The MennoHealth Cast podcast is a production of The Mennonite, Inc., and Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship.
MennoHealth Cast seeks to highlight the personal stories of nurses, doctors, health researchers, dentists, chaplains, social workers, advanced practitioners and others involved in various fields related to the care of human beings. MennoHealth Cast is hosted by Joann Hunsberger, a pediatric anesthesiologist specializing in intraoperative anesthesia and post-operative pain management in children. The first series, “Mennos in Medicine,” consists of conversational interviews with Anabaptist folks working in various health fields. For more information about Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship, or to become a member of the organization, visit their website.
New episodes release every 6-8 weeks.
In episode 5 of MennoHealth Cast, Joann Hunsberger speaks with Dr. Doug Smucker. Dr. Smucker started his career as a family medicine doctor and later evolved into a palliative and hospice medicine doctor. He is professor emeritus of family and community medicine at University of Cincinnati and currently works at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, as medical director of palliative care. In this podcast, he talks about the struggles and challenges of caring for patients in their final days and discusses how his Goshen (Indiana) College education was formative in his career choices.
This episode features Linda Witmer, who spent 23 years serving among the K’ekchi’, the Indigenous people of Guatemala, as a representative of both Mennonite Central Committee and Eastern Mennonite Missions. With the K’ekchi’, she focused on church programs and public health projects that were in large part initiated by the community. At Goshen (Indiana) College she taught classes on community health, transcultural nursing and health care for the poor and served as adjunct professor located in Guatemala, where she offered an annual three-week course on “Doing Theology in Latin America.” She returned to the United States, where she completed her Master of Divinity at Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Theological Seminary and now is director of the RN to BS nursing program at the Eastern Mennonite University extension site in Lancaster, where she engages the students in understanding different cultural perspectives.
David Sack is a professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. In this episode, Dr. Sack discusses the evolution of the oral cholera vaccine (check out a photo of it here), reflects on the challenges and rewards of research-oriented academic medicine, and gives some of his own personal story about following in the path of his brothers.
Rebecca Heidkamp is a public health researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. She specializes in addressing nutrition problems in locations with low resources. In this episode Rebecca talks to our host, Joann Hunsberger, about being in Haiti in 2010 during the earthquake, including some of her beautiful moments of personal encounters and how she met Mennonites.
Our host, Joann Hunsberger, talks with Karen Vundla who recently completed her 46-year career in nursing. They talk about Karen’s experiences in clinical nursing in various locations including Zimbabwe, Lexington and Baltimore. Karen also shares stories of encounters with oncology patients that have continued to be meaningful to her through the years and ethical dilemmas she has faced while providing patient care.