Dramatic Health Premieres New Monthly Game Changers in Medicine Podcast Series

Most people look at medical treatments and cures as gateways to better health, but they seldom know the backstories of these medical discoveries that have become taken for granted in today’s world. A baby is saved by a vitamin injection at birth. A vaccine prevents a pandemic. A daily injection keeps glucose levels in check. We know what these medicines do, but we know little about the people who made them happen. 

Game Changers in Medicine, the new monthly podcast from Dramatic Health, premiered on July 8, 2020, with “Vitamin K: This vitamin you’ve never heard of may have saved your life,” the first of a planned six-part series about the serendipitous events, chance encounters, and unlikely heroes and heroines behind some of the world’s most significant medical discoveries. Produced by Dramatic Health co-founder and CEO Sean T. Moloney, the series is hosted by renowned medical futurist, Dr. Rubin Pillay, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

According to Moloney, who developed Game Changers in Medicine‘s concept, “Many significant advances in medicine owe a lot to coincidence and plain dumb luck. Some of the most important achievements in healthcare were the result of fortuitous accidents followed by scientific rigor. But serendipity and science alone don’t improve health and healthcare. It took curious, creative, and determined scientists and clinicians to bring these game-changing medical discoveries to patients’ bedsides—and in the process, to benefit mankind.”

Sean was inspired to create the series by his grandfather Dr. William C. Moloney’s extraordinary career in medicine. Dr. Moloney was a pioneer in the field of hematology and was a recognized authority on chemotherapy treatments for leukemia and lymphoma. He held teaching positions at Tufts Medical School and Harvard Medical School and served as Chief of Hematology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

In an interview for the Western Massachusetts TV/Radio series, ArtsBeat, Sean described his thoughts about creating Game Changers in Medicine as a complement to Dramatic Health’s ongoing series of health-related videos.

Dramatic Health began to assemble a team to turn Sean’s vision into a podcast series. Sean engaged writer Sharon Johnson, whom he knew from her work co-authoring Dr. Moloney’s memoir Pioneering Hematology, to craft the podcast episodes. In describing the premiere episode, “Vitamin K: This vitamin you’ve never heard of may have saved your life,” Johnson says, “Who would have thought that a solution for excessive bleeding in baby chicks would turn out to be a Nobel Prize-worthy solution for baby humans?”

Sean sought out Dr. Rubin Pillay, MD and PhD, a high performance, versatile, and commercially astute healthcare executive offering a twenty-eight-year career of impressive successes in healthcare as a clinician, academic, leader, and innovator/entrepreneur. His TEDx talk, Become the CEO of Your Own Health, is one example of his extraordinary achievements.

Sean gathered a panel of distinguished experts to help tell the story of the discovery of Vitamin K and share their experiences working with his grandfather. Panelists in this first episode included Dr. H. Franklin Bunn, a prize-winning hematologist at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Bruce Furie, also of Harvard Medical School, who won the American Heart Association’s Distinguished Scientist Award in 2014; Dr. David Rosenthal, former medical director of the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a professor at Harvard Medical School; and Catherine Ruhl, nurse-midwife and Director of Patient Education at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.

Dr. Bunn was thrilled to be a part of the podcast series premiere. As he wrote Sharon Johnson, “Thanks so much for sending this account of Bill Moloney and vitamin K. It is very well written and beautifully presented. Please share my appreciation with Sean and Dr. Pilay, but you get hearty props and a high five for overseeing this project”.

In addition to Johnson as researcher and writer, Sean assembled his team from colleagues at Dramatic Health, including Rolando Nieves as showrunner, Lauren Wiegand as a producer, and Tom Sliwakowski as a researcher. They’re now prepping the second episode about the smallpox vaccine and its relevance to today’s COVID-19 crisis, which begins airing on August 5.

Rolando Nieves shares his enthusiasm. “Showrunning Game Changers in Medicine has been a lot of fun. As a documentary filmmaker, I like to imagine I’m now making documentaries for the ear. I work with my team to research a subject and together we tell these interesting stories that most people might not know. And the other great thing about my work has been talking with doctors and clinicians who are at the top of their fields. Their passion translates so well on the podcast and it’s such an honor to be able to share it with the world”.

Producing this podcast has been such a rewarding experience because of the access and openness we’ve gotten from such highly-esteemed physicians and specialists”, says Producer Lauren Wiegand. “With video production, we always love hearing from our physicians but our time together can be limited. To be able to sit down and have an extensive conversation about such interesting topics has been an amazing learning experience for us all.”

Game Changers in Medicine researcher Tom Sliwakowski says “During the production of our podcast, I’ve learned how exciting and valuable podcasts can be. To be able to collaborate and interview a thought leader in the field from any part of the globe in just a matter of seconds is pretty remarkable. To be able to educate, captivate, and inspire others with these often unbelievable stories of serendipity, perseverance, and chance discovery is something that I’m very proud of. With an All-Star team by my side and a Rolodex of prominent experts, I look forward to combing through the history books and shedding more light on some of the breakthroughs that continue to make a difference”.

Future episodes of Game Changers in Medicine will highlight the serendipitous encounters and surprising stories behind the discoveries of Warfarin, and insulin.

Game Changers in Medicine is available wherever people find their podcasts. We hope that you’ll listen, rate, subscribe and share Game Changers in Medicine with friends and colleagues. For further information on the podcast series, visit www.gamechangersinmedicine.com

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