Town Hall Conversations

Beginning in April 2020, Dr. Marc Boom has hosted Town Hall Conversations with other leading Houston Methodist physicians, researchers and clinician-scientists. These conversations seek to answer the most pressing questions from the community on subjects ranging from testing, treatments and possible vaccines to the latest innovations and how COVID-19 affects patients needing hospital services such as diagnostic and surgical procedures.

Click here to view 2022 Town Hall Conversations
Click here to view 2021 Town Hall Conversations

Click here to view 2020 Town Hall Conversations

Leading Medicine: Town Hall Conversations with Dr. Marc Boom

Leading Medicine: A Town Hall Conversation with Dr. Marc Boom
Town Hall Conversation XXV
(May 26, 2022)

Dr. Marc Boom is joined by Drs. Danielle Antosh, M. Kathleen Borchardt and Jessica Rohr for a discussion about women’s physical and mental health. Dr. Antosh presented an overview of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Houston Methodist and shared information about Pelvic Floor Disorders, Dr. Borchardt discussed the Obstetrics program and the latest gynecological cancer screening guidelines, and Dr. Rohr gave a historical overview of women’s mental health and explained the “lifespan approach” that the Houston Methodist Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health will use to improve women’s mental health outcomes. Following an engaging question and answer session, Dr. Boom closed the program with a brief update on COVID-19 variants and shared how Houston Methodist recently celebrated Nurses Week and Hospital Week.

Click here for the materials presented during the discussion.

Leading Medicine: A Town Hall Conversation with Dr. Marc Boom
Town Hall Conversation XXIV
(April 28, 2022)
Dr. Marc Boom is joined by Drs. Eamonn Quigley, Rachel Schiesser and David Victor III for a discussion about gastrointestinal conditions, colorectal cancer screening and fatty liver disease. Dr. Quigley gave an overview of the Lynda K. and David M. Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders and all that takes place within this Center of Excellence, Dr. Schiesser discussed the various tools that are available to screen for colorectal cancer and how often such procedures are necessary, and Dr. Victor explained the difference between Metabolic Associated Fatty Liver Disease (MAFLD) and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and showed how to mitigate the risks associated with NAFLD, described as a “new epidemic.” Dr. Boom closed the program with a brief update on COVID-19 and news of Houston Methodist’s next two hospitals: Houston Methodist Cypress and the Centennial Tower, which will be a “companion building” to Walter Tower on the TMC campus.


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Leading Medicine: A Town Hall Conversation with Dr. Marc Boom
Town Hall Conversation XXIII
(March 24, 2022)


Dr. Marc Boom is joined by Drs. Kathleen Kobashi, Ricardo Gonzalez and Rose Khavari of the Houston Methodist Department of Urology. Dr. Kobashi joined the hospital four months ago as Chair and shared her vision for the department. Dr. Gonzalez presented the latest advances in treatment for BPH, and Dr. Khavari discussed functional urology and restorative pelvic surgery. Dr. Boom concluded with a brief update on COVID-19 and shared both print and broadcast stories that highlighted the excellence of the Houston Methodist transplant teams.

Because of the size of the presentation materials, only some of the materials are available. Click here for those that are available.

Leading Medicine: A Town Hall Conversation with Dr. Marc Boom
Town Hall Conversation XXII
(February 17, 2022)

 Dr. Marc Boom is joined by Dr. William Zoghbi and Dr. Khurram Nasir of the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center for a discussion on the latest advances in cardiac care and preventive strategies for avoiding heart problems in the first place. Dr. Boom concluded with a brief update on COVID-19 and what we know at this time about the BA.2 variant of Omicron.

Because of the size of the presentation materials, only some of the materials are available. Click here for those that are available.

Leading Medicine: A Town Hall Conversation with Dr. Marc Boom
Town Hall Conversation XXI
(January 27, 2022)
Dr. Marc Boom and Dr. Dirk Sostman discuss the latest information about the Omicron variant. Dr. Boom compared how Omicron is affecting the US to what it’s doing in the United Kingdom, and explored eight possible explanations for the different impacts. Dr. Sostman shared data showing the effectiveness of vaccine boosters, had recommendations for at-home antigen tests, and explored what life might be like in a world where SARS-CoV-2 never completely goes away. The pair concluded the program by devoting more than 40 minutes to answering viewer questions.

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2021 Town Hall Conversations: The front lines of the fight against covid-19

A Town Hall Conversation XX 
(December 9, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Dirk Sostman, who discussed the latest information on the Omicron variant – its transmissibility, resistance to vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments, and why we need to double down on the proven tools in our arsenal in fighting COVID-19: testing, treatment and vaccination. Dr. Boom shared just-released data on the relationship between low and high rates of vaccination among nursing home staff and the number of cases and deaths among their residents. He also addressed key questions about Omicron: its infectiousness, severity of disease (compared with the Delta variant), and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments against it. Additionally, Dr. Boom implored people to get their booster shots immediately as the best defense against Omicron. Dr. Boom was also joined by Dr. Ben Weinstein, chair of the Houston Methodist Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, who discussed available mental health resources as well as how to talk with loved ones who are vaccine-hesitant.

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A Town Hall Conversation XIX 
(November 8, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Dirk Sostman, as the two discussed the upside of vaccinating children ages 5-11 and how COVID-19 is becoming an endemic disease that will most likely become a “regular” infection like the seasonal flu or the common cold. Dr. Boom also shared recent safety and accountability ratings that place Houston Methodist as one of only five U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll hospitals to receive top marks across the board from CMS, Leapfrog and Vizient. Drs. Boom and Sostman were joined by Dr. Michael Klebuc and Dr. Gene Alford, who discussed the latest advances in reconstructive surgery at Houston Methodist – just one of many ways in which we are truly Leading Medicine.

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A Town Hall Conversation XVIII 
(October 19, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by Houston Methodist epidemiologist Dr. Ashley Drews, who discussed the three main types of flu vaccines, the outlook for the 2021-2022 flu season, and why it’s important to receive your flu vaccine in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Dirk Sostman talked about how masks prevent infection, and outlined which ones work best (and why). He also shared studies on vaccine booster dose efficacy, as well as the latest treatments for COVID-19. Dr. Boom discussed misinformation in the community, and gave an example of how facts could be manipulated to “prove” a particular point.

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A Town Hall Conversation XVII
(September 2, 2021)
Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Dirk Sostman. The pair presented the latest information about COVID-19, the Delta variant, the difference between “third doses” and “booster shots,” and addressed common myths and misperceptions about COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Boom emphasized the role that employers can play in promoting vaccination among their employees, and Dr. Sostman coined the term “pandoomerang” and shared ways we can possibly mitigate its effects.

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A Town Hall Conversation XVI
(August 12, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by Houston Methodist epidemiologist Dr. Ashley Drews. The pair discussed COVID-19 variants, particularly the highly transmissible Delta variant, as well as the possible need for booster shots and when those might become available. They also talked about keeping children safe as they return to school and discussed the importance of wearing masks, even for vaccinated people. Dr. Boom shared a nurse’s perspective on the surge in COVID-19 cases and discussed how community members can support our front-line heroes.

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A Town Hall Conversation XV 
(June 10, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by urologist Dr. Brian Miles, who discussed COVID-19’s effects on men’s health. Oncologist Dr. Polly Niravath shared the optimal timing between women receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and getting their annual mammogram, as well as talked about the Houston Methodist Cancer Survivorship Clinic. Dr. Dirk Sostman presented statistics showing the three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines’ efficacy against various variants and discussed the possible need for booster shots, and Dr. Boom shared evidence supporting why we should trust the vaccines. 

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A Town Hall Conversation XIV
(May 13, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by cardiologist Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, who discussed COVID-19’s impact on the heart. Dr. Trisha Roy, our latest Jerold B. Katz Academy of Translational Research Investigator, shared the latest treatment options for patients at risk of losing limbs. Dr. Dirk Sostman presented the most up-to-date information about the efficacy of the three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines, and Dr. Boom discussed what it will take for us to return to normalcy in the next 45 days. 

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A Town Hall Conversation XIII
(April 8, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Patricia Bellows, who discussed the vaccines’ implications for pregnant and lactating women, as well as if they have any impact on fertility. Dr. John Cooke shared information on the science behind the mRNA vaccines and gave an update on all of the RNA Therapeutics work taking place at Houston Methodist. Dr. Dirk Sostman shared the latest statistics on how well the different vaccines protect against the emerging variants, and Dr. Boom discussed herd immunity and when we might be able to return to selected pre-pandemic activities. 

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A Town Hall Conversation XII
(March 4, 2021)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Farhaan Vahidy, who shared details of Houston Methodist’s COVID-19 Surveillance and Outcomes Registry project (called CURATOR), and Dr. Sandeep Lahoti, who leads our COVID-19 Recovery Clinic, which is helping so-called “COVID long haulers.” Dr. Dirk Sostman discussed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which recently received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA this past weekend, and other vaccines in the pipeline. Dr. Boom shared vaccination data from the hospital and around the country, as well as why it is still important to wear masks as Texas prepares to fully reopen businesses.

 

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A Town Hall Conversation XI
(February 3, 2021)
Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Dirk Sostman and Dr. Roberta Schwartz for a discussion on the latest patient treatments and vaccines, as well as when and how Houston Methodist is distributing the various COVID vaccines to our patients and the community at large. They spent the majority of the time answering viewer questions; if you have a question about vaccines, you will likely be able to find the answer within this program.

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A Town Hall Conversation X
(January 13, 2021)
Dr. Boom is joined by registered dietitian Nathalie Sessions for a presentation on how to stay healthy during challenging times. Dr. Dirk Sostman shared the latest information on monoclonal antibodies and other patient treatments, as well as discussed the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that have received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and others that are in the pipeline. Dr. Boom and Dr. Roberta Schwartz explained the timetable for when patients and community members can receive their vaccinations from Houston Methodist.

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2020 Town Hall Conversations: The Front Lines of the Fight Against Covid-19

A Town Hall Conversation IX
(December 10, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. William Zoghbi and Dr. A. Osama Gaber for a discussion on COVID-19’s effects on the heart and surgery patients, respectively. Their message: Do not let COVID-19 prevent you from seeking routine or needed health care! Dr. Dirk Sostman provided an update on the Pfizer vaccine, which may receive Emergency Use Authorization as early as this evening, as well as the Moderna vaccine and how both may be distributed. Dr. Boom shared the latest statistics and tips for taking precautions when considering holiday gatherings, travel, in-home repairs and more.


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A Town Hall Conversation VIII
(November 19, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Mark Ghobrial and Dr. Jenny Chang for a discussion on COVID-19’s effects on transplant and cancer patients, respectively. Dr. David Bernard also shares Houston Methodist’s methodology of testing for the coronavirus, and Dr. Boom has tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safely during an increase in COVID cases.

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A Town Hall Conversation VII 
(October 14, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Stanley Appel for a discussion on COVID-19’s effects on the brain. Dr. Gavin Britz also shares Houston Methodist’s groundbreaking work in the field of neuroprosthetics. Dr. Dirk Sostman provides an update on all three legs of the three-legged approach to controlling infectious diseases – precautions, treatments and vaccines. We also get a message of support from a true All-Star.

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A Town Hall Conversation VI
(September 11, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Liisa Ortegon and Dr. Ben Weinstein for a discussion on how Houston Methodist nurses are providing unparalleled care to our patients, as well as how COVID-19 is affecting mental health. Dr. Dirk Sostman also provides an update on COVID-19 treatments and potential vaccines, and we share how world-renowned musicians are performing one-on-one for our patients.

 

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A Town Hall Conversation V (August 19, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Faisal Masud and Dr. Dirk Sostman for a discussion on providing critical care to both COVID and non-COVID patients, as well as the latest on COVID-19 treatments and potential vaccines. The conversation also features data points which may be helpful in determining when students can safely return to school in person.

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A Town Hall Conversation IV (July 15, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Alan Lumsden, Dr. Dirk Sostman and Dr. Khurram Nasir for a discussion on COVID‑19’s impact on emergency care, the potential long-term impact of the disease and the latest on treatments and potential vaccines. The conversation also features “5 actions we need to take to stop COVID‑19."

 

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A Town Hall Conversation III (June 11, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Roberta Schwartz, PhD, Dr. Dirk Sostman and Dr. James Musser for a discussion on the innovative ways Houston Methodist is fighting COVID‑19 while keeping all patients safe, the latest information on testing and treatments and a recap of what we learned from participating in the national trial of the repurposed drug Remdesivir. The program also includes a performance from the Houston Methodist Singers.

 

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A Town Hall Conversation II (May 7, 2020)

Dr. Boom is joined by Dr. Ashley Drews and Dr. Dirk Sostman for a discussion about the hospital’s clinical response to COVID‑19 and the latest research into effective treatments for the disease. Dr. Boom also unveils a new initiative through which the community can support workers throughout the hospital system who are on the front lines of the fight against COVID‑19. 

 

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A Town Hall Conversation I (April 17, 2020)
Dr. Boom convenes a roundtable featuring Dr. Faisal Masud and Firas Zabaneh discussing Houston Methodist’s clinical response to COVID‑19, followed by Dr. Dirk Sostman, Dr. Jenny Chang and Dr. James Musser talking about the Houston Methodist Academic Institute’s research approach to fighting the disease. The program also includes a moving testimonial from a patient who recovered from COVID‑19.

Click here for the materials presented during the discussion.

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