Brett Dahlberg

Health reporter and producer

Brett is the health reporter and a producer at WXXI News. He has a master’s degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, and before landing at WXXI, he was an intern at WNYC and with Ian Urbina of the New York Times. He also produced freelance reporting work focused on health and science in New York City. 

Brett grew up in Bremerton, Washington, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. 

Ways to Connect

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Rochester Regional and UR Medicine will add more information to the medical records that patients can access online.

The health care systems will now include doctors’ notes in those records.

Patients have been able to see their doctors’ notes before now, but the process has been cumbersome, officials at UR and Rochester Regional said.

Monroe County Heroin Task Force

The Monroe County Heroin Task Force has released its latest month of data on opioid overdoses, marking the first time the county has had a full year of those statistics.

New York State Department of Health


More New Yorkers have signed up for health insurance through the state’s marketplace this year than last, with almost a month still to go in this year’s enrollment period.

More than a quarter-million New Yorkers have enrolled in a plan through the marketplace, which is called New York State of Health.


National Institutes of Health

Monroe County has confirmed its first case of measles since 2014, and only its second in the last decade.

County health department spokesperson Ryan Horey said an unvaccinated female toddler is infected with the virus, which she likely contracted on an international trip to an area that was in the midst of a measles outbreak. He said he could not be any more specific about the trip location or the toddler's identity in an effort to protect the family’s privacy.

After more than 200 people died in Monroe County of opioid overdoses in 2017 – more than the county's death toll from breast cancer and prostate cancer combined – the county launched what it called a multi-pronged opioid action plan.

WXXI’s Brett Dahlberg sat down with editor Denise Young to discuss what’s changed – and what hasn’t – since that plan was announced in early 2018.

New York state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

A New York state health department program that enables hospitals to surpass the usual limit on the number of opioid-addicted patients who can receive in-hospital detox services has been extended another year, but Monroe County hospitals are still not participating.



The death toll of the nationwide opioid epidemic is still highest among men between 25 and 45, but new research suggests it’s growing increasingly deadly for the youngest members of the population — including infants.


Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

A stockpile of Styrofoam two years in the making is starting to be recycled at the Monroe County Ecopark just outside the Rochester city limits.

The county has been collecting clean, white blocks of polystyrene (the generic name for the material that’s trademarked as Styrofoam), waiting for an economically viable way to transport and recycle them.

The blocks are 98 percent air, which means putting them in a truck mostly results in just hauling a bunch of air from one place to another.

University of Rochester Medical Center

Some prospective nursing students in Rochester are about to get a tuition break.

The University of Rochester Medical Center announced a pilot program to cover the full cost of tuition for full-time UR employees enrolled in four select nursing degree programs.

Dean of the nursing school Kathy Rideout said the pilot program is designed to ensure the pipeline of future nurses remains full as the local need for nurses grows.

“Locally, there is not a nursing shortage, per se,” Rideout said. “But what is happening is, there’s an aging nursing workforce.”

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

This year’s annual Egg Nog Jog also brought the announcement of a new organization, called FRST Agency, that aims to help first responders and their families deal with mental trauma.

The agency’s name stands for First Responders Special Treatment.