May 5, 2021
Working on the front lines of COVID-19, infectious diseases specialist and South Central AIDS Education and Training Center (SCAETC) Medical Director at Access Health Louisiana, Dr. MarkAlain Dery, observed that other healthcare professionals were getting lost in both the bulk and complexity of the COVID-19 information they were confronted with. Instead of feeling empowered by all the new data coming out, they were instead feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what information they could trust given that much of it was being released in pre-print journals.
In response, Dr. Dery and his colleague Dr. Eric Griggs decided to create the NoiseFilter Podcast, a place where anyone can spend ten minutes a day and receive the COVID-19 updates they need to keep themselves, their patients, and their loved ones healthy.
The doctors gathered together a team of health specialists who volunteered to sort through the news, medical journals, and latest studies with the goal of identifying the most valid information, distilling it down to the most important in the framework of public health, and then delivering it so that it was accessible to all healthcare professionals. Because of these goals, they decided to call it the COVID NoiseFilter Podcast.
COVID-19 has impacted the entire world, and news about it involves both sickness and death, so interlaced with updates the doctors try to sprinkle in humor and silver linings stories to help bring some levity to what can be, particularly for healthcare professionals, a very heavy subject matter.
Dr. MarkAlain Dery was ready to spring to action given his extensive experience responding to global disasters and viral outbreaks, including as a medical responder to catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and most recently working as a clinical epidemiologist for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.
Dr. Eric Griggs ("Doc Griggs") is a New Orleans-based health literacy educator and community medicine doctor who has dedicated his professional life to raising health awareness in communities across the United States. Doc Griggs prides himself on his ability to clearly communicate the sometimes complicated topics within health and healthcare, a skill which is especially beneficial in the often confusing era of COVID-19.
As Access Health is also a regional partner site of the SCAETC, the NoiseFilter Podcast includes every story that touches on HIV in some way. The doctors plan to pivot to a primarily HIV focus as new COVID-related public health information and funding lessens.
The NoiseFilter Podcast can now be found on almost every podcasting app and website, including on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Shows are also aired daily on Pacifica Radio, a network of 200+ radio stations across the United States. Between these, the estimated daily audience is 55,000+, with over 6,000 of those being healthcare professionals.
Dr. MarkAlain Dery and Dr. Eric Griggs ask that you check them out on your favorite podcasting platform, and subscribe in order to never miss a new episode.
You can also follow along on the COVID NoiseFilter Instagram account.
The doctors thank Access Health Louisiana, and the SCAETC for support and funding which makes this show possible, and for allowing them to delve into a new medium in order to step up to the novel needs of a 21st century pandemic. They are happy to have their staff who produce the podcast, discuss the mechanics of the show and how you too can launch your own AETC podcast.
Following his graduation from UCLA with a degree in Development, Graham Patterson spent six years focused on building new programs and partnerships in the social sector. In 2013 he returned to school in order to pursue a master's degree in Public Policy, which he completed with honors in 2015. He now serves as Program Manager at Access Health Louisiana, and is responsible for managing and developing their Aids Education and Training Center (AETC) grant. Graham has an enthusiastic and inquisitive personality and a love for data-informed solutions. In his free time you'll find him reading the news, cooking, or planning for his next trip - ideally to a spot with scuba diving.