As the popularity of podcasts continues to increase, especially in a period of social distancing, two Stony Brook graduate students saw the need to create a podcast about healthcare, making it their Master of Public Health practicum project.
“The idea sprang from a lively discussion in my contemporary Issues in Public Health course taught by Professor Andrew Flescher,” Samantha Frontario said. “Through podcasting we are able to take the conversations we have in class and speak to experts in the field from which a greater audience can learn.”
Stony Brook University has no shortage of experts who are qualified to speak on healthcare topics — experts such as Karen Dybus, PA, Kerri Mahoney, MPH, Lauren Hale, PhD, and Danielle Merolla, PsyD, who have all addressed topics on the show, which is co-hosted by Frontario and Tracey Rosenlicht.
So far, Frontario and Rosenlicht have interviewed those authorities on STIs/STDs, Sleep/Adderall, Mental Health and CBD.
The podcast is sponsored by the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO) and the topics are chosen based on various preventative services that it provides for Stony Brook students.
“We chose podcasts because we personally love them and feel that it’s easy to listen and learn about anything wherever you are, whether it be at work, the gym or driving in your car,” Frontario said.
When deciding on the monthly podcast topic, the co-hosts employ social media, including a growing following on Instagram, to ask their listener base what they would like to hear about.
The co-hosts take turns tackling the research, arranging for interviews and narrating the podcast. While Frontario does more of the recording, editing and uploading, it is Rosenlicht’s job to market it. They view their collaboration as an equal partnership.
“We always use published research studies and compare the findings with what is being communicated to the general public,” Frontario said. “Once we have thoroughly researched a topic we then look for an expert on campus to book for an interview on the chosen topic. Then we begin script writing, including listing our takeaway points and interview questions. After we record the interview and background segments, we edit the separate pieces of the recording, put it all together in GarageBand, send it to our preceptor, Smita Majumdar Das, PsyD, director of CPO, for review, and upload it to Spotify.
“We believe it is important for health information to be reported by experts and people who are in the field because the distribution of misinformation can spread so easily,” Rosenlicht said.
“We make sure that our podcast is tailored to students from a student’s perspective so there is no barrier for students to feel uncomfortable. We have found this method to be successful because when students know that fellow students have similar concerns, they feel more empowered to seek out information or help,” she said.
“Like many other institutions who have health communication podcast programs, we believe that Stony Brook University should be a leader in health communication because its roots are in health services and the sciences.”
— Glenn Jochum