Michelle Faust


Michelle Faust, MA, is a reporter/ producer whose work focuses strongly on issues related to health and health policy. She joined the WXXI newsroom in February 2014, and in short time became the lead producer on the Understanding the Affordable Care Act series. Michelle is a reporter with the health collaborative Side Effects and regularly contributes to The Innovation Trail. Working across media, she also produces packages for WXXI-TV’s weekly news magazine Need to Know.

Before coming to the Northeast, Michelle was Morning Edition Host and Spanish Language Producer at KAWC Colorado River Public Media in Yuma, AZ. At WXXI, she occasionally returns to the early shift as a fill-in host.

Michelle had press credentials before she had a driver's license, working for newspapers in both high school and college. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Romance Languages in 2002 from the University of Oregon. After a year teaching English in Nîmes, France, Michelle returned to UO to complete a Master of Arts in Spanish literature in 2005.

Ways To Connect

New York’s economic development agent was in Rochester Tuesday to certify minority and women owned businesses. At least one board member wants to see more of these trainings across Upstate.

Empire State Development gave a morning training seminar at the Ibero-American Action League that went over the process for businesses to get certified for government contracts.

Governor Cuomo set a goal that the state contract with 30 percent minority and women-owned businesses.


Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill last week that would have given doctors the final say in the medications their patients can access under their Medicaid Managed Care plans. Patients must now appeal every time their prescribed drugs are denied.

The governor said the nicknamed “provider prevails” law could have an unbudgeted fiscal impact on the state.

Kev Coleman is the head of data and research at HealthPocket.com. He says insurers work to keep costs down by limiting the medications they cover.

Sunday night's violence on Rochester’s Northeast Side represents neither the Puerto Rican Festival, nor the Puerto Rican population of the city, says festival President Orlando Ortiz.

Five people were arrested in the hours following the end of the celebration.

Ortiz says it’s unfortunate that in the public thinks the violence is associated with the festival. He says people who attended the festivities give good feedback.

University of Rochester

The ceremonial shovels came out Monday at the University of Rochester Medical Center. URMC will soon have a new clinical home for patients with autism.

The William and Mildred Levine Autism Clinic and outpatient imaging will share a new home in a 3-story building slated to be completed in 2017.

Susan Hyman, Chief of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Golisano Children’s Hospital, says treatment for children with autism needs to be integrated, not isolated, from other disciplines.

Michelle Faust

New York has set a goal to eliminate AIDS in the state by the year 2020. Public health organizations met in Rochester Thursday to come up with a regional plan.

In the early 1990s there were around 15 thousand new cases of the disease each year. That’s now down to around 3 thousand cases a year. By 2020, the state wants that number at 750 people or less.

Doctor William Valenti is the staff physician at Trillium Health-a health organization dedicated to AIDS prevention and treatment. He explains the three-part plan.

Kate O'Connell WXXI

New carbon standards announced early this month by President Obama in the Clean Power Plan are also intended to improve your health. The regulations aim to bring down the 7,500 deaths per year linked to particle pollution from power plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency calls Climate Change a threat to human health. Judith Enck, EPA administrator for the region that includes New York, says the new standards will make the air easier to breathe for people with repertory illnesses, like the 25 million Americans who live with asthma. “We’re also reducing air pollutants that cause smog and soot by about 25 percent. So, that’ll have some real health benefits to New Yorkers, as well,” says Enck.

Michelle Faust

Three weeks before the school year officially starts, Monday about half of the students from Rochester’s Monroe High School sauntered in for classes. 583 students, who didn’t have other summer learning programs, began a special summer curriculum at the Fredrick Douglas Educational Campus.

The summer program is one approach to bring up student achievement in the struggling school. It is one of 14 in the district at risk of being taken over by the state. Vicky Ramos, Monroe High School principal, says the approach is meant to engage the 7th through 12th graders.

Most children grow out of being picky eaters, but in some cases it’s associated with anxiety and depression. A recent study by the Journal Pediatrics shows selective eaters were twice as likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.

Doctor Richard Kreipe is a professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital and the medical director at the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders.

The governor says vendors and producers of synthetic marijuana try to “skirt the law” by creating new chemicals that aren’t currently banned. The New York Department of Health announced Thursday emergency regulations banning synthetic marijuana.

The governor calls synthetic drugs “an alarming public health risk.”

That’s why the Public Health and Health Planning Council unanimously expanded the list of banned substances.


Health care advocacy organizations are calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill on his desk that would ensure doctors have the ultimate say over what medications their patients take.  


If your doctor prescribes a medication, your insurance will cover it. Right? That concept is called “provider prevails.” That is: the medical provider’s judgment what drugs the patient will take.


That authority particularly matters for people living with AIDS, epilepsy, and certain mental health conditions who take expensive medications.