Health & Medical News

RIP Medical Debt

Over $2 million of medical debt across New York state is about to be erased.

It’s due to the efforts of two friends, 70-year-old Carolyn Kenyon and 80-year-old Judy Jones, both of Ithaca, who raised $12,500 that they’ve donated to an organization called RIP Medical Debt.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Residents along North Clinton Avenue joined with others from around Rochester on Tuesday evening to say “no more” to the heroin epidemic they said is concentrated in the blocks around St. Michael’s church.

Demonstrators stood side-by-side down two-and-a-half blocks of North Clinton Avenue, from Clifford Avenue to Hoeltzler Street, aiming to disrupt the drug sales they say happen there daily.

It was planned as a silent protest, but occasional chants of “No más!” broke out along the line of demonstrators.

A local hospital is taking a stand against the use of corporal punishment.

Golisano Children's Hospital has established a "no hit zone" throughout the hospital. Dr. Lynette Froula says it's an effort to support parents and educate them that spanking is harmful to children.


NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning on requiring strict limits on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes, including age verification controls for online sales, in an effort to curtail their use among children and teenagers.


FDA officials tell The Wall Street Journal on Thursday the actions are expected to be announced as early as next week. The move is an attempt to curb what many are saying is an epidemic of underage vaping.


Drug Enforcement Administration

October saw the most opioid overdoses in Monroe County since the sheriff’s heroin task force started keeping track in January.

It was also the second-most-deadly month for people who overdosed, with 17 fatalities in the county, the sheriff’s data showed.

The oldest overdose victim was 65, according to the county’s data. The youngest was 17. There were 116 overdoses total.

“I cried. I just cried,” said Becky Baker, describing her reaction when she saw the latest data.

Baker shares her phone number with people addicted to opioids and their families. She tells them to call if they want help finding a slot in a treatment program.

Now, she says, she gets as many calls about deaths as she does about treatment.

“My phone has not stopped. The funerals keep coming,” Baker said. “I keep getting messages that ‘did you know so-and-so-has lost their life?’ It’s gut-wrenching. It’s heart-breaking. Our grief group keeps growing and growing.”

Cornell Food and Brand Lab

Cornell University has found that a prominent professor and researcher violated federal regulations and was “reckless” in his research conduct.

A Cornell faculty committee found “by a preponderance of the evidence” that Brian Wansink falsified data, attributed authorship inappropriately and failed to obtain necessary approval for his research, provost Michael Kotlikoff said in a letter.

New York State Department of Health

Open enrollment is underway for New York’s state health care marketplace.

New Yorkers who don’t get health insurance through their work or through Medicare can now enroll in a variety of plans in the state’s insurance marketplace, called New York State of Health.

The state health department said prices for most of its insurance policies are not increasing from 2018 to 2019.

Ending a year and a half of uncertainty, the Rochester Institute of Technology is offering hormone therapy to transgender students.

The school had fired a doctor for providing the therapy, which helps transgender people’s physical characteristics align more closely with their gender identities, last year.

At the beginning of this year’s fall academic term, RIT said it would “offer a wider spectrum of care” for transgender students, “most notably the addition of gender affirming hormone therapy.”

AAA Halloween safety tips

Oct 31, 2018

AAA of Western and Central New York is stressing safety as trick-or-treaters will be out en masse this Halloween.

Spokesperson Elizabeth Carey says it promises to be a very busy night on the roads.

"Over 40 million children are expected to trick or treat on Halloween, so it's up to motorists as the adults, to be extra careful on the roads.  When you're heading home from work or driving through neighborhoods, be aware of children as they're running around attempting to get candy, in costume," she said.

Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority

Rochester’s Regional Transit Service has begun training its employees in a potentially lifesaving response to opioid overdoses.

Transit service workers are learning how to administer naloxone, often sold under the brand name Narcan, which can reverse an overdose.

The agency’s public information officer, Tom Brede, said it’s a reflection of how the opioid epidemic has become a “community crisis.”

“We’re not the emergency medical response,” Brede said, “but we do have a role.”