WXXI AM News

Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

What happens when doctors and nurses get overwhelmed? Every day, clinicians provide treatment for patients with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. Being exposed to human suffering and having to face ethical challenges leaves many providers distressed, and sometimes, burned out. A Mayo Clinic study reported that in 2014, more than half of U.S. physicians experience at least one symptom of burnout, leading clinician burnout to be labeled as a public health crisis.

What does this mean for you when you visit the doctor or schedule a surgery? And what are the implications for the healthcare system as a whole? An upcoming presentation at the Rochester Academy of Medicine will explore clinician burnout, and offer strategies to prevent and mitigate it. We preview that presentation and answer your questions with our guests:

City Council in Rochester had a number of new faces running for seats this year, but they didn’t all win the Democratic primary. What happens when you take that jump for the first time and it doesn’t work out? Do you stay involved? Do you run again?

We talk to some of them about their experiences as first-time candidates, and what’s next. Our guests:

  • Mary Lupien
  • Shawn Dunwoody
  • Dorian Hall
  • Tom Hasman

NPR/Sam Edwards/Getty Images/Caiaimage

First hour: What’s next for first-time City Council candidates who didn’t win the primary?

Second hour: The impact of clinician burnout

When college students go abroad, they spend weeks, months, or even a year assimilating into a different culture. So how can they integrate those global experiences into their daily lives when they return home?

That's the focus of an upcoming conference at SUNY Geneseo called ROC Your Global Future. We talk to conference organizers and returning students about how they can apply their international perspectives to our community and their educational goals. In studio:

  • Sam Cardamone, conference organizer and associate director of study abroad and international programs at SUNY Geneseo
  • Heidi Kozireski, senior education abroad counselor and faculty led program coordinator at the University of Rochester Center for Education Abroad
  • Allison Maier, student at SUNY Geneseo who studied abroad in Greece and Ireland
  • Jacqueline Tran, student at the University of Rochester who studied abroad in Morocco

Parents of hundreds of children with special needs in New York State say their kids are not receiving the services they need. A recent report in the Democrat & Chronicle stated that in the 2016-2017 school year "nearly 400 3- and 4-year-olds in Monroe County were not evaluated for developmental delays within 60 days of their referral as required by law, according to local school district records.” The delay in referrals puts children at a developmental disadvantage, and at risk for needing costlier services in the future.

Local providers say the state’s reimbursement process is to blame: providers receive tardy and inadequate funding. Democrat & Chronicle reporter Justin Murphy explored this issue. He joins us in studio, and we’ll hear from local parents about the challenges they face. Our guests:

  • Justin Murphy, education reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle
  • Sharon Peck, parent
  • Pat Graff, director of special education at Rochester Childfirst Network
  • Cathy Rasmussen, director of York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute, and associate dean of compliance and clinical affairs at the School of Health and Human Services at Nazareth College
  • Robin Hooper, early education director for the Rochester City School District

This conversation is part of WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, spotlighting issues related to disabilities. The WXXI Inclusion Desk is part of Move to Include, a partnership to encourage thoughtful discussion about issues of inclusion and the differently-abled.

FREEIMAGES.COM/ANISSA THOMPSON

First hour: The impact of New York State's special education crisis

Second hour: How students can apply lessons learned from studying abroad

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • If Rochester could be home to Amazon's second headquarters;
  • The Iran nuclear deal, with Ambassador Thomas Pickering; 
  • The Attica prison uprising;
  • Poverty, with actress Andie MacDowell.

2016 marked the first time a U.S. surgeon general released a report addressing substance use disorders and health problems related to those disorders. According to the report, one in seven Americans will develop a substance abuse disorder at some point in their lives, but only one in ten will receive treatment. While a number of issues factor into the decision not to seek help – inaccessibility of treatment centers, personal beliefs about treatment, and more – the stigma attached to substance abuse continues to be a primary concern. In fact, the report called for a cultural change in understanding addiction: “addiction is a brain disease, not a character flaw.”

East House is highlighting the efforts of people affected by mental illness and substance use disorders to live healthy lives. It’s the theme of East House’s annual Hope and Recovery Luncheon, and award-winning actress Andie MacDowell is the keynote speaker. She’ll discuss her mother’s struggle with alcoholism and how it impacted her childhood.

This hour, we hear from MacDowell and then talk about recovery options in our area with our in-studio guests:

  • Chuck Montante, senior clinician at Westfall Associates, and board vice chair for East House
  • Elizabeth Kingsley Curran, director of admissions for East House
  • James Gage, community member living in recover from addiction

No one will ever change their mind, right? Is there any point in debating friends about politics or heavy subjects when the disagree?

University of Rochester philosopher Richard Feldman says we can engage in better public discourse. He joins us in studio to discuss how.

First hour: How to engage in better public discourse

Second hour: Actress Andie MacDowell, and finding hope for people struggling with addiction

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