Contagious Conversations Season 6: Health Equity and COVID-19, the Journey to Discovering Hepatitis C and Becoming an Empowered Patient

Imagine you are battling cancer and receiving chemotherapy treatment at a local medical center. Then imagine you learn that you contracted hepatitis C from unsafe injection practices during this cancer treatment—a shocking realization. Then imagine you turn this personal tragedy into a crusade to save lives and help others. This is the topic of one of the new episodes in season 6 of our Contagious Conversations podcast released today.

The sixth season of Contagious Conversations features three in-depth conversations with experts who are sharing perspectives on some of the world’s toughest health challenges, including tackling the barriers to health equity and systemic racism during the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing unsafe injection practices and advocating for patient safety, and following the journey of a Nobel Prize winner in discovering hepatitis C.

This season’s guests include:

  • Dr. Harvey Alter, senior scholar at the National Institutes of Health, shares the story of his 50-plus year career and how his research led to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. He also shares how he learned that he was a winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Dr. Evelyn McKnight, national patient safety advocate, was battling breast cancer in 2002 when she and her husband Thomas learned she contracted hepatitis C from unsafe injection practices during treatment. Dr. McKnight shares how she turned personal tragedy into a crusade to save lives.
  • Dr. Lauren Smith, chief health equity and strategy officer for the CDC Foundation, discusses her new role as chief health equity and strategy officer at the CDC Foundation. Dr. Smith also shares her perspective on the importance of health equity, systemic racism and its impact on the ability for disproportionately-impacted populations to be resilient amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am honored to serve as host of this podcast, and I really enjoy talking to these inspirational guests. They all have a powerful story to share.

Please subscribe and listen to Contagious Conversations today. You can also subscribe or download on Apple of Google Podcasts or your favorite podcasting app.

Photo of Claire Stinson
Claire Stinson is a communications officer for the CDC Foundation.