Posted on September 14, 2016

IIH Honoree Spotlight: Diane Rehm

One of NEHI's 2016 Innovators in Health honorees, Diane Rehm, says medical innovation saved her career.


dNEHI is proud to honor Diane Rehm, host of The Diane Rehm Show, on September 29th at NEHI’s 2016 Innovators in Health Awards. Diane has, for many years, brought important health, health care, and health policy issues to light.

The Diane Rehm Show, an important fixture on NPR stations across the country for over thirty years, gives its listeners an opportunity to participate in in-depth discussions about issues in the news. For her millions of listeners, Diane has crafted conversations around imperative health care issues like the Affordable Care Act, infectious disease, drug addiction, and cancer care.

Diane has also used her public platform to raise awareness on a very personal issue. In her most recent book, On My Own, Diane has shared the story of the long struggle her husband had with Parkinson’s disease, and the poor end-of-life care she felt was allowed to be afforded. With the publishing of this book, Diane has spoken across the country about end-of-life care, the need to improve that care in America, and the need for families across the country to talk about issues and desires in end-of-life.  

As a 2016 Innovator in Health, we asked Diane Rehm a few questions about innovations in health:

NEHI: Where have you seen successful innovations in health care?

DR: I am stunned by the advances made in immunotherapy. One of my dear friends has seen a complete reversal of his cancer through what was, and perhaps still is, experimental treatments. I’m thrilled to see this innovation.

NEHI: Was there a time in your (remarkable!) career where you used or needed innovation to address a health or health care issue?  

DR: Indeed there was. When I began losing my voice, I turned to doctor after doctor, all of whom insisted there was nothing wrong with my voice, and that the problem was all in my head. It finally came to Dr. Paul Flint, an otolaryngologist, and a superb neurologist, Dr. Stephen Reich, Both at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, to diagnose the Spasmodic Dysphonia. I was treated that very day with a Botox injection into my vocal cords, and thus began the recovery that saved my very career.   

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