Lit Health Podcast - presented by MedStar Health

On Lit Health, we will be lighting a fire underneath the status quo of healthcare through interviews with authors, healthcare leaders, and policymakers working to create a healthcare environment that is equitable, transparent, and that welcomes the needs of every patient – especially our vulnerable populations including the mentally ill, people of color and women who feel they are at risk in our current system, the elderly, and anyone who feels bias or the isms affect their health and quality of life. Join us to stoke the fire! We want to hear the health-related stories from our listeners on both sides of the bedrail, the courtroom, and the aisle. Icon: Attached

Episode 1

America’s Prescription Drug Dependence on China with Rosemary Gibson

On this inaugural episode of Lit Health, host Tracy Granzyk is joined by Rosemary Gibson, author and Senior Advisor at the Hastings Center. The pair discuss Rosemary’s most recent book, China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, which highlights the centralization of globally supplied medicines in a single country and the implications of this in the event of a global pandemic, natural disaster, or geopolitical event. Published in 2018, China Rx has been recognized as prophetic in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Rosemary’s expertise has subsequently been sought by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, the CIA, and all fifty states’ emergency preparedness directors.


Episode 2

Structural Racism in Healthcare with Dr. Ronald Wyatt

In today’s episode, Tracy is joined by Dr. Ronald Wyatt, a global healthcare patient safety and quality improvement expert, and well-known health and healthcare disparity and equity champion. Dr. Wyatt is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, former co-chair of the IHI equity advisory board, and currently serves as faculty for the IHI Pursuing Equity Initiative and facilitator for the ACGME Equity Matters collaborative. During his illustrious career, he has held the position of Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer at Cook County Health in Chicago and was the first Patient Safety Officer at the Joint Commission, as well as the first African American Chief Medical Resident in 1987-88.


Episode 3

LitHealth Podcast episode 3 cover image - Finding ‘Grace in the Carnage’ with Author Deanne Stillman

Finding ‘Grace in the Carnage’ with Author Deanne Stillman

Author Deanne Stillman, a widely published, critically acclaimed writer of literary nonfiction joins Tracy on the podcast today to discuss Deanne’s 2001 work Twentynine Palms, an LA Times bestseller and Best Book of the Year, which Hunter Thompson called “a strange and brilliant story by an important American writer,” and which was re-released in 2021 by Angel City Press. Twentynine Palms tells the story of the murders of Mandi Scott and Rosalie Ortega by Marine Valentine Underwood, recently returned from the Gulf War. Through this tragedy, the book takes a deep look at socioeconomic health disparities through the lives of those who choose to call the desert home, living in the shadows of the world’s largest Marine base at the edge of Joshua Tree National Park. Tracy begins the episode by talking about Twentynine Palms’ relevance to healthcare, pointing out its focus on social determinants of health, specifically the poverty that underlies the book’s desert community.

Episode 4

A Walk Toward Healthcare Safety with Dr. David Mayer

Lit Health Podcast 4th episode - How to Stay Safe When Entering the Healthcare SystemOn this episode of Lit Health, Tracy is joined by Dr. David Mayer, Executive Director of the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, where he leads quality and safety programs in support of discovery and learning and the application of innovative methods to operational clinical challenges. A cardiac anesthesiologist by training and a medical educator by passion, Dave has spent the last three decades fighting for a safer healthcare delivery environment and recently served as CEO of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, where he led global patient safety efforts and initiatives in sixty-four countries and over 4,800 hospitals. His memoir, How to Stay Safe When Entering the Healthcare System: A Physician Walks Across the Country to Raise of the Need to Improve Healthcare Safety, is due out in October of this year and chronicles his walk across pandemic-hit America during 2020 — his mission to keep all eyes on the continued need to make healthcare safe for patients and providers. The pair discuss how the book is a call to action for people to start rising up and asking their congressional leaders and their politicians why more isn’t being done to improve patient and healthcare professional safety in healthcare. Highlights of his journey include being joined by patients and families who had lost loved ones to preventable medical harm, and reliving his love for baseball by visiting Major League Ballparks across the country to keep him motivated during one of the most difficult years in our history.


Episode 5

Spit Like A Big Girl - Patient Advocate Clarinda Ross Takes Her Mission to the Stage

Lit Health Podcast 5th episode cover image - Spit Like A Big GirlTracy’s guest on this episode is Clarinda Ross, mom of three and accomplished actress, writer, and special needs advocate. Clarinda began her journey as a patient advocate thirty-three years ago when her daughter Clara was found to have developmental delays, the experience of which she channeled into her one-woman show Spit Like A Big Girl. Clarinda begins the episode discussing her experience parenting a child with special needs and navigating the healthcare system two years before the Disabilities Act was signed into law. She describes how the challenges of getting the right care for Clara forced her to develop real gumption in ensuring that her daughter could live her best life, including letting her go when the time was right. She also discusses how forming an advocacy team, including speech and occupational therapists, helped ensure Clara’s needs were understood by the school and healthcare systems.


Episode 6

Advocating for Mom and Medical System Reform with Steve Burrows

LitHealth Podcast Post, Episode 6Steve Burrows is a writer, director, performer, and producer who began his career in Chicago, joining Second City director Dell Close as a member of the critically acclaimed and groundbreaking improvisational comedy group ‘Baron's Barracudas’. After relocating to Los Angeles, Burrows began his film and TV career with an award-winning short film, "The Soldier of Fortune." Since then, he has gone on to win over 75 awards for writing and directing television commercials on five continents.

After Steve’s mom was harmed by medical care in Wisconsin, he took time out from his successful film career to advocate for her. In this episode of Lit Health, he touches upon his fascinating career, why stories matter, and delves deeply into his experience with the medical system, its need for policy reform, and the role he has taken on as an advocate in this space with our host, Tracy Granzyk.


Episode 7

Amplifying Patient Voice to Improve Care with Martin Hatlie

PFPS logoTracy welcomes esteemed patient safety advocate and President/CEO of Project Patient Care, Marty Hatlie, for a conversation that delves deeply into the core of patient safety and the integral roles patients and families play in elevating healthcare outcomes. Together, they engage in a timely dialogue which underscores the urgent call for a healthcare landscape that treasures transparency, equity, and the voices of marginalized populations. Emphasizing the significance of systems thinking and accountability as catalysts for enduring transformation, Tracy and Marty reinforce the critical value of patient engagement and federal leadership while offering a revolutionary perspective for a new era of patient safety and equity. The episode also explores COVID-19's impact on patient safety and healthcare disparities and introduces, the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety (AELPS) focusing on its mission to connect patient narratives with education to foster cultural change.


Episode 8

Converting Personal Tragedy into Healthcare Safety for All with Armando Nahum

PFPS logoJoining Tracy for today’s episode is the truly remarkable Armando Nahum, a former patient advocate who has transitioned into a tremendously influential healthcare activist. Among his many achievements, he has become widely celebrated as the co-founder and president of Safe Care Campaign, an organization dedicated to infection prevention in hospital settings. He also holds key positions on various healthcare advisory boards and councils, including the CDC Council on Infection Prevention and the Georgia Hospital Association Advisory Board. In addition to being instrumental in establishing Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) aimed at enhancing quality and safety at MedStar Health and hospitals across the country, Armando, was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in February 2020. Most recently, he is a founding member of Patients for Patient Safety US in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), where he is leading influential healthcare policy change driven by patients and families.

In today's episode, Armando shares the patient advocacy journey that he and his wife, Victoria, embarked upon back in 2006 following a series of infections that impacted their family across three different hospitals in three states, and which tragically resulted in the loss of their son, Josh. He also shares sage insights, emphasizing the pivotal role of patient and family engagement in healthcare.


Episode 9

Integrating AI into Healthcare with Raj Ratwani

On Lit Health Episode #9, Dr. Raj Ratwani, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at the MedStar Health Research Institute, Director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare, Executive Director of Research at the MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety, and an associate professor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, joins Tracy Granzyk to explore the intersection of patient safety and data in our U.S. Healthcare System. Join the discussion as they talk about the vulnerabilities introduced by electronic health records (EHRs) and artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, as well as the opportunities to improve the delivery of care using both tools.