Dr. Ally is on the air

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | April 30, 2012

It's 9 a.m. in the on-air studios at radio station KFOR in Lincoln, and the soothing music flows.

Callers, represented by notes taped to the control-room glass (Rudy, nasal congestion, line 2), already are lining up.

Marconi-winning broadcaster Cathy Blythe:

picture disc.
Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D.
"Welcome to 'Problems and Solutions.' It's a Dr. Ally day."

300 shows and counting

Dr. Ally is Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, who teaches pharmacy law and ethics. This is her 16th year on the radio, to take call-in questions from an audience that encompasses parts of four states. Dr. Ally is on twice a month.

"We're now in our 300th-something show together," Blythe tells listeners. She makes sure the audience gets an update on the upcoming wedding of Dr. Ally's son.

Non-stop calls

The calls roll in. Many are questions people might be hesitant to ask their own pharmacist. But they're eager to talk to Dr. Ally as thousands listen in.

She takes as many calls off the air as she does on. This is partly an added personal touch, partly to handle call volume and, partly, with some issues: "People driving down I-80, they don't need to hear that."

Show meets a need

"Problems and Solutions" started as a show where a listener would call with a problem (How can I get blood out of my kid's soccer uniform?) and other listeners would call in with their own remedies. But so many medical and drug-related questions kept coming up, Blythe thought it best to bring in an expert.

On her first show, Dr. Ally had prepared a monologue, but then: "All of these lights are flashing. I thought, 'Oh $%#*, the place is on fire!' "

No, they were callers. And they haven't stopped since.

Real impact

Dr. Ally loves the feeling, at the end of each show, that she's done something tangible to help people. "I love it when they say, 'The College of Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.'

"I love it most when they say it in Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota, where our show also is heard."

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Tom O'Connor
April 30, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Ally is a great ambassador for UNMC. She truly understands how vital media outreach can be!