Booster Shot is an ongoing project that will highlight medical research that’s going on across the Southeast. From biotech in Raleigh-Durham to cutting edge Parkinson’s Disease research here in Birmingham, from Emory’s audacious 100,000-person Health Aging Study to the rampant shutdowns of hospitals in some of our most vulnerable rural communities, Booster Shot seeks to tell the stories of the research, the policies, and the people impacted by both.
The pilot, Episode Zero, is available on SoundCloud.
There are a couple problems here:
1) How the South is viewed by the rest of the country. Unless you’re talking about football, bar-b-cue, or the blues, the South gets a bad rap. Those of us that live here know that’s not the truth, but to try and change the national conversation is to go against about 200 years of hardcore stereotyping.
2) Medical research institutes and biotech companies in our region have limited bandwidth. When you do read about medical research in Popular Science, hear about it on NPR, or see it on CNN, that research is often coming from deep-pocketed research establishments on the coasts or in Chicago.
Booster Shot is part of a larger effort to change perceptions about the South. Using a model similar to NPR (although as a for-profit media organization), this audio-first website will provide podcasts that reveal the medical research going on throughout the Southeast and the stories of the people living with illness. For clinicians and researchers, their work receives a much broader platform than the usual departmental newsletter. For administrators looking for tools to secure major gifts, it provides an engaging and easy-to-share evergreen package. For people dealing with sickness, it shows them they are not alone in their struggle. For people who are looking for treatment, it points to hope.
I am continually writing scripts for new episodes, conducting interviews, and working with research institutes to produce new episodes.
I’m looking for partners to help tell these stories. If you’re interested in partnering, let me know.