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. Before landing at WXXI, he was an intern at WNYC, and 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

Scott Bauer / USDA

The number of Lyme disease cases diagnosed in the Finger Lakes region jumped sharply last year, according to the most recent data from the state health department.

The data, while still preliminary, is not expected to change before it’s finalized next month. It shows Lyme disease cases increased almost 600 percent in the health department’s Finger Lakes region, from 62 in 2012 to 365 in 2017.

Common Ground Health / Genesee Transportation Council

A Rochester non-profit has taken what its CEO says is a novel approach to measuring the impact of the Genesee Valley Greenway.

Wade Norwood says Common Ground Health’s assessment of the park is the first to examine its effects on people’s health, and the first in the state to assess how a park’s connection to transit affects its usage.

Norwood says this type of study, called a health impact assessment, can be used to examine the effects on physical well-being of places and policies that people often don’t think of as being connected to health.

Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Public Safety Initiatives

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology released the region’s first-ever catalog of responses to the growing opioid epidemic.

Topics covered in the document include techniques for reversing overdoses, systems for prosecuting drug users and sellers, and strategies for addiction prevention.


Faced with a distinct shortage of opioid detox beds locally, the town of Gates is partnering with three addiction treatment centers in Pennsylvania, town officials said Thursday.

Gates to Recovery, the drop-in center for people seeking treatment for addiction in the town, announced what it called “a collaborative project” that will allow Monroe County residents to be treated across state lines.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Six months after the formation of the Monroe County Heroin Task Force, law enforcement officials said the death toll from opioids is still climbing.

But officers have learned some important lessons, said task force commander Andy DeLyser.

“We’re never, ever going to arrest our way out of this problem. I don’t believe we’re ever, ever going to treat our way out of this problem,” DeLyser said.

Rochester Regional health

Rochester Regional Health has unveiled a new mobile mammography center.

The pink and blue RV-style vehicle will roam Monroe County and seven surrounding counties.

Department of Justice

A Pittsford psychiatrist has been charged with health care fraud after FBI investigators said he forged his medical board certification and charged insurance companies for services he did not provide, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

Prosecutors said Muhammad Cheema regularly changed the codes on patients’ office visits to indicate that he spent more time with them than he actually did, and that he billed telephone appointments as office visits.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

A western New York woman filed suit against Canada Dry over what she said is false advertising for the company’s ginger ales.

Julie Fletcher, of Bolivar in Allegany County, said she relied on Canada Dry’s claims that it was “made from real ginger” to signify its health benefits.

Fletcher said in a court filing that she knew that ginger root could “calm an upset stomach, and she often purchased Canada Dry for her children [when they] were sick, believing that the ginger root in the beverage would soothe their stomach aches.”

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.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

A national farmers market association announced Thursday that it’s staving off the closure of the company that processes food stamp benefits at 40 percent of the farmers markets across the country, including the Rochester Public Market and hundreds of other markets in New York state.