health care

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office


Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new protections for transgender New Yorkers on Sunday, saying the state health department will add gender identity to a non-discrimination list that already includes race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age and source of payment.

Cuomo said the change was part of an effort to head off efforts by the Trump administration to roll back anti-discrimination measures on a federal level.

How can doctors better communicate with their patients, especially when they need to discuss the prognosis of a serious illness? That's the subject of an upcoming lecture at the Rochester Academy of Medicine.

We preview that talk with our guests:

  • Dr. Ronald Epstein, M.D., professor of family medicine, psychiatry, and oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Dr. Robert Horowitz, M.D., chief and professor of palliative care in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Greater Rochester Health Foundation

The man who has led the Greater Rochester Health Foundation since its inception in 2006 is stepping down. John Urban, who before he joined the foundation as president and CEO led the HMO Preferred Care for 21 years, will be leaving the health foundation effective at the end of July.

Urban says since the Health Foundation recently adopted a new long term strategy, it's a good time to retire so that a new leader can get on board.

A family doctor in Washington, D.C. recently wrote a piece for the Federalist entitled "Stop Denying Science, Birth Control Isn't Necessary for Women's Health." The piece has led to backlash among the medical community, with doctors saying there is well-established evidence of the benefits of birth control as medication.

We discuss the science with one of the most outspoken women's health advocates in the country, Dr. Jen Gunter, along with two local doctors. Our guests:

  • Dr. Jen Gunter, M.D., San Francisco Bay area OB/GYN
  • Dr. Tara Gellasch, M.D., chief of medicine at United Memorial Medical Center
  • Dr. Sarah Betstadt, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center

President Trump says that Americans should consider Obamacare dead and buried, but it's not. So what options do Americans have when it comes to the open enrollment period?

We discuss options and the current state of healthcare legislation. Our guests:

  • Jane Dodds, practice administrator for Women Gynecology and Childbirth Associates, and 30 year member of Medical Group Management Association
  • Leslie Moran, senior vice president for the New York Health Plan Association

It's being called one of the most promising breakthroughs in medicine, and researchers say understanding it better could transform how we treat a number of diseases. We’re talking about the microbiome. Maybe you’ve heard the term used in various health-related discussions, but what does it really mean?

We discuss how the bacteria in our bodies help us digest food, fight off infection, and affect our mood.  Our guests:

  • Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo, M.D., Ph.D., chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong
  • Dr. Antti Seppo, Ph.D., research associate professor in pediatric allergy/immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Dr. Helena Boersma, Ed.D., executive clinical director at the Ranch at Bethel

Most of the area members of Congress split along party lines on the health care vote that passed in the House on Thursday; Republicans Chris Collins and Tom Reed voted for the measure, Democrat Louise Slaughter voted against it.

But Republican John Katko of Syracuse, whose district includes Wayne County, was one of only two Republicans in the state to vote against the bill.  (Dan Donovan of the NYC area was the other)

We discuss the AHCA and how it could impact us here in Western New York. We talk about the debate over the so-called "Buffalo Bribe," and the possible impact on Medicaid recipients. And we try to answer a broad range of questions about costs, coverage, and more. Our guests:

  • Karen Shakerdge, WXXI health reporter and producer
  • Jane Dodds, fellow with the American College of Medical Practice Executives
  • Deborah Tschappat, grant writer at the Anthony Jordan Health Center
  • Dr. Sarah Liebschutz, distinguished service professor emerita at The College at Brockport
  • Christopher Bell, executive director of the Monroe County Medical Society, American Academy of Pediatrics NY 1, and the Genesee Valley Medical Foundation


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of health care providers are asking state authorities for increased support for community-based services to help uninsured patients.

On Monday more than 900 community health care supporters will ask Albany lawmakers to preserve health care in federally qualified health centers , according to Community Health Care Association of New York State.

Republicans are rapidly preparing to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Donald Trump said this week that it would be replaced with a program that would cover all Americans at a lower cost. Assuming this is impossible, there are significant questions about what the replacement for the ACA will be.

Our panel discusses what they know, what they don't, and what they think the big questions are regarding the next iteration of American health care. WXXI health reporter and producer Karen Shakerdge helps lead the discussion, along with our panel:

  • Dr. David Topa, pediatrician at Pittsford Pediatric Associates
  • Andrew Graupman, archaeologist concerned about losing health insurance
  • Dr. Brendan O'Connor, primary care physician at Unity Family Medicine at Chili Center