rochester regional health

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Rochester Regional Health and the University of Rochester Medical Center can resume elective surgeries after receiving clearance Wednesday from the state health department.

The state cleared hospitals in 35 counties, including Monroe and all of its adjacent counties, to begin scheduling those operations again, determining that they are “without significant risk of [a] COVID-19 surge in the near term.”

WXXI News hosted a COVID-19 forum with researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health to discuss COVID-19 vaccine development, treatment, and research.

Screenshot from Monroe County news briefing

Monroe County and hospital system officials detailed their plans Friday morning for what they will do if an influx of COVID-19 patients overwhelms local hospital capacity.

County Executive Adam Bello said the "surge capacity" plan would add more than 2,000 hospital beds, which would potentially double the number currently available.

Two local major hospital systems are making changes to help cope with the impact of the coronavirus.  

Rochester Regional Health says it will join leading health systems around the world to proactively reschedule elective surgeries as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve.

Officials said that those elective surgeries at all RRH facilities will be rescheduled beginning Monday, March 16 and continuing through March 29. RRH says that the time frame may change as it continues to monitor developments.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

More than 600 miles of wire snake through the seven-floor structure of Rochester Regional Health’s Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care.

The health care provider said it’s running out of room in its current facilities, and the new space opening up here, off Portland Avenue right next to Rochester General Hospital, will ease the pressure on the structure and staff there.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Rochester Regional Health is trying to keep patients with heart failure out of the hospital. 

The health care provider has opened a new center to treat some types of heart failure in an outpatient setting.

Scott Feitell, who directs heart failure treatments at Rochester Regional, said there are good reasons for treating many types of heart failure outside of a hospital.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Rochester Regional Health’s urgent care center for mental health has turned 1 year old.

Program Manager Melissa Shoemaker said the Behavioral Health Access and Crisis Center has seen more than 2,100 patients in its first year of operation.

That’s about twice what planners expected, Shoemaker said.

The clinic dedicated to urgent care for behavioral health is a first in the Rochester area, said Shoemaker.

Rochester Regional Health

Rochester Regional Health has received a federal contract to study ear infections.

Michael Pichichero, the Rochester General Hospital doctor who will oversee the research, said the results could have national implications.

The germs that are causing ear infections today are not the same as they were just a few years ago, Pichichero said. “The bacteria are changing, and they’re changing very rapidly.”

Rochester Regional Health

The Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, operated by Rochester Regional Health, has added resources and programs aimed at improving health care for women in a rural part of the Finger Lakes region.

Dustin Riccio, president of the health care provider’s eastern region, which includes Clifton Springs, said the renovations are happening around the core of a building that has existed in the Ontario County village since the mid-1800s.  

Alex Crichton / WXXI News


Some people accused of crimes in Monroe County will be diverted away from jails and into mental health care under a program that began this week.

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies now have the option to refer people accused of misdemeanors or low-level violations to a behavioral clinic instead of booking them into jail.

If people referred to the clinic complete their treatment course, run by Rochester Regional Health at its St. Mary’s campus, the charges will never be filed.