Recently, STAT launched a brand-new house for our subscribers to attach with one another and with their favourite STAT journalists. It’s known as, appropriately, STAT+ Join. There, yow will discover job postings; touch upon STAT articles (since we’ve got closed feedback on article pages); focus on information occasions with different individuals who work in biotech, pharma, public well being advocacy, PR, and extra; learn insights and further materials posted by STAT reporters and editors; and watch occasions, together with dwell interviews and text-based Ask Me Something chats.
Our AMA sequence launched Monday with an interview with Nicholas St. Fleur , a normal project reporter, affiliate editorial director of occasions, and host of STAT’s well being fairness podcast, “Shade Code.” Within the chat, hosted by affiliate supervisor of group Rose Montera, St. Fleur discusses “Shade Code” and the current STAT Summit in Boston.
Whereas STAT+ Join is subscriber-only, we wished to offer everybody a style of the thrilling conversations taking place there. Beneath, yow will discover a frivolously edited transcript of the AMA.
Need extra from Join? In the event you’re already a STAT+ subscriber, right here’s how one can be a part of. In the event you’re not a subscriber, you possibly can enroll as we speak.
Nicholas St. Fleur: Howdy! Excited for this STAT+ Join AMA! I’m Nick St. Fleur. I’m a reporter and I assist with the editorial facet of our occasions, like our current flagship Summit. I additionally host our well being fairness podcast “Shade Code”!
Rick Berke: Sooner or later are you able to share the way you all settled on the title “Shade Code”?
Nicholas St. Fleur: Lol Rick … if I bear in mind appropriately that call got here from you and Theresa Gaffney, our fabulous producer. At one level I had proposed “The Oximeter,” which performs off pulse oximeters, a well being tech gadget that has gotten a number of criticism for being racially biased in that it doesn’t work as properly on darker pores and skin tones, as researchers knew for 30 years or one thing.
We went with “Shade Code” as a result of it flowed higher and was based mostly off codes that you simply would possibly see known as in a hospital emergency. I bear in mind getting a humorous voicemail from you and Theresa saying that “Shade Code” was the most effective title and we had been going with it (despite the fact that there was a Canadian podcast known as Color Code already).
You may appropriate me if I’m mistaken on some particulars! In the end I like the title. It really works so properly. I feel the precise “Shade Code” comes from a brainstorm we had over Slack. A few of the different names had been “Shade Coded.” And at one level “Medically Devalued.”
My colleague Usha Lee McFarling has completed a ton of reporting on the difficulty of pulse oximeters for individuals who are curious.
Rick Berke: I like the title, Nick — I had completely forgotten about that cellphone message or my very own involvement. I simply know “Shade Code” is an ideal title. And Oximeter felt a bit slender.
Nicholas St. Fleur: Completely agreed, Rick. Haha, it was a humorous voicemail.
Erika H.: … moreover, who is aware of what oximeter even means?!!!
Julia Baker: Nick, what was your favourite session or subject coated throughout final week’s flagship STAT Summit?
Nicholas St. Fleur: Hey Julia! I beloved all of them. The Chat GPT vs. Physician was actually good and bought the group tremendous excited. One other good session was this one on how one can repair the disaster of Black deaths by once more, the unbelievable Usha Lee McFarling. Right here’s a nice writeup by Anika Nayak.
Theresa Gaffney: I feel the entire crew had bounced round titles for the podcast, together with “Shade Code”, however hadn’t been in a position to utterly choose one. After which sooner or later within the workplace (in particular person!) govt producer Alissa Ambrose and I discussed “Shade Code” to Rick and all of us appreciated it!
Nicholas St. Fleur: Agreed, Theresa! And the title works tremendous properly.
Sydney Klein: Nick, how lengthy did it take you to seek out the fitting teal go well with? That was wonderful!
Nicholas St. Fleur: Baha, Sydney. Matt had posted a hyperlink to it on Slack throughout our breakthrough summit. And I snagged it as soon as it went on sale. Everybody has requested me if I might expense the go well with … ideas Rick??
Rose Montera: I’ve a pair questions despatched to me from final week … drumroll for the primary … How has Season 2 of “Shade Code” been going, and the way has it been reporting on a spot that you’re from? Is it difficult?
Nicholas St. Fleur: Rose — it has been each extremely difficult and rewarding. Our second season of “Shade Code” is predicated on well being inequities on Lengthy Island, New York, the place I dwell and was born and raised. It’s eye-opening to take a deep dive into the racial disparities right here and the influence segregation has had on the lives of Lengthy Islanders, myself included. But it surely has been heartening to see researchers and activists combating towards these inequities. Right here’s a hyperlink to hearken to this season.
A few of my favourite episodes embody this take a look at the battle over the Brookhaven Landfill, which is situated in North Bellport, simply 20 minutes from my home. North Bellport, which is usually Black and Brown, has the bottom life expectancy on LI. Robert Bullard, the daddy of environmental justice, known as it “a textbook case of environmental racism.”
And this episode that checked out Lengthy Island’s function within the Eugenics motion within the U.S. Our wonderful intern Anil Oza took the lead on reporting and scripting this episode.
Rose Montera: One other Q I obtained: This season is so fascinating and actually totally different than final season. How do you know you wished the main focus to be Lengthy Island?
Nicholas St. Fleur: Thanks Rose! We wished to be a bit of extra formidable for Season 2, and we proposed doing a little journey. At first we had been considering of varied locations throughout the U.S. that had put out mandates stating that “racism is a public well being emergency” following our nation’s quote-unquote racial reckoning in 2020 and the racial inequities we noticed throughout the begin of Covid.
Whereas trying on the checklist of locations we seen that though New York state and NYC put out declarations, Lengthy Island didn’t. We wished to discover that extra. My colleague Theresa Gaffney was the one who urged actually focusing in on Lengthy Island for Season 2 since that’s the place I’m from. At first I believed “who the heck needs to find out about Lengthy Island?” I kind of thought that everybody knew it was a extremely segregated suburb with a status for racism.
However as we bought speaking an increasing number of about it and dove into the well being inequities right here, I and the remainder of the crew grew to become an increasing number of satisfied that we should always middle the season on Lengthy Island and use it as a mannequin for well being inequities seen in suburbs throughout the U.S. It was tremendous useful to have a wonderful supply in Martine Hackett from Hofstra who research suburban well being. She actually made us really feel like, “Whoa, that is underreported and Lengthy Island is a perfect place to discover these inequities.” It was actually a difficult season, however I’m simply so fortunate to have had such a powerful and supportive crew serving to me each step alongside the way in which.
One of many issues I didn’t notice going into it was simply how a lot of myself and my household’s tales I’d be sharing this season. And the way a lot what we’ve skilled is a results of these identical inequities and insidious exterior forces like segregation, redlining, and racism. I come to phrases with that within the outros in a number of episodes, particularly within the finale. A number of “wow that is heavy” moments for me this season!
Right here’s one we did on the Black maternal and toddler mortality disaster that options my cousin sharing a scary story about when she gave delivery.
And right here’s considered one of my favourite bonus episodes the place we interviewed Ahna Pink Fox, an Indigenous birthing employee from the Shinnecock Nation. This interview had me getting ready to tears, my goodness.
I used to be additionally so moved by Usha’s panel on the Summit on ending the disaster of Black dying as a result of what the panelists there stated felt so affirming of all the exhausting work that our “Shade Code” crew has reported on these previous two seasons! Shout out to Alissa Ambrose, Hyacinth Empinado, Theresa Gaffney, Crystal Milner, Anil Oza, Tino Delamerced, and Katherine Gilyard!! And extra!
And for individuals who is perhaps new to “Shade Code”, would possibly I recommend my favourite episode, which was our Season 1 finale concerning the unbelievable and heartbreaking story of Vertus Hardiman.
Rose Montera: Final query: The place did you get that teal go well with from?!
Nicholas St. Fleur: Ha, Categorical has been my go-to for vibrant fits. They match me properly, which is uncommon for off the racks!
If I might depart the chat with one last item it could be an appreciation for the unbelievable occasions squad for the wonderful, mic-dropping Summit we simply placed on. Shout out to Matt Herper, Britt Cipriano, Katherine MacPhail, Julia Baker, Caitlyn Clarke, and M.J. Rufo. We put collectively a tour de pressure of dwell journalism!
Thanks for becoming a member of!