Health & Medical News

The leading braille authority in the country has voted to adopt a new braille code, the first change to braille in the US in decades, but the New York State Education department has yet to develop a plan to implement it. As a result, instructors are bearing the brunt of the responsibility to teach their blind students.


Autism spectrum disorder, better known as autism, is a condition where an individual struggles to engage in two-way communication, especially in social situations. 

There is no "cure" for autism, and the cause may come down to hundreds of interacting factors, but we do know it is critical for people with autism to get the earliest possible diagnosis and get access to appropriate educational and medical resources.

WASHINGTON (AP)  The Supreme Court won't hear a challenge to New York State's requirement that all children be vaccinated before they can attend public school. 

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the policy does not violate students' constitutional right of religious freedom. 

The appeals court had also upheld a federal judge's ruling that students exempted from the immunization policy for religious reasons could still be barred from school during an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease. 

Flickr: jetsandzeppelins

New federal rules aim to protect farm workers from the risks associated with exposure to pesticides. Advocates in New York are applauding the changes.

Now children under 18 will not be allowed to handle pesticides. Adult farm workers will have to be trained each year on how to protect themselves from the chemicals used around them. They used to be trained every 5 years.

It’s been 23 years since the Environmental Protection Agency updated its standards.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York state spent more than $1.2 billion on diabetes-related medical services last year, according to a new report that suggests the costs associated with the chronic disease are likely to impose ever greater burdens on the state.

ALBANY (AP) Diabetes cost New York state more than $1.2 billion in Medicaid expenses last year.

The number comes from a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office, which found that state expenditures related to the disease have gone up 31 percent in the past five years.

Some 1.6 million New Yorkers have been diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and 460,000 of them are covered by the state's Medicaid program.

In addition, the state estimates that more than 750,000 New Yorkers have the disease but don't yet know it.

Older adults in our area have a new place to go to get questions answered about Medicare Advantage plans.

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield opened a resource center in Greece to mark the beginning of the Medicare Advantage shopping season on Thursday.

Heather Smith is the director of that program for the insurer. She says the location will provide information in person.

“Folks can take a look at the plans they have currently, analyze what they have, what they’re looking for, their unique needs, and if they deem appropriate for 1/1/16,” says Smith.

Shopping season for the Medicare Advantage plans is underway.

In Monroe, Ontario, and Wayne Counties, the average premium for 2016 Medicare Advantage plans is $74 dollars, about a 10 percent increase over last year.

On average in New York State, most monthly premiums are steady, but out of pocket costs for medications are up.

Older adults in New York may find they’re paying less each month for Medicare Advantage.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren dedicated the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

A report from the Willow Domestic Violence Center shows there were over 4700 reports made in 2014. In Rochester, the report rate is two and a half times more than the state-wide rate. Mayor Warren says the greatest barrier to ending the epidemic of violence is silence.

"I am excited about the fact that in the city of Rochester and in the county of Monroe, good people are no longer sitting silent." Boy

Teach-ins, rallies, and candle light vigils are taking place today at more than 30 medical school campuses across the country.

Students are holding a "National Day of Action" to call for Medicare for all Americans.

Justin Pegueros, a student at Albany Medical College, says a single-payer health care system is the best option.