We’re thrilled to welcome Tista Ghosh, the first female Chief Medical Officer of Colorado, as our most recent guest on the Make Meaning podcast! Tista has found her purpose identifying root causes of disease and working to prevent it, whether chronic or infectious. As a doctor of internal medicine, she saw alarming patterns in patient health that could be prevented if addressed long before they became an actual risk.
Driven by a life-long desire to help others, Tista turned her focus to public health, leading her to become Colorado’s first female Chief Medical Officer, where she strives for positive health throughout the state through public education initiatives and prevention programs. She’s also introducing policies that effect change. Listen as Tista talks with Lynne about societal causes of disease, the opioid crisis, vaccinations, and the need to stay the course in the long-game of societal change for better public health.
Since this interview, Tista has taken a new position as Senior Director of Impact Evaluation/Regional Medical Director with GrandRounds, a digital health company that works with major employers across the country (WalMart, Target, Home Depot, Comcast, etc.) to improve health care for their employees. The opportunity to impact millions of lives on a national scale, as well as the flexibility to work from home with two young children was the perfect next step for Tista. “I derive just as much meaning from my family as I do from my passion for helping others, and so this offered me the opportunity to focus on both,” said Tista.
In this episode, Lynne and Tista discuss:
- What it means to be the first female Chief Medical Officer of Colorado
- The dichotomy of fast-paced outbreak control and long-game societal change
- The alarming percentage of patient health impacted by behaviors, environment, genetics, and socio-economic status
- The importance of the long view, a road map, patience, and persistence
- The link between poverty and disease, and how access to healthy foods and early childhood education are key
- How the opioid crisis has impacted health and steps being taken to stop it
- Truths and misperceptions about vaccinations
- How we can make life safer and healthier for ourselves, our families, and our communities
Links and Resources:
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Epidemic Intelligence Service
- US Community Preventive Services Task Force
- US Public Health Service
- World Health Organization
- Listeria outbreak
- The opioid epidemic
- Vaccines and herd immunity
Coming up November 25th on the Make Meaning Podcast – The Gratitude Episode. Join Lynne for this special 2-part episode as she speaks with Kristi Nelson, an expert from the Network for Grateful Living, and Nedal Al-Hayek, a Syrian refugee who has made a new life for himself and his family here in the U.S., and is grateful for the support of caring people. What are you grateful for? Check out this episode as we prepare for our national Day of Thanksgiving!