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North Hills Monthly

Local Podcasts Share Health, History with Listeners

May 31, 2019 01:11PM ● By Hilary Daninhirsch

Kim Maravich and Laurie Bittel

More and more people are turning to podcasts for education and information, or just for entertainment. A podcast is a recorded broadcast that can be accessed via a number of different outlets, such as iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube. The beauty of a podcast is that the listener can tune in at his or her convenience. And a bonus is that they are usually free.

These days, you can find a podcast on virtually any subject, broadcast from almost anywhere in the world. The Pittsburgh area is home to a number of podcasts that are gaining in popularity with many listeners.

Earlier this year, Cranberry Township residents Kim Maravich and Laurie Bittel created a podcast to empower other women to live their best lives by exploring a myriad of health and wellness-related topics. Entitled A Whole New You, Maravich, an RN, and Bittel, a certified integrative health coach, record a new episode every Tuesday. Their target audience is 30- and 40-something women.

Many of the topics derive from a book written by Maravich called 360 Health. Topics include boosting immunity, supplements, reducing toxins in the home and body, and how and why to eat whole food.

“I love to share tips about quick, easy ways to incorporate high nutrition foods into your day,” said Bittel.

To date, they women have recorded 23 episodes. One of Bittel’s favorites was when they interviewed a woman who survived two forms of aggressive Stage 4 cancer and credits her survival to taking an integrative approach to her health.

Despite being only a few months old, the podcast has found a good audience, and Bittel said that they are getting good feedback. “So far people seem to be loving it. We did an episode on self-care, and a listener responded saying that our podcast has become a form of her self-care.”

Another brand new podcast originating out of the Pittsburgh area focuses on the city’s collection of public art, memorials and monuments. The Public Art and Civic Design Division of the City Planning Department initiated the podcasts, entitled City’s Public Art PODCast series.

“The framework of the series tries to focus on how monuments, memorials, and public art shape the narrative of a neighborhood, and how these works help to transform the physical space and tell a story about a place,” said Yesica Guerra, head and manager public art and civic design manager for the City of Pittsburgh, and head and manager of the Public Art and Civic Design Division housed in the Department of City Planning. “They also create a sense of pride, collective knowledge, and ownership.”

This podcast consists of 16 episodes, running about 7 to 10 minutes each, that give details on about 40 percent of the city’s collection of over 170 works of public art.

“The podcast series explores the nature of public art in evolving neighborhoods, the process of art-making in times of social change, the legacy of permanent monuments, and the unique history of Pittsburgh as a city made of many distinct and interrelating communities,” said Guerra.

Historical podcast scripts were created by a professor at Duquesne and are narrated by an archivist at the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation, and include interviews with artists and community leaders. Examples of episodes are Lawrenceville: In the Wake of War and Contemporary Art: A Change of Tone in which listeners are introduced to careers of artists that had an impact on the city.

Guerra said that the podcasts have had a great reception so far.

A Whole New You can be accessed through, while the city podcasts can be accessed via

Both of these podcasts also can be downloaded from any podcast app and other general outlets such as iTunes and Spotify.