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World AIDS Day

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What to look for on this episode of Smart Talk:

World AIDS Day takes place on the first day of December each year, and this year the recognition falls on Saturday.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

AIDS is still considered an epidemic by the CDC and world health organizations. An epidemic is characterized by a disease that’s occurence rises above what is expected in a population area. AIDS infections continue to occur at an alarming rate, world-wide and in the U.S.

  • An estimated 1.8 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2017 – about 5,000 new infections per day.
  • More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.
  • In 2015, an estimated 1,170 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania ranked 10th among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses in 2015, the most recent statistics.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss advances in HIV treament and prevention are Rosemary Browne, president and CEO, Alder Health Services and Dr. Jarrett Sell, family medicine physician, Penn State Health; medical director, Alder Health Services.

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Rosemary Browne and Dr. Jarrett Sell

Also, Cindy Ross is known as a ‘Triple Crown Hiker.’ To earn this distinction a hiker must complete three major U.S. trails: the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. Finishing one of these trails is an admirable undertaking, but completing all three places a hiker in an elite category.

Now, imagine taking your family along for your hike on the most difficult of the three.

This is exactly what Ross and her husband Todd Gladfelter did when they led their young children, Sierra and Bryce, on their journey along the Continental Divide Trail;  the most remote of the three systems.

Ross says she felt this trip created a whole new way of nurturing and supplementing her children’s education, by exposing them to the natural world and travel.

Cindy Ross wrote about their experiences and joins Smart Talk to discuss her book, “The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature & Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education.

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Cindy Ross

Scott LaMar
Scott LaMar

Scott LaMar has worked in both radio and television for more than four decades.

Currently, LaMar is the Host and Executive Producer of The Spark program on WITF-FM, 89.5 & 93.3 in Harrisburg, Pa.

Previously, LaMar was WITF TV’s Sr. Public Affairs producer and produced the station’s award-winning weekly public affairs TV program, Smart Talk.

In addition to his on-air duties, LaMar has moderated political candidate debates, including those for candidates running for Pennsylvania governor and the U.S. Senate and was a regular contributor to BBC World News TV before and after the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.

LaMar often emcees or moderates local events and has gone as far as California to emcee a national event.

The American Society of Civil Engineers honored LaMar with their national Excellence in Journalism award in 2020. He has been nominated for five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.

LaMar and The Spark have been recognized throughout the Central Pennsylvania community including ADVOZ Lancaster’s “Dignity in Dialogue Award”, the South-Central Assembly’s “Regional Citizen Award” and was named a “Humanitarian Hero” by The Humane Society of the United States/Pennsylvania.

A native of Coatesville, Pa., LaMar has also worked as a broadcast news anchor, sports play-by-play announcer and manager.

Read more by Scott LaMar