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

This annual campaign for autumnal perpendicularity, sponsored by “Shoes with Tread”, brings you the latest research in foot gear, exercise programs, technology, and environment and behavior modification designed to keep us upright and in our homes this fall. Try not to be intimidated by the glitz and glamour, and focus on the content.

Tip: There is a consensus that shoes are better than sock feet, that low heels are better than high heels, and that firmer soles with tread provide the best option for people at risk for falling.


Dr. Hatim Omar Show

Sep 19, 2014

Dr. Omar has developed a successful suicide intervention program at the University of Kentucky by targeting all aspects of a teenager’s life, not just the suicide. This very opinionated guest feels that interventions that just target drunken-driving, teenage pregnancy, etc. will fail in the long term because they do not address the underlying issues that lead to the behavior. It makes for a very interesting conversation, and a better-than-average show.

This show starts off with a huge tactical error, as we try to reproduce a Monty Python skit explaining how seals carried tuberculosis to the New World. We try to salvage the show, giving tips for maintaining functional independence, and the latest information on the benefits and harms of marijuana, but you get the sense that this show just never recovers. A very enjoyable show; somewhat like watching a car crash.

Tip: no one wants to be placed in a nursing home, but there are practical things you can do to improve your chances of staying independent.


eHarmony Show

Sep 5, 2014

The chemistry is unmistakable as we salute eHarmony, which is about to launch a career platform, to match employees and jobs, in December. We have information on the 100 bites a day diet, cancer screening, and our Health Matters Obamacare quiz.

Tip: Sugary drinks, whether sodas or sports drinks, all contain too much sugar. Water is an excellent way to stay hydrated.


The Washington Post on eHarmony

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Show

Aug 22, 2014

Finally, our radio fans can see our problems in stark contrast: Rick has “football brain”, while Tony was poisoned by tobacco farming as a teenager. This show looks at changing attitudes and changing technology in the US healthcare system.

Tip: increasing insurance coverage will put a strain on the nation’s primary care physicians, which will worsen over time. Develop a relationship with your healthcare provider, and find a person with whom you feel comfortable.


Under the Dumb Show

Aug 13, 2014

Kentuckians: trapped “under the dumb”, unable to chart a course that will lead to better health and better lives. Health Matters has some very stupid suggestions, as well as info on blood pressure measurement, burning mustaches, and “negative” tattoos.

Tip: get the right size blood pressure cuff, and don’t take your blood pressure through your shirt sleeve. Make sure your blood pressure measurement is accurate.


Virginia Schutte recently received her PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of Georgia. She is also my daughter. As Dr. Schutte says, “I am an ecologist for selfish reasons. I want to protect the systems that protect us.” We talk about ecology and health, and health issues for travelers to Central America.

Tip: Chikungunya virus will force us to make changes. Half a million cases are reported in the Caribbean, and the virus has now made it to Florida. We expect it to spread through the deep South in the next few years. Learn to prevent mosquito bites.


We are aware that catastrophic usually means “causing great suffering”, or “extremely unsuccessful”. However, we choose the healthcare.gov definition of catastrophic, meaning “high deductible”. This show brings you the basic health information at a very low cost, similar to the catastrophic plans featured on the health exchange. We talk about exploding inhalers, patients who catch fire, rashes from your iPad, the dangers of surgical technology, and government investigation of the price of the new hepatitis C drug.

Morehead Honcho Show

Jul 22, 2014

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, will visit the Morehead Conference Center from 10 AM-2 PM on Wednesday, August 6. Health Matters celebrates his visit with a show about beer bellies, Alzheimer’s dementia, mosquitoes, and narcotic drugs.

Tip: Mosquitoes are attracted to heat, exhaled breath, and smell. Candles, dark clothing, and noisemakers that clip to your belt are not a reliable way to prevent mosquito bites.


Health Matters salutes Dr. Mehmet Oz this week with a look at several examples of unethical doctors, and some very unusual medical research news. We cover Dr. Oz’s recent appearance in front of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance; as well as vaccinations to prevent diabetes and the effect of sleep on your GPA.

Tip: There are now two powerful acid blocking medicines available over-the-counter, Nexium 24 HR, and Prilosec. They work best if you take them on an empty stomach, but immediately before a meal.

“The Voice” show

Jul 15, 2014

#546 Show Summary (“The Voice” show):

We welcome Colleen McMullen from the University of Kentucky Department of physiology, and UK speech pathologist Vrushali Angadi for a discussion of laryngeal aging, speech therapy in head and neck cancers, and the special appeal of buttered sweetcorn.

Tip: if you are age 60-85, a non-smoker, and are interested in participating invoice research, contact Colleen McMullen at 859-323-9443, or email cmcmu2@uky.edu. they are looking for study participants with and without voice problems.


Prompted by the Time magazine cover “Is He Worth It?”, Health Matters looks at the dangerous ethics of deciding who is “worth it”. Who costs society more, the young person who foolishly loses his life, or the person who wisely lives to extreme old age? Do we really want to abandon any of these people? Sorry to be so deep. We also got information on sleeping with your pets and over-the-counter erection drugs.

Pun in the Sun Show

Jun 25, 2014

#547 Show Summary (Pun in the Sun Show):

Broadcasting from the ninth most corrupt state in the country, health matters ponders the link between corruption and life expectancy, the absolute chaos regarding medical marijuana, and how to avoid melanoma this summer. It’s not terribly funny, it’s not terribly punny, it’s Health Matters!

Tip: Having 5 or more blistering sunburns before age 20, according to the Nurses Health Study, is associated with an 80% higher risk of melanoma.


Modern Times Show

Jun 18, 2014

#545 show summary (Modern Times Show):

From bouncy houses to tanning beds to sugary soft drinks, the joys of our youth are killing us. It appears that the only safe thing we can turn to in 2014 is marijuana. We at Health Matters are every bit as confused as you are, but we have a radio show so we will give you the answers.

Tip: Put your daughter’s hair up before she go swimming. Long flowing hair can get caught in hazards and increases the risk of drowning.


#544 Show Summary (“ Moving on Up” show):

New timeslot, same old garbage – why does Deep Brain Stimulation create a deeper appreciation of music of Johnny Cash?  Why did the resveratrol and heart disease bubble burst? Why would you look for cervical cancer in women who don’t have a cervix? With an extra hour of sleep, we ponder these imponderable questions.

#543 Show Summary (“Season Ending Cliffhanger Show”):

Health Matters ends its 9 AM timeslot with a real cliffhanger show. We start by reviewing what happens when scientists take people with irregular heartbeats and expose them to movie cliffhangers, we discuss the peculiar relationship between geomagnetic storms and stroke, and we end with the mysterious “Non-24” circadian rhythm disturbance that affects blind people. Finally, we say goodbye to Rick Phillips. So long, 9 AM!

#542 Show summary (Jean Jones “One Foot in the Gravy” show):

Researchers from Oxford and Cambridge recently reviewed all of the research done over the past 50 years, and concluded that there is no solid evidence for a link between saturated fats heart disease. It appears our move away from saturated fats was due to bad research and aggressive lobbying.   St. Claire Regional dietitian Jean Jones and UK dietetic interns Gabby Geerts and Taylor Corley explain what this means for you.

#541 Show Summary (Health Matters is Moving to 10 AM beginning Saturday, June 6 Show):

Why, yes we are. To celebrate, we produce this show on tough mudders, marijuana, and the tough things we need to do to prevent premature death.

Tip: Stop smoking, reduce alcohol use, lose weight, reduce salt, fight diabetes and high blood pressure. These six interventions could save nearly 40 million lives globally over the next 15 years. This requires more political courage that medical expertise.


Dr. James Ziliak show

May 13, 2014

#540 Show Summary (Dr. James Ziliak show):

#538 Show Summary (How Much Is That Doc in the Window? Show):

Medicare has released physician payment data, showing how much they paid US physicians in the past year. Some of the data is misleading – groups of doctors bill under one name, doctors bill for expensive drugs, which they must then purchase, payment for procedures go to a team of healthcare providers. Some of the doctors make an enormous amount of money, which is not misleading. Join us for a discussion of this, Cap’n Crunch, and how Viagra might raise your risk of melanoma.

Our healthcare delivery system is changing rapidly, but the Affordable Care Act just finished the first enrollment, and the effects of our new health care plan are not known. Many analysts have already weighed in, giving their grades to Obamacare. We take time to give our opinion, and also weigh in on mammography, sun avoidance, marijuana, and recovery from a coma.

# 537 Show Summary (The Kathleen Sibelius Show):  This show chronicles the meteoric rise (but do meteors rise?) and dramatic fall of Kathleen Sibelius, once mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, now resigned in disgrace over the healthcare.gov website.  Rick and Tony discuss managing a disaster, the effects of disaster on a population, and why being cool under stress is not always a good thing.

Tip:  You have at least 24 hours to remove a biting tick before most diseases can be transmitted.  Check your skin daily after outdoor activities for ticks.


The Final Four Show

Apr 16, 2014

#536 Show Summary (The Final Four Show):

The Kentucky Wildcat Basketball Five has had a thrilling run through the NCAA tournament, a source of pride to true blue fans.  In honor of the Wildcats, we present medical information from the other UK, the United Kingdom.  Join us for info on vegetables, Botox, sleeping pills, and pizza advice from the Department of Health.

The Crimea River Show

Apr 8, 2014

Dedicated to the embattled people of the Crimean Peninsula, this show includes medical conspiracies, Google Glass and Google Flu Trends, new info on brain health and Alzheimer Disease, and enrollment numbers on Kynect, Kentucky’s Obamacare signup site. Don't you depend on NATO, maintain your independence by staying healthy.

78-76 Show

Apr 3, 2014

#534 Show Summary (78-76 Show):

We celebrate UK’s recent success by reposting the final score of the Wichita State game as our title.  This show includes info on casinos and child obesity (for every slot machine per capita increase, obesity rates went down 0.19%), the dramatic 30% drop in colon cancer death rates due to colonoscopy, and the failure of glucosamine to affect knee arthritis.  Thaw your brain just in time for spring.

#533 Show Summary (What Would Einstein Eat? Show):

As with most dietary research, there are strongly held opinions about the best diet for your brain, but little scientific evidence.  We are joined by Jean Jones, Manager of Clinical Nutrition Services at St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Registered Dietitian Andrea Corkran, and UK Dietetic Intern Mallory Foster to look at the best brain foods, with information on kale and Oreos as well.

#532 Show Summary (Dr. Terrence Barrett and the Crypts of Lieberkuhn Show):

What do self-hypnosis, yogurt, the Mediterranean diet, and hibernating squirrels have in common? All are topics discussed by our guest, Dr. Terrence Barrett, Chief of Gastroenterology at the University of Kentucky. In between, we discuss: cancer screening and inflammatory bowel disease. Yes, yes, we know it’s Health Matters, but it’s still a fairly interesting show.

#531 Show Summary (Stupid is Not Free Show): we hope for a miracle, but in all honesty, we despair the Kentucky will have a statewide smoking ban this legislative session. That means we will continue to sacrifice over 7000 Kentuckians every year to the health effects of smoking, including 3500 who die of lung cancer. This horrific toll is the price we pay for our collective inaction. We discuss cancer prevention, histoplasmosis, and Bluetooth toothbrushes.

#530 Show Summary (There’s Your Problem, Right There Show):

As the harsh winter winds give way to the hissing of cracked and frozen pipes beginning to thaw, we thought it was time to do exactly the same thing we did last week – go over a few interesting items from medical research. We have facts and figures on cancer from the American Cancer Society, new information on gastric bypass and alcoholism, and how to get your hands on some Harvard grad student stool.

#529 Show Summary (We Got Trouble with a Low T show):

Three large observational studies have shown an increased risk of heart attacks with men over 65 or men with heart disease who start testosterone therapy. We don’t know if testosterone causes the heart attacks, but we are very worried about the rising popularity of replacement. We’re also worried about obese people in seatbelts, shivering for exercise, and how the Navy prevents seamen from getting diarrhea on ships.