The #Coronavirus Edition

[ Catch previous episodes here ]




GUEST | Dr. Debbie Chatman Bryant, RN

On our September 21, 2020 episode, Dr. Debbie Chatman Bryant, RN, associate dean for practice at MUSC's College of Nursing, talked about the important role nurses are playing during the pandemic. Nurses are already often the primary point of care in their communities. Earlier, when in honor of the 200th of Florence Nightingale's birth, the World Health 

Organization (WHO) designed 2020 as The Year of The Nurse, they could never have predicted this would coincide with the unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19, bringing nurses into focus.  Listen in below!

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GUEST | Gospel singing star Jarell Smalls

On our August 31, 2020 episode, gospel star Jarell J. Smalls, shared his experience with the coronavirus, from at first feeling rundown, to gasping for breath, to nearly suffocating and dying of it. A native of Charleston's East Side, he has frontlined for groups like Lee Williams & QCs, Darrell McFadden, Canton Spirituals, Doc & the Hi-Lites, and more. He produced his #1 Christmas hit "Mary Rock the Baby" in 2009, and his billboard-charting single "Prayer Room" was nominated for four Stellar Awards (the Grammys of gospel music) in 2019. He and his group Gospel Inspiration just released another hit single, "We Need Your Power." Listen in below!

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GUEST | Paula Orr, MD, local physician and leader

On our August 24, 2020 episode, Dr. Paula Orr and Garcia Williams, executive director of The Medi, talked about a new task force what it will do for the Charleston-area community, and who will serve on it. Dr. Orr is passionate about women's health as a physician and the owner of Charleston Women's Wellness Center and medical director for Charleston Health and Wellness Medi-Spa. She is also president of the Charleston (SC) Chapter of The Links, Inc, a memer of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.'s Charleston Alumnae Chapter, and has served on a variety of boards of directors. Listen in below!

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GUEST | Helen C. Ballestas, PhD, nurse educator

On our August 17, 2020 episode, adult nurse practitioner and nurse educator Helen C. Ballestas, PhD, discussed the consequences of social isolation during the pandemic. From anxiety to depression and more, the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to deeply affect us because we are inherently social beings. Being forced into quasi-seclusion because of the pandemic may have consequences to how we live our lives. Understanding them and being protective are our first defense. This episode focused on the why, the signs and symptoms, and how you can help yourself and others. Listen in below! 

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GUEST | Dr. Reshma Khan, Shifa Free Clinic director

On our August 10, 2020 episode, Shifa Free Clinic founder and director Reshma Khan, MD, discussed resources to support those in need during the pandemic, including multi-specialty healthcare and hunger presentation services for the residents of our community who do not have health insurance and have an income level that falls within 250% of the federal poverty level since January 2012. 


Listen in below! 

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GUEST | Tarsha Wheaton, Early Head Start program director 

On our August 3, 2020 episode, Charleston County First Steps' Early Head Start Program Director Tarsha Wheaton discussed the use of technology as a Medi Partner and how it is being utilized to support families during COVID-19 and beyond. Her perspective is particularly useful as a professional who has served children and families in the Charleston area for 10 years, and who holds a master's degree in counseling and a bachelor's degree in education. She is also a member of the South Carolina Head Start Association and the South Carolina Infant and Mental Health Association. Listen in below! 

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GUEST | Erica Taylor, chief of staff, Charleston County Schools 

On our July 27, 2020 episode, Charleston County School District Chief of Staff Erica Taylor discussed the readiness of the school district for students and teachers to return to school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, plus preparation that's still needed. Eric has won multiple awards and sits on the boards of the Trident Urban League and the Charleston Leadership Foundation.

Listen in below! 

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GUEST | Professor Damon Fordham, historian & author

On our July 20, 2020 episode, Professor Damon L. Fordham shared his perspective on the Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it relates to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Fordham, adjunct professor of history at The Citadel and Charleston Southern University, has done extensive research on the path of two pandemics. History teaches lessons, and his perspective provided valued insights as to how we as a people survived those previous epidemics and what we can do to survive and thrive in 2020 and beyond. Professor Fordham has written three books and many articles on on the lesser known stories of Charleston’s black history. His performance of “Lost Stories of Black Charleston” at the Charleston City Gallery was celebrated as a part of the 2018 Moja Arts Festival. Listen in below!

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GUEST | Thaddeus Bell, MD, physician & nonprofit founder

On our July 13, 2020 episode, Dr. Bell, founder of Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc., shared his perspectives on the pandemic. He has been featured on a number of broadcasts addressing the full spectrum on the impact of COVID-19, from contact tracing, coping with isolation, and the importance of maintaining your overall health to how to manage emergency medical issues. Dr. Bell is a practicing family practice physician in Charleston, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine, and the founder of Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc. (CGHC), a nonprofit created to decrease health disparities by providing health education for African Americans and other under-served populations. He is also the 2020 recipient of the Harvey Gantt Triumph Award, presented at the 48th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

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COVID-19: the

Independence Day edition 

GUEST | Garcia Williams, director of The Medi

On our July 6, 2020 episode, The Medi's Garcia Williams and WJNI radio host Terry Base recapped our many COVID-19 episodes,full of information not easily found elsewhere. In the nearly 3 months since the MEDI MONDAYS show debuted as a public service, our experts have covered: the very latest on COVID-19 from our state epidemiologist; social justice and advocacy on matters the disproportionately impact people of color in our community, including COVID-19; how historians are collecting the #coronavirus experiences of African Americans, and how you can submit yours; how the pandemic is affecting, and will affect, young children with special needs, autism, & disabilities, and pregnant women; COVID-19's impact on communities of color, from US Rep. James Clyburn, chair of the House Committee on Coronavirus; and more.

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GUEST | Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina state epidemiologist

On our June 29, 2020 episode, Dr. Bell discussed the latest on this respiratory illness that has infected a reported 26,613 people in South Carolina and killed 673 as of the morning of June 25. Dr. Bell has served in a variety of roles for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), specializing in disease surveillance, identifying outbreaks, and developing guidance for the public and for healthcare providers. She has been our state's epidemiologist for nearly eight years. She continues to follow new facts about COVID-19 as they evolve from research into the transmisision of and progress of this newly identified disease. Listen in below!

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OF isolation 

GUEST | Larry Gourdine, executive, The Opioid Collaborative

On our June 22, 2020 episode, Larry Gourdine, chief engagement officer for The Opioid Collaborative, discussed resources that are critical to support those in addiction recovery during this pandemic. Mr. Gourdine, an advocate for the addition population, talked about how addiction is a disease of isolation, which can be particularly problematic during a pandemic that isolates people from one another. Connecting to care and care transitions are critical to breaking the cycle of addiction treatment and relapse..

Listen in below!

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COVID-19 and THE


GUEST | Michael Allen, historian of African Americans

On our June 15, 2020 episode, Michael Allen discussed his efforts to document the experiences of African Americans living through the coronavirus pandemic in the Carolinas. His project, called "Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic" involves the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission and uses a web portal to capture African Americans' impressions of the coronavirus' impact on their lives. Black South Carolinians are invited to submit stories, photography, videos, artwork, poetry, and other material that illustrate their impressions of the pandemicListen in below!

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COVID-19 and advocacy

and social justice 

GUEST | Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III, Vice President of NAN

On our June 8, 2020 episode, Rev. Nelson Rivers discussed social justice and advocacy on matters that disproportionately impact people of color in our community. Rev. Rivers, pastor of Charleston's Charity Missionary Baptist Church and vice president of Religious Affairs and External Relations for the National Action Network (NAN), also shared his perspective on COVID-19 and how he has been engaged to make sure we are present at the table in all aspects of the pandemic, including testing and resources to protect our community.

Listen in below!

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GUEST | Berkeley First Steps Director Adrienne Troy-Frazier

On our June 5, 2020 episode (postponed from Monday, June 1, due to the George Floyd killing), Adrienne Troy-Frazier, executive director of Berkeley County First Steps as well as leader of the Berkeley Early 
Education and Care Collaborative, discussed the COVID-19 pandemic's unexpected effects on young children from newborns to age 8, including those with special needs, autism, and disabilities. She also spoke about how the pandemic is affecting pregnant women in our region.  

Listen in below!

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COVID-19 testing

+ taking on the experts

GUEST | Franklin C. Fetter Healthcare COO, Dr. Slaughter

During a special and unusual Memorial Day episode on May 25, popular WJNI Gospel Radio host Terry Base chose his favorite snippets from previous episodes, and The Medi’s Garcia Williams gave listeners her take—in addition to our experts’ answers.

Surprise guest Dr. Sharvette Slaughter, chief operating officer of Franklin C. Fetter Healthcare, also appeared on the show to give a COVID-19 testing update. 

Listen in below!

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COVID-19 and health


GUEST | KershawHealth COO Susan Burroughs

On our May 18, 2020 episode, Susan Burroughs, KershawHealth's chief operations officer and the president of the National Association of Health Services Executives' South Carolina chapter, discussed some of KershawHealth's on-the-ground experience as well as the position of the NAHSE on COVID-19... including what it's doing to elevate the quality of healthcare services for minorities and underserved communities, and its plans to advance and develop African American leaders in healthcare.

Listen in below!

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GUEST | US Rep. James E. Clyburn

On our May 11, 2020 episode, House Majority Whip James Clyburn discussed COVID-19's impact on communities of color, from overall care to availability of testing, to the impact of technology on COVID-19 and its lack of accessibility on people of color, his new role and responsibilities heading the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee on Coronavirus, to what we need to know and do to secure resources during the pandemic, to healthcare fraud and other fraud that has run rampant during the pandemic and victimized African Americans. 

Listen in below!

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GUEST | Clinic director Jada McCray, LCSW-C

On our May 4, 2020 episode, Jada McCray, executive director of BTST Services, a community-based outpatient mental health clinic in Charleston, SC, shared her perspectives on mental health during the pandemic.

Mental health issues badly affect black Americans, 55% of whom live in the South. Add to that: more than 16% of black Americans had a diagnosable mental health illness in the past year. That's more than 16.8 million Americans... or more than the populations of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Houston combined. Black Americans living below the poverty line are 3 times more likely to report serious psychological distress. And worse, there's a longstanding mental health stigma regarding mental illness among African Americans, preventing many from reaching out for help.

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covid-19 and 

your mind

GUEST | Medical expert Paula Orr, MD

On our April 27, 2020 episode, Dr. Paula Orr, physician and owner of Charleston Women's Wellness Center, shared her perspectives on wellness and mindfulness during the coronavirus pandemic, including how we can focus on our mind, body, and spirit to encourage ourselves and keep ourselves strong during a pandemic experience today's Americans have never encountered. 

This has never been more needed for those impacted by the social determinants of health. The poor and people of color have financial, health, and many other stresses at the best of times, but during the pandemic many are facing worse as they encounter layoffs and the prospect of friends and family dying of the disease.

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GUEST | Nonprofit leader Garcia Williams

On our April 20, 2020 episode, Garcia Williams, executive director of The Medi, shared why the MEDI MONDAYS: Coronavirus Edition show was created.

The show began airing live during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and its associated "Stay at Home" orders in South Carolina. 

Because The Medi is a nonprofit focused on helping communities and individuals who have been affected by the social determinants of health, Garcia welcomed the opportunity to use radio as a new way to help. On April 13, Charleston, SC's WJSNI Gospel Radio began airing MEDI MONDAY'S public conversations with experts about the additional effects of COVID-19 on the poor, black, and brown people of the US.

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covid-19 and 

Black America

GUEST | Medical ethicist Glenn Ellis

On our April 13, 2020 episode, Glenn shared a few "truths" that few know about, and are specific to African Americans and poor people in the US:

CALL YOUR DOCTOR | For millions of black, brown, and poor people in this country, that is not an option. 

STAY AT HOME | Why home might be one of the least safe places that people of color or poor people can be during the pandemic. 

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS | More than half of black Americans are a vulnerable population!

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