Health & Wellness

Health news

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Local leaders in the medical community are keeping a watchful eye on state budget negotiations – particularly, approval of Governor Cuomo’s pitch for phase two of the Buffalo Billion initiative.

A second round of training began Monday aimed at helping Buffalo police officers respond more effectively to people who are grappling with mental health crises.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County held its first ever stakeholders breakfast in downtown Buffalo on Wednesday. The organization tells WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley it is working to reach out to community providers to help prevent suicides. 

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Buffalo’s Common Council is throwing its support behind universal healthcare in New York. The council has chosen to back the passage of the New York Health Act, a bill calling for a single-payer healthcare system for all state residents.


A new health and wellness center is coming to Buffalo’s Jefferson Avenue Corridor.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

For the third year in a row, a bill is traveling through the New York legislature with the goal of creating a statewide single-payer healthcare system – more commonly known as ‘universal healthcare.’ Similar bills passed the state Assembly in 2015 and 2016, but failed to gain Senate approval. With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, advocates see this year’s attempt as more important than ever.

Loneliness can be bad for your health

Feb 14, 2017
WBFO file photo

Here's something to ponder on this Valentine's Day. Loneliness can be bad for your health.

WBFO file photo

Advocates for people who have disabilities were in that state capital Monday to lobby for an increase in state aid for independent living centers.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Supporters of medical marijuana have long argued pot can help alleviate many medical and health problems. However, pinpointing the exact benefits of marijuana has been elusive. A new UB study looks to answer those questions.


Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse has opened its cord blood bank, only the second facility of its kind in the state and the first outside New York City. Blood from umbilical cords is processed for stem cells, which can treat cancers and other diseases. The bank is open for public and private use.

WBFO's Chris Caya

In a day of complicated maneuvering, Erie County legislators killed a plan to refinance the debt of Erie County Medical Center, then sent back to committee a separate plan to borrow $100 million for the hospital using the county's credit rating. It was a day of attacks - some personal - and so much parliamentary maneuvering regarding the entangled finances of Erie County and ECMC even legislators were sometimes lost.

The use of an electric surgical device to perform a minimally invasive hysterectomy is what Frank Interlichia of Brighton, NY - and others in similar cases across the country - claim caused the death of their loved ones.

Health leaders call for elimination of Hep C

Feb 8, 2017
National Public Radio

Organizers of New York's first-ever Hepatitis C summit are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to wipe out Hepatitis C in the state.

NYS Health Exchange sees 28% enrollment increase

Feb 6, 2017
New York State

The window to sign up for health insurance through the New York state Marketplace has come and gone, but the marketplace was busier than ever even though there are lots of questions about what may happen to the current health care system.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

If you plan to feast on finger foods this Sunday, you’re not alone. The Super Bowl will spur millions of viewing parties as guests share their favorite snacks, including an estimated 1.3 billion chicken wings.

As the death toll from opioid overdoses continues to rise, Erie County is hitting back with a lawsuit against pharmaceutical makers and doctors who prescribe the drugs. The suit alleges they helped fuel the opioids epidemic, by spreading the falsehood that the medications aren't addictive and potentially lethal.

Univera Healthcare

As the new presidential administration continues to push forward on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies are left wondering what the future of their industry will look like. Art Wingerter, President of Buffalo-based Univera Healthcare, said even with dozens of position papers crossing his desk on what could happen, there’s no true insight into what will happen.


New step therapy law called step in right direction

Feb 1, 2017
National Public Radio

Advocates are applauding Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signing of new step therapy legislation for 2017. However, health insurers are projecting an additional half-billion dollars in drug costs because of the law.

National Public Radio

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a crowd of cheering Planned Parenthood advocates that he’s proposing an amendment to put protections from the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into the state’s constitution.


Catholic Health

Children wielding plastic hammers knocked down a Styrofoam block wall as Sisters of Charity Hospital "broke ground" on its $8.8 million expanded 40-bed neonatal intensive care unit on Wednesday. All the children had been treated in Sisters' NICU as newborns.


Aid in dying bill reintroduced in Albany

Jan 24, 2017
Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

A bill to legalize aid in dying has been re-submitted in the New York legislature.

courtesy Catholic Health

In response to a state health official's advisory about the flu, a Buffalo-area hospital system is announcing a temporary restriction on visitors to its facilities.


David Irish

In Betsy Irish’s room, it’s all about the music. There is a big boom box in the corner, framed CD jackets and a special box just for Christmas music.

She’s hanging out with her dad, David Irish, at her group house in a suburb of Rochester. They’re doing one of their usual activities — reading the dictionary.

With little power left in Washington, Democrats set out on Sunday to make a big statement against GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with rallies in dozens of cities.

It's also a step for the party toward regaining its footing after grassroots efforts in 2016 failed to keep the White House in Democrats' hands.

An expansion of industrial hemp farming was one of Governor Cuomo’s proposals at his regional State of the State address in Syracuse. The proposal comes the same week the state allots more money to fight drug addiction.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

The latest round of air quality tests have found no lingering effects from a massive November fire last year at the old Bethlehem Steel complex.

Is aid-in-dying right for New York?

Jan 9, 2017
Jo Naylor / Flickr

Susan Rahn's doctors first discovered cancer in her back a few years ago. They traced its to her breast, and she's now at Stage 4 - a terminal diagnosis. Rahn changes her medication every three months to fight the pain.


Albany is apparently seeing a growing problem with gambling addiction and is allowing the state's public addiction treatment centers to provide more beds for problem gamblers.

The rush to get health care before it changes

Jan 9, 2017

The number of New Yorkers signing up for health insurance through the state health exchange continues to climb. In recent weeks nearly 3.5 million people enrolled in plans.

An overwhelming majority of people disapprove of Republican lawmakers' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement for the health care law, according to a poll released Friday.

And judging by the letter-writing and lobbying in the first week of the new congressional session, many health care and business groups agree.

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