Health Yeah! With Monica Robins
How to fix the pandemic/opioid epidemic disaster

How to fix the pandemic/opioid epidemic disaster

November 18, 2021

This episode is about the opioid epidemic and how the pandemic is impacting those battling addiction.  A new CDC report just released finds the number of overdose deaths reached one hundred thousand.  That’s the largest single year toll ever recorded.  The study looked at deaths from April 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, until April 21.

Ohio is no stranger to the opioid epidemic and in past years has been one of the leading states for drug overdose deaths in the nation.  Experts say the current overdose deaths are largely from fentanyl in meth and cocaine.  Ohio saw a near 27 percent increase overdose deaths.

The state recently started a "Beat the Stigma" education marketing campaign and Ohio received $24 million from the recent opioid settlement from one drug company earlier this year.  But what will it take to get control of a problem that seems to be once again spiraling out of control.  To help sort through it, I gathered a panel of experts in the field.

Jason Joyce is the Executive Director of Hitchcock Center for Women he’s also a Licensed Clinical Counselor and Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor.

Thomas Stuber is the President and Chief Legislative Officer of The LCADA Way and an Adjunct Professor of Addiction Counseling at LCCC.  He recently retired as CEO of The LCADA Way after leading the organization for the past 21 years.

Pam Bouyer is Clinical Director at the Women's Recovery Center and John Lisy is the Executive Director of the Shaker Heights Youth Center.  

WEBSITES and Resources:



My brain tumor isn‘t done with me yet.

My brain tumor isn‘t done with me yet.

October 17, 2021

Today is my "Craniversary."  Two years ago on October 17, 2019 I underwent brain surgery at Cleveland Clinic to remove a sphenoid wing orbital meningioma.  I know it's a mouthful of a name.  Meningiomas are common, one in 32,000 people get one every year.  The majority are benign, and while that's a good thing, depending on the location, even benign tumors can be fatal.  

While my tumor is common, the location (behind my left eye) is not.  My initial surgery was complex and I knew going in that they wouldn't be able to remove it all.  We chose not to do radiation back then, because if I needed another surgery, the radiation would make it even more difficult if not impossible.  

So we watched, waited and every six months I had an MRI to see if my residual tumors were growing.  The surgery left me essentially with four residual tumors.  One, the dangerous one, is 3mm from my carotid artery, one on my optic nerve, one on the back of my left eye and one in my eye socket.  The last one is the problem.  It decided to spread into my cavernous sinus.  So in mid-December I'll be heading back into surgery.  Only this time, I'm a candidate for a minimally invasive type of procedure.  They'll try to remove as much as they can by accessing the tumor through my eyelid.  I will likely need reconstruction surgery on my face. 

As we get closer tos surgery, I'll update you with more podcasts on the subject and of course I'll be reporting on my journey with the hope of educating and helping those who may need more information about these types of tumors. 




The legal wellness advice you didn‘t know you needed

The legal wellness advice you didn‘t know you needed

October 7, 2021

When was the last time you checked your “legal” wellness?  We typically think of health and wellbeing in the physical sense.  But there are other areas of your life that need to be healthy too and one of them is your legal health. 

There may be obvious times you need to get a lawyer, but there are also many day-to-day events when you need some legal advice, and you may not even know it.  Are you always clicking agree when you update your computer or phone?  Are you tossing those postcards that say something about a lawsuit, but the print is too fine and complicated to read?  Dan Karon is a legal expert and consumer advocate and in this episode, he’s going to explain some legal issues you likely didn’t even know you needed to know. 




It‘s not the same old COVID, why parents need to take new variants seriously

It‘s not the same old COVID, why parents need to take new variants seriously

September 15, 2021

Earlier this week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine joined with the Ohio Children's Hospitals Association in a direct appeal to school superintendents to require masks for staff and students during the current surge of the coronavirus. 

Data that support this appeal include: 

  • Since August 15, 2021, there have been 29,823 Ohio school-aged kids ages 5 to 17 with confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19.
  • Cases among this age group increased 198 percent from the week of August 15th as compared to the week ending September 4.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics says COVID-19 cases among children have increased 240 percent nationally since early July when the Delta variant began to surge. During that same period in Ohio, there has been a 2000 percent increase in cases among Ohio children.
  • COVID-19 cases are increasing at nearly twice the rate among school-aged kids as compared to the rest of the population. This past week Ohio saw a 44 percent increase among school-aged children and only a 17 percent increase among the rest of the population.
  • Over the two-week period ending September 4, 2021, there was an average of 909 cases per 100,000 school-aged Ohio kids versus 561 cases per 100,000 people comprising the rest of the population. 
  • The 16 days with the highest number of cases per day throughout the entire pandemic for kids aged 5 to 17 in Ohio have all been in the last 19 days. This includes every day except the three days of the Labor Day weekend.
  • In Ohio school districts where masks are optional, among school-aged kids, there are both higher case rates per 100,000 at 945.7 and a greater week-over-week increase in cases. School districts where masks are optional have seen a 54 percent week-over-week increase compared to a 34 percent increase in school districts where masks are either required for all or required for some (usually K-8th grade).

The Governor says about 50% of Ohio schools do have some type of mask requirement.  From the medical perspective, the issue is more about overloading Children's Hospitals.  Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital had longer wait times and more visits than they had in the last five years.  Akron Children's Hospital was seeing a steady influx of COVID patients when all Children's Hospitals are already dealing with an earlier than usual RSV season that's filling necessary beds.  Doctors are very concerned about what will happen when cold and flu season hits.

To discuss these issues and give parents a better understanding of what's happening is Akron Children's Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert McGregor.  



The serious danger of not having diverse clinical trials; the treatment may not work in people of color.

The serious danger of not having diverse clinical trials; the treatment may not work in people of color.

September 13, 2021

There is a critical need for more diverse populations to get involved in clinical trials.  Too often drug trials skew white and male, but many times once the drug hits the market, we learn later that it doesn't work the same in women and/or people of color.  There's no doubt the historic abuses of African Americans decades ago still linger in the minds of many, but that shouldn't stop doctors from asking their patients if they'be be willing to participate.

This episode features Gelise Littlejohn-Thomas, a member of the Research Integration and Education core at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.  Also, Rochelle Long, who has been involved in nearly half a dozen clinical trials relating to Alzheimer's disease after several family members were diagnosed with the devastating illness.  Rochelle wants to know why African Americans are disproportationately affected by Alzheimer's and she wants to be on the discovery end of cutting edge treatments that may help her and future generations. 

WEBSITES:  UH Clinical Trials

1.833.78 TRIAL


Health Yeah! The Pfizer vax gets full approval and insight from inside the ICU

Health Yeah! The Pfizer vax gets full approval and insight from inside the ICU

August 23, 2021

On August 23, 2021 the FDA granted the Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine full approval.  The Delta variant continues to rage across the U.S. and those on the front lines, in hospital Intensive Care Units, are seeing younger, unvaccinated patients needing the use of ventilators.  The nurses and doctors who work on the front lines thought they saw the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, until the Delta variant surged.  This episode gives insight into their lives.  Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, a pulmonologist with Cleveland Clinic shares his experiences fighting the coronavirus pandemic and what he thinks and hopes FDA approval of a vaccine will accomplish.   

Health Yeah! Why women are needed in clinical trials

Health Yeah! Why women are needed in clinical trials

August 9, 2021

A Cleveland Clinic study found women remain underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials despite guidelines and legal requirements developed almost 30 years ago to ensure broader inclusivity, according to a report from the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, yet most clinical trials involving heart medications and medical devices typically skew male.

This episode is an interview with Leslie Cho, MD, FACC, lead author of the study, a member of the ACC Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee, and director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Center and section head of preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic.


Health Yeah!  Valuable Guidance for caregivers of dementia patients

Health Yeah! Valuable Guidance for caregivers of dementia patients

August 6, 2021

Today’s episode is about an issue that is affecting more than six million Americans today and will likely affect millions more in the next decade.  And due to COVID, even more may suffer from this debilitating disease.  We’re talking about Alzheimer’s disease.  Rebecca Hall, Program director for the Alzheimer’s association Cleveland Chapter, joins me to discuss what families and caregivers need to keep in mind and explains a new funding opportunity that can provide free in home care to those who need a break.  For those who want to support the local Alzheimer's Association, its mission, resources and research there is an event on Thursday August 12, 2021.    

Sprenger Health Care is presenting this charity event, Light it Up Purple, to benefit the Cleveland Area Chapter Alzheimer's Association

Date: Thursday, August 12, 5:30-9pm

Location: Lorain Palace Theatre in downtown Lorain

Tickets available for purchase for $25 ahead of time and at door. Must be 18+ to attend, 21+ to receive the signature cocktail


Event entertainment is Monica Robins and The Ninja Cowboys

The event features local restaurants and tastings.  It supports the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, in which money raised pays for care and support for local families and funds research.



Alzheimer's Association

Cleveland Chapter:

Caregiver Relief Program:


Health Yeah! How the pandemic caused a rise in youth sports injuries

Health Yeah! How the pandemic caused a rise in youth sports injuries

August 2, 2021

We’re in the midst of the Olympics and kids are returning to sports.  But when they resumed last summer – Sports Medicine specialists noticed a spike in sports injuries among kids. 

Fallout from COVID caused shortened or no pre-season games.  Many went right into games with little practice or supervised conditioning.

Seasons were condensed and kids played too many games in too short a period.  And in some cases, the pandemic nixed entire season which put them at risk of injury when they returned.

Today’s episode is with Dr. Laura Goldberg from Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, about why parents need to pay attention to their young athletes and consider any impact the pandemic may have had on their sports that could lead to potential injury. 

Health Yeah! What’s the Pandemic Fall Forecast?

Health Yeah! What’s the Pandemic Fall Forecast?

July 21, 2021

The more contagious Delta variant has become predominant but vaccination rates are declining.  Masks have been put away.  We're getting seemingly conflicting messages from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics about whether kids should wear masks in schools.  And parents want to know when kids age two to eleven can get the COVID vaccine.  And what about flu season? In this episode,  Cleveland Clinic infectious disease specialist, Dr. Susan Rehm gives us a sense of what we can expect come fall and winter and how we should prepare.

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