Jack O’Brien discusses what’s on tap at Davos with Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Robert Garrett, who’s chairing the World Economic Forum’s healthcare governance community. Lecia Bushak recaps Roivant Sciences founder Vivek Ramaswamy’s decision to drop out of the presidential race, and takes a look back at his campaign. And Christina Applegate’s MS-defying appearance at the Emmys tops our Trends segment, along with more TikTok “looksmaxxing” trends and Isabella Strahan’s docuseries about battling brain cancer. Music by Sixième Son.

Follow us: @mmmnews

To read more of the most timely, balanced and original reporting in medical marketing, subscribe here.

Note: The MM+M Podcast uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting the podcast.

Hey it’s Marc

Whether you were among those in San Francisco for the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and associated events last week, or one of the many thousands more who converged on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, which took place at the same time, you no doubt heard a central theme…

Indeed, Artificial intelligence is one topic you can’t go too many places without hearing about.

Touted by many pharma CEOs during investor presentations as a productivity boost for drug development, AI likewise was shoehorned into many of the new products on display during CES, everything from AI-infused shoelaces to automobiles.

And it will continue to be a fixture of dialogue in Switzerland this week during the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland

As Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health and chair of the healthcare governance community at Davos tells Jack O’brien, he’s convening a group of health ministers from the US and Europe, as well as the head of the World Health Organization, to meet during the forum.

The group is charged with coming up with specifics around the potential for AI in such priority areas as access to healthcare; Health equity; the effect of climate change on health; as well as value-based care. The governors will discuss what AI guardrails need to be put in place, and what actions need to be taken.

This week on the podcast, AI’s pitfalls and potential gets world health leaders talking

And Lecia’s here with a health policy update.
Hey Marc, today I’ll discuss former Roivant Sciences CEO Vivek Ramaswamy officially dropping out of the presidential race, and take a look back on his campaign.

This week, we’re talking about Christina Applegate’s moving appearance at the Emmys amid her MS treatment, TikTok’s looksmaxxing trends and Michael Strahan’s daughter’s YouTube series documenting her brain cancer battle.


it’s wonderful to have you on the show here for those in our audience that may not be familiar you and I spoke four years ago. When I was at another publication before you were going to that years World economic forum and we’re gonna get into all of that and everything that’s going on with your

organization. But I want to say with both of us have an aged at all those four years.


It’s kind of want to see how you been what’s going on and great. You know, it’s been busy as you might imagine. We had a little challenging time during covid in terms of the Healthcare System, but you know, I always give it a shout out to our Frontline team members. They did an amazing job the doctors and nurses the whole team. So we got really swamp with covid patients early on in New Jersey in northern New Jersey in particular and everybody stepped up and and did an amazing job. So that was kind of crazy. But you know coming out of the worst of the pandemic things have stabilized but you know, it’s it’s a challenging time for for Health Care organizations coming out of coming out of covid and

I’m gonna put on my my previous hat where I was covering hospitals and Health Systems just for a second here because we’re at

Emergency phase and there’s no longer all the mask mandates and and vaccine requirements all that sort of stuff. But you know, we’re sitting here in early January in New York cases are rising in the certain parts of the country. Not the same extent we’ve seen in previous years. What are some of those kind of like lingering lessons that come through from dealing with the pandemic because I imagine something where you’re like, it’s not the priority it was years ago, but it’s certainly not out of mind. It’s not out of mind at all, you know

as we speak today, there’s still about 350 patients that are hospitalized throughout Hackensack Meridian health with covid. So that means that they’re pretty pretty sick. If they’ve they’re within that hospital setting there’s still some mask mandates for for visitors for patients when we reach a certain threshold where covid has become more prevalent in the community. So we’re still dealing with that. You know, I think in terms of lessons, I’ll learn we we learned a lot about how to really harness supplies to to be sure that we had adequate PPE. We there were a lot of lessons around commun

Asian and making sure that communication was frequent was transparent that our caregivers got the latest information and you know, we still send out weekly updates to our our team members now, it’s used to be just about covid now covid’s a piece of this Weekly Newsletter, but our team members 36,000 of them at Hackensack Meridian health still hear about covid we give them the trends so they know throughout the health system how many patients are hospitalized how many team members are out of work as a result of covid that’s been the big focuses is really out of work because there’s still five to seven days when somebody gets over that they can’t return to work. So that puts a strain of course on the entire system. It’s so interesting here you talk about

Communications, obviously our audience our primarily medical marketers and granted that they typically deal with farm and biotech Brands hospitals and Health Systems. Haven’t been left out of what we saw during covid. Where was this proliferation of misinformation mistrust with institutions? I’m curious how that has affected your organization. Whereas people that maybe four years.

Going we had our initial conversation say oh no. I trust my doctor. I trust the information. I’m getting here now. It’s like oh no, I don’t or I heard this on social media or I have this mistrust. How have you and your organization been trying to navigate that?

Yeah, that’s been that’s a great question that’s been difficult to navigate because so many Healthcare consumers particularly younger ones are getting their information through social media. So, you know, we try to put out the latest information. We try to get our clinical leaders out there amongst the the public also, you know to you know of interest to to your listeners. The artificial intelligence is also helped us put messaging out there and patient education is a big piece of what we’re doing with with artificial intelligence, but you’re right. I mean the trust issue is significant the good news for healthcare providers. I think is that doctors and nurses are still amongst the most trusted professions in the US when you look at all the polling amongst consumers, so we try to leverage that

And make sure we put them front and center and before we get onto the world economic forum, and I have a lot of questions about

you going over to Switzerland everything that you have in the agenda there. I do want to ask about the changes that you’ve seen in your organization. Any organization worth its salt especially in healthcare is not going to just stay put they’re going to develop they’re going to bring on new Services New parsley organization. How is Hackensack changed since we last had our conversation four years ago. Yeah.

I can sex changed a lot in those those four years. So, you know covid kind of taught us some lessons as an example patience want to either receive their health care as much as possible closer to home or actually within their home. So as an example in these last four years the hospital at home program has really blossomed Matt Hackensack Meridian, we’ve partnered with a company called medically home and we’ve had Pilots that our academic medical centers and now we’re rolling out this partnership throughout Hackensack meridian, so more and more patients will actually receive Hospital level.

Care at home are Ambulatory Care Network again with the theme of closer to home our Ambulatory Care Network has really increased by Leaps and Bounds. So that’s Physician’s offices that’s urgent care centers surgery centers imaging centers. We’ve seen an incredible proliferation. I mean, we have more shovels in the ground now than than ever before now having said all that there’s still a lot of investment in the hospitals, you know hospitals are still going to be needed particularly for the more complex kinds of cases. So at Hackensack University Medical Center our Flagship hospital, we made a major investment and we opened a new patient care Tower with new state-of-the-art operating rooms Critical Care beds private rooms. We’re making major investments in our other academic centers as well new emergency departments at our Community Hospitals. And our I think when we spoke last our medical school was just getting underway and that’s been a real success story. So now we’re in our I think fifth year or sixth year and

And we see did a class this year of 167 miles students, which is been a phenomenal out of an applicant pool of about 8,000. So we’re doing them we’re doing okay. It’s obviously been a pretty pretty good success. What I’m proud of there is not just that it’s the first new private medical school in New Jersey in 60 years, but actually The Innovation that’s going on with the curriculum. So there’s been a real big emphasis on prevention teaming up medical students with families and underserved communities following them for their three or four years while they’re they’re receiving their medical education and really really understanding about some of the health health care disparities that exist and and some of the issues around Health Equity. So really focused on on being Innovative when you’re starting Medical School you get that luxury of kind of starting from scratch. You got that clean whiteboard as opposed to some established medical schools. And you know, it’s hard to kind of turn that that big ship around right?


I am really kind of curious too because you talk about I remember at the start of the covid-19 pandemic and talking to hospital leaders and they were like, you know, it was at that point. Whereas like 80 90 percent of care was all on Telehealth because right you were able to go for elected procedures and everything was over the internet and obviously we’ve seen that kind of come back not to levels. It was pre-pandemic but like certainly more people use Telehealth, but there was this kind of idea where it’s like, oh of all these investments in brick and mortar just gone by the wayside where we too short-sighted but you’re talking about, you know, putting shovels in the ground. I think there are a lot of other Hospital Systems doing

a similar thing. It’s like yeah. No, we have to kind of balance those two ideas. Yeah, a lot of the predictions early on in covid didn’t turn out right is the example people aren’t gonna shake hands anymore, right? Yeah the elbow thing that they work out. So all the other thing. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, they’re still gonna there’s obviously still gonna be investment in brick and mortar and I think you know in the height of covid probably there was that talk that there wouldn’t be but certainly Telehealth, you know, the Investments continue there. I mean, we’re expanding our Telehealth portfolio and particularly since Hackensack Meridian has become a leading provider for

Able Health Services for mental health services many, you know, especially on the outpatient side with the shortage of psychiatrists. A lot of those visits are via Telehealth and we’re finding you know, good acceptance be probably because of the pandemic of all age groups using Telehealth. That was the probably the biggest surprise is particularly the the Baby Boomers, you know, where they’re going to be receptive to it and surprisingly so they have been

yeah, there was this whole idea where it’s like, oh older people aren’t going to want to do it’s like no like anybody as long as they have the access. Yeah, they’re probably gonna get

actually they love it. I mean if you look at the surveys, you know, once they once they get the hang of it and they use it regularly. They they love it. I mean why not? It’s a great convenience.

Absolutely. Well, I appreciate you indulging me on my provider organization. Absolutely you talk about that all day. I know you could but we want to talk about obviously where you’re going to next week going to Davos and going the world economic Forum over the summer. You had a new appointment as a relates the world economic Forum. Can you fill our audience in on what that is and what that role entails? Yeah.

So I’ve been appointed as the chair of the

The healthcare governance Community out at Davos and it’s a real honor. I mean I’ve been going to Davos to the world economic Forum over the past several years, but not in this leadership role. So the you know in terms of this leadership role, my major responsibility is to help to find the priority in terms of what we’re going to talk about a Davos and what you know actions were going to take so we first thing we did is we put together a steering committee of colleagues out there from the provider side as well as pharmaceutical and and device side and got together and decided you know, what the priorities we’re going to be now over the past several years the Health Care Community priorities included access to healthcare particularly amongst underserved Nations, which you know, we’re challenged in terms of Access to Health Care Health Equity was another major priority as we kind of were able to see some of the disparities between you know, the development.

An underserved Nations, I mean just one statistic that I’ll throw out there is there’s a you know, 30-year difference in in life expectancy, you know, really dramatic underserved versus versus developed countries. So that that was another area another focused area in the world economic forum for healthcare was the effect that climate change has on on one’s health and and the Health Care system. And then the the fourth area was about value-based care and how I would Define that would be you know, in enhancing the quality of care enhancing quality and safety outcomes while providing value to the system and you know in a cost-effective economical way to make health care more affordable to to those around the globe as well. So when we looked at all four of those areas, we came up with the the idea that artificial intelligence really is going to impact all four. So we thought that should be the priority for 2024 and we ran

By the steering committee, we talked about it and came to the conclusion that that was the appropriate topic. You know again, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about artificial intelligence. But if you think about those four priorities over the last few years for the Healthcare Community at Davos AI is definitely going to make a profound impact on in all four and what are your expectations as it relates to Health Equity because I think it’s

something that our audience focused on quite a bit ai’s ability to impact there because I think a lot of people do still have even though it’s been really popularized through the chat Epps and all the other sort of generative AI platform. So we’ve seen rise over the past like year 18 months. It’s not just oh making, you know, Barack Obama sing Frank Sinatra or something like that. Like there are real application. I can have a practical impact as it relates to Health Equity. Where do you see that impact

so place

I see that as really helping us identify populations that truly are in need of different types of services. So AI could help.

Us aggregate data by ZIP codes, it can also help us Identify some of the social determinants of Health that are causing some of these Healthcare inequities and these disparities and in outcomes can help us really connect better. And therefore if you can if you can screen and identify those people that are most at risk for you know, and having having health care and equities and having these disparities and outcomes and you can do something about it.


just as an example at Hackensack Meridian, we we use a digital tool. This is not I’m getting off AI a little bit but we use a digital tool we partner with a company called unite us and we’re able in the last year to two years. We’ve been able to screen over a million people who have come in contact with Hackett Tech Community many of them from underserved communities and as a result of that we’ve been able to identify one or more of those social determinants to help that they

Have in at high risk for and then we’ve made 3.5 million referrals


them to get help. So if AI can help augment that type of digital registration process, that would be really helpful. We can get to a lot more. So the idea if you kind of scale that up by by country, I think there could be some profound impact where AI can make a huge impact on health inequities absolutely and not only for your organization,

but if other organizations of any sort of type across the industry, we’re half that they could put that into action but then action


did what I ask you a question because you have been going to the world economic forum for years you’re taking on this leadership position there there has been a sort of backlash. I think it’s probably due to the rise and populism that we’ve seen across the political sector towards the world economic Forum, but even some of the ideas that you listed out there the idea that like Health Equity has to be a priority. There is still skepticism around climate change for you as a leader say this is where I align myself with and these are the things that I think

Do pose a grave risk in some sort of ways that you know, the people that I’m caring for with my organization. What do you say

to those criticisms or how do you combat that with your own leadership? Yeah. I mean, I think you just have to get the message out there, you know, you can’t paint the world economic Forum with with that broader brush, right? I mean, I mean, there’s certainly politics that you know are present at the world economic forum. And you know, I can understand what why there’s there may be some pushback, you know in different different sectors, but you know, I think the work that we’re doing in the Healthcare Community is is something that it’s hard to argue with. I mean, you know climate change. I think you know, most people recognize it’s it’s here. Maybe there’s still debate about why but it’s here. I mean we’re seeing you know, we’re seeing Rising temperatures around the globe that’s resulting in more infectious disease prevalence like like malaria. We’re seeing it even in terms of higher degrees of pollution and causing asthma things of that nature malnutrition because of

You know less ability to farm products that are necessary. So if we ignore that, where is that then I’ll leave you know health and health care. So we have to we have to address issues like that Health Equity like you’re mentioning very very important. I mean, you know, I think I don’t think anybody would argue that there’s huge differences and outcomes. Whether it’s Maternal Child Health where you know, African-American women are three times more likely to die from complications of birth and their white counterparts. I mean, you know, those are those are real. Those are real numbers real statistics real people that are actually dying so we need to do something about that. So I I look at the world economic Forum as a good chaminer for for action, and that’s that’s gonna be one of my focuses too. We don’t want to just talk about it and talk about the problems, but I want to come away with an action plan. So the way the the way this Governor’s meeting is gonna work is there’s going to be the governors themselves. We’ll hear from industry leaders about

Ai and its potential and and maybe some of the pitfalls making sure that you know, we’re responsible as we’re as we’re moving forward with AI, you know with some of the pilots with some of the use cases and making sure that there’s good governance on top of it and is good human interaction along the along the way so we’ll hear from some of those industry leaders. Then we’re gonna bring the policy makers in so we’re gonna have some some health ministers that will come in from us from Europe from South America as as well, Dr. Tedros, who’s head of the World Health Organization will be also addressing the the group and then the health ministers are the policy makers if you will will leave the room and then the governors will reconvene and we’ll go into breakout sessions and talk about what we just heard from both the industry leaders and from the policy makers come up with specifics around the potential for AI some of the guardrails that need to be put in place.

And what actions can we take and we’re gonna follow up every month with this group. So it’s not gonna just be till next Davos that we talk about this again. We’re gonna have some real live follow-ups on each and every month

that’s encouraging to hear from my end just because again before when I was in previous role covering the hospitals and health system sector it seemed like and maybe this was changed over the course of covid. It seemed like it was very much everyone’s in their own tribe or their own camp where it’s like the insurance people don’t want to talk with the providers right buyer in the farmers over here and all the sort of stuff. It seems like there has been this kind of coalescing or this sort of you’re not so different you and I and we actually have to have an action plan that comes together, especially with something as cast consequential as AI is

yeah, I think you know, there has to be a good public private partnership. I think device companies pharmaceutical companies insurers. There’s an incentive providers as an incentive for all of us to work together and harness AI to its full potential and

To also come together and agree on what the what the guardrail should be. What are you know, where where should where should the regulations start? You know, we don’t we we want to find that right balance. We don’t want to be so overregulated that’s gonna stifle Innovation and stifle AI development but we also recognize that we have to do this in a responsible way. So there needs to be some regulations. So we’re working as an example with the White House President Biden issued an executive order on AI some of the agencies are starting to formulate some regulations and we’re part of the group of organizations that are working with the with the White House and developing the right guidelines. No, it’s it’s

taking that proactive measure like you said to be able to make sure things don’t get out of control with the technology. That’s as new and profound as it is. I want to ask you a couple more questions about Hackensack Meridian and kind of on the communication side because that is our audience but one final question about Davos. This is my own curiosity is what do you like to do outside of the

It seems like there’s a lot of skiing I can imagine that there’s very good food being Switzerland. Yeah, what appeals to you, you know the

skiing definitely appeals to me and in previous years. I had one year. I had my after the meetings were over my son flew out and we did some skiing which was really which was really cool. And I had a I had a buddy of mine that flew out another year to do that this year. Unfortunately, I gotta go back right after the meals have some events. So I don’t know I’m hoping maybe maybe half a day of skiing. I might be able to get in like Friday afternoon before after the sessions end and before before I have to go back but we’ll have to see about that. Yeah, I mean the, you know, listen the you know, the culinary experiences are good there, you know, the wine is not bad just say is why I never bad and you know, they you know Davos is also, you know, there’s also, you know events that are you know, more social that happened, you know late, you know, we’ll have to see how that I have to balance all that because the schedule this year. I looked at it.

Itinerary, I mean I start at like, you know seven in the morning every morning. So I have to and I cannot say this, you know with a straight face anymore used to say sleep is overrated, but my my clinical colleagues tell me Bob. You can’t you can’t say exactly I can’t I won’t say that on your podcast.

Yeah, you can tell yourself that yeah going back to the communication side because I know that it’s something that would interest our audience. We’ve covered a couple of the campaigns that Hackensack Meridian has done. There’s the no butts campaign that appeals to me obviously just because and what what a great Pond and and obviously the work that you’ve done with Eli Manning you work with donor, that’s the agency of record for the organization curious about entrusting an agency because we do have agency folks and they’re always trying to appeal to these different Healthcare Brands saying we can take your message. We can take your mission and message accordingly. What is that like working with the agency because you obviously have your mission but then you’re saying please go out into the world and articulate it appropriately. Yeah.

I mean, I think you know, I like to think we have a good story to tell and

They help us they help us tell that story. So, you know professional organizations like, you know, like donor and others, you know, certainly are great to to work with there’s a lot of talent a lot of creativity. So they’ll come up with some, you know, some novel ideas that maybe we didn’t think about like, you know, the the no butts campaign and things of that nature but you know working with folks like Eli Manning to help us raise money for things like pediatric cancer research has been amazing. I mean Eli Manning, we’re just I was just talking to somebody else about this. He’s been a phenomenal partner, you know, we just doesn’t lend his name to a cause which he has in this case. He actually is there doing the work helping us raise important dollar. So, you know what, you know, when you when you have an agency that helps you get out that message just helps people like like Eli and the folks at Hackensack Meridian health do more good things.

I can say this as a Patriots fan begrudgingly. He does seem like a nice guy. It is a great guy. He seems like a very nice.

I know, you know, sorry, sorry about the Patriots this year. But what again you could say that about our Giants



was there last Sunday watching the beat the Eagles. So that’s that’s my own Victory there. I wanted to kind of wrap up our conversation here. You’ve been so gracious with your time and coming into our studio here in Chelsea to talk about all the work that you’re doing at your organization on the global stage with the world economic Forum as you look out to 24, obviously, I think a lot of people that I’ve spoken to certainly in the marketing and agency side see a lot of uncertainty. Obviously the economy didn’t go full recession mode. We’re looking at sort of a soft Landing but inflation is still lingering there’s concerned about what the outcome of the presidential election could be. There’s so many other factors that play from your perspective as it relates to your organization. You know, what do you see ahead and how do you navigate some of those obstacles?

You know, I think the for me the macro Trends and Healthcare, I think we’ll continue.

Even with the uncertainty of what’s ahead in 2024 meaning the economy the the election? I think the macro Trends meaning, you know, certainly I think Innovation will continue AI will continue to be deployed in in health care for for good reasons. I think the trends of more and more Health Care being delivered outside the four walls of the hospital that will continue. I think what we look at is particularly, you know, when when it’s tough Economic Times we look at folks that are that lose their jobs and maybe lose their your health their health insurance. And so we you know, we need to step up even more and we need to to address that and make sure people have access to to programs like charity care and things of that nature so that you know, that’s always on our mind when when there’s either a recession or something near a recession downturn in the economies that that’s something we’ll we’ll watch and obviously, you know in terms of overall Healthcare

Policy elections do have consequences. So that is something that will watch but I don’t believe you know.

Whichever party ends off winning in in the US. I do believe the the macro trends. Like I said in healthcare will will continue, but they’ll be some, you know micro Trends if you will that will obviously shift from political party to political party. Yeah, especially given how

partisan things seem to be on Capitol Hill with the margins everything exactly more to come on that front as they’re always is but really appreciates you coming by our studio offering your insights here always a pleasure to talk to you. That was great Jack. Thanks for having me.

Pharma entrepreneur and former founder of Roivant Sciences Vivek Ramaswamy has dropped out of the presidential race after he ranked fourth place in the Iowa caucuses.

Ramaswamy, who was running for the Republican nomination, was beat in the caucuses by Nikki Haley as third and Ron DeSantis second, with Donald Trump coming in first with 20 delegates as of January 16.

After announcing he would leave the race, Ramaswamy endorsed Trump for president, according to NBC News.

“As of this moment, we are going to suspend this presidential campaign, and this is going to have to be – there’s no path for me to be the next president, absent things we don’t want to see happen in this country.”

As I’ve said since the beginning, there are two America-first candidates in this race,” Ramaswamy continued. “And earlier tonight I called Donald Trump to tell him that I congratulated him on his victory, and now going forward, he will have my full endorsement for the presidency.”

Ramaswamy, a multi-millionaire, funded a large chunk of his campaign with the money he made in the pharma industry. In 2014, he founded Roivant Sciences with the strategy of buying up patents from Big Pharma companies for drugs that hadn’t been developed yet, and advancing them to commercialization.

One of those highly-watched drugs was intepirdine, which Roivant subsidiary Axovant bought up from GSK, and ended up failing in a late-stage trial in 2017.

During his campaign, Ramaswamy called himself a “scientist,” arguing that he “developed a number of medicines,” according to The New York Times. Aside from an undergraduate degree in biology, Ramaswamy had no scientific training, and spent his career as an entrepreneur.

But he also sought to brand himself as a second Trump, referring to his policy agenda as “America First 2.0.” The agenda largely referred to identity politics as being a QUOTE “scam,” as reflected in his book, Woke, Inc.

The Republican contender also heavily pushed the idea of banning kids from using social media platforms, equating the products to addictions and calling TikTok “digital fentanyl.” 

Ramaswamy has a TikTok profile with more than 350,000 followers, and has posted dozens of videos throughout his campaign, most recently just a few days ago discussing the upcoming Iowa caucuses.

Despite campaigning against the use of social media among kids, Ramaswamy admitted in a TikTok video himself that he started a profile to reach younger voters.

When it comes to abortion, Ramaswamy said he didn’t support a national abortion ban – but he has called himself pro-life and said he supports six-week bans at the state level.

The biotech entrepreneur also split slightly from his party’s typical stance on drugs, noting that he supported the decriminalization of certain drugs like psychedelics, and that he wasn’t a “war on drugs’ person.” He did, however, push that he would use the military to “annihilate the Mexican drug cartels if necessary.”

Following his defeat, Ramaswamy appears to be planning to stay involved in politics. He posted on X late Monday night that “This campaign is about speaking the TRUTH… [I] will do everything I can to make sure [Trump] is the next U.S. president.”

I’m Lecia Bushak, Senior Reporter at MM+M.

And this is the part of the broadcast when we welcome Jack O’Brien to tell us what’s trending on healthcare social media.

Last night was the 75th Emmy Awards, where TV icon and MS patient advocate Christina Applegate introduced the award for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Listeners will recall that Applegate was diagnosed with MS in 2021 after she began experiencing leg pain and tremors during shooting for the last season of her show, Dead to Me

On Monday night, Applegate, aided by a walking cane, made an emotional appearance at the awards show, complete with her signature charm, humor – and even a nod to Ozempic.

This was a welcome – albeit rare – showing from Applegate, who didn’t make a public appearance from the time of her diagnosis until November 2022, when she attended the ceremony to receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In February 2023, Applegate showed up to the 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards with a cane that read “FU MS.” She also walked down the red carpet barefoot and noted in a tweet that she chose to go barefoot because “for some with MS the feeling of shoes may hurt or make us feel off balance. So today I was me. Barefoot.”

About 1 million people in the U.S. are living with MS, according to the National MS Society, and while the causes of MS are often uncertain, they can be triggered by autoimmune disorders, infectious viruses, genetics or environmental factors.

I can tell both you Mark and Lesha that seeing her come down there with her cane with the assistance of host Anthony Anderson with love and marriage blasting for everybody who is a fan of Married With Children very heartwarming there and the fact that she was able to take it in in good grace had a few jokes to send off to the crowd before handing the the trophy over was a heartwarming moment if nothing else.

Yeah, it’s definitely heartwarming as you mentioned Jack to see here appear at the Emmy Awards. You know, I remember reading about her being diagnosed a few years ago and sort of the the symptoms that she had been experiencing the fact that she was walking with a cane obviously there’s always the concern since this is a progressive disease with no real cure. You know, it’s always hopeful to to see her still appearing in public and you know being sort of a celebrity who isn’t afraid to you know, talk about her condition and say I can still do some things even though I’m struggling and I have a cane for example, so, um, definitely heartwarming to you to see her there

and it was one of those things too where she said when you know, people kept applauding her they plotted her when she came out there and then she made a reference to it as a disability and then she was quickly like, okay, we don’t need to apply every time that I say something like let’s we got to keep the show moving on Mark. I want to bring you into the conversation here.

Yeah, thanks jacket, you know reminds me of the fact that Ms. Patients have long been known, you know for a particular patient profile, you know, those who aren’t afraid to kind of confront their condition and even you know going so far as to use certain Pharmaceuticals that have known risk factors like to sabry, you know, which had a risk for a rare brain infection but so much so, you know, did they kind of exemplify this fearlessness that you know, this is kind of showing up in the marketing, you know for these kind of drugs in this kind of this particular therapeutic category and emotion really is the spark. You know, that audience is most identify that’s kind of a basically tenant of marketing and so it really has shown up in a lot of pharmaceutical marketing and advertising but you know, especially in the MS category, you know, you see this kind of and as you know it on

And fums that’s kind of was the Hallmark of one of the other Ms. Campaigns with more patients. We’re seeing these sticking their tongue out at the camera.

But I was also you know, very taken by that that video, you know of her kind of fearlessly walking down across the stage and you know, again confronting her illness and showing that she’s not afraid of it. It’s it’s a must be sort of for people dealing with this condition and you know kind of making the best of it to have her, you know, kind of show that that they can do that must must be empowering.

Yeah you talk about it kind of like from the patient profile that we’ve seen for various campaigns. I feel like Ms. Is always one of those where they talk they teach you to really be out there and proud and and live and be the face of it whether it’s you know, Christina Applegate or or Ann Romney. That’s one of the things that is always stuck out to me. What do you got next Jack? I’m gonna throw this one over to Lecia.

Hunter eyes, prey eyes, negative and positive canthal tilt…these are all terms that may sound strange on first impression, but are well-known on TikTok, where they fall under the category of “looksmaxxing.”

The goal of looksmaxxing is to be as attractive as possible, fueled by the use of “beauty” filters that smooth out skin, make eyes bigger and brighter, make lips plumper and make imperfections disappear.

Looksmaxxing could mean something as simple as changing your makeup, skincare routine or hairstyle. It could also refer to far more drastic physical changes, like plastic surgery and rearranging the bone structure in your face. 

Now, a recent trend on TikTok related to the canthal tilt has taken off, spurring an increase in plastic surgery and triggering some backlash over its link to body dysmorphia.

Canthal tilt refers to a line between the outer edges of your eyes. The outer corner of the eye is the lateral canthus, and the inner corner of the eyes is the medial canthus. To have a slanting or sloping up from the medial to lateral canthus is considered a positive tilt, and a downward slope a negative tilt.

Some videos take canthal tilt to the extreme, arguing that a positive canthal tilt is attractive while a negative canthal tilt is deemed unattractive.

“Your eye area makes or breaks you. The eye area holds a pivotal place in determining facial attractiveness. The shape, position and the canthal tilt are crucial factors that can significantly impact a person’s overall appearance.”

Looksmaxxing trends like canthal tilt have sent young people flocking to plastic surgeons to change the structure of their faces. But some opponents argue that trends like the canthal tilt is damaging to mental health, and can further body dysmorphia.

Dr. Stafford Broumand, a board-certified plastic surgeon at 740 Park Plastic Surgery in New York, says he has to educate his patients on a daily basis about how TikTok and Instagram filters and trends are unrealistic.

“I see a lot of actors and people on screen, and the reality is in person they never look like they do on screen. That realization is not necessarily transmitted to the general population; they think those people always look that good, when in reality, they don’t. It’s all makeup, filters and Photoshop. That’s the discussion that needs to be had and it’s what I discuss with my younger patients. They bring in photos or images on Instagram and say, ‘I want to look like this.’ Well, those aren’t real. It’s an ongoing discussion. I can only go through one patient at a time. But to get that message out there is important.”

t is one of those things and I’m gonna put my hand up unless you know Mark, I don’t know Mike cancel tilt I even when I was editing the story. I didn’t know if I had a good one or a bad one. But


the the point I professed. I know that

you don’t know that so we’re over three here. One thing that does stand out to me unless you and I were talking about this offline before we came in the studio is the fact that of all of the different tiktok Trends and stuff that we cover the one that always seems to get the most in terms of action items for the people that are involved are these ones with cosmetic surgeons or plastic surgeons or whatever. Like I feel like other people can look at different things and it may not have the same sort of oh I need to go but like you interviewed a plastic surgeon that’s here in New York and being approached by young people or adolescents or young adults saying like, oh I need to get this done because I saw this online whereas that just doesn’t have the same sort of effect with other sorts of medical professions. It must be and I maybe I you know better than I do less. It must be exhausting.

Our way for hcps to be like, oh my gosh. I’m just inundated with people that are getting this kind of wacky information off social media and then I have to be the one saying no this isn’t real or it’s not not to the same extent as which you think it is.

Absolutely and Dr. Brahman the plastic surgeon. I spoke with essentially said that you know every day this is a thing for him every day. He’s talking to patients and has to do it on an individual basis and there’s there’s only so many patients in a day he can kind of explain this to but right now that’s kind of his only way of getting this message across to them is when they do come to him in person with these these ideas in their head and he has sort of make a make it a personal conversation to

Change those perceptions that are coming from social media

in addition doing all the other stuff that he does as a doctor, which is not telling patients. Like, oh that tiktok. You saw is not exactly what we should be doing. Right

and wonder if they kind of welcome it in terms of it. Well, at least it’s getting people talking about the issues that that are that I’m passionate about and I can at least have a conversation with people or if it’s like, you know, unwanted, you know, but we talked about the looks maxing Trend last year. I remember with with bone smashing. We also saw it with another one of lesh’s great pieces on DIY Dentistry, you know, just the term, you know gives me chills. But you know, these are all Trends as Leicester said they gain traction last year or two, you know, like it or not tiktok. Is this health platform of choice for Gen Z and they’re you know, there’s a plethora of them online and countless not only cosmetic transmit mental health Trends. We’re gonna be I’m sure talking more about in the coming year and it’s

They’re gone from disinformation to downright dangerous. And so, you know, you have these things that seemingly seem innocuous that they you know, become dangerous in the wrong hands because you know for every video that kind of mocks these practices, you know, it begs the question how many people actually genuinely believe it? So it’s definitely an area right for real Mental Health Care Professionals to come in and correct the misinformation and we’ll talk more about that. I’m sure this year but was very very provocative topic indeed thank collection absolutely being able to talk about something that

has such a tie in with mental health and then the body just morphe angle too. I’m sure that he was just as excited to be like, okay instead of talking to one patient at a time. I can talk to somebody that’s able to get the message out there to a wider range of people expand the audience.

As a member of the New York Giants for 15 seasons, Michael Strahan played with a relentless style that allowed to persevere through all kinds of adversity.

Now, Strahan’s daughter Isabella is embracing that same resilient mindset in the face of a major health challenge. 

Isabella, the 19-year-old daughter of the Pro Football Hall of Famer and Good Morning America co-host, is set to undergo further treatment for medulloblastoma. This is a malignant type of brain cancer, according to our sibling publication Cancer Therapy Advisor.

This disease accounts for 20% of all childhood brain cancers and most commonly presents in children between the ages of five and nine. The five-year survival rate for medulloblastoma is 72%, according to data from the National Cancer Institute, though many factors can affect a prognosis.

In an effort to bring attention to this form of brain cancer, Isabella launched a YouTube series in partnership with Duke Children’s Hospital to document her patient journey as she prepares for chemotherapy treatment next month. All proceeds from the series will benefit the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center, where she is set to receive her care.

In the first video of the series – which is seven minutes long – Isabella brings viewers up to speed on how her care journey began and outlines her hopes of eventually getting back to life as a college student.

Mark. I want to bring you into the conversation here because obviously you and I are both football fans neither for the New York Giants but have always had a long respect for Michael Strahan on the playing field and obviously the impressive media career. He’s been able to achieve off of it and you’re a father too. I can’t even imagine the helplessness that you must feel when you see something like that like watching the interview that he and his daughter gave with Robin Roberts and seeing her talk about this, you know, 19 years old with a pretty aggressive form of brain cancer. I can’t even imagine what that would do to myself let alone if I had a child that was going through that.

Yeah, absolutely just absolutely heartbreaking, you know to think also that she was just, you know in the fall, you know, you know had not been dealing with any of this and then all of a sudden she has the headaches and then she goes in and then before she knows that she’s having, you know brain surgery. I believe it was in October, right? So how quickly life life changes and

Obviously when it’s your own child, like my goodness, it’s the work most devastating thing in the world and not that I have any direct experience there. But you know, I can only imagine what Michael Strahan’s going through definitely, you know, if as an Eagles fan, I give him his props, you know, he was a terrific player all those years and a terrific, you know competitor and it’s it’s great to see his he’s passing those qualities obviously and it was daughter who’s you know, battling this it’s such a young age showing so much Poise, you know to be 19 and to be burying your your life to the world when you’re going through something so public that you probably just kind of want to crawl into into bed and just like not talk to anybody but you know, if it can benefit one person, you know to either get a screening, you know pay attention to to that headache or whatever and you know and go see a doctor to prevent some further, you know, God forbid tragedy like this then it’s done some good and so

You know Applause to her and you know, we’ve seen a number of kind of celebrities, you know, kind of whether it’s going in for colonoscopies or those kinds of things trying to raise awareness for those really necessary medical screenings. I’m not sure that this lines up perfectly, you know with medulla blastoma, but you know, it’s it’s just really impressive.

But even just a provide a little

bit of normalcy too, like the fact that it affects normally younger children and she’s 19 here like this is even for some of her own peers. This is for younger kids to say like, you know, this is somebody that is going through something very severe and you’re gonna have bad days you’re gonna have days or you feel like crap in the treatments are getting the best view and everything, but you’re trying to look for whatever that silver lining. I do think it’s impressive too because you know, Michael Strahan’s obviously made this indelible Mark and media. He has his own production company and being able to say like we’re gonna put we’re gonna Marshall those resources if you will for her to be able to tell her story and to to do that for younger kids. It’s really admirable less. I’m just kind of curious your thoughts on, you know, being able to try and take what is obviously a very dark situation and make as good of something out of it as you can.

Yeah. Well, I mean we just spoke about medical information misinformation online. But I think this is a good example of you know, they’re being these initiatives and people who are actually using social media to spread more positive messages and accurate information. I know YouTube has done a lot in the last couple years to fight misinformation to crack down on videos that are misleading about health topics and to start a lot of initiatives involved that involve part partnering with credible organizations hospitals, you know, authoritative sources like that to basically develop series that provide accurate medical information and I think this is an example of of that and YouTube’s efforts to to bring accurate medical information to the top especially for younger people. As you mentioned Isabella is is you know of the younger gener

Station and being able to have her on YouTube speaking to the younger generation. I’m sure is is very poignant and impactful.

Definitely. I’m sure the folks at YouTube when they saw oh, there’s a new health series that’s gonna launch on here and then they’re able to see like, oh this is to try and Empower pediatric cancer patients instead of you know, God knows what else is on there was probably welcome news to them. So obviously sending the best to Isabel in the straight hand family there and we’ll be you know tuning in to see how she documents her journey like we said next month is when she starts her chemotherapy treatment in Earnest and we look forward to seeing her, you know,

finish up that journey to to good health and hopefully for many years to come


All right. That was terrific.

Thanks for joining us on this week’s episode of the MM+M Podcast. Be sure to listen to next week’s episode when we’ll be joined by Dr. John Wigneswaran, chief medical officer of Walmart.