WXXI AM News

Karen Shakerdge

Reporter/Producer - Health

Karen Shakerdge is a health reporter and producer for WXXI and Side Effects Public Media. From a young anthropology student, to a documentary film producer, to oral historian, and now radio reporter, Karen has been asking people questions about their lives in one way or another for almost 10 years.

The Association of Health Care Journalists recognized her story about liver transplantation with an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Her piece about breast density notification laws received a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Karen has a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Media Studies from The New School and M.A. from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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Emergency rooms must care for anyone who shows up, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Amy Pollard, CEO of University of Rochester Medical Center’s Noyes Hospital, in Dansville, knows that federal law well.

“If you had no health insurance, but you felt ill and you presented to an emergency department here we have to take care of you. And we have to take care of you knowing we may not get paid anything for that care,” Pollard said.

But with the Affordable Care Act a lot more people -- an estimated 20 million -- got health insurance. That means hospitals haven’t been eating costs as much.

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

While the New York state health exchange fields its busiest enrollment period yet, uncertainty looms.

A repeal of the Affordable Care Act, without significant replacement, could cost 2.7 million New Yorkers their health insurance, and the state $3.7 billion, according to an estimation released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, which means organizations are talking about cervical cancer, HPV and prevention.

Courtesy Aimee Levesque

At the Golden Globe Awards this year, Meryl Streep received an honorary award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.

In her acceptance speech, she criticized President-elect Trump for mocking a reporter with a disability. Trump, who denies that, dismissed Streep’s comments on Twitter.

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

University of Rochester medical students gathered to protest a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They are one of many groups of medical students across the country signing a petition to express opposition to an overhaul of the health care reform act without a meaningful replacement.

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The number of New Yorkers signing up for health insurance through the state health exchange continues to climb. In recent weeks nearly 3.5 million people enrolled in plans.

It’s  just about a month away from the Open Enrollment period wrapping up and participation in the state’s official health plan Marketplace, has increased more than 22 percent compared to last year.

ALBANY, N.Y. (WXXI News & AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says more than 2.7 million New Yorkers could lose insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

The Democrat released that figure on Wednesday. His office says counties around the state would lose $600 million in federal funding and the state budget would take a $3.7 billion hit if Republicans in Congress and President-elect Donald Trump dismantle the law.

Cuomo says the cost of repealing the law is "simply too high to justify."

Courtesy David Irish

In Betsy Irish’s room, it’s all about the music. There is a big boom box in the corner, framed CD jackets and a special box just for Christmas music.

She’s hanging out with her dad, David Irish, at her group house in a suburb of Rochester, N.Y. They’re doing one of their usual activities — reading the dictionary.

At 44 years old, Dave Adox was facing the end of his two-year battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He needed a ventilator to breathe and couldn't move any part of his body, except his eyes. Once he started to struggle with his eyes — his only way to communicate — Adox decided it was time to die.

He wanted to donate his organs, to give other people a chance for a longer life. To do this, he'd need to be in a hospital when he went off the ventilator.

Karen Shakerdge

A coalition of local and state advocates are asking Governor Cuomo to increase the state-regulated pay rate for workers who support people with disabilities. Family members, staff, and a bipartisan group of politicians gathered at the ARC of Monroe County to ask for a $45 million budget increase.

The coalition known as “#bFair2DirectCare” asserts that low pay creates a high worker turnover rate statewide, and especially in more rural areas.

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