Health & Medical News

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

New York Senator Kirstin Gillibrand is taking on pharmaceutical companies, in an effort to keep prescription costs low. She made a stop in Canandaigua Monday morning to talk about price gouging on many brand name medicines.

Gillbrand spoke at the Ferris Hills senior living community, saying she hears complaints about drug costs all the time from constituents, and while it’s a problem with really anyone who needs a prescription, it’s an urgent issue for many seniors, many of whom lived on a fixed income.

She says she’s working on a number of bills to battle this crisis.

Rochester RHIO data used in federal vaccine study

Jul 30, 2018

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using data from the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization to gauge the effectiveness of a vaccine.

The regional organization provided anonymous data from screenings for cervical cancer to the federal centers. That data allows the centers to evaluate the effectiveness of a vaccine for human papilloma virus, which can cause cervical cancer.

Rochester Public Market

Governor Cuomo announced a plan Friday to keep food stamps working at farmers markets across the state through the end of the season.

It’s the latest temporary measure in a summer that began with the only company that makes mobile software to convert electronic food stamps to physical currency abruptly announcing it was going out of business.

State launching effort to eliminate hepatitis C

Jul 27, 2018
New York State Department of Health

New York is now home to the nation’s first strategy to eliminate hepatitis C, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor unveiled a $5-million program Friday that he said will expand access to clean syringes, increase funding for hepatitis C treatment, and remove barriers to insurance coverage for people getting that treatment.

Hepatitis C is a deadly disease affecting more than 200,000 New Yorkers, but it’s curable in 90 percent of cases, said Colleen Flanigan, director of hepatitis health care at the state health department.

Rochester Regional health

Rochester Regional Health’s nursing school held an open house Wednesday aimed at expanding diversity in its student body.

Staff at the Isabella Graham Hart School of Practical Nursing said they often encounter stereotyped ideas about who belongs in the profession.

New blood test for brain injury at URMC

Jul 26, 2018
Emily Boynton / University of Rochester Medical Center

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have a new, FDA-approved test to detect brain injuries, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal The Lancet Neurology.

The new test looks for certain telltale proteins that enter the bloodstream after a traumatic brain injury. Jeffrey Bazarian, a professor of emergency medicine and neurology at URMC and a lead author of the study, said the blood test promises to reduce the need for CT scans of the head, which he said have been the “gold standard” of brain injury detection.


Plans are in the works for a $70 million dollar expansion at Highland Hospital that would result in nearly all its patients receiving private rooms.

Highland spokesperson Maureen Malone says the aging facility needs to be modernized, and there are many advantages to having private rooms for patients.

"Privacy, lessened noise, the therapeutic impact from that.  But also reduced risk of infections, and just more adequate space overall for your family to join you," she said.

Opioid education comes to chamber of commerce

Jul 25, 2018

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce hosted local experts on the opioid crisis at a members-only event Wednesday morning.

Monroe County public health commissioner Michael Mendoza trained attendees on the use of Narcan to reduce opioid overdoses, and Kimberly Harding, an employment attorney at Nixon Peabody, was there to answer legal questions.

Rochester Alzheimer’s research goes international

Jul 24, 2018
Anton Porsteinsson / University of Rochester Medical Center

Aggression, anger, and outbursts at family members and caregivers are common products of Alzheimer’s disease. Two researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center are in Chicago this week presenting their research on how to help patients and caregivers through some of those most difficult symptoms of the disease.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Forty men and women in hospital gowns flitted in and out of the break room at the University of Rochester Medical Center with an energy at odds with their attire.

They were actors, technically called “standardized patients,” who were at URMC to help students prepare for some of the most difficult conversations they will ever have: giving a patient a terminal cancer diagnosis.

As medical students move through their four years of schooling, they sometimes miss out on the less technical, more emotional side of doctoring, said Rob Horowitz, chief of palliative care at URMC. He’s behind an effort to bring more empathy into their training.