Alexander Abreo, a second-year in neuroscience, was working in a biomedical science research lab over the summer when came to believe there wasn’t enough information on health care disparities available to the public.
In response, Abreo created BREACH — a podcast dedicated to informing people on health care inequities and encouraging them to get involved with the issue. Abreo said BREACH, which stands for Buckeyes Racial Equity Awareness Centered in Healthcare, has gained 100 listeners since the first episode came out Feb. 7.
“We’ve been receiving a lot of messages about people being interested in getting on the podcast,” Abreo said.
Ayush Mehra, a second-year in human nutrition and co-host of the podcast, said he has a personal connection to health care disparities.
“My parents were first generation, so they definitely felt the effects of racial disparities in health care,” Mehra said. “So I was like, ‘This is a great cause, and I definitely want to be part of this. I want to make it known that this is something people should look at.’ ”
Mehra said he reached out to Abreo, and in December, the pair began the process of creating the podcast. The podcast highlights racial and ethnic disparities in health care through conversations with professionals, according to the BREACH Spotify page.
The first episode of the podcast, featuring Ashley Felix, who has her doctorate in and is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Ohio State College of Public Healthis available to listen to now. In the episode, Felix discussed her background and shares insights from her research on endometrial cancer. She discussed a lack of female and minority representation in clinical trials and how it affects health care.
Mehra said the podcast is advised by Dr. J. Nwando Olayiwola, an Ohio State alumna and chief health equity officer and senior vice president for Humana Inc., a health insurance company.
Abreo said the podcast would not have been possible without a diverse team of students.
“We have different backgrounds, but we’re all able to tie it together really nicely,” Abreo said. “Just having those different backgrounds really helped us a lot.”
Abreo said their main short-term goal is to get at least four speakers on the podcast by the end of spring semester, but it is a challenge to work around all the students’ schedules. He said their long-term goals include creating a podcast team, fundraising and eventually forming a nonprofit.
Mehra said he hopes to make a difference at Ohio State through BREACH while connecting with the people around him.
“I want to make a difference here, so that’s what drove me personally forward to make this nonprofit organization,” Mehra said. “And, with me, I just want to bring everyone with me. I don’t want to do this alone.”