About the Podcast

Our podcast seeks to explore Health Policy – locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally. There are podcasts for medicine and health, and podcasts for policy. But until this podcast, none have been devoted to discussing solely health policy.

Since the podcast is created at a California public university, it will deal with many issues affecting Californians. But since the work of the faculty and students spans the globe, it will allow for educating the public about the great impact that the School of Public Health has in communities around the world.

Our team hopes to provide clarity to many issues, shed light on decision making and provide timely consideration of key issues affecting not only Californians but any listener.

Our Team

Our Host

Gary Rotto

Gary Rotto

The Podcast is moderated by Gary Rotto, Lecturer in the School of Public Health with a specialization in Medi-Cal policy and the service delivery system in Southern California. Mr. Rotto brings an unparalleled background in health policy to the air with experience directing policy for elected officials at the State, County and City levels of government. For over 10 years, he has impacted health policy on behalf of community health centers. Outside of the University, Mr. Rotto serves as the Senior Vice-President of Government and Public Affairs for Borrego Health, the largest community health center network in California. During the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), he was a frequent guest on the KPBS program “Midday Edition” helping to unpack the many moving parts of the ACA and how the number of uninsured was decreasing with each action. He is a trusted advisor to candidates across the country as they seek unbiased information from which to create their positions on the US healthcare system.

Karla Colon

Karla Colon, Junior, Communication

Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore, Junior, Communication

Beatriz Machado de Carvalho

Beatriz Machado de Carvalho Junior, Communications

Bravell Smith

Bravell Smith, Junior, Health Communication


Episode One

How do you change Health Policy? What is the role of the School in preparing its students to make an impact through policy development? In this inaugural episode, Dr. Hala Madanat, Director of the School of Public Health talks about how she envisions the podcast fitting in the work of the School as well as how the podcast will help to inform and engage the SDSU community. As an example of the work of the faculty and students, Dr. Madanat, who was recently named the 2020 Albert W. Johnson University Research Lecturer, discusses her work in research trends in globalization, its impact on nutrition and policy-making based on her research.

Episode One of If I Could Change One Thing

Episode Two

Imagine growing up in the Coachella Valley before the City of Coachella was known as it is today.  How have things changed?  How do you fight for better health for the underserved in the community?  Now taking on the role of Chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and trying to govern during a pandemic.   Victor Manuel Perez talks about Coachella, COVID-19 and providing steady, consensus but data driven leadership during these unsettling times.

Episode Two of If I Could Change One Thing

Episode Three

As Chair of the Family Medicine Department with the Riverside University Hospital System, Dr. Geoffrey Leung has always been passionate about Public Health and improving care for underserved populations.  But during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has also become one of the leaders in the “Inland Empire” for testing and interpreting models to advise health policy in the region.  Dr. Leung helps our listeners to demystify modeling as well as look to the “post-pandemic, pre-vaccine world” in which we will live.

Episode Three of If I Could Change One Thing Podcast

Episode Four

While there are many test kits on the market and available for COVID-19 testing, the kits are not all the same.  Even the approval process varies.  In this episode, we demystify the testing dilemma and discuss the difference between “FDA Approved” and “EUA”.  Dr. Christopher Foltz talks about the special testing partnership underway in the Coachella Valley and the process he championed to assure that the test kits are reliable.

Episode Three of If I Could Change One Thing Podcast