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

David Topham

Employees at two local nursing homes have some of the lowest flu vaccination rates in western New York.

According to state health department data, barely half of the staff members at the Brightonian in Brighton and the Shore Winds in Rochester were vaccinated against the flu last season.

“That is striking,” said David Topham, director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

A high rate of staff vaccination in nursing homes is important, Topham said, because while getting the flu is an inconvenience for much of the population, for the elderly, it can be deadly.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

A Rochester hospital is the first in the state—and one of the first in the country—to replace a patient’s heart valve and discharge him the same day.

73-year-old John Wood had his first heart operation eight years ago. “It was, rip my chest open and rip my heart open,” he said. Not so this time around. Dr. Jeremiah Depta at Rochester Regional Health put Wood through a procedure called TAVR, short for trans-catheter aortic valve replacement, that had him out of the hospital that afternoon.