Health & Wellness

Health news

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A controversial crematorium at 2600 Sherdian Drive in the Town of Tonawanda has been shuttered for the the next six months.

State Attorney General Erie Schneiderman announced an agreement with Sheridan Park, the operators of the Amigone Funeral Home crematory. WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley talked with residents and the CEO of Amigone

Under an agreement with State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,  Sheridan Park, operators of the Amigone crematory will have to find solutions to eliminate odors, smoke, and particles or relocate to another site.

WBFO News photo

Good For You, a radio forum presented by WBFO/AM 970 and BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, examines ways to improve the quality of health care, while lowering costs.   

Four local health care experts gathered before a live audience in the WNED studios.  The panel included:

Dr. Andrea Manyon, A Primary Care Physician and Associate Dean of Student Affairs, U-B School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Chief of Family Medicine for Kaleida Health System

Karen Blount, an RN and Vice President of Healthcare Services for BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A mobile mammography unit has arrived in Buffalo to offer breast screening to underserved and undertested women.

Erie County Medical Center Lifeline Foundation, First Niagara Financial Group and the Buffalo Sabres Alumni collaborated to purchase the 45-foot, pink bus. It was unveiled Wednesday morning inside First Niagara Center.

The bus includes two digital mammography machines and dressing rooms.   It will be operated by Western New York Breast Health, directed by Dr.  Vivian Lindfield. 

wchob.org

Proposed designs for a brand new Women and Children's Hospital were unveiled this morning during a meeting of Buffalo's Planning Board. 

The hospital plans to relocate the entire facility to the corner of Ellicott and High streets in the Medical Corridor.  Kaleida Health and hospital leaders say the 12-story, state-of-the art facility would be designed to provide better patient care and attract new doctors.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has announced the creation of a Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force. 

Poloncarz says Medicaid continues to represent the single largest cost to the county -- $211 million already this year.  He says the new task force will root out "provider-level" waste, fraud, and abuse from doctors, dentists, transportation services and pharmacists.

Poloncarz says the task force will go after "the types of entities that overbill the system." He cited a Monroe County pharmacist that fraudulently billed for prescriptions that were never filled.

WBFO News photo by Omar Fetouh

The state's top cop is cracking down on stores that sell dangerous designer drugs.  More than a dozen so-called "head shops" across New York, including one in Buffalo, are headed to court.

The sale of synthetic drugs in head shops has contributed to a public health crisis in New York and across the nation, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The attorney general has filed lawsuits against 16 retailers for violating the state's labeling laws by selling designer drugs known as "bath salts" and "synthetic marijuana." 

unspecial.org

Workplace bullying is more common than one might think, but it is difficult to get a handle on the scope of the problem. 

There are several reasons why, including reluctance of the aggrieved to come forward, steadfast denials from company  that anything is wrong, and human resource directors who look the other way. 

Erie County's parks and beaches are now smoke-free. 

The Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein and other county leaders were joined Monday by members of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition at Como Lake Park in Lancaster  where they unveiled the first batch of "smoke-free" signs.

Burstein says the new smoke-free policy  is now in effect at all county-run parks and beaches.   She says the goal is to clear the air of second-hand smoke

Photo from New York’s Single Payer Official Website

Single payer advocates in New York State are vowing to continue to push Congress to move to an expanded and Improve Medicare for All program. 

WBFO's Eileen Buckley talked to a member of the statewide group for reaction to Thursday's historic Supreme Court healthcare decision.

Single payer advocates say they will urge Congress to amend the Affordable Care Act to allow states to implement their own healthcare plans in 2014. 

Dr. Raul Vazquez  is with the Urban Family Practice in Buffalo serving many of those who don't have healthcare, but instead are covered by Medicaid. 

 "Right now, these patients are getting care, but they are getting care in the emergency rooms," said Vazquez. "What the law stands to do is develop different models of care."

Dr. Vazquez says under the law, the state would establish a health care exchange that would provide citizens with a place to shop for a plan that fit  their budget, providing relief for those who currently can not afford health insurance.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Prescription drug abuse in Western New York has been described as an epidemic.  But a new prescription drug bill approved by state lawmakers would begin to prevent the problem. 

This week  in our Press Pass conversation WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley talked with Buffalo News reporters Susan Schulman and Dan Herbeck.  They were part of an award-winning News series last year called "Prescription for Danger" and reacted to the new bill that Governor Cuomo promises to sign into law.    

Ride for Roswell 2012 surpasses previous fund drive

Jun 24, 2012
Photo from Ride for Roswell Facebook page

The annual Ride for Roswell held Saturday across Western New York was a huge success for cancer research.

The fundraising event collected $3.7 million.  That surpassed the previous Ride record of $3.2 million raised in 2011.

More than 10,000 supporters of The Ride For Roswell, including riders, volunteers, patients and survivors, closed out the 17th annual fundraiser to benefit lifesaving cancer research studies and 30 patient care programs.

It is an alarming trend in Western New York and across the country: babies born addicted to prescription pain killers. 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer visited Buffalo's Sisters of Charity Hospital Monday, telling reporters
and hospital staff the nation must act now to reduce the alarming number of prescription drug-addicted infants. 

"Western New York is facing a serious problem with the growing trend of what is known as NAS,  Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome," said Senator Schumer. 

Daniel Robison / WBFO

The newest addition to Buffalo’s skyline has opened its doors.

The 10-story, $300 million Gates Vascular Institute/Clinical and Translational Research Center houses a state-of-the-art surgery center, research labs and a business incubator.

“This is a magnet for the region,” says Jim Kaskie, CEO of Kaleida Health. “If you’ve got issues with your heart, your brain, your arteries or veins, you want to be here.”

Kaleida Health collaborated with the University at Buffalo on the project.

An Orchard Park contractor has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for eight alleged workplace safety violations at a Buffalo worksite. 

An OSHA inspector discovered that Aria Contracting employees were removing asbestos and asbestos-containing materials from a former warehouse at 2925 Main Street without wearing protective suits and respiratory protection. 

With two apparent suicide attempts in two days at Niagara Falls, mental health experts say more may be forthcoming.

Every year, a large number of people use the waterfall to kill themselves, with the attempt by a 40-year-old man on Monday one of the few where the jumper survived. Police say there are many suicide attempts at the Falls each year, but not all are reported.

mass-ave.org

The Massachusetts Avenue Project on Buffalo's west side introduced its new food truck Tuesday.  The vehicle will allow expansion of MAP's healthy food distribution project.

The organization, through its Growing Green Program, has created a sustaining model of urban agriculture.  The new truck is used to deliver fresh, affordable produce to Buffalo's low-income neighborhoods.

A major study in a poverty-ridden section of Toronto found student grades rose, graduation rates rose, and attendance rose when students were fed breakfast.

The study by the The Toronto Foundation for Student Success spent three years giving breakfasts to 6,000 students in seven middle and high schools in the Jane-Finch neighborhood, one of the city's most troubled areas.

The study started with 61 percent of the students ready to graduate.  After three years of the breakfast program, 78 percent will graduate.

Photo from Jewish Family Services Website

With May serving Children's Mental Health Month, it's worth noting that all is not carefree for young folks who have yet to pay a mortgage, buy a car or haggle with a health insurer over phantom expenses.

Marlene Schillinger, President and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Buffalo, says her agency sees plenty of cases of children struggling with serious mental health issues, like peer pressure, depression, even suicidal thoughts.

The Mental Health Association of Erie County is celebrating a golden anniversary.

Kenneth Houseknecht, Executive Director of the MHA, told WBFO/AM970 the mission of his organization is twofold. 

"A lot of our services are aimed at promoting and clarifying what  constitutes good mental health," Houseknecht said.

"Right from the very youngest age through all of the life events: single people, married people,
families; so, mental health and wellness is a big part of what we do."

Equally key to their mission is treatment.

Some local children will be taking part in a new initiative designed to promote healthy living.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation has awarded a grant to the Independent Health Foundation to bring the national "Soccer For Success" program to ten Buffalo Public elementary schools. 

The youth development program uses soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity. Independent Health President and CEO Dr. Michael Cropp said the epidemic of obesity and diabetes is driving the crisis in healthcare today.  

This Saturday is the 4th annual National Take Back Initiative.  It's a time when you can rid yourself of prescription drugs you no longer need or want.        

This nationwide DEA campaign has worked well in recent years, with over 500 tons of unwanted prescription drugs turned in, including 10 tons in Western New York. 

Speaking at the West Seneca Senior Center today, U.S. Attorney William Hochul urged citizens not to dispose of the drugs themselves, but rather to turn them in at any one of 33 venues sprinkled across the region for proper disposal, no questions asked.

Chris Caya/WBFO

Leaders and staff of Roswell Park Cancer Institute celebrated the opening of the hospital's new state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit this morning. 

The $4 million project involved relocating the ICU to the 8th floor and installing additional windows so each room is filled with natural light.  The 8,000 square foot unit is 40-percent larger than the old one.

Roswell Park's Chief Nursing Officer Maureen Kelly says it makes a nice environment for patients, their families and staff.

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Tuesday Today marks the 10th annual “Dining Out for Life.”   As WBFO & AM-970’s Eileen Buckley reports, nearly 100-restaurants in Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties will participate to raise money to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Inside the kitchen at Ristorante Lombardo on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo the staff is always busy serving up Italian cuisine, and Tuesday night will be no different.

“All the money that we raise that day stays in Western New York.  No of it leaves here,” said Tom Lombardo, owner. 

Photo from Erie County Health Department Website

Sexually transmitted diseases are exploding among Erie County’s young people. 

County Health Commissioner Doctor Gale Burstein notes that although young people make up about 25 percent of the sexually-experienced population in the county, nearly half of new STD cases occur in persons ages 15 through 24.   

The young, according to Burstein, are the most vulnerable to these infections.

A new partnership has been created between BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Kaleida Health and a physicians group.  

It promises to offer new, more affordable health insurance plans for employers.

“Our fundamental premise in creating this collaboration as we improve efficiencies, effectiveness and quality of care is a reasonable consequence of that,” said  Alphonso O’Neil White, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield.

The new program is being touted as a “strategic partnership” forged between health care providers and physicians.

Photo from Medina Memorial Website

A small hazmat situation was quickly handled at Medina Memorial Hospital Tuesday.

A hospital spokesman tells WBFO & AM-970 News there was a small spill of medication that is used with anesthesia in pharmacy department. 

The Medina Fire Department was called in to assist.  The pharmacy department was evacuated as standard procedure. 

The small spill created some fumes.  Firefighters opened windows to ventilate the area. Air handlers were also shut off and clean up was conducted within one hour allowing the hospital to resume normal operations. 

Pages