Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 163 | January 10, 2022

A Life With Purpose

Gunnar Esiason

Executive VP - The Boomer Esiason Foundation

Gunnar Esiason

Welcome to Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Today, our guest host is Liz Poret-Christ, who is the Director of Programming at The Orsini Way. Liz has a very personal relationship with our special guest, Gunnar Esiason. Gunnar is the son of Boomer Esiason, and known for his life-long battle with cystic fibrosis. Boomer and Gunnar were featured on the cover of the October 1993 Sports Illustrated to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis, and he has spent his entire life in the public eye, first as a child of a famous athlete, and now as an advocate and resource for those living with CF. Gunnar is a rare disease patient advocate who is passionate about early- stage drug development, patient empowerment, and health policy. He has developed a patient engagement platform for a medical nutrition company, built a venture philanthropy practice at the Boomer Esiason Foundation, and was the head coach of his high school’s alma mater’s varsity hockey team. He has consulted on clinical trial development, a real-world evidence population health study, and a cystic fibrosis-specific mental health and wellness screening tool. Currently he hosts the podcast, The State of Health with Gunnar Esiason. Gunnar has been a household name in Liz’s family since her daughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 2003. Liz and her family have benefited from the generosity of the Boomer Esiason Foundation, learning about treatments, the importance of athletics, and insights into the latest medical research.

We start by Gunnar telling us about his personal journey and how cystic fibrosis has affected his family. We find out the story behind why Gunnar changed his mind about going to Law School after getting out of college, and he goes in depth about his own patient experience and why he’s so excited about patient advocacy. We hear a story about a conversation Gunnar had with his doctor when he was very sick and only 22 years and what happened when he got a spot in the TRIKAFTA clinical trial program. We end with Gunnar sharing a conversation he found to be most difficult. He tells us about the amazing things he is doing with the Boomer Esiason Foundation and talks about their program supporting athletes with cystic fibrosis.

Share This Episode

Listen & Subscribe

If you enjoyed this podcast, please go ahead and hit subscribe on your favorite podcast platform.

Previous Episodes

Jennifer George

Communication IS Care with Jennifer George

Ep. 171 – May 16, 2022

Physician Coaching and Patient Experience with Joshua Washington

Ep. 170 – May 2, 2022

Health Benefits of the Sicilian Diet with Dr. Sandra Cammarata and Dr. Giovanni Campanile

Ep. 169 – April 18, 2022

Difficult Conversations in Human Resources with Paul Falcone

Ep. 168 – March 28, 2022

Dorthy Roberts

The Problem with Raced Based Medicine with Dorothy Roberts

Ep. 167 – March 14, 2022

Deborah Beidel

Conversations about PTSD with Dr. Deborah Beidel

Ep. 166 – February 28, 2022

Wendy Dean

Moral Injury with Wendy Dean, MD

Ep. 165 – February 14, 2022

Brian Ferguson

Reaching Peak Performance in Medicine with Brian Ferguson

Ep. 164 – January 24, 2022

Dr. Orsini and Liz Poret-Christ

Holiday Episode – Highlights From 2021 with Dr. Anthony Orsini and Liz Poret-Christ

Ep. 162 – December 27, 2021

Dr. Bruce B.J. Miller

The Problem With Dying with Dr. Bruce B.J. Miller

Ep. 161 – December 13, 2021

Stuart Levine

Leadership From The Boardroom with Stuart Levine

Ep. 160 – November 30, 2021

Michele Blackwood

Difficult Conversations About Breast Cancer with Dr. Michele Blackwood

Ep. 159 – November 16, 2021

Robyn Symon

Do No Harm – Conversations About Physician Suicide with Robyn Symon

Ep. 158 – November 2, 2021

Karen Knops

Communicating With Your Doctor with Karen Knops, MD

Ep. 157 – October 19, 2021

Steve Lawler

The State Of Healthcare – Moving Forward with Steve Lawler

Ep. 156 – October 5, 2021

Cy Wakeman

Ditch The Drama with Cy Wakeman

Ep. 155 – September 21, 2021

Kristin Baird

Be The Leader Nobody Wants To Leave with Kristin Baird

Ep. 154 – September 7, 2021

Robert Pearl

Uncaring Conversations about Physician Culture with Robert Pearl, M.D.

Ep. 153 – August 24, 2021

Anthony Orsini

Difficult Conversations Anniversary Episode with Dr. Anthony Orsini and Elizabeth Poret-Christ

Ep. 152 – August 10, 2021

Marjorie Dejoie-Brewer

Advocating For Rare Diseases with Dr. Marjorie Dejoie-Brewer

Ep. 151 – August 3, 2021

Shari Moore

Medical Liability And Risk Management with Shari Moore

Ep. 150 – July 20, 2021

Lisa Strohman

How Do You Define Your Self Worth with Dr. Lisa Strohman

Ep. 149 – July 6, 2021

Dena Carey

Taking Care Of Our Own – True Nursing Leadership with Dena Carey

Ep. 148 – June 22, 2021

Susan Scott

Fierce Conversations with Susan Scott

Ep. 147 – June 8, 2021

David Shulkin

Memorial Day Tribute with Dr. David Shulkin

Ep. 146 – May 30, 2021

Jason Schechterle

Burning Shield – The Story Of Jason Schechterle with Jason Schechterle

Ep. 145 – May 25, 2021

Jeff Segal

Medical Justice And Malpractice with Jeffrey Segal, MD, JD

Ep. 144 – May 18, 2021

Kathi Sharpe Ross

Re-Invent Your Life with Kathi Sharpe Ross

Ep. 143 – May 11, 2021

Nick Hall

Helping Parents Of Premature Babies with Nick Hall and Laura Platt-Kilstein

Ep. 142 – May 4, 2021

Colin Smith

Learn to Listen with Colin Smith

Ep. 141 – April 27, 2021

Lori Gunther

Speaking The Truth – Debriefing Nurse Leaders with Lori Gunther

Ep. 140 – April 20, 2021

Mike Vacanti

Humans First with Mike Vacanti

Ep. 139 – April 13, 2021

Noreen Bernard

Hospital Leadership During Covid-19 with Dr. Noreen Bernard, RN

Ep. 138 – April 6, 2021

Jennifer Ainsworth and Kristin Horwath

Motherhood And Milestones with Jennifer Ainsworth and Kristin Horwath

Ep. 137 – March 30, 2021

Steven Wolt

Substance Abuse and Healthcare Workers with Steven Wolt and Dr. Michel Sucher

Ep. 136 – March 22, 2021

Bradley Block

Conversations About Doctoring with Bradley Block, MD

Ep. 135 – March 16, 2021

Linda Kaplan Thaler

The Power Of Nice with Linda Kaplan Thaler

Ep. 134 – March 9, 2021

Vita Boyar

Difficult Conversations In The NICU with Dr. Vita Boyar

Ep. 133 – March 2, 2021

Anthony Devincenzo

Conversations About Child Advocacy with Anthony DeVincenzo

Ep. 132 – February 23, 2021

Siobhan Mchale

Positive Culture In The Workplace with Siobhan McHale

Ep. 131 – February 16, 2021

Susan Wilson

Second Victim Syndrome with Dr. Susan Wilson

Ep. 130 – February 9, 2021

Kevin Pho

Connect And Be Heard with Dr. Kevin Pho

Ep. 129 – February 2, 2021

Karen Knops

Conversations about End of Life with Karen Knops, MD

Ep. 128 – January 26, 2021

Mike Abrashoff

Leading Your Ship To Success with Capt. Mike Abrashoff

Ep. 127 – January 19, 2021