Michelle Faust


Michelle Faust, MA, joined WXXI News as a Reporter/ Producer in February 2014. She came from KAWC Colorado River Public Media, where she was Morning Edition Host and Spanish Language Producer. Michelle is an enthusiastic follower of news and a long-time aficionado of public broadcasting.

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. 

Michelle infuses curiosity and a passion for knowledge into her work. Her previous career in education began in 2002 when she taught English in Nîmes, France, before returning to the University of Oregon for her Master of Arts in Spanish literature. Her career in education culminated with a position as Spanish Professor for Arizona Western College.

Michelle loves travel, languages, nature, and adventure. In her off time, she spends most of her time traveling, reading, studying languages, dancing, doing yoga, and spending time in the outdoors hiking or kayaking.

Ways To Connect

State medical schools use a variety of funding sources for research, but officials are not getting as much money as they’d like in the state budget. Universities say this limits their ability to recruit and retain researchers. We’ll talk to university reps who are trying to get high stakes research funded:

  • John Sharp, chancellor of Texas A&M University System
  • Jo Wiederhorn, president of the Associated Medical Schools of New York
  • Dr. Stephen Dewhurst, vice dean for Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Then we focus on Affinity Place, which offers peer based crisis mental health services. We’ll talk mental health and more with our guests:

  • Cheri Reed Watt, associate director of Paul Wolk Commons and program manager for Affinity Place
  • Greg Soehner, President & CEO, East House

We take a trip to the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions for their recognition of National Public Health Week. The field takes a wider view of the health a population.

We’ll learn more about public health and some of the success stories, including reducing tobacco use throughout the United States, and chat about person centered care as movement in medicine and what it looks like in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Then we have a conversation with the primary clinician at the Western New York Center for Survivors of Refugee Trauma and Torture as she reveals how she approaches forensic interviews with people seeking asylum in Buffalo and Rochester.

Our guests this hour:

  • Dr. Jo Freudenhiem, UB distinguished professor and interim chair, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
  • Dr. Davina Porock, associate dean for research and scholarship, UB School of Nursing
  • Dr. Kim Griswold, primary clinician at the Western New York Center for Survivors of Refugee Trauma and Torture
  • Dr. Mark Travers, researcher at Roswell Park Cancer Center
Bruce Blausen / Blausen.com

IUDs and implants are the most effective forms of birth control for teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC now recommends health care providers offer it to teen patients.

“Long-acting reversible birth control methods, which include implants and IUDs, are often referred to as goof-proof birth control,” said Brenda Rhodes Miller, the Executive Director of the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy based in Washington, D.C. She says when teens don’t have to remember to take a daily pill and won’t miss a dosage.

New Yorkers without health insurance have until the end of the month to get coverage. Officials from the state’s health exchange want uninsured individuals with tax penalties to sign up.

The state health department is asking tax preparers to remind their clients of the Special Enrollment Period.

Kathy Kaufman, Enrollment Program Director for FamiliesUSA, finds many people still without health coverage didn’t realize the impact on this year’s tax season.

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Close to 60 percent of New Yorkers are overweight or obese. This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would take steps to fight the obesity epidemic in the state.

New York state ranks second nationwide for medical expenditures related to obesity issues. One researcher says solutions to the problem should include both public health efforts and individualized treatment.

Michelle Faust

“I started out in Southern France and ended up in Belgium," is how Palmer Gaetano describes his army service in World War II. The 92-year old lives in a hospice facility in Spencerport, near his daughter and her family.

Gaetano is one of more than 9 million American military veterans over the age of 65, according to 2013 census bureau figures.  With an aging population that includes vets from Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, there are 1,800 veteran deaths each day. One program strived to meet their increased need for end-of-life care.

The rate of suicide among military personnel has more than doubled since 2005. A new study released this week in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry found no connection between suicide and deployment.

The study looked at military members who served since the latest conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and found elevated rates of suicide for those with less than 4 years of service and had received an other-than-honorable discharge.

Damian Dovarganes/AP

The New York Times ran a letter by Angelina Jolie today. The piece entitled “Diary of a Surgery” recounts her choice to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to prevent an elevated risk of cancer.

In 2013, the actress wrote an op-ed in the newspaper about opting to undergo a double mastectomy after discovering she had a gene mutation that increased her risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Holly Anderson, Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, explains that Jolie’s decision is a highly personal one.


A University of Rochester Medical Center researcher plans to use a $50,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Coalition to keep breast cancer from spreading to the bones.

Doctor Zhenqiang Yao’s research will investigate whether IAP Inhibitors, a type of protein, can slow or prevent the spread of breast cancer to the skeletal system.

Less than 1% of Americans serve in today’s military. However, in earlier generations, millions of Americans were drafted or volunteered for World War II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Nine million served in Vietnam alone. Need to Know’s Michelle Faust brings us the story of what happens to these men and women as they age in our society and need end of life care.