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.

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Sunday is the last day to enroll in health insurance on the New York State of Health marketplace. 

The state has enrolled more than 2.7 million New Yorkers in the 3 years of coverage under Obamacare. The majority of those have enrolled in Medicaid.

This year was the first when the state has offered the Essential Plan. The Department of Health reports more than 350 thousand people have signed up for the new program designed for low-income New Yorkers who don’t qualify for Medicaid coverage.


A national non-profit organization is focusing on preventative screenings covered under the Affordable Care Act. Families USA shines a light on health problems common among people of color with a series of infographics.

African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than are non-Hispanic whites. These groups are also more likely to have complications from their diabetes, including death.


Assembly members vow to expand funding for treatment for opioid addiction in New York.

The Assembly Minority Task Force on Heroin Addiction presented their report Monday in the assembly chamber.

Three Republican assembly members are credited with writing the report that proposes solutions based on a series of local hearings about the heroin addiction problem in New York State.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports New York has 60 painkiller prescriptions per 100 people. That’s lower than most states. Nationwide, 44 people die from these prescription drugs each day.

“Most of the young folks that testified started out with a prescription drug, for a root canal or a sports injury, and that led them to the end of their prescriptions and then to finding the stuff on the street like heroin and other opiates,” says Southern Tier Assemblyman Joe Giglio, who wants to see more prescribers trained on addiction.

Lawmakers in New York plan to address the opioid addiction problem by increasing funding for treatment.

“We also want to regionalize the problem to find more beds, because there aren’t enough rehab beds for the people who need it, especially our districts that tend to be more rural,” says Giglio.

The Assembly Task Force report recommends a requirement that hospitals hold patients for 72 hours after an overdose reversal. The intention is to use the time to connect the person to a recovery program.

Open communication between parents and teens improves the likelihood of healthy sexual choices in teens. The issue is highlighted in the latest JAMA Pediatrics.

Another recent journal article shows few sexually active teens are screened for HIV infection.

University of Rochester Medical Center Pediatrician Geoffrey Weinberg says teens need to be taught about condoms, and not just to prevent HIV.

AIDS Ribbon
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When doctors recommend HIV screenings, young people are more likely to follow through.

A new study in the February edition of the Journal Pediatrics shows less than a quarter of teens and young adults get tested for HIV, with the rate holding steady for high school students between 2005 and 2013. Young adult women actually experienced a decline in testing rates between 2011 and 2013.

Just less than half of the teens and young adults living with HIV have been diagnosed.

Sebastian Czapnik/Dreamstime.com

When doctors recommend HIV screenings, young people are more likely to follow through.

A new study that will appear in the February edition of the Journal Pediatrics shows less than a quarter of teens and young adults get tested for HIV.

Just less than half of the teens and young adults living with HIV have been diagnosed.

Google Images

When kids drink more water and less sugary drinks, rates of obesity decrease, a new study finds.

Researchers compared the body mass index of elementary and middle school students in New York City before and after getting water coolers installed in their schools.

Doctor Steve Cook, pediatrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says the findings in JAMA Pediatrics are positive. Cook encourages parents to limit the number of caloric beverages their children consume.

Blausen_0534_Goiter via Creative Commons

The American Thyroid Association estimates up to 60 percent of people with thyroid disease don’t know it.

January is thyroid awareness month. One URMC doctor says it’s important that people know the symptoms of the most common thyroid diseases.

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland in the neck, which can have a major impact on how you feel.

Illustration by Thomas James

This legislative session New York lawmakers have 2 bills in front of them that would allow a physician to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to a terminally ill patient.

A mentally competent patient with less than 6 months to live could chose to end their life with their doctor’s help. Two physicians would have to agree the patient’s illness is terminal.


One of the themes during the weekend debate between the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for president was health care.

During Sunday night’s debate, Hillary Clinton called for expanding Obamacare. Bernie Sanders wants what he calls "Medicare for all."

Downstate Democratic Assembly Member Richard Gottfried hasn’t public endorsed a presidential candidate. Most of his career, the legislator has pushed for a plan that more resembles Sanders than Clinton.