Health & Medical News

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

Mary Rivera knew something wasn’t right, but she still didn’t go to the doctor.

“I knew that my uterus wasn’t where it should've been, but I didn’t have any insurance at the time. To go to the hospital and have an operation seemed impossible,” Rivera said from her home in Manchester, New York.

On her living room wall, photographs of her three daughters are neatly framed. She raised all of them in the house, and she says that’s what kept her from going to the doctor. She was scared of the bills, not being able to pay them, and the possibility of losing their home.

freeimages.com/James Giroux

Rochester is one of 15 communities across the country chosen for a grassroots campaign to change the public response to the addiction crisis.

"The whole 'once an addict, always an addict' thing is not true,” said 21-year old Carlee Holsizer. “Addicts need treatment. Addicts need a safe place to go and a place where they feel comfortable enough. Addicts need society to be on their side."

Holsizer was addicted to alcohol and drugs when she attended high school in Spencerport.


The National Institutes of Health could face some major changes if the proposed budget from the Trump administration released earlier this week progresses. The budget calls for a $5.8 billion cut to NIH funding, 20 percent less than what it currently receives.

Major changes in the amount of money the NIH receive could mean changes for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, but receives 70 percent of its funding from the National Institutes of Health.


One of the biggest proposed changes in the ACA repeal bill is about Medicaid. Medicaid now functions on a per person basis. If you qualify, you get it. But in the bill released earlier this week, lawmakers have proposed changing over to a block grant program. That means each state gets a fixed amount of money. If the population that needs Medicaid grows or shrinks, that amount of money remains the same.


A new report has found that jobs in health care have grown significantly in New York State. Researchers at the University of Albany determined that between 2000 and 2014 health care employment has more than doubled.

The Center for Health Workforce Studies says health care accounts for about 12 percent of total employment in the state and continues to grow faster than all other sectors.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of health care providers are asking state authorities for increased support for community-based services to help uninsured patients.

On Monday more than 900 community health care supporters will ask Albany lawmakers to preserve health care in federally qualified health centers , according to Community Health Care Association of New York State.

freeimages.com/Deividas Gailevicius

Amy Schnitzler loves running.

She would often try to run five miles a day, but that was before the Henrietta woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2016.  Amy, who is 27, learned in November that the cancer had spread to her lungs.

She has undergone more than three months of chemotherapy and, like many cancer patients, experienced extreme fatigue.

"It's not like anything I remember feeling prior to chemotherapy. Words fail to describe it."

Despite the exhaustion, Amy tried to keep moving when she could.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency has had that name for 43 years and officials there say that’s long enough. On Friday, they announced they are changing the organization’s name to Common Ground Health.

Trilby de Jung  is the CEO of the organization which is a regional health planning agency. She says the new name better reflects their mission to help the region find common ground on health issues.

de Jung says the organization wants to increase its efforts in reaching out to the community.


Keeping up with a rigid workout plan was like second nature to Bill Brewer, a human anatomy and exercise physiology professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He calls himself a “fit guy” and often speaks of how he considers his health and fitness top priorities.

His outlook began to change when a routine colon screening detected that he had been living with stage three cancerous tumors.

“I had no symptoms, no bad feelings, no issues, and I thought, ‘Me? I wouldn’t have that!’”

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the area’s largest HMO, has reported its financial results for last year.

The company saw net income of  nearly $100 million, which was higher than last year. Officials say that income number is 1.7 percent of its overall $6 billion in premium revenues for 2016.

Officials say administrative costs to run the business declined for the second year in a row.