Urban Service Talks-Podcast Series

Urban Service Talks is a student centered, student run podcast series developed and produced by Urban Health/AHEC Scholars, and is sponsored by CT AHEC. Urban Service Talks explores issues and answers questions important to today's and tomorrow's healthcare workforce. The focus of the podcast includes key pillars of the Urban Service Track/AHEC Scholars program: interprofessional education and team-based care, addressing social determinants of health, and care for the underserved, while featuring the voices of students from a variety of healthcare profession training programs at UConn and Quinnipiac University. The topics for the podcasts are varied and feature students, professionals, and community members. The target audience includes health professions trainees, health and public health professionals, as well as pre-health professions students.

To listen to the podcast, access Urban Service Talks through your preferred media account. Stay connected with Urban Service Talks through Twitter @TalksService and Instagram @urbanservicetalks. We welcome listener feedback about topics, presenters and most importantly, the dialogue and energy of our podcast series. Please contact us at ust.pod@gmail.com


1. Caregiver Burnout: The Hidden Patient

As part of the care team for a chronically ill individual, you may have more patients than you realize. The “hidden patient” is oftentimes an unpaid family member or friend who takes on the caretaker role due to a sense of obligation stemming from loyalty, financial strain, or even guilt about their negative emotions surrounding caregiving. In this episode, we have UConn School of Nursing student Nicey Brooks and Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant student Simon Ebbott interviewing Dr. Roshni Patel, MD (NYU trained quadruple board-certified physician specializing in interventional pain management, and advanced regenerative therapies at UConn Health) and Kizzy Hernandez-Bigos (Yale School of Medicine Research Assistant in the Infectious Disease Department and a Human Services/SDOH Consultant in the CT Area Health Education Center Program Office).


2. Skills for the 21st Century

At the dawn of the 21st century, incoming healthcare professionals are faced with a rapidly changing professional landscape. Newly trained health providers must advocate for their patients while staying current with evolving medical knowledge and technology. Establishing oneself while balancing responsibilities can seem impossible at times. In this episode, UConn School of Medicine student, Sara Schulwolf, and Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant student, Apoorva Sajan, interview Dr. Victoria Massey, DMD (UConn-trained general practice dentist providing care to patients at Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven) and Dr. Douglas Olsen, MD (Chief Medical Officer at Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services with a multi-decade career as a primary care and addiction medicine physician with experience treating patients at Federally Qualified Health Centers) about the skills needed to succeed in the current healthcare field.


3. Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue

Gun violence is one of the major public issues faced today, in the United States and other places around the world. As healthcare providers, navigating this issue can be quite complex and multifaceted, especially as students learn to enter the field. Are future healthcare providers prepared enough? How should gun violence education be incorporated into the curriculum? In this episode UConn School of Medicine student Hank Weinstock and UConn School of Dental Medicine student Basant Sallam interview Dr. Kenia Mansilla-Rivera, MD (Program Director of the UConn Family Medicine Resident Program and Core Faculty Member of the Urban Service Track program) and Dr. Kiran Lorick, MD (Second-Year Resident at Asylum Hill Family Medicine Center) about the Gun Violence Home Visit Program.

4. Engaging Youth & Family in Mental Health Resilience

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the limited worldview of developing children and we must take special consideration of their mental and emotional health just as we would their physical health. It is the job of current practicing and studying clinicians to be cognizant of impending changes in children developmentally and be able to support them. In this episode we have UConn School of Nursing student Nicey Brooks and UConn School of Dental Medicine student Tyler Hailey interviewing Dr. Robert Keder, MD (Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UConn School of Medicine) and Tianna Hill, MSW (Communications Associate and a Project Coordinator for the Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc. with current board membership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI CT)).

This episode by edited by Graham McNeil.


5. Pain Management: Tackling Undertreatment

“Pain” means something different to us all. When speaking of pain in clinical practice, we tend to think about the management of it, the varying levels of analgesic strength, and the opioid crisis. A big indicator of one’s risk for pain medication underprescription is race. Ethnic minorities are routinely underprescribed opioids for pain management due to a host of stereotypes. Clinicians have a duty to continue to reject the stereotypes that lead to this sort of overlooking of vulnerable populations. In this episode we have Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant student Simon Ebbott and UConn School of Dental Medicine student Basant Sallam interviewing Kimberly Tschetter, PA-C (Alum of UST/AHEC Scholars Program Cohort 5 and the PA faculty for UST and current UConn Health PA).

This episode was edited by Basant Sallam 


6. Interprofessional Education and Collaboration

The crux of the UST/AHEC Scholars Program’s mission is to provide health profession students with ways to practice interprofessional education — learning from, about, and with each other. This equips future clinicians with the tools to effectively collaborate in an interprofessional healthcare team and provide quality, patient-centered care. This form of training is especially important for our vulnerable patients living in rural, urban, and underserved areas as they may present with complex histories falling out of any one scope of medical practice. In this episode we have UConn School of Pharmacy student Nick DeFilippo and UConn School of Dental Medicine student Tyler James interviewing Katie Merrick (4th year UConn School of Dental Medicine student gaining her dual degree in Public Health and Alum of UST/AHEC Scholars Program Cohort 11) and Moe Uddin (4th year UConn School of Medicine student and Alum UST/AHEC Scholars Program Cohort 11).

This episode was edited by Graham McNeil.


7. Home & Community Care Project

A patient may present in the office with recurrent/exacerbated issues, may be “non-compliant”, or may even be convinced that they are fine - but by visiting them at home, you get a fuller picture of the impact of the social determinants of health on their life. Social determinants of health include economic stability, physical environment, education, food, community/social context, and the healthcare system. In many urban and underserved communities, there are resources available to combat some of the barriers experienced by residents, but this information is not always easily accessible. The Home and Community Care Project aims to connect Asylum Hill Family Medical Center patients in Hartford, CT with community resources by starting the HCC Master Resource Database. In this episode we have UConn School of Dental Medicine student Basant Sallam interviewing Daniel Morocho, RN (UConn School of Nursing graduate ‘20 and a Registered Nurse at UConn Health Center) and Sarah Warzecha, LBSW (UConn School of Social Work graduate ‘21).

If you are interested in accessing the resource described within this episode, please reach out to us via email, ust.pod@gmail.com.


8. UST Interest Groups: Geriatrics

The UST/AHEC Scholars Program prides itself on constantly providing students with opportunities to cultivate leadership skills while learning and training in interprofessional groups. The Geriatrics Interest Group exemplified this mission and produced a truly noteworthy presentation at UST’s 2021 Interprofessional Summit. In this episode we have UConn School of Nursing student Nicey Brooks and UConn School of Dental Medicine student Tyler Hailey interviewing Dr. Roshni Patel, MD (Alum of UConn School of Medicine and UST/AHEC Scholars Program Cohort 9), Carlos Cardenas Peralta (UConn School of Dental Medicine Student and UST/AHEC Scholars Program Cohort 13) and Kelli Nelson (Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant student and Alum of UST/AHEC Scholars Program Cohort 13).


9. North Hartford’s Urban Ecology and Wellness Center at Keney Park

The Urban Ecology and Wellness Center is launching in the North End of Hartford with the goal of combining both wellness and urban ecology services in order to reconnect people with the healing power of nature. Environment has been recognized as a huge social determinant of health, as people are greatly influenced by the neighborhood in which they live. Improving the health of the neighborhood may in turn improve the health of residents. In this episode we have UConn School of Nursing student Nicey Brooks and UConn School of Dental Medicine student Tyler Hailey interviewing Herb Virgo (Founder and Executive Director of the Keney Park Sustainability Project) and Dr. Bruce E. Gould, MD (Founding Director of CT AHEC, former Associate Dean for Primary Care at the UConn School of Medicine and primary care internist dedicating nearly 3 decades to serving the North End of Hartford as medical director of the Burgdorf Health Center).


10. Public Health in Action: Hartford CT’s Door-to-Door Vaccination Initiative

Following the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for Covid-19 vaccinations in early 2021, vaccine hesitancy became one of the largest barriers to successful mass vaccination campaigns. This issue was especially prevalent in urban underserved communities, such as Hartford, CT. In response to this hesitancy, and fueled by a desire to protect and serve their community, members of Hartford’s COVID-19 task force, along with many dedicated volunteers, quite literally took to the streets, knocking on doors to administer Covid-19 vaccines, answer community members’ questions, and to simply have open and honest conversations. In this episode, UConn School of Medicine students Sara Schulwolf (M3) and Julia Levin (incoming M1 and 2021-2022 CT AHEC AmeriCorps Member) interviewing Liany Arroyo, MPH (Director of Hartford Health and Human Services), Alex Greenbaum, LPN (Member of Hartford’s COVID-19 task force), and Connor Merchant, MPA (Lead Community Health Worker for Hartford’s Hispanic Health Council) about all that went into the door to door vaccination campaign – the logistics, the causes of hesitancy, and the goals and definition of a “success.” Liany, Alex, and Conor share stories of the struggles and the triumphs, as well as provide invaluable advice for current and future health professionals about community engagement and health equity.