Angie Harms

Listen back to Talk of Iowa's conversation on middle childhood. Middle childhood is the time between toddler-hood and the teen years. It’s a point in development when kids transition into a concrete way of thinking that's more categorical and less emotionally volatile.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with an anthropologist, pediatrician and counselor about what's going on inside those growing bodies and minds.

Gonzalo Merat

In the 50 years since the U.S. government released its first report on the hazards of cigarettes, smoking rates have dropped by half. Yet, about a fifth of Iowans smoke today.

And while the smoking rate of young adults continues to decrease, about 2,600 Iowa minors become new daily smokers each year.

“Most people who use tobacco products start at a very early age,” said Dr. Karl Thomas, Executive Vice Chair for Clinical Programs at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

differentieel / Flickr

A months-long battle over health insurance for thousands of uninsured low-income Iowans has moved closer to resolution.  The federal government agreed to most of the plan Iowa adopted instead of  simply expanding Medicaid. But the feds say the poorest individuals should not have to pay premiums, as proposed under the Iowa plan.

National Institutes of Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health estimates that 500 Iowans are infected with HIV, but don’t know it.  On this River to River, hear about efforts to get every Iowan tested for HIV, what prevention measures are being used today, treatment, and what it means to have HIV and AIDS today.  And we’ll hear about Iowa’s HIV transmission law and the case of a gay Iowan man living with HIV who was charged with criminal transmission of HIV.

Derek Gavey

Richard Louv has written that “Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health.” Join host Charity Nebbe to hear from the man who coined the term “nature deficit disorder” about the importance of connecting with the natural world around us and the movement he helped to start.

Broadlawns Medical Center

Even if the rollout of the federal health law had gone off without a technical hitch, getting millions of Americans to sign up for insurance would still be a tall order. That’s why the law includes funding for workers trained to help people find their way around the new system. But in rural states like Iowa, with populations spread across hundreds of miles, those workers face an especially daunting challenge.


November 1 marks a month since the launch of the federal health insurance marketplace under Obamacare.  

As has been widely reported, the website has been plagued by problems from the start, and many Americans area struggling to get information.

I-5 Design & Manufacture

Recent movements addressing the obesity epidemic or industrial agriculture's dominance attempt to change how Americans eat.  Tracie McMillan sets out to understand the American food system from the bottom-up in  her book, “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at WalMart, Applebees, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table.”  Host Charity Nebbe asks McMillan where our food comes from and how we can eat healthier. 

Phil Roeder / Flickr

Does drinking coffee prevent dementia? Will diet soda give you cancer?  Science and health reporting is often misleading and confusing.

From infectious disease to sports and entertainment, River to River host Ben Kieffer has a news roundup show.  He'll talk with the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health about recent outbreaks of cyclospora and West Nile virus. Also, hear a little sports: Iowa’s  Zach Johnson is competing as the defending champion at the John Deere Classic Golf Tournament in the Quad Cities, and many Iowans reacted to University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz being listed as one of the worst coaches by Sports Illustrated recently.

Fairywren / flickr

Once upon a time you and your sweetheart may have spent hot summer nights at the drive-in or cooled off at the soda fountain—but dating in 2013 is very different.  Join host Charity Nebbe on Talk of Iowa about dating and socializing for seniors.  We’ll talk about the importance of social engagement as we age and the dating scene at the senior center, retirement community, nursing home, and online.

Curvatude / Jaye Gipson

What if you got hurt and went to see your doctor, but the doctor didn't take you seriously?

Correspondent Rob Dillard examines the difficult responsibilities that go along with taking care of someone who is sinking into dementia. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s. According to figures supplied by the local Alzheimer’s Association, some 69-thousand Iowans suffer from this debilitating disease. This number will likely swell to 71-thousand by 2020 and 77-thousand by 2025.  Dementia most often strikes the elderly. But in this report, Rob tells us it can also hit people in the prime of their life, bringing heartbreak to families with plans for their golden years.

College Degrees 360 / Flickr

Our bodies tell us when we’re stressed. Shoulder tension, eye twitch, insomnia... and for some of us the physical effects of stress can be downright dangerous. Host Charity Nebbe talks about our cultural reluctance to take time out or time off, and we’ll find out about the importance of listening to our bodies and using our vacation days.

Univeristy of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics sign
Jon Farvel / Flickr

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Clinic, staffed by two primary care physicians Dr. Nicole Nisly and Dr. Katie Imborek, will focus on comprehensive primary care for adult LGBT patients delivered by providers and staff with expertise in the health care needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. 

Bill Leaver is CEO of Iowa Health System, the state's largest network of hospitals and clinics.  He says the ruling will pave the way for more streamlined and prevention-focused healthcare.

Today, Iowa Public Radio concludes its week-long series “Being Learning Disabled in Iowa.” Over the past four days, correspondent Rob Dillard has been looking into the difficulties people with specific learning disabilities have while moving through the lower grades, into high school and on to college. Now, Rob tells us about the adjustments these people must continue to make throughout their lifetimes in order to function with a disorder that never completely disappears.

Earlier this month Ric Jurgens retired as CEO and Chairman of Hy-Vee after 43 years with the company. The Iowa-based supermarket chain operates 235 stores in eight states. This hour on River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Ric Jurgens about the evolution of Hy-Vee and trends in the grocery business. During the second half of the hour, we'll talk with two dieticians about healthy eating and changes to school lunch menus which take effect this year.

Iowa Public Radio is presenting Part Four in its week-long series “Being Learning Disabled in Iowa.” Yesterday we heard about the challenges faced by young students when it first becomes apparent they are having difficulties learning to read and write. Today, reporter Rob Dillard explores the struggles they may encounter in higher education, and the accommodations some colleges are making.

It’s estimated between six and seven percent of Iowa’s K-through-12 students have specific learning disabilities. This minority of kids are often separated from their classmates, and labeled as different. In part three of our series, we look at how this impacts the psyche of these students.

Being in Iowa is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and Alliant Energy.

A variety of teaching approaches are employed to help people who have trouble reading, writing or comprehending. Some of the pioneering research in the field took place at the University of Iowa.

Being in Iowa is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and Alliant Energy.

It’s estimated as many as one in five Americans experience some form of specific learning disability. Identifying who these people are, however, is not a precise science.

It took years before Jefferson-Scranton High School senior Mary Larson and her parents figured out why she couldn’t read. She depended on her father to read her grade school textbooks out loud. By fifth grade, she still showed no signs of grasping the meaning of written words.

“I went to Iowa City hospital and they had a professional test me, I had to do some reading tests, comprehension.”

        In the Quad Cities, Davenport’s St. Ambrose University will soon be opening a new program for training physician assistants.
      The job market is good for the female-dominated profession, but class sizes are limited.

Every year thousands of Iowa children are diagnosed with ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This hour on Talk of Iowa, we take a listen back to program from last fall as Charity looks at the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD with a two Child Psychiatrists from the University of Iowa. She'll talk with a child diagnosed with the disorder and his mother.

Towns around Iowa are trying to transform their communities with well-being habits from the world’s longest-living people. It’s called the Blue Zones Project and on Friday the first four Blue Zone Demonstration sites were announced. On today's Talk of Iowa, Charity talks with representatives from Spencer, Mason City, Cedar Falls and Waterloo: Iowa’s Blue Zones. Later in the hour, we'll hear about a new study, co-authored by University of Iowa Education Professor Deborah Linebarger, that examines the impact on children of television playing in the background.

There is a cavity epidemic among preschoolers in this country. According to the CDC, for the first time in 40 years tooth decay is on the rise. In fact, it is not unusual for young kids at all income levels to have cavities in half or even more of their teeth. We look at challenges in pediatric dentistry and what you can do to prevent tooth decay with the University of Iowa head of pediatric dentistry, Dr. Rebecca Slayton. Later, Charity speaks with Dr. Ginger Yang, Prof. of Community and Behavioral Health at the U.I.

Mindless Eating

Apr 3, 2012

Do you eat because you're hungry? Do you eat because you're bored? Brian Wansink says what you put in your mouth every day is influenced by your environment, the company you keep, and an almost endless and invisible list of other factors. Today, Charity talks with Wansink, author of "Mindless Eating, Why We Eat More Than We Think." (Bantam Books) Wansink, an Iowa native, is Director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab .

Ina May Gaskin has been described as "the mother of authentic midwifery". She is founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center, located near Summertown, Tennessee. An Iowa native, she has lectured all over the world at midwifery conferences and at medical schools, both to students and to faculty. She has helped thousands of mothers bring their babies into the world and her words have reached millions. Her most recent book is Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta.

It’s hard to understand what forces can lead a person to purposely starve. We do know that the causes of eating disorders are not simple, and that no one has found a simple solution. On today's Talk of Iowa, Charity speaks with a woman who overcame a serious eating disorder, the mother of a teenage survivor and a mental health counselor, Michelle Roling, who specializes in helping people with eating disorders,

Science of Obesity

Feb 12, 2012

Losing weight sounds simple in mathematical terms. Burning more calories than you consume = weight loss, but the reality is far more complicated. On today's Talk of Iowa, we’ll explore the science of weight loss, we’ll find out why it so difficult for some people to lose weight and we'll look into why keeping the weight off can be a daily challenge. Guests include Dr. Allyn Mark, Dr. William Haynes and Amy Fletcher of the University of Iowa.