The Pulse – February 21, 2014

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    In the world of cheesesteaks, Geno Vento stands head and shoulders above the crowd. But a lifetime spent around this delicious, but fattening, delicacy has rendered him one of about 200,000 Americans who attempt a surgical weight-loss procedure each year. He’s lost 100 pounds so far, but the question remains: Can he make the profound lifestyle changes necessary to maintain his new weight? Then we sit down with Dr. David Sarwer, a psychologist who works with patients before and after bariatric surgery to discuss the mental component of weight-loss.

    Last year, the U.S. deported over 130,000 undocumented immigrants. In an attempt to get emotional support to those fighting to stay in the country, an interfaith immigrant rights organization called New Sanctuary Movement has been pairing local congregations with families facing deportation. In the secon part of our series on mental health and undocumented immigrants, we visited with one of the program’s pairs to see how it works.

    Ever wonder why your mom warned you not to pour used cooking oil down the kitchen sink? Can you say “fatberg”? Yeah, that exists, but it doesn’t have to. With encouragement from the EPA, Philadelphia’s Indonesian population is doing its part to keep both their infrastructure and their environment a bit cleaner by recycling the oil they use to fry meat and vegetables. We go in search of community oil drums.  

    How do you improve care for the poorest and sickest among us while simultaneously balancing the books? That’s the trillion-dollar question facing the American health system. But it doesn’t scare a small healthcare team in Camden, N.J. from attempting to reinvent a clinic just for this population.

    Also on this week’s show: a health crisis facing bumblebees, the future of blight-resistant potatoes, dogs with OCD, and science cheerleaders. Yeah, they exist, too. Goooooooo science!

    For those stories and more, click on the audio icon above.

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