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

The “Basket of Deplorables” show

Sep 28, 2016

Health Matters has decided to join our presidential candidates in uniting our citizens for the difficult tasks ahead. The show includes important information about influenza vaccine, forming memories, the hazards of sugar, and the recent decline in ovarian cancer. We are simply asking all the normal people who agree with us to unite against those lunatics who have a different opinion.

Tip: it is time to make plans for your fall influenza vaccination. We recommend seniors get theirs in October.


Bye-Bye Boydie show

Sep 21, 2016

Health Matters has dispatched with another producer in near record time. We celebrate Tanner Boyd’s brief stint as Health Matters producer with this show, featuring Kentucky’s rank in healthcare, mistakes and low value healthcare services, and poor quality research on outdoor physical activity and reading books. Farewell Tanner, we hardly knew ye.

“Let’s Be Honest” show

Sep 16, 2016

Let’s be honest: I was in a pickle. An alert listener had pointed out that Rick says “let’s be honest” too much. What would a good friend do? I did not want to make him self-conscious. But let’s be honest: I couldn’t let him get by with such a serious speech impediment. Actually, I say the word “actually” too much myself. Just to be honest, we actually decided to record a show about our favorite vocal crutches. It also has information about the health effects of bagpipes, cardiac risks of eating cheese, and why drug prices are so darned high.

All It Takes Is One Mosquito Bite show

Sep 8, 2016

“All it takes is one mosquito bite to change the entire course of our lives,” a pregnant woman in Miami told the New York Times. Zika appears to be highly infectious, capable of transmission on American soil, capable of sexual transmission, has an affinity for brain tissue and particularly for the brain tissue of the developing fetus. In short, this is one nasty virus. We believe, as Zika babies are born in the US, the life-changing potential of this virus will become apparent. Avoid it at all costs.

The NASA Chief Engineer Larry Show

Aug 30, 2016

Health Matters still is amazed that anyone with any sense listens to our show. However, retired NASA chief engineer Larry promises us that he actually listens. We salute him and his lapse in judgment with this amalgam on medical marijuana, the cost of electronic medical records, some new information on suicides, and our favorite Florida beverage, grapefruit juice.

Tip: From the FDA, Seville oranges and tangelos affect the same enzyme as grapefruit juice, so avoid these fruits as well if you are on a medicine affected by grapefruit.

The Matters of the 20th and 21st Healthiad Show

Aug 23, 2016

We salute the pomposity and misinformation concerning the Olympics with this offering. In addition to discussing University of Louisville Olympian and orthopedic surgeon Dot Richardson, we talk about heart attacks in astronauts, old people and memory tests, and the six conditions worse than death. Join us for a record breaking performance.

Salute to Sanders Brown Center on Aging show

Aug 17, 2016

Recent press reports have touted a smell test to screen for Alzheimer disease. Does it work? Do aging beagles lose their sense of smell? Why do people with Down syndrome have a higher risk for early dementia? And what is it that brings in researchers from California and Duke to do their research at UK? All this will be answered, with a whole lot more information as well.

Salute to Vladimir Putin Show

Aug 9, 2016

Health Matters takes a moment to salute ex KGB agent, judo and firearms expert, law school graduate, Russian president and now US political broker Vladimir Putin. This week’s show includes news on short people, the high cost of medical care in the US, and the price of reversing drug overdoses.  It’s worth a listen just to hear Rick and Tony discuss single-serving packages.

Mooning Cancer Show

Aug 2, 2016

We are not the only one’s bothered by the “cancer moonshot” analogy. Pres. Obama announced it, and VP Joe Biden is spearheading the effort to double the rate of advances in cancer treatment. However, if the “moon” is doubling the rate of technological advances, it is not at all clear how we will know when we hit it. At Health Matters, we decided if you couldn’t do a moonshot, you could at least moon cancer, which fits our mental level. The show includes Zika predictions, cardiac arrests during heat waves, and the influence of your immune system on your personality.

We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. -Edward R Murrow

Dr. Terry Bunn Injury Prevention Show

Jul 19, 2016

Brought to you by our regular sponsor, shoes with tread, the show features an in-depth interview with Associate Professor in the Department of Preventative Medicine and Environmental Health, and Director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, Dr. Terry Bunn. She comes to UK after obtaining her PhD in immunology and toxicology at Cornell. As director she has involved herself in everything from drug overdoses to fuel tank location in Semi Trucks. Join us for a fascinating interview, and watch your step.

Juno What’s in Space? Show

Jul 12, 2016

Health Matters celebrates the arrival of the Juno spacecraft at Jupiter with this show. We count our losers – raw cookie dough, Flu-Mist flu vaccine, and the Clemson bite counter. Tying Medicaid dental and vision benefits to work and public service came out even, but the ultimate losers or consumers who have to buy their prescriptions at higher and higher prices.

WHO Says Olympic Should Go Ahead Show

Jun 28, 2016

One benefit to the Zika virus outbreak: Health Matters has been deluged with excellent information on mosquito repellents. We share this with you, as well as our thoughts on standing desks, medical uses of FitBit, a new brain cooling device to help you sleep, and the (FDA approved) stomach pump to help you lose weight (???!?). For the next hour, why not let your radio be your medical device?

The Presumptive Nominee Replacement Surgery Show

Jun 21, 2016

Maybe it wasn’t that funny. Some show titles look better on the computer than they sound on the air. Health Matters celebrates the joy of our two-party democratic system with this pile of fetid “health information”. The show features a discussion of gut flora, the Zecurity migraine patch, a test on ionizing radiation and our concerns about our country’s declining life expectancy.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.  Mark Twain.

Maybe we did not understand this quote fully. Health Matters gleefully welcomes St. Claire dietitian Jean Jones and Riley Loy, UK dietetic intern, for a discussion of the Heimlich maneuver, swimming pool safety, saturated fats, and dietary changes after divorce.

In the last 15 years, we’ve lost over half a million Americans due to drug overdoses. On May 17, at the international meeting of the American Thoracic Society, attendees learned that our ICU death rates for drug overdose are increasing. That is, we are not any better at treating drug overdoses, and the drugs are getting more deadly. Health Matters tries our best to ignore this ongoing catastrophe with a show on swallowing your cell phone and “water bottle mouth”.

Good Widdance to Bad Wubbish show

May 25, 2016

We send our show’s student producer, Hunter Reece, back to North Carolina for his summer break with this mess. Starting with hospital snakes and paintball injuries, moving to surgical robots and the definition of healthy, it never quite gets traction. But hold on until the end anyway, for the unarguably worst joke I have ever told in public.

Bathroom of Your Birth Show

May 18, 2016

We start with zipper injuries to the male diaper area, and the show goes downhill from there. There’s new information on ideal body weights, the FDA has finally decided to regulate the chemicals our children are putting in their lungs, and medical errors are now estimated to be (arguably) the third most common cause of death. Laugh and learn with us.

Tip: One way to avoid fatal medical errors is to take only the medicines you really need. Talk to your doctor about your medicines, and bring all your pill bottles into your visit.

Change Your Diet, Change the World show

May 11, 2016

“If venture investing is a trustworthy indicator…, Americans can be optimistic about the future of the US healthcare system.” Ezekiel Emanuel.

This show explains why Barack Obama will not be remembered as the “Agricultural President”, and why candy is probably not a big driver of obesity. We also note that tick larvae look a lot like tiny adult ticks, and Jean gets to vent on the Affordable Care Act. St. Claire dietitian Jean Jones and UK dietetic intern Jordan Bressler are our guests.

Mr. Peabody’s in Paradise Show

Apr 27, 2016

What do you do when bad things happen to someone you oppose? Health Matters has reflected on this over the past week, when a fire destroyed the local hookah bar and tanning center. On April 13, Peabody Coal Company filed for bankruptcy in the US, which means people in Kentucky have had an unfortunately good month. Join us for a detailed discussion of the reliability of health apps, the care provided in virtual visits, and a reminder of how to manage those nasty spring allergies.


This show is our salute to those annoying Canadian listeners who took over our Facebook page, liked, commented, and did exactly what we asked for – how dare you! It includes information about PCSK9 inhibitors, Kentucky traffic deaths, and deleting HIV from your genome. Thanks as always to all our regular listeners; please give generously to Morehead State Public Radio and help them find a replacement for our show.

The Flower Power show

Apr 7, 2016

Here’s proof Health Matters has lost our last shred of human decency. The show features segments on generic Viagra and a report on plastic surgery. I suppose it’s time to move on to paternity testing and selling anticancer supplements now. But seriously, we have some thoughts on research techniques including using satellite data to determine how streetlights affect your health, and measuring your daredevil spirit by having you blow up an animated balloon with a helmet on.

Jettison Medicine show

Mar 22, 2016

It seems every year our political parties ignore the power of the bumper sticker and elect candidates such as Mitch and Trump, whose names rhyme with synonyms of the word discard. We have seen the “Ditch Mitch” and “Dump Trump” movements. Heck, MSPR even has a “Chuck Mraz” movement. In honor of sinus pain awareness month, the $250 “Genius” toothbrush, Mitt Romney and smart phone apps that don’t record your blood pressure properly, we dedicate this show.


Bruce of the North Show

Mar 17, 2016

Health Matters salutes our intrepid international fan page pioneer, Bruce from Canada. We discuss brucellosis, smoking legislation, blood donation, Victoza, and pets in the bedroom. Sure is nice to get some health information this weekend, eh? (Sorry).

Tip: Brucellosis is one of many infectious conditions transmitted by unpasteurized milk. We recommend everyone take advantage of modern science.


CDC fact sheet on brucellosis

Spring Changes Everything show

Mar 9, 2016

“You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.” Pablo Neruda

“Please mention that to my wife after I finish with the Weed Wacker.” Tony Weaver

The show salutes the changes that occur in spring by pointing out changes in colon cancer, better flu vaccine coverage, changes in the threats to our internet security and changes in the way we treat blood pressure. Perhaps you can change your opinion of Health Matters after the show.

Justice Antonin Scalia Show

Mar 2, 2016

The untimely death of Justice Scalia at age 79 leaves an important number of Supreme Court cases involving healthcare in limbo. We believe our country will survive, so we salute him with this show on hacking hospital systems, the purple pill and dementia, tanning beds and Accountable Care Organizations. Brought to you by scoliosis, “the only disease we could think of that sounds like Scalia”, this show should bring a smile to your habeas corpus.

“Avoid Kissing Strangers” Show

Feb 24, 2016

Health Matters struggles to keep up with the numerous pronouncements regarding the Zika virus this week. Zika is a serious threat to unborn babies. As Paulo Gadelha, president of the Fiocruz Research Institute notes, “this is not a generalized public health measure, for the love of God”. We also discussed fitness monitors, high deductible plans, and a lifetime free of diarrhea.

Robinson Scholars Show

Feb 16, 2016

Education is strongly correlated with good health outcomes, and neither is frequently seen in Eastern Kentucky. The Robinson Scholars Program serves first generation high school and college students in 29 impoverished Eastern Kentucky counties. Selection for the program begins early in high school, looking for students with a track record of service to their community, academic excellence, and leadership. In addition to a generous college scholarship, students also get assistance in transitioning from rural high schools to the UK college environment.

Health Matters Caucus Show

Feb 10, 2016

The word caucus either comes from an Algonquian word for “counselor” or from egg record for “drinking cup”. Do you gain knowledge from wise elders, or from beer? Well, you won’t gain knowledge from Health Matters. We talk about snow shoveling and heart disease, drug prices, and the new CRISPR method for altering human DNA.

Tip: Sometimes blood-pressure medicines, called ace inhibitors, can cause a cough. These are very good blood-pressure medicines, and 30% of the time changing brands will solve the problem.


The Big Shorts Show

Feb 3, 2016

“The Big Short” is a critically acclaimed movie exploring the 2008 housing market crash.  “The Big Shorts” is a clinically deranged show exploring the Zika virus, the dangers of hoverboards, and the problem with Lumosity.  Don’t get them confused.  See the good one, and then listen to Health Matters.