Health & Medical News

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Nurses in New York want state lawmakers to set minimum staffing requirements to address what they say is a significant understaffing problem at hospitals around New York state, a problem they say puts patients at risk. 

The nurses will kick off the effort to pass the legislation on Tuesday at the state Capitol. 

They note that nurses have filed thousands of formal protests alleging understaffing at hospitals around the state. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Some 551 New Yorkers have been certified to obtain medical marijuana, nearly one month after the state's program began. 

More than 330 physicians, meanwhile, have registered with the state, a requirement for doctors who want to be able to authorize the drug for patients. 

The figures come from the state's Department of Health in response to questions posed Friday by The Associated Press.

The University of Rochester Medical Center is partnering with a company called Indivumed to establish a tissue bank.

Indivumed is an "integrated oncology company" with "bio-repository expertise." Basically, they're going to help URMC build a giant freezer to store tissue samples collected during tumor removal surgeries from patients at URMC.

New York gets some failing grades when it comes to tobacco prevention and access to smoking cessation services and cessation funding.

But it gets high marks for smoke-free air and tobacco taxes, according to the American Lung Association's 14th 'State of Tobacco Control' report, which is just out.

Michael Seilback is vice president for public policy and communications for the American Lung Association of the Northeast.

He says smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death in New York State.

And they want state lawmakers to do three things: Sandra

Pregnant women and new mothers need to be more routinely screened for depression, according to recommendations made last week by a government panel.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said, in fact, all adults over 18 should be screened for depression, but it made a special point of singling out women who and pregnant and those with newborns.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Officials say they'll host a webinar on the Zika virus for health professionals statewide following the identification of nine cases in New York.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says officials will discuss how they're reducing the risk of spreading Zika during Monday's forum.

The mosquito-borne virus has been identified in nine New Yorkers who recently returned from countries where the virus is actively being transmitted.

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.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

A much-anticipated medical cannabis dispensary has finally opened in Rochester.

The dispensary, located deep inside the Eastman Business Park on Ridge Road, is brightly lit with LED lights and shiny white counter tops, accented with wood paneling and textured fabrics in the waiting room. It's evocative of an Apple store with more flora.

Columbia Care's CEO Nick Vita says he's excited to be getting this off the ground, despite some delays. This opening comes three weeks after the state's medical marijuana program went into affect. Matthews

In any given year, one in five children and adolescents will experience a mental disorder, and the prevalence of these illnesses appears to be increasing. Of those who are diagnosed, only 20 percent will be seen by a mental health provider. 

The Commission on Children's Behavioral Health in the Finger Lakes brought together more than 150 mental health specialists as well as representatives from the local business, legal, and education systems Thursday in Rochester to highlight the urgency of the problem. 

(WXXI News & AP) Monroe County health officials are confirming for WXXI News they did recently learn of a person who tested positive for the Zika Virus.  That’s a typically mild disease that has been linked to birth defects in some countries in the Southern Hemisphere recently.

Health Department spokesperson John Ricci would only describe the person as an adult who was not pregnant, and says the person had tested positive for the virus after developing flu-like symptoms following a trip to a country in a tropical area. He says that person is doing fine now.