Listen to the podcast on Spotify or YouTube.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Indiana Regional Medical Center’s podcast, Rural Health Pulse, continues with an episode with Erin Clark, director of IUP’s Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic and assistant professor in the IUP Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services.

Clark will discuss the clinic’s community outreach. The IUP Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic provides treatment for children, adolescents, and adults. IUP students in training provide services under the direct supervision of certified speech-language pathologists using up-to-date, research-based treatments.

The Rural Health Pulse podcast is available for free on Spotify and from the IRMC website. Monthly episodes will be released through August 2023.

The podcasts include professionals from IRMC and from IUP and are recorded by students in the IUP Department of Communications Media under the direction of communications faculty member Mark Piwinsky and produced by IUP Director of Strategic Partnerships Christina Koren. Jim Kinneer, IRMC chief human resources officer, serves as the host for the shows.

The Rural Health Pulse 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.

Clark started her career in hospitals, helping patients with their speech and language skills. She took her experience caring for patients and has used it to inspire her teaching as the clinic director and internship coordinator for the Speech-Language Pathology program.

Before joining the IUP faculty, she worked as a medical speech-language pathologist in a critical access hospital, providing services across the settings of skilled nursing, acute care, subacute rehabilitation, outpatient, home health, and early intervention.

In addition to directing the IUP Clinic, Clark teaches classes in neurology and neurogenic communication and swallowing disorders and undergraduate audiology and aural rehabilitation classes.

Rural Health Pulse Podcast

The Rural Health Pulse podcast launched in November in celebration of National Rural Health Day on Nov. 17, 2022. Amanda Vaglia, family medicine physician and director of the IRMC Residency Program, was featured on the first episode of the series, discussing the residency program.

Episode two of the podcast features Narayanaswamy Bharathan, chair, IUP Department of Biology, and Jackie Sansig, IRMC director of Laboratory and Respiratory Services, discussing the evolution of the same-day COVID-19 testing process at IRMC by Bharathan, and the difference it made in patient care.

Episode three features Rick Adkins, professor of mathematics in the IUP Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, discussing the community wastewater surveillance system. Indiana Borough has had a sewer surveillance program with Biobot Analytics, Inc. since April 2020. Weekly flow samples are collected over a 24-hour period at the headwaters of the wastewater plant and sent to BioBot Analytics.

Episode four has IRMC’s Dan Clark, director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery and director of IRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center, discussing robotics in surgery. Since coming to IRMC, Clark has been integral in IRMC’s successfully obtaining a second da Vinci Xi robotic surgery system. In summer 2022, IRMC’s robotic surgery team surpassed a milestone of 2,200 robotic surgeries performed in the hospital’s state-of-the-art operating rooms. IRMC offers robotic surgery in the areas of general surgery, bariatrics, gynecology, orthopedics, thoracic, and (coming soon) urology. Clark serves as a national proctor for robotic surgery and plays an important role in certifying robotic skills competency.

IRMC’s five family medicine residents—Nawar Al Janabi, of Baghdad, Iraq; Tanvi Bharathan, of Indiana; Mohit Chhatpar, of New York; Robin Rodriguez, of Corpus Christi, Texas; and Narinder Sangha, of California—are featured on episode five of the podcast.

Episode six interviews Clark presenting an overview of breast cancer medical education and care from IRMC. Clark has more than 25 years of breast cancer experience and more than 12 years of experience with genetic counseling. In this role, Clark serves as a breast surgeon as well as a genetic counselor.

Episode seven features Steve Hovan, dean of IUP’s John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and IUP Distinguished University Professor, discussing IUP’s John J. and Char Kopchick Hall, future home to the Kopchick College.

Episode eight is an interview with Wendy Haislip, IRMC vice president and chief nursing officer, discussing Pennsylvania’s rural health model and workforce challenges.

The final episode of season one of Rural Health Pulse, to be released August 31, will feature Katie Donald, marketing and public relations specialist at Punxsutawney Area Hospital, discussing rural healthcare models and challenges.