We discuss a new partnership that offers mental health intervention services for Black and Brown victims of racial trauma and gun violence. It's a grassroots, on-the-ground effort to connect people with resources and assistance. 

The leaders say their work is not meant to be reactionary, but to ensure stability and good long-term outcomes. We discuss it with our guests:

  • Justin Morris, community activist
  • Megan Clifford, psychotherapist and mental health first aid instructor
  • Brandon Irons, entrepreneur and mental health therapy consumer

A 2019 report from ROC the Future showed that only five out of 10 kids in the City of Rochester felt like they mattered to people in the community. Statistics like these inspired teenagers from across the Finger Lakes region to come together and create a magazine addressing mental health issues.

We talk with the teens behind "FLX Kids are Alright" and professionals in the field on the importance of mental health literacy and education. Our guests:

  • Hannah Shippee, program coordinator for the Community Health & Engagement team at Common Ground Health
  • Alicia Evans, Healthy Schools project coordinator for Healthi Kids at Common Ground Health
  • Jocelyn Brick, student at Keshequa High School in Livingston County
  • Aurora Berry, student at Perry High School in Wyoming County

According to the New York State Health Foundation in 2018, Black women are 2.3 times more likely than white women to experience potentially life-threatening complications during or after childbirth. What can be done to eliminate the disparity? We talk with medical experts about what the science says, and with State Senator Samra Brouk about proposed legislative solutions. Our guests:

  • Samra Brouk, New York State Senator (D, WF), District 55
  • Twylla Dillion, Ph.D., executive director of HealthConnect One
  • Sherita Bullock, executive director of the Healthy Baby Network

We discuss mental health in the workplace — both now and in the post-pandemic world. How should companies identify, understand, and respond to mental health concerns?

Our guests share their expertise:

  • Megan Clifford, psychotherapist and mental health first aid instructor
  • Michelle Pedzich, chief human resources officer at Canandaigua National Bank and Trust
  • Carl Binger, licensed mental health counselor, and author of "Progressive Darkness"

Monroe County COVID-19 data: 205 new cases, 1 new death

Apr 12, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The latest data on COVID-19 in Monroe County released Mondays shows 205 new cases and one new death.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 255 cases per day.

The seven-day rolling average positivity rate for Monroe County is 3.1%.

There are 203 people in the Finger Lakes Region hospitalized; 48 of them are in ICU.

The percentage of Monroe County residents with at least one vaccine dose is 41.7%.

The percentage of county residents that have completed the vaccine series is 28.9%.

Is it allergies or is it COVID-19?

Apr 7, 2021
Public Domain / Microsoft Bing

April usually brings spring showers, flowers, and allergies. 

When the weather began to change about two weeks ago, Shonta McFayden thought she was experiencing one of her invasive allergy attacks.

“Maybe all this rain is picking up all this dust and dirt in the air. So maybe it's not really nothing too serious,” McFayden said

It proved to be something more serious. McFayden was on her second shift at Strong Memorial Hospital when she received a call from the employee health nurse. Her test results showed that she had COVID-19.

New data shows a decline in child and adult illnesses in almost all categories. The declines have been driven by masking and other pandemic-related practices. Once the pandemic subsides, which of these practices will stick around, and which will fade away?

Our guests discuss it:

  • Elizabeth Murray, D.O., M.B.A., assistant professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine, and faculty director for child health and safety communications for Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong
  • Nicole Cifra, M.D., M.P.H., adolescent fellow and pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong
  • Steve Cook, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, and medical director at the New York State Department of Health

During a discussion about Body Mass Index, or BMI, Connections listeners reached out to describe their own experiences with weight shaming. Some of those experiences happened in their own doctors' offices.

This hour, we explore how communication, especially in medical settings, can be more effective in regard to weight and personal health. Our guests:

  • Holly Russell, M.D., medical director of clinical and community-based programs at the Center for Community Health and Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center 
  • Jill Chodak, clinical dietitian at the Center for Community Health and Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center 
  • Donna Burnette, mother, wife, and professional


On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to allow two or more designated family members to visit their loved ones in nursing home facilities.

The bill aligns with the  New York State Department of Health’s March 25 guidelines which allows visitation at all times for all residents once COVID-19 safety protocols are followed. 

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Harry Bronson, said the bill will lift the limits on visitation indefinitely.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to residents age 30 and older on Tuesday and to residents age 16 and older by April 6.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, and Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza, released a joint statement supporting the state changes, noting that the expansion is "a significant step in our efforts to expedite vaccination of as many people in our community as possible."