McDonald’s, grip strength and life expectancy, screening for cancer, and the cesspool of the US pharmaceutical industry, which makes FIFA look clean by comparison.

Tip: Fee for service is the financial basis for our current healthcare system. The more things we doctors do to you, the more we get paid. It is time to pay doctors for keeping you healthy and alive, not doing procedures.


Live with Jacob and Kira Litras show

Jun 4, 2015

Jacob LeQuire and Kira Litras are two University of Kentucky Hospital dietetic interns assigned to our area for their education. The show gives us a chance to review their work in our community, to discuss flavonoids, and to explain how you apply emotional stress to a five-year-old. It’s all in good fun, but seriously, who torments five-year-olds for a living?

Tip: Flavonoids are compounds found in plants that have antioxidant properties. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and spices is a healthier diet.


Let’s summarize what we knew and when we knew it. We knew from the outset that a show based on “know your arboviruses” was going to be a tough sell. Honestly, we did not know it would be this bad. Join us for an update on medicines for overactive bladder, chikungunya and West Nile viruses, and the Affordable Care Act winners and losers.

Tip: one-time vaccines for adults include a tetanus booster with pertussis, the two-stage pneumonia vaccine at age 65, the shingles vaccine after age 60, and a measles or MMR vaccine if you are born after 1957.


Two Variables Walked into a Bar Graph Show

May 12, 2015

Mayo Clinic researchers have shown that 85% of the bar graphs used in top physiology journals in 2014 were used for the wrong purpose. If you have a discrete variable (“yes or no”), put it in a bar graph. If you have a continuous variable (test scores from 50-100) don’t divide them into quartiles, average the quartile, and put those averages in a bar graph. The show is also about techno trousers, double chins, and the new ACP guidelines on Pap smears.

I’ve Got Ice in the Back of My Bulkhead show

May 7, 2015

We continue our April salute to disasters with this Titanic show. On April 15, 1912, 1500 people drowned after the Titanic struck an iceberg. Every year, Kentucky loses 3500 people needlessly to lung cancer. Unfortunately, Kentucky’s loss is not as romantic – the movie rights are still available. We talk about the health benefits of PE teachers and woodworking, and about getting bad news over the phone.

Tip: Lowering our smoking rate with smoking bans and taxes would save 1200 lives per year if our lung cancer rate dropped to the national average.


Our American Cousin Show

May 1, 2015

Named for the three act play attended by Pres. Lincoln on his final night, this show reviews our own disaster of healthcare financing. When Gleevec costs $11,000 a month in the US while a generic sells for $735 a month in Canada, our citizens suffer. Though they are not assassinated, they die nonetheless because of weaknesses in our healthcare system. But then, the Health Matters short attention span kicks in. April 12 was grilled cheese sandwich day, and we talk about the (dubious) health benefits of cheese.

Big Blue Nation is still in mourning about our first basketball loss of the season. Rick and I take a somber look at healthcare and the interaction of healthcare and technology. The show includes an analysis of Kentucky’s extremely low “well-being” ranking, and our thoughts on texting while driving and screen time.

Tip: in order to devote our healthcare resources to things we can change, we have to stop doing things that don’t work. This includes getting x-rays for routine cases of low back pain, and prescribing antibiotics for routine cases of bronchitis.