Health & Medical News

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has renewed partnerships with six community groups that the local insurer says are tackling some of the community's most challenging health needs.

As part of that effort, Excellus is distributing more than $150,000 to organizations that include the Ibero American Action League, Action for a Better Community, the Church of Love Faith Center, the Prime Time Sister Circles program, PathStone and Trillium Health.

National Nutrition Month at Rochester's Public Market

Mar 26, 2015
Alex Crichton / WXXI

Local and state officials gathered on a chilly day at Rochester's Public Market to talk about the success of the venue, and state programs designed to encourage healthier eating habits.

State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball, says New York is home to 36-thousand farms, and markets like the one in Rochester are important, because they serve as a point of contact between farmers and their customers.

Cancer Survivor Joan Lunden says "Take it On"

Mar 25, 2015
Alex Crichton

Former Good Morning America host Joan Lunden was in Rochester today to provide the keynote address for Lifespan's 19th "Celebration of Aging" luncheon at the Riverside Convention Center.

Lunden shared some of life strategies that she used in her life and career, such as taking on new challenges and expecting to succeed.

She says those same strategies help her in her battle with cancer.

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.

Overdoses from heroin are up in nearly every county in the state.

A community forum tonight intends to educate the public about the growing numbers of people addicted to heroin and opioids.

The Monroe County Examiner’s Office reports a 70 percent increase in deaths related to heroin in 2014 within the county.

Ontario County Sheriff Phillip Povero says his county saw 7 overdoses from opioids in the past year.

President Honors Rochester Doctor

Mar 23, 2015
Dr. Ray Dorsey

The White House Monday will honor a doctor from Rochester and seven other “Champions of Change in the Fight Against Parkinson’s disease."

President Obama will pay tribute to people and organizations that help Parkinson's patients with improved treatments and research toward a cure.

Michelle Faust

Complaints have been filed with the state over the position taken by some local pediatricians who don't want to treat children who have not received any vaccinations. And the local medical society is backing up a doctor's right to take that position. 

A local woman has filed complaints with the State Division of Human Rights against a dozen or so pediatric practices because of their refusal to take on her children as patients because she refuses all vaccines for them.

A. Sue Weisler /

RIT is partnering with the Rochester Regional Health System and a physician organization to try and improve the health of chronically ill patients.

That collaboration between the university, the hospital system and the Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association is designed to help frail patients continue to live in their homes.

The students will act as "health coaches", reminding patients to take their medicine, exercise and eat nutritiously.

There’s a new effort designed to help support families who are trying to provide care to older adults. It’s called the Caregiver Respite Project, and it brings together a number of organizations include Lifespan, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Monroe County Office for the Aging and many others.

Ann Marie Cook is CEO of Lifespan, and she notes that about 80 percent of caregivers in the U.S. are family members. She says they’re glad to help out their loved ones, but they need help.