Health & Medical News

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York state is changing school immunization requirements to ensure children receive their final doses of three standard vaccines before entering school. 

Beginning Sept. 1, the state's Department of Health will require students to receive a complete series of immunizations for measles-mumps-rubella, polio and tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis before starting school. Students who have received initial doses of the vaccines may attend school only if parents can show they have scheduled appointments for the final doses.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York doctors' group is urging that Veterans Administration hospitals and medical facilities join the new statewide database intended to prevent patients from getting excess painkiller prescriptions by shopping among multiple physicians.

The New York State Academy of Family Physicians in a letter has asked Secretary Robert McDonald to require VA facilities in the state to participate.

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 He says insurers work to keep costs down by limiting the medications they cover.

Livingston County health officials say that a dead crow found in that county has tested positive for West Nile virus. It's the first case of West Nile in that county this year.

West Nile Virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.

Rochester is getting nearly $3.7 million in federal funding to help combat lead poisoning.

That according to New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand who say the money will help the city address lead hazards in 235 housing units, providing safer homes for low income families with children.

Federal grant money will also provide assessments of health and safety in 100 units.

The funding will help spur collaboration between the Rochester Housing Authority and the Monroe County Health Department to prevent lead poisoning accidents. Kersey

The start of school is a couple of weeks away, but counselors in the Rochester School District are already trying to help students who are experiencing trauma because of the violence around them.

The drive-by shooting of 7 people on Genesee Street last week highlights concerns about the amount of violence kids are exposed to, but the issue is not new to counselors in city schools.

Shantea Pollock lives on Shelter Street. She says she could hear gunfire from her porch.

"I've never seen anything like that, you know? And just the way it happened, I mean, you hear gunshots, but that was like, sounded like 30 rounds. It just kept going."

Pollock says the night of the mass shooting on Genesee Street was traumatic for a lot of reasons -- but not because she's a stranger to gunfire.

Diabetic Students Can Self-Care At School

Aug 19, 2015

Students with diabetes used to have to leave their classrooms when their blood glucose levels got too high or low. A change in state rules this fall will allow self-care.

URMC Awarded Parkinson's and DNA Research Funding

Aug 18, 2015

URMC is getting a million-and-a-half dollars in new federal grant funding for research projects into Parkinson's disease and DNA.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter announced the awards, which come from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

She is a member of the Congressional caucus on Parkinson's. In a statement released to WXXI, Mrs. Slaughter said, “Today’s announcement will bring Rochester’s world-class medical talents to bear on a devastating disease that inflicts pain and suffering on local families and many others throughout our country."

Tonight at 8 p.m. WXXI-TV presents the television premiere of the documentary Beginning With the End.

Local film maker David Marshall tells the story of students from the Harley School who are enrolled in teacher Bob Kane's Hospice Class.

Kane believes the experience is transformative the teens who are allowed to help care for and hold the hands of dying patients.  He believes the profound trust placed in these students helps them to trust themselves more. 

Kane wonders whether this could be beneficial to students in struggling urban school districts.