University of Rochester Medical Center

CITY Newspaper/File photo

The University of Rochester Medical Center has been named the recipient of a grant for sickle cell anemia treatment, a condition that disproportionately affects Black people and increases susceptibility to COVID-19.

URMC was one of five institutions to pull from a total of $250,000 in Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients (ACCESS) grants from Global Blood Therapeutics. The funding to URMC will be specifically oriented toward transitional care from pediatric to adult sickle cell patients and community outreach.

University of Rochester Medical Center

A psychiatric inpatient unit for people with COVID-19 at the University of Rochester Medical Center aims to treat patients while preventing an outbreak. 

Psychiatrist and family doctor Kevin Brazill oversees the unit. Every person who is admitted for care is swabbed for the coronavirus, he said; if they test positive and are asymptomatic, they are sent to this unit.

“Basically what we’re trying to do is prevent anyone who may be COVID-positive from inadvertently spreading the virus to other people,” Brazill said. 


The University of Rochester is looking at some more cost-cutting moves, driven by the impact of the recent economic downturn.


Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) is a new illness associated with COVID-19 that doctors in Rochester are trying to understand.

There have been more than 100 cases of PMIS in New York state, mainly pre-teens and younger children.

“We’re working with multiple federal and state agencies to document and try to identify all the symptoms and signs that bring kids to us with PMIS,” said Dr. Patrick Brophy from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health are among the institutions partnering with the drug company Pfizer and the immunotherapy company BioNTech to test a group of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

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.

Leslie White

An emergency medicine team from the University of Rochester Medical Center has returned from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. 

The team of 14 doctors, nurses, and physician assistants was dispatched to two hospitals for nearly a week. 

Dr. Aekta Andrea Miglani, medical director of emergency medicine at URMC, said that one of the major differences she saw between Rochester and New York City hospitals was the level of anxiety.

UR Medicine says that Strong Memorial Hospital is sending a team of providers downstate to support health care workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.

A group of 15 emergency medicine staff from Strong left Rochester on Sunday, traveling to one of Northwell Health’s major medical facilities. According to UR Medicine, the emergency medicine physicians, physician assistants and registered nurses will be working this week alongside Northwell Emergency Medicine staff caring for patients.

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.