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Coming up on Connections: Monday, April 15, 2024

First hour: Discussing Drug Recognition Experts and the effectiveness of the program

Second hour: Understanding the state of adolescent and young adult cancers and how to support patients and survivors

States across the nation are pushing to increase funding and staffing for Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) programs. Law enforcement officers certified in DRE are trained to determine if someone is impaired while driving due to using drugs or alcohol. The recent push to expand the program in New York State comes with the legalization of marijuana. But some critics say DREs aren't always effective and should not be admissible as evidence. We explore the program and its effectiveness with our guests:

  • Delton Caraway, Ontario County Assistant Public Defender
  • David Olney, sergeant/station commander for Troop D, Drug Recognition Expert/instructor, and UAS pilot and troop coordinator for New York State Police

Then in our second hour, data shows cancer rates among younger people are on the rise. According to research, survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancers are more likely than their peers to experience mental health challenges. This hour, we discuss the state of adolescent and young adult cancers and how to support patients and survivors in holistic ways. Our guests:

  • Lauren Spiker, founder and executive director of 13thirty Cancer Connect
  • Michaela Deeg, community engagement manager for 13thirty Cancer Connect, and cancer survivor
  • Charlie Coté, licensed clinical social worker in private practice; board president for 13thirty Cancer Connect; and bereaved father whose son, Charlie, died in 2005 at age 18
  • Katelyn MacDougall, licensed clinical social worker, and program director for 13thirty Cancer Connect
  • Jamie Flerlage, M.D., associate professor in the Cancer Center and the Departments of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk.

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.