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

Canandaigua VA Medical Center

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has had the same man the helm of the Canandaigua VA Medical Center since late 2007. Craig Howard has worked for the VA for 37 years. At the end of the May, Howard will retire.

The New York Department of Financial Services will post the new coverage rates proposed by insurance companies and allow for public review starting next month.

Last year, the state allowed insurers an average increase of 5-point-7 percent. They had requested rates higher than 12 percent above the previous year.


About one in four Obamacare enrollees who signed-up for high-deductible health insurance chose not to access any care last year, according to a new study.  Health advocates are calling for more states to adopt programs like one just announced in New York State that connect people with low-cost coverage.

An analysis of data from the Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey showed more than 25 percent of people who bought non-group insurance last year did not use the coverage for needed services, like medical treatments, prescription drugs, and tests.

It seems every week we’re learning about a new candidate throwing their hat into the ring for the race for President. And there’s one topic many are focused on with the 2016 Presidential election…immigration. It’s an issue award winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas knows quite well. He came out publicly as an undocumented immigrant in 2011. Since that time, Vargas began the media and culture campaign, Define American, which is an effort to change the tone of the national conversation about immigration. He also released a documentary about his personal story. During a recent visit to Rochester, Vargas sat down with Need to Know’s Michelle Faust to share more about his work and his story.

A study looking into ways to reduce the plaque that causes Alzheimer’s disease, wants to attract more African American participants. The clinical trial is taking place in Rochester, Buffalo, and several locations near New York City.

New York Senators are calling heroin and opioid addiction an epidemic in the state.

New Yorkers in recovery for heroin addiction, their families, health care providers, and law enforcement gave testimony Wednesday night at a forum at St. John Fisher College about the escalating problem.

Last year, Monroe County saw a 40 percent increase in overdose fatalities linked to opioids.

Dr. Davina Porock, associate dean for research and scholarship at the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, focuses her scholarship on issues related to elderly patients. In this interview with WXXI's Michelle Faust, Porock discusses the person-centered care movement in medicine as it relates to dementia. 

WXXI’s multi-platform reporting project, Understanding the Affordable Care Act, provides viewers and listeners with national and state news about the new health care law and how it affects insurance coverage for Rochester area residents.

For Part 4 of the series on Need to Know, lead producer of the project, WXXI’s Michelle Faust, is joined by Liz Ortolani an Associate with Pullano & Company to examine one family’s dilemma as they choose between individual and family health plans.


Without additional state funding New York Medical School officials say they won’t be able to attract or keep world class researchers. Albany lawmakers have rejected their 50 million dollar request to fund recruitment and retention efforts. 

New York’s medical research institutions say they can’t compete with the funds out-of-state universities are using to lure the nation’s top research talent.

Dr. Stephen Dewhurst is Vice Dean for Research at the U of R’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. He says he’s lost colleagues because of lack of funding for faculty development.


In 2016 low-income New Yorkers will have a new option for health coverage on the state health insurance marketplace. 

State Health Officials announced last week the adoption of a Basic Health Plan that allows people who earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line to enroll in low-cost health coverage.

Premiums cost around 20 dollars a month and there are no deductibles.