Spanish talk show educates community about health

Edwive Seme/Staff Writer

The FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and Univision Radio have collaborated to create “A tu Salud,” a Spanish radio talk show, in order to inform the community about health issues. The Spanish talk show is aired every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. on Univision Miami 1140 AM, and is hosted by Ileana Varela, an Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist who has worked on Miami’s CBS4, ABC affiliates, and other television and radio stations in Tampa, Fla.

“Part of the mission of a public college of medicine is not just to educate medical students but to educate the community we serve,” said Varela. “This was a perfect opportunity to educate beyond the campus.”

The show involves doctors from the School of Medicine and other experts from FIU who speak on health topics such as vaccines for adults, how to have a healthier pregnancy and other health tips. For some of the doctors, being on radio isn’t something they do regularly, but they are all eager to join in helping this cause.

“Everybody’s on board and excited,” said Varela about the team of doctors. “Everybody’s excited to be part of it, and everybody feels like we’re doing a great service for the community.”

Univision is ideal for FIU’s “A tu Salud,” because of the audience the show seeks to educate. Claudia Puig, senior vice president of Univision Radio who is also a member of FIU’s Board of Trustees, was a major part in making the collaboration happen. When the School of Medicine approached her with the idea, she immediately offered space on one of her radio stations.

“It was a perfect partnership,” Varela said.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine isn’t tracking their progress yet, but they have plenty of more ideas and plans, such as being able to do the program live instead of their slot on Sunday mornings, which according to Varela, makes it difficult to do live. “At some points we would like to do at least some interactions with the people,” said Varela. The College of Medicine hopes to also broadcast a show in English on an English station, sometime in the future.