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Rural Health Pulse Podcast by IUP and IRMC Continues with Episode on COVID-19 Testing

Community news | Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Indiana University of Pennsylvania and IRMC’s podcast, “Rural Health Pulse,” continues with an episode on the IUP-IRMC COVID-19 testing collaborative and partnership.

Episode 2 will be available Dec. 15, and features Dr. Narayanaswamy Bharathan, chair, IUP Department of Biology, and Jackie Sansig, IRMC director of Laboratory and Respiratory Services. The episode explores the evolution of the same-day COVID-19 testing process at IRMC by Dr. Bharathan, and the difference it made in patient care.

The same-day testing collaboration at IRMC began in April 2020. From April 2020 to May 2021, Dr. Bharathan tested more than 20,500 samples for the virus; the testing work uses IUP equipment in an IRMC laboratory.

The podcast, which is available for free on Spotify and from the IRMC website, will have monthly episodes through August 2023.

The podcast launched in November in celebration of National Rural Health Day on Nov. 17.

The podcasts include professionals from IRMC and from IUP and is recorded by students in the IUP Department of Communications Media under the direction of communications faculty member Dr. Mark Piwinsky. It is produced by Christina Koren, IUP director of strategic partnerships. Dr. Jim Kinneer, IRMC Chief Human Resources Officer, serves as the “host” for the shows.

The podcasts are part of a continued collaboration between IUP and IRMC on the topic of rural health care, focusing on issues and stories impacting the health of the region and programs and initiatives designed to improve healthcare and wellness.

The first episode of the series features Dr. Amanda Vaglia, family medicine physician at IRMC, discussing the IRMC residency program.

Additional upcoming episodes are:

  • Rick Adkins, IUP professor of mathematics, discussing the collaborative wastewater research project and COVID-19 analytics (January 2023)
  • Dan Clark, IRMC director, Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery; director, IRMC Comprehensive Breast Center, discussing robotics in surgery (February 2023)
  • An introduction to IRMC residents (March 2023)
  • Dan Clark, IRMC director, Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery; director, IRMC Comprehensive Breast Center, discussing breast cancer (April 2023)
  • Steve Hovan, interim dean, IUP John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, discussing IUP’s Kopchick Hall, future home to the Kopchick College (May 2023)
  • Wendy Haislip, IRMC Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Pennsylvania rural health model and workforce challenges (June 2023)
  • Erin Clark, clinic director at IUP’s Speech and Hearing Clinic and assistant professor in the IUP Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services, discussing the clinic’s community outreach (July 2023)
  • Katie Donald, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Punxsutawey Area Hospital, discussing rural healthcare models and challenges (August 2023)