Virus Watch Podcasts

Through Science to Health ~ 5/27/22

In our final regular edition of Through Science to Health, KPTZ host Chris Bricker speaks with Dr. Christine Skorberg, Medical Director of the Women’s Health Clinic at Jefferson Health Care. While in search of a new and all-inclusive name for the Clinic, her colleague, Dr. Asif Luqman, suggested its new appelation, OB/Guyne Clinic. Dr. Skorberg discusses her philosophy of relationship-based medicine, which is centered on listening, honest conversation, and respect for patients including all races, sexual orientation, situations, and lifestyle.  She describes the panorama of care and guidance that ranges from birth to vintage years and covers the services offered at the Clinic. Chris would like to acknowledge his former co-hosts who have provided their expertise, insight, and talent at different times over the course of our program’s run: Kate Keenan and Lynn Sorensen. A big Thank You from the Heart for your earlier contributions to the show!

Through Science to Health ~ 4/22/22

Every month, KPTZ’s Chris Bricker has been bringing you not only discussion and updates surrounding the Pandemic, but also insights and discoveries emerging from it. And, in our flurries of focus over the past few years, we’ve often forgotten to talk about the importance of Public Health in general, and about the many programs and services it provides for our community on behalf of the Common Good. This week we speak with Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam and Jefferson Counties Health Officer, who’s passion, dedication and tenacity has led a stellar staff in making healthy things happen for all of us who live in the region.

Through Science to Health ~ 1/28/22

In this special edition of Through Science to Health, we revisit two graduates of Port Townsend High School who have chosen the medical profession for their careers. We spoke with both of them back in November of 2020. 
Jesse Maupin began his work as a Hospitalist at the University of Wisconsin Medical Hospital during the thick of the COVID-19 Pandemic two years ago. He’s now working as a Fellow in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Washington Hospital. This summer he joins the staff at UW Medical Center Northwest.
Will Bringold is still a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellow at University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. In addition to his clinical duties, he takes care of people in the ICU with both COVID and non-COVID related severe illness. He’s in his final 5 months of training and will be starting his position at Tacoma General Hospital this summer.
Jesse and Will bring their frank and sincere perspectives on their experiences during the last few years as Residents and then Fellow during these difficult times.

Through Science to Health ~ 12/24/21

In this year-end edition of Through Science to Health, Dr. Joseph Mattern, Chief Medical Officer for Jefferson Health Care, joins KPTZ Host Chris Bricker for an informed discussion that helps us navigate the information overload surrounding COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. He emphasizes the Common Good when it comes to being mindful over the holidays, and gives us some optimistic encouragement as we roll responsibly through the next few months.

Through Science to Health ~ 11/26/21

This month on Through Science to Health, KPTZ host Chris Bricker speaks with Dr. Joseph Mattern, Chief Medical Officer for Jefferson Health Care. Dr. Mattern is also charged with overseeing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for JHC. Today, Dr. Mattern joins us to recap Jefferson Health Care’s journey over the past twenty months.  He talks about current challenges and issues, vaccines and immunity, and the importance of our children in the big picture. He also gives us his thoughts about the status of health care providers at hospitals and clinics, along with his predictions for the future of health care in our community.

Through Science to Health ~ 10/22/21

KPTZ’S Chris Bricker speaks with Dr. Allison Berry, Health Officer for Jefferson and Clallam Counties, and also with Bonnie Obremski, who fills the newly created role of COVID-19 Communications Specialist. We live in a world where there is also a pandemic of misinformation, and Bonnie explains the importance of communicating accurate and vetted information through the many communication platforms that exist today. Doctor Berry shares and clarifies the good news about vaccine boosters, and we talk about our children and what’s on the horizon for them as we balance their need to be in school, supported by the hard work of our education administrators and professionals. Dr. Berry also gives us advice for our fall and winter concerns, travel, and holiday gatherings.

Through Science to Health ~ 8/27/21

On today’s Through Science to Health, KPTZ’s Dick Keenan interviewed Kate Keenan, Retired Communicable Disease Investigator from San Diego County. They discussed the big picture, that the virus continues to pose a threat to our collective health 18 months after the first reported cases in our state.

The Delta variant is dramatically changing the face of the pandemic.  It is more transmissible and infectious, affecting even those who have been fully vaccinated. Returning to masking when indoors, despite vaccination, is the best chance of reducing community spread. Our current case rate is the highest it’s ever been: 263 per 100,000 population.

Vaccination remains effective at preventing hospitalization and death, but slightly less effective at reducing infection, once exposed. Thus the new recommendation to provide an additional dose for those immunocompromised persons. This data comes from a country with high immunization rates – Israel – who decided that an additional dose would blunt fresh waves of hospitalizations in the face of the delta variant. The additional doses are not a new formula, but a repeat of the shots you originally received. Future vaccines may be reformulated according to the variants circulating. 

Human behavior is the most complicated factor in maneuvering this pandemic. Although we have made remarkable progress with a safe and effective vaccine, medical treatments and sufficient masking supplies, there is also progress in a population response to the current threat of the Delta variant. As much as we want our old world back, many individuals, organizations and businesses are adopting the interventions we know stems the tide of more community spread such as masking, reducing traveling and monitoring ourselves for any sign of infection.

Through Science to Health ~ 6/18/21

Today’s Through Science to Health edition is the final program in this iteration. Restrictions that have been in place during the pandemic will be lifted by Governor Inslee on June 30 for the state and Dr Locke’s masking mandate for Jefferson County expires that same day. While the pandemic is not ‘over’ KPTZ’s Chris Bricker and co-host Lynn Sorensen, RN decided to conclude the program within the month of June on its alternate Friday schedule. Tune in to today’s wrap up of Through Science to Health and thanks for listening!

Through Science to Health ~ 6/04/21

Through Science to Health co-hosts, KPTZ’s Chris Bricker and Lynn Sorensen, RN, brought back a guest to the program today. Jesse Maupin, MD, currently a Hospitalist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison Medical Center.
Jesse is a PTHS graduate and will be returning to the Northwest for a Fellowship at the University of Washington Medical Center this summer. Jesse spoke to his experience working in the hospital this past year with the stress of caring for COVID-19 patients compounded by the uncertainty of what was coming next, and an actual fear for his personal safety.

Note: June 18 will be the last edition of Through Science to Health for Lynn and Chris. Thanks to the high vaccination rates locally and nationally, the pandemic is waning and restrictions are being lifted.

Through Science to Health ~ 5/21/21

Through Science to Health was a little different today. Co-hosts KPTZ DJ Chris Bricker and Lynn Sorensen, RN were in the studio together at the KPTZ station for the first time in over one year for this broadcast. The discussion and commentary around the COVID-19 pandemic continues with some forecasted optimism regarding vaccination rates but also the ongoing risk for unmasked, unvaccinated populations. Locally, Jefferson County Health Officer Dr Tom Locke issued a directive on May 17 reiterating that some of the protective mandates, such as masking when going indoors to public businesses, are in effect. The directive can be read in full on the Jefferson County website.

Through Science to Health ~ 5/07/21

Jefferson County’s total number of COVID-19 cases has now reached 400 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Through Science to Health with KPTZ host Chris Bricker and Lynn Sorensen, RN, discuss the global, national, and local case numbers and reflect on the continued scope of the pandemic’s hold on all of us. For assistance with making an appointment for a vaccination call the Department of Emergency Management at 360-344-9791, M-F 9am-4pm.
For a better understanding of the coronavirus variants see NPR’s recent video.

Through Science to Health ~ 4/23/21

Dr. Joseph Mattern, JHC Chief Medical Officer and in charge of JHC Covid-19 vaccination program, joined KPTZ’s Chris Bricker and Lynn Sorensen, RN, today for this week’s Through Science to Health.

Dr. Mattern discussed the current rise in numbers of cases and the added infectious rate of the viral variants in Washington well as other states. Jefferson County has seen more cases in April than we had in March. Lynn brought up the term ‘fully immunized’ as a misnomer because this may confuse the fully vaccinated to think they have 100% protection from the novel coronavirus.

The pandemic is not under control and has not finished with us, as much as we all want it to be.

Through Science to Health ~ 4/09/21

On this week’s edition of Through Science to Health, KPTZ host Chris Bricker and his co-host Lynn Sorensen, RN discuss the need for continued masking even if you are fully vaccinated. Dr Locke’s update included the risk, while low, of the fully vaccinated possibly transmitting the virus to the unprotected. Washington state will open up vaccinations for all adults as of April 15. No more tiers or restrictions to receive the vaccine – just an appointment!

Next time on Through Science to Health, Dr. Joseph Mattern, Chief Medical Officer of Jefferson Healthcare, will be our guest and will discuss Jefferson Healthcare’s continuing drive-through vaccination program.

Through Science to Health ~ 3/26/21

Through Science to Health programming celebrates its one year anniversary today with KPTZ host,Chris Bricker and co-host Lynn Sorensen, RN. Lynn commemorated the anniversary by reading the poem titled Pandemic by the Rev. Lynn Unger written in March 2020. Lynn had read this poem on the very first Through Science to Health show on March 20, 2020.

Chris and Lynn spoke of the numbers nationally and locally; the number of cases, deaths, vaccinated, and the array of metrics used by the state for the Roadmap to Recovery, Phase 3. Chris gave the phone numbers to the state’s help line for vaccination appointments: 800-525-0127 and 888-856-5816. Locally, the Dept. of Emergency Management call center staffed by volunteers can also be called for help finding a vaccination appointment: 360-344-9791.

Through Science to Health ~ 3/12/21

KPTZ’s Through Science to Health program is almost at its one year anniversary date, while the initial shut down in the United States due to the pandemic marked its one year anniversary yesterday, 3/11/2021. KPTZ host Chris Bricker and co-host Lynn Sorensen, RN discussed relatively positive news on the pandemic front on today’s edition of Through Science to Health.

  • President Biden announced last evening his goal for all adults in the country to have access to vaccinations by May 1.
  • Dr Locke stated this week that he anticipates COVID-19 vaccine to be available to all who want it by May or early June.
  • Washington state has exceeded the goal of more than 45,000 vaccinations per day.
  • The CDC issued guidelines this week that those who are fully vaccinated can meet with other fully vaccinated adults inside without masking or social distancing.

Through Science to Health ~ 2/26/21

Chris Bricker, KPTZ host, along with Lynn Sorensen, RN, meet once again with Dr. Joe Mattern, Jefferson Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer, via Zoom for this week’s Through Science to Health episode. Dr. Mattern coordinates JHC’s COVID-19 vaccination program and speaks to the state’s distribution of the vaccine supply and the process of getting the vaccine into the arms of Jefferson County’s 12,000 residents 65 years and older. Dr. Mattern addresses equity in access to the vaccine supply and how JHC plans to reach county residents who may be unable to access the vaccine appointment registration process via the internet.

Through Science to Health ~ 2/12/21

One must be nimble to respond to the changing landscape of the pandemic. Lynn Sorensen, RN and Chris Bricker, KPTZ host had prepared for Through Science to Health earlier on February 11, only to have Governor Inslee announce later that same day that the Northwest Region – Jefferson, Clallam, Mason, and Kitsap Counties – were being advanced to Phase 2 in Washington’s Roadmap to Recovery. Other topics discussed:

  • Advancing to Phase 2 will benefit businesses such as restaurants and bars by allowing indoor seating to 25% of their capacity (see for details).
  • In addition, the UK variant virus has been identified in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties. The UK Variant is more infectious than COVID-19 and double masking is recommended to reduce risk of transmission.
  • A better fitting mask (or two masks) equals better protection for the wearer.
  • Vaccine, vaccine, whose got the vaccine? Uncertainty in vaccine allocation and supply continues to be a problem in Jefferson County.

Through Science to Health ~ 1/29/21

On this episode of Through Science to Health, host Chris Bricker talks once again with Dr. Joe Mattern, Chief Medical Officer for Jefferson Health Care. He’s charged with overseeing the logistics of distributing the COVID-19 vaccines for Jefferson Healthcare.

Dr. Mattern gives us an overview of logistics, from supply and allocation to scheduling. He emphasizes the importance of following protocols, even after receiving the second dose. He also discusses the variants of the virus, dosage efficacy, and projections for getting our population here in the county vaccinated. He describes the collaborative and thorough planning taking place that assures that no one is left behind. He also walks us through the steps that we should expect at the vaccination site.

Through Science to Health ~ 1/22/21

This afternoon on Through Science to Health KPTZ’s host Chris Bricker summarized some of the national COVID-19 statistics and Lynn Sorensen, RN reviewed Dr Locke’s January 19 update to the BOCC and community. Vaccines to protect the populace against COVID-19 are being given through Jefferson Healthcare’s drive up clinics with registration online through the JHC website. The rollout of the vaccine depends on supply that the state distributes each week to the counties. New guidelines were announced by the state of Washington this week on the tiers/ages eligible for the vaccine. The community is asked to be patient with the process.

Through Science to Health ~ 1/08/21

Today on Through Science to Health Chris Bricker, KPTZ host, and Lynn Sorensen, RN welcomed Dr. Joe Mattern of Jefferson Health Care to join our conversation regarding the ongoing response to the pandemic. Joe Mattern, MD is JHC’s Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Director for JHC’s Home Health and Hospice. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have arrived in Jefferson County and healthcare workers were the first to be offered vaccinations.

Dr Mattern is charged with the logistics of what group of community members will be next for the vaccine. And how to best notify those selected. Not everyone has internet or uses JHC’s My Chart EMR. The CDC has advisory guidelines for the people most at risk for contracting COVID-19 but it is up to the individual states/Governors to decide on the distribution of the vaccine and who is next in line.

Through Science to Health ~ 12/11/20

Through Science to Health’s conversation between Lynn Sorensen, RN and Chris Bricker, KPTZ host included a select reiteration of Jefferson County’s Health Officer, Dr Tom Locke’s COVID-19 update to the BOCC on December 7, 2020, along with current COVID-19 vaccines soon to be available in the US. Lynn stressed that the vaccine roll out will be in stages starting with the frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and nursing home residents and their caregivers. Also that the vaccine will not take the place of masks or other hygiene measures until at least 70% of the US population is vaccinated.

Through Science to Health ~ 11/27/20

In this special edition of Through Science to Health, Lynn and Chris speak with two graduates of Port Townsend High School who are now working as medical professionals in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin.
Jesse Maupin, Hospitalist at the University of Wisconsin Medical Hospital, and Will Bringgold, who is doing his pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship at University of Wisconsin in Madison, offer their perspective from the front lines.

They candidly and compassionately speak of the long hours, increasing staffing needs, and the sincere need for community support and empathy to help them with the day-after-day challenges in patient care during these times.

Jesse has written a letter to the Leader, which will be published in its December 2 edition. The title: “Empathy in the Time of COVID.”

Through Science to Health ~ 11/13/20

On today’s Through Science to Health KPTZ Host Chris Bricker and Lynn Sorensen, RN, continue to stress the importance of maintaining the mitigation measures of masking, hand washing, and social distancing as the US experiences the third wave of the pandemic. The upcoming holiday season when families will want to get together are advised not to by Dr Tom Locke, our public health officer. Jefferson County’s case rate is much lower than other counties across the state and sticking to the mitigation measures will help to maintain that rate.

Pfizer has announced a vaccine that is 90% effective to the coronavirus and could be distributed before the end of 2020. Lynn explained how this vaccine differs from past vaccines with its genetic mechanism to stimulate the immune system.

KPTZ listeners are encouraged to listen weekly to Dr Tom Locke’s pandemic updates to the BOCC on Monday’s at 9:45am.

Through Science to Health ~ 10/16/20

The novel coronavirus continues to impact people around the world and, of course, locally. Chris Bricker, KPTZ Host and Lynn Sorensen, RN continue in their every other week series; Through Science to Health, to discuss local, state, and national news about the pandemic of 2020.

There is always more news and developments than Chris and Lynn have time for, but some of today’s discussion points were; the importance of getting a flu shot, the continuation mask wearing and other public health endorsed behaviors to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, and the definition of the term ‘herd immunity’.

Through Science to Health ~ 10/02/20

Chris Bricker, KPTZ host of Through Science to Health series, imparted current information on novel coronavirus infection cases throughout the nation, and, as of today, those numbers include the president of the United States and the First Lady.

Lynn Sorensen, RN relayed numbers of cases in Jefferson County and our surrounding counties. Lynn also reiterated topics from Jefferson County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Locke’s briefing to the BOCC from Monday September 28th.

Briefly mentioned was the New Yorker article (September 28, 2020 issue) about Max Kennedy’s (grandson of Robert Kennedy) own experience working as a volunteer in Jared Kushner’s Supply Chain Task Force in April 2020.

Through Science to Health ~ 9/18/20

Through Science to Health series with Chris Bricker, KPTZ host, and Lynn Sorensen, RN, discuss the politics of the ongoing news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic information, coverage that is often confusing and opposing in nature depending on the source.

Lynn reviews a recent article in the Washington Post regarding the difference between those who gather for a Trump rally and those who gather and participate in a protest march as far as risk of transmission of coronavirus infection.

Is the worst of the pandemic behind us? A new term, long-haulers syndrome is being applied to some people who have ‘recovered’ from Covid 19 but are still suffering from multiple symptoms such as brain fog, severe fatigue, and trouble breathing.