Empowered Health show

Empowered Health

Summary: Created and hosted by journalist Emily Kumler, Empowered Health stems from a history of frustration in finding reliable information on women’s bodies and how to best care for them. Each week, we will be breaking down the barriers of health misinformation and arming women with the knowledge they need to live healthier, happier lives.


 Ep. 43: Dr. Lauren Powell takes the lead at TIME'S UP Healthcare and advances the mission of equality for women in the workforce | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:53

TIME'S UP, a movement against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, launched affiliate TIME'S UP Healthcare in March 2019 to create more equitable conditions for female healthcare professionals. The healthcare industry is dominated by women, they make up 80 percent of the workforce, yet they only hold 20 percent of leadership roles. We speak to TIME'S UP Healthcare's new executive director, Dr. Lauren Powell, to hear what she hopes the organization can accomplish.

 Ep. 42: Career advice, learning to pivot with Wendy Sachs and Melini Jesudason | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:55

The new year is often accompanied by the desire to change whatever feels stagnant in our lives. For some, that change may be in their career path. But what does switching industries entail? Melini Jesudason, who is currently a yoga teacher and influencer, explains how she had to start over from scratch after leaving a successful career in investment banking. Pivoting expert Wendy Sachs shares some of the tricks of the trade from her book “Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot and Relaunch Their Careers

 Ep. 41: Mammograms, maybe not for every woman, with Dr. Daniel Kopans and Dr. Jenn Conti | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:25:06

In the first part of our mammogram series, we unpack the doubts regarding mammography’s effectiveness. In this episode, Dr. Daniel Kopans, a retired radiologist, explains why he thinks women should get mammograms. We break down how statistics surrounding screening can be manipulated and why you should be aware of your absolute risk. These opposing opinions can leave women feeling confused, so we ask ob-gyn Dr. Jenn Conti how she advises her patients in their decision-making process.

 Ep. 40: Mammogram myths, what do the numbers tell us about this breast cancer test | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:24

If breast cancer is detected early, it is very responsive to treatment—but the choice to get screened via mammogram is an area of heated debate. Different governing bodies offer conflicting guidelines on when and how often to get a mammogram. In part I of our two-part series on mammography’s effectiveness, Dr. Mette Kalagar explains the impact of overdiagnosis. Dr. Anthony Miller discusses findings from his large randomized control screening trial, which followed almost 90,000 women for 25 years.

 Ep. 39: Dr. Julie Foucher-Urcuyo: a lesson in high performance and goal setting | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 57:53

While completing her undergrad at the University of Michigan, Dr. Julie Foucher-Urcuyo craved the community she felt as a high school athlete. She rediscovered that feeling after joining a local Crossfit affiliate. Foucher-Urcuyo went on compete in the Crossfit Games–some of which she was in medical school during– and became an influential member of the Crossfit world. Emily and Foucher-Urcuyo talk goal-setting, family medicine, Crossfit, overcoming perfectionism and personal fulfillment.

 Ep. 38: The credibility crisis in women’s health, a look at the debate between Dr. Jennifer Gunter and Jennifer Block | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:14:30

Four days after publication, Jennifer Block's op-ed “Doctors Are Not Gods” was retracted from Scientific American after severe backlash. The piece critiqued doctors who come across as all-knowing, specifically targeting influential ob-gyn Dr. Jen Gunter, who doesn't hold back when informing Twitter users about evidence-backed medical advice for women. Block argues that Gunter's dismissal of alternative treatments may invalidate women's lived experiences. Emily asks Block: why did you write this piece?

 Ep. 37: Female solo travel, security, risks and rewards | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 57:13

Each year, about 32 million American women travel solo, according to the Travel Industry Association. For female solo-travelers, safety is always top of mind. Erika Weisbrod, director of security solutions for International SOS, is an expert in travel risk management. Weisbrod breaks down the necessary precautions women should take while traveling. Diana Edelman, who spent many years as a travel blogger living overseas, discusses the pros and cons of the ex-pat lifestyle compared to vacationing.

 Ep. 36: Jessica Nabongo: the first black woman to travel every country in the world | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:24

In October 2019, Jessica Nabongo became the first black woman to travel to every country in the world. Not only is Nabongo an expert traveler, but she has a wealth of knowledge on international tourism and development. Between her Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, being employed by the UN, starting two tourism-focused companies, and hitting all 195 counties in the world, Nabongo is going to give us the scoop on how to be the ultimate female jetsetter.

 Ep. 35: Your female brain with Dr. Jill Goldstein | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:07:12

Did you know there is a connection between mental health and medical disorders like cardiovascular disease or Alzheimer's disease? Clinical neuroscientist Jill Goldstein, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Harvard Medical School and the executive director of the Innovation Center on Sex Differences in Medicine, explains why women are disproportionately affected by these co-occurences. They have twice the risk of developing a co-occurrence of heart disease and depression than men do.

 Ep. 34: Progesterone and pregnancy: a look at infertility and hormones | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:28

Pregnancy is made difficult by having low levels of the hormone progesterone, a fact many women are unaware of. After experiencing IVF for her first child, Amy Beckley, a researcher with expertise in hormone signaling, wondered if there was an easier way to conceive. She began to track her progesterone, discovering she had low levels. After using supplements, she delivered a baby without IVF. Beckley wants to help others trying to conceive, so she invented Proov, an at-home test to track progesterone.

 Ep. 33: Infertility struggles and IVF with Dr. Alan Penzias | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:07:52

Approximately 6.1 million women in America struggle to get pregnant every year, according to the CDC. This leads many couples to explore assisted reproductive technologies, most commonly IVF. In part I of our infertility series, we explain what women need to understand about infertility, what the process of IVF is like, and how much emotional and physical labor is involved. Dr. Alan Penzias discusses the most common infertility issues, what the typical treatment process involves and how age plays a role.

 Ep. 32: Tech trying to make pregnancy and childbirth safer: Mahmee, Nuvo, and Bloomlife | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:42

More women are dying from childbirth today than when our moms had babies. Pregnancy and childbirth are complex and tech companies are hoping to help make these experiences safer. There has been little innovation in this space since the 1970s. The need for creative solutions to fix maternal problems is clear, so we wanted to know what the tech companies were doing to help make pregnancy and childbirth more safe.

 Ep. 31: Pan-Mass Challenge: A cancer-fundraising success story | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:07:45

The Pan-Mass Challenge's (PMC) annual bike ride fundraiser broke records with this year's $63 million gift to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The PMC, led by Billy and Meredith Starr, has exclusively raised $717 million for Dana-Farber over its 40-year history. Dana-Farber president and chief executive Dr. Laurie Glimcher explains how the funds impact patient care and research. Over 150 Dana-Farber employees participated in the last ride, including Dr. Katherine Janeway, who was a cancer patient herself.

 Ep. 30: Sugar's effect on children, families, and school lunch with Dr. Shakha Gillin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:36

What do you feed your children at snack time? Fruit snacks? Kid’s yogurt? Gatorade? So many of us don’t realize how much sugar is in these foods, which are often marketed as healthy options. With over two decades of experience as a pediatrician, Dr. Shakha Gillin noticed how many health issues could be solved by a better diet. She realized to fix kid’s eating habits, she needed to educate parents and the school system, the main sources teaching kids the right way to take care of themselves.

 Ep. 29: Abortion access: the impact on mom, children and society, with Diana Greene Foster, Dr. Jenn Conti and Dr. Erica Cahill | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:43

Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are among states that have passed laws challenging Roe v. Wade's ruling. With the possibility of states overturning the Supreme Court's decision, we looked at how being denied an abortion affects women. The Turnaway Study, led by Diana Foster Greene, compares the outcomes of women who received an abortion with women who were denied an abortion. OB-GYNs Dr. Jenn Conti and Dr. Erica Cahill further explain the challenges of abortion providers face in the current climate.


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