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Celebrating Our Podiversary

About Episode 81

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The Well Beyond Medicine Podcast celebrates a milestone: its first “podiversary.” It’s been a year complete with influential guests, great conversations, and loyal listeners whose interest in whole child health is piqued by discussions on the podcast. Join us as we look back at some of our achievements from this year, hear from some of those guests, and learn what the future holds for the coming year — and beyond!

Guests:
Drew Landmeier, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Nemours Children’s Health
Cheryl Munn, Director of Enterprise Communications, Nemours Children’s Health
Che Parker, Communications Program Manager, Nemours Children’s Health

Producer, Host: Carol Vassar

EPISODE 81 TRANSCRIPT

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Welcome to Well Beyond Medicine, the Nemours Children’s Health Podcast. Each week, we’ll explore anything and everything related to the 80% of child health impacts that occur outside the doctor’s office. I’m your host, Carol Vassar, and now that you are here, let’s go.

Cheryl Munn, Nemours Children’s Health:

It’s about a good conversation.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

That’s Cheryl Munn, enterprise director of communications for Nemours Children’s Health and a producer and sometimes host of the Well Beyond Medicine Podcast, stating very succinctly what the podcast is all about. She joins me in conversation today, along with Nemours colleagues, Drew Landmeier, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and Che Parker, public relations manager. This is the same group that helped launch the podcast rebrand a year ago. And today, we come together again to celebrate the first anniversary of the Nemours Well Beyond Medicine Podcast. We’re calling it our pod-a-versary.

Year one has been an amazing experience, complete with influential guests, great conversations, and loyal listeners whose interest in whole child health is piqued by what is discussed on the podcast. Indulge us as we look back at some of our achievements from this year, hear from some of those guests, and learn what the future holds for the podcast, which to our surprise and delight is in the top 1% of all podcasts worldwide, according to the industry-leading podcast platform, Buzzsprout. The podcast you hear today is an offshoot of a previous internally focused Nemours podcast. Drew heard that podcast when he was considering a position with Nemours and liked it, but knew it could be bigger and better. When he came on board two years ago, he shared his vision and created a team to carry it out. Here’s Drew Landmeier with details on how all this came to be.

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

Thank you, Carol. It’s such a great pleasure to be on and to speak with you again a year after we launched the rebranding of the podcast. And you’re right, two years ago, I engaged the original version of the podcast when I was a recruit, and that’s how I really understood the culture and looked behind the drapery to understand what made this organization work. It was truly the passion of our associates, of our physicians and clinicians, as well as partners. I knew that we could rebrand this, repackage this, and really amplify the message to a broader contingency or audience. My God, we have really blown the roof off with our achievements in the last 12 months. If you look at the podcast rankings on Apple, we are the number one children’s hospital podcast for the category of medicine, and we’re also the number one children’s hospital podcast in the health and fitness category.

We have a loyal following that really craves the content that we’re producing on a weekly basis. We have nearly 300,000 downloads of our episodes, and we have over 20,000 subscribers, and if I can put that in context with our original podcast, we had just shy of 4,000 downloads and Nemours couldn’t be more grateful for you, Carol, and your contributions to making that achievement a reality today. It has become a labor of love. It has been a wild journey. I think we’ve also understood that it’s a lot harder to produce a podcast on a regular basis with weekly episodes. In some cases, we have three episodes a week, but it has truly been a passion, and I think a passion for all of us, dare I say.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

And to achieve that in just a year has been, as you said, Drew, a labor of love. And a lot of labor, a lot of hours put into both the creative process, the booking process, the marketing process. Che, talk about the booking process. You are, in many ways, our guest booker, that’s over and above what you do for Nemours in many other aspects of your job. Booking guests and especially some of the high power guests that we’ve had on, like Alex Azar, and Berth Graham from YouTube is not as easy as it sounds. Talk about that process.

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

No, absolutely. It’s fun, I will say that. But it’s a bit time-consuming. Right? So the back and forth, the scheduling, the making sure that times work for them and for us. But I do think of certain guests that we’ve had on that have been really just fascinating to hear from. So, take Dr. G, for example.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

And by Dr. G, you mean Dr. Geeta Nayyar, who is the author of Dead Wrong Diagnosing and Treating Healthcare’s Misinformation Illness, which is a topic that has really resonated with a lot of our listeners.

Dr. Geeta Nayyar, author:

We have to start making mis and disinformation a priority because that is the undercurrent to consumer experience, that is the undercurrent to physician experience. That is the undercurrent which prevents people from getting mammograms, prevents people from making doctor’s appointments, prevents people from saving their own life.

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

When I think about the conversation we had with Dr. Garth Graham, he’s taking the teachings from like a Dr. G and taking it to a global scale, right, with his work at YouTube.

Dr. Garth Graham, YouTube Health:

So, we need to be there in the conversations and be present in the places where people are getting information. That’s what drew me to this role is we have to be a part of patient’s journey and the patient journey is partially that small amount of time they in a clinical setting, a lot of it is outside in the world, some of it is online. As many of us are online, when we look up how do we order food, what are we going to do tonight, all of those things. That’s a journey that we’re on. And so, for us to be thinking that the patient is going to wait for us to publish it in a journal, and then they’re going to somehow go and pick up their latest issue of the High Impact Journal and discern what the Kaplan-Meier curves are, what the P-values are, that’s not practical. So how do we deliver scientific information that’s engaging at scale?

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

So, us being a part of these conversations and convening these conversations is just fascinating. And, I’m sure that the joy we get out of it is experienced by our listeners as well.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Drew, talk about the importance of Nemours being a convener in this sphere and how that fits into Nemours overall plan and initiative to be a convener nationally.

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

Our podcast is truly an extension of what Nemours Children’s Health has been known for all along. We are a national leader and a convener. We are advocating for whole child health. And we want to be that inspiration or catalyst to create a podcast that really fosters national dialogue. And, I think by convening different opinions and individuals from different industries or sides of the political aisle, we are truly doing just that. You look at the numbers. We do have substantial subscribers and downloads. So, there is a hunger and a desire for convening thought leaders like we are.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Drew, if you had to pick, it’s like picking your favorite child, is there an episode or two that you would say stands out?

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

Yes. I really love the episode with our own CEO, Dr. Larry Moss, and the former HHS secretary, Alex Azar.

Dr. Larry Moss, Nemours Children’s Health:

Many, many children and families live a lot of miles away from where we can provide that care. And, we can’t put a pediatric subspecialist in every little town, but we need to serve every kid in every little town with the same quality of care that we do in urban centers.

Alex Azar, former HHS Secretary:

And if I could say that, what Dr. Moss just mentioned is another important part of the underserved is healthcare deserts in America, rural, remote, underserved, even urban. Telemedicine using technology allows people to get quality care regardless of their zip code. Too often in America, the zip code that’s on your envelope is going to dictate the quality of your health outcomes, whether it’s cancer care, or pediatric care, or maternal mortality, et cetera. We have to leverage access to the highest quality physicians, nurses, other practitioners in this country, regardless of where you live, and technology can enable us to do that.

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

I was just thoroughly impressed at the level of dialogue and inspiration that I pulled from their discussion together.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Cheryl, now it’s your turn to you. Same question.

Chery Munn, Nemours Children’s Health:

I think, one of my favorite episodes was also my most nerve-wracking experience on this team, was the episode with MJ, our osteo-imperfecta patient, and Steve, the adult who’s had osteo-imperfecta for a long time in the podcast truck, in Florida, 100 degrees, and the AC was not keeping up, and the sweat was pouring off all of us, and they were terrific. It was such a great conversation.

Stephen Sheehy, adult living with OI:

When I was born in the 1970s, there really was not a whole lot known at the time, in terms of research and prognosis. I myself was born with nine broken bones, had a dislocated hip. So, the doctors knew right away. However, at the time, there were still a lot of cases where it wasn’t diagnosed right away, and so there were misdiagnosis of child abuse children with fracture, but there just wasn’t much of a prognosis at the time. But my mom, she’s a feisty lady and she basically stormed out of the meeting and said, “Nope. Nope, that’s not right. That’s not what’s going to happen.” So, she raised me as just an average kid. But there were barriers at the time in terms of education. The Americans Disabilities Act had not been passed. So, there were a lot of barriers just with education, but it definitely helped having a mom that didn’t like the word no.

Chery Munn, Nemours Children’s Health:

I believe you had COVID at the time. So I was pinch hitting as the interviewer, and trying to run the board, and trying to remember back to my radio days of how to do it.

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

You did an excellent job, Cheryl. I was there.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Oh, you’re the best pinch hitter I could ever ask for. Yes, I did have COVID. And in fact, when we got that audio back, because the air conditioning was working overtime, there was a lot of background noise. So, I learned things about our production process almost every episode. I had to learn how to take as much of that down to zero as possible, and did it. And Che, I’m going to turn to you and talk. Let’s talk about Philadelphia. What happened in Philly? I mean, we met a young woman there, a cancer patient by the name of Madison Hanley, and we interviewed Nemours associates on site, but there was rain involved with all of this, wasn’t there? We had a little bit of fun with that, didn’t we?

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

There was actually quite a bit of rain. And, that was last year, but I think my shoes are still wet from that day. We tried to go in through an entrance, we had to go through the media entrance, which was cool. And we got media passes, which was nice. But I don’t think we got on the field. So it was a little bit of trying to get there, over rivers and through the woods type of thing, but we ultimately made it and had a great conversation with an amazing family.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Yeah, Madison Hanley and her parents, Aaron and Rob, were just… The idea that you are going to share your story and your child is going to share her story of being a cancer survivor, not everyone wants to do that, and for them to be as generous and joyful about it as they were, it comes through, it really comes through over the microphone. It comes through as people are listening. And patient stories are always something that warm my heart.

Madison Handley, cancer survivor:

It started with me going to soccer trials and noticing that my knee was hurting. And, it progressed to get a little worse as we went on so we went to a doctor and got some X-rays done. And that day, we were told to come back and get an MRI of my leg. And that evening is when we found out.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

How did you feel?

Madison Handley, cancer survivor:

There were a lot of emotions.

Rob Handley, patient family member:

It definitely felt like a nightmare again, but we had been through it. We knew we could do it. This girl is extremely headstrong and she is a fighter.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

For her to be as genuine, and honest, and caring, and knowing that her story would resonate with other people who are in her position, that’s a very generous place to be. So, a lot of the joy that I personally get from doing this podcast comes from talking with people who are genuine, and open, and honest about either what they do as leaders or what they’ve experienced as patients. Jay, how about you? Favorite episode?

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

Yeah, there’s so many great ones. I do have to say recently the conversations with the Hidden Helpers has just been amazing and really eye-opening, such an important community.

Kylie Briest, Hidden Helper:

My dad, Cory, was injured in Iraq on December 4th, 2005. I was only three years old at the time. His injury, I’ve grown up like that my entire life. It’s my normal life. He has a traumatic brain injury, which results in him not being able to walk on his own, needing assistance with everyday activities such as eating, bathing, dressing. He was also left completely blind. So, my role, even when I was three, I was in the hospital helping him stretch out and trying to help my nurses feed him and give him meds. And so, that ultimately led to me becoming a nurse.

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

They do so much for our country in terms of the military veterans, and then the kids, and teens, and youth that care for them, they need everything they can get from the healthcare system and from their providers. So, that conversation hearing directly from the Hidden Helpers was really, really moving. And, honestly, I hope we get to do more with them going forward.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

I do want to acknowledge a couple of people who aren’t on the episode today, but who play a really key role in everything we do and who make this team, the team that it is. We’re not a competitive team. We are really a holistically well-oiled machine. And the two people are Susan Masucci and Lauren Teta. They are with Ruckus, which is a boutique agency out of Jacksonville, Florida. And, they do all of our social media assets, they do the marketing, and they’re great people to bounce ideas off of. So, kudos to both Susan and Lauren for everything they do. And I do want to talk about the team that we have assembled. Drew, you’re part of this as is Rachel Salas-Silverman, and everyone who’s on this call, plus Susan plus Lauren. Again, it’s a team that really runs well together. I want to ask Cheryl and Che, how does that feel for you, in terms of how this team works so well?

Cheryl Munn, Nemours Children’s Health:

I’ve said multiple times, this is the best group project I’ve ever been involved in, because everybody more than pulls their own weight, and then some. I mean, Che has a very busy job with the media and the national office. Everybody has other responsibilities, but everybody is committed to getting this podcast on the air every week and producing the best content we can.

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

Yeah, I would agree with that. It’s genuinely fun. It’s fun, right? And it’s rewarding, and we get to tell stories. We get to talk to some of the best leaders, not only in the country but globally, right, in the world. And so, we have behind the scenes access to these amazing, thoughtful, innovative, creative people. And it’s really fun to do. And I’m happy that I’m a part of it.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

And, I think you’re absolutely right. Behind the scenes, a lot goes on to get this podcast out on a weekly basis to get it down to between 20 and 30 minutes, and to make sure that all of the guests sound as good as they can. It’s been an adventure at times. Drew, can you give us a little preview of where we’re headed next?

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

As I mentioned earlier, we’re in a wonderful position for really selecting the best of the best, in terms of guests. We have so many great organizations and thought leaders that are now queuing up. So, I think you’re going to find that we are going to be an even larger thought leader in terms of podcast content. So I look forward to that. We’re also extending our reach. We just launched our first live episodes and visual episodes of our podcast, which is now found on our Nemours Children’s Health YouTube channel. So, there are new and different ways that we’re reaching out to our audience as well as our different thought leaders.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

And as we take all of this in the whole, we’re getting some industry recognition. Cheryl, share some of what in that area and what we are anticipating we could be recognized in moving forward.

Cheryl  Munn, Nemours Children’s Health:

I’m really excited that very recently we won a PRSA Bronze Anvil award, and that is huge. That’s from the Public Relations Society of America, and it’s very difficult to win. We are also finalists for PR Reagan Daily Social Media and Digital Awards for best podcast and Grand Prize Campaign of the year. And, we’re finalists for PR Reagan Daily Content Marketing and Branded Podcasts. So, it’s exciting.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

So Che, part of what we do, a great part of what we do is our commitment to providing engaging content, valuable content, something that our listeners can take and say, “Hey, I’m going to implement this in my life.” And, this is stuff that advocates and supports health and well-being of children and families. What do we have in store in the next week’s months in terms of guests?

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

Yeah, that’s a great question. I think, going forward, our listeners can expect to hear from our elected officials on a federal level. They can expect to hear from leaders from Fortune 500 companies. They can expect to hear just more compelling people and more compelling stories going forward. And that’s what we’re trying to put forth. There’s just really good stories that people want to listen to. And hopefully, the content we’re putting out makes a difference, and I think it does.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Any final thoughts? Cheryl? Che?

Cheryl Munn, Nemours Children’s Health:

I was so excited by how well our live-streaming podcast went in Toronto. I’m looking forward to doing some more of that when it’s appropriate. And that was thanks to our video team, and Joe Gillespie, and Sebastian. I mean, terrific job in a foreign country for the first time.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

And being a radio girl, I had to up my wardrobe and make-

Cheryl Munn, Nemours Children’s Health:

This video strategy is going to mean hair and makeup for everybody. Che, any final thoughts?

Che Parker, Nemours Children’s Health:

I would just add to that, just really looking forward to fully maximizing YouTube as a platform for the podcast is going to be really exciting, and just getting on more thoughtful, educated, informed, experienced guests. Just really looking forward to taking everything to the next level.

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

So Carol, you are our resident celebrity at Nemours Children’s Health with the podcast. How do you see your position changing or evolving in year two of the podcast?

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

… Luckily, this is audio. So when you said celebrity, I rolled my eyes. I tried to get things as modest as possible. This is truly a team effort. I see being on camera is going to be an opportunity. It’s also going to be a challenge. My background is in radio. And my strength is not makeup. So, I will need help with that. It’s a matter of getting myself ready for that. I’m looking forward to it. I think, having conversations with conveners and top Fortune 500 company heads, and representatives, and also governmental heads and representatives helps me to continue my learning process about how we can change children’s health and how we can make it better for all children, children who are at Nemours and children across our nation, no matter where they live, their zip code, their family income, and other factors that we know influence good health and poor health. If we can make it more about the good health, I’m willing to talk about that until the cows come home. Drew, I want you to wrap it up for us. Give me a good outro here.

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

I have had such joy in this adventure. And I’m truly going to call it an adventure, because we did not know what to expect. Like I mentioned, we were hoping to take it from 4,000 downloads to maybe 5,000. We were hoping to get maybe 500 subscribers. So again, to achieve the heights of over 300,000 downloads in a year and over 20,000 subscribers just has brought me such professional and personal joy that we could lean into our strategy as an organization with Nemours Children’s Health. And, one of the true big investments that we made over the year to really jumpstart awareness and branding for the Nemours Well Beyond Medicine podcast was our podcast truck. And, that truly went across the country, multiple states, multiple locations, and it was eye-opening to see the interest and the excitement that individuals had. I think that we’re going to look for new and different opportunities that, again, propel the brand widely, and we’re going to look at new and different opportunities like that in the future.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

And the truck, I’ll tell you, we were at the American Academy of Pediatrics. We were out of the way, but the truck was in the exhibition hall. And people made it a point to come to the truck just to see what was going on, which of course, attracts people to Nemours. It attracts guests for the podcast. So, that was just a brilliant, brilliant idea. And I’m looking forward to so many more ideas surrounding the podcast in year two.

Drew Landmeier, Nemours Children’s Health:

And, to see this beat anyone and everyone’s expectations has truly been, I can honestly say, a joy of my life. So, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to this team, and of course, all the guests who have taken their professional and personal time to share their voice, to share their thoughts, and to be a part of something bigger to support whole child health and truly create the next generations of healthiest children.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

Drew Landmeier is Nemours Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. He was joined in conversation by Che Parker, public relations manager and Cheryl Munn, enterprise director of communications.

Music:

Well Beyond Medicine.

Carol Vassar, podcast host/producer:

As we embark on year two of the Well Beyond Medicine podcast, we want to hear from you, including your thoughts on the podcast year just past, and ideas for future conversations. Leave us a voicemail at nemourswellbeyond.org where you can also find all of our past episodes. Subscribe to the podcast and leave a review. That’s nemourswellbeyond.org. Production for this episode was provided by Cheryl Munn, Che Parker, Susan Nasuchi, and Lauren Teta. And we thank them. I’m Carol Vassar, join us next time as we discuss an important step forward in residency training advocacy rounds. Until then, remember, we can change children’s health for good. Well Beyond Medicine.

Music:

Well Beyond Medicine.

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Meet Today's Guests

Carol Vassar

Host
Carol Vassar is the award-winning host and producer of the Well Beyond Medicine podcast for Nemours Children’s Health. She is a communications and media professional with over three decades of experience in radio/audio production, public relations, communications, social media, and digital marketing. Audio production, writing, and singing are her passions, and podcasting is a natural extension of her experience and enthusiasm for storytelling.

Drew Landmeier

Guest
Drew Landmeier is Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and an executive team member. He oversees Nemours Children’s national reputation and brand and is responsible for increasing recognition of its prominent role as a children’s health advocate throughout the United States and internationally.

Che Parker

Guest
Che Parker serves as Communications Program Manager at Nemours Children's Health helping share the unique stories, policy and advocacy work, and innovative practices that are supporting Nemours Children's vision to create the healthiest generations of children.

Cheryl Munn, Director of Enterprise Communications, Nemours Children’s Health

Host
Cheryl Munn is the Director of Enterprise Communications at Nemours Children's Health. She directs the development and execution of internal and external communications to support Nemours Children's strategic priorities working closely with executive and senior leaders to build culture and shape the voice of Nemours consistently across the enterprise.

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