WBFO Health & Wellness Desk

Erie County Health Department

Crews have started airdropping rabies vaccine baits throughout rural areas of Erie County as part of a broader initiative to reduce rabies in animals along the Eastern Seaboard and along the Canadian Border.

Five fixed-wing aircraft are distributing baits through August 20. Additional distribution efforts in late August and early September in some open areas of Buffalo and in nearby towns and villages.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

iPads are giving a voice to children who cannot speak.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says students at the Cantalician Center are learning to communicate in a new way in the classroom and at home.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

You get your hair cut on a regular basis, so why not get your health checked just as often? A barber shop in Niagara Falls is part of an innovative approach to instilling that healthy trend in the community.


New Yorkers who sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act exchanges for individuals will see their premiums rise by an average of 14 percent, now that the Cuomo administration has approved rate increases for insurers in the exchanges.


Transgender New Yorkers should now have a greater chance of getting medical services covered by insurance.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Yet another mark of the University at Buffalo’s expansion into the downtown medical corridor went on display Wednesday with the installation of its logo on the new Main Street medical school building.


NY State of Health

New York State has announced health insurance rates for individuals and small groups in 2018. The result is a premium hike, but not as high as insurers had requested. However, the state said rates will actually decrease after adjusting for inflation and federal tax credits.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

The work of high school students in a summer STEM education program came to fruition Tuesday with the presentation of 3D-printed hands for children.


Carly's Club changes name, gains new multi-year sponsor

Aug 15, 2017
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

First created by a young girl battling brain cancer, Carly's Club at Roswell Park is taking on a new name. The newly-renamed Courage of Carly Fund has also gained a new corporate sponsor that will help encourage donations to support research and programming for young cancer and blood disorder patients.


Photo from UB Twitter page.

The University at Buffalo has welcomed its largest-ever medical school class for a new semester.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says UB is calling this a "milestone". 

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

President Donald Trump on Thursday declared the opioid addiction crisis a "national emergency." Those welcoming the declaration hope it will soon lead to more federal investment in treatment and prevention programs. Meanwhile, Erie County lawmakers spent time Thursday hearing feedback from agencies, - including some whose funding proposals were turned down - on a plan to spend one million dollars for response programming.


National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

A Buffalo native and University at Buffalo graduate is embarking on innovative research to challenge a disparity in minority health.


WBFO News file photo

Roswell Park Cancer Institute has been named a 2017-18 Best Hospital for cancer by U.S. News & World Report, while three other local hospitals were ranked high-performing. 

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Buffalo Bills, in partnership with USA Football, hosted an estimated 250 young athletes, their families and coaches inside New Era Field on Friday to discuss how to increase safety in the game of football.

Philip Kirby says he first used heroin during a stint in a halfway house a few years ago, when he was 21 years old. He quickly formed a habit.

"You can't really dabble in it," he says.

Late last year, Kirby was driving with drugs and a syringe in his car when he got pulled over. He went to jail for a few months on a separate charge before entering a drug court program in Hamilton County, Ind., north of Indianapolis. But before Kirby started, he says the court pressured him to get a shot of a drug called Vivitrol.

National Public Radio

Experts are warning that the President's threats to "hurt" health insurance companies by withholding federal Cost Sharing Reduction payments could destabilize the marketplace and cause premiums to spike.

Republican Congressman Tom Reed is bucking his GOP President, calling on the Trump Administration to continue making what are known as Cost Sharing Reduction payments, to prevent destabilizing the health insurance marketplace.

WBFO News file photo /

A cyberattack on the Erie County Medical Center's computer system could end up costing the hospital millions of dollars. As WBFO's Chris Caya reports, ECMC decided to bear the cost rather than paying a ransom.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Artie Awards and theater community raised $20,000 for ECMC's HIV/AIDS and Immunodeficiency Services. WNED-WBFO were presenters of the 27th annual Artie Awards held June 5th. Artie Awards Founder and WBFO's Theater Talk co-host Anthony Chase presented the check to ECMC Monday.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says ECMC provides key HIV-AIDS services through its clinic.

Catholic Charities

If your family is expecting a new arrival or has a younger member already running around, your next outing could be a mix of fun and education.

WBFO's Chris Caya

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should veto a bill passed by the New York State Legislature that blocks local governments from billing pharmaceutical companies to dispose of unused prescription drugs. That is the position of Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke, who is sponsoring legislation to hold drug companies accountable.

Erie County legislators are still grappling with how to spend a half-million dollars to quickly combat the lethal opioid epidemic.

A new national database released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group shines a light on water quality across the United States - and the results are not good.

NY fair officials reassure after Ohio fatality

Jul 28, 2017
New York State Fair

Following a ride malfunction that killed one person and injured several others at the Ohio State Fair this week, state officials want to assure fairgoers in New York that everything possible is being done to ensure that rides are safe.

Jim Salter/AP / National Public Radio

Planned Parenthood leaders in New York are anxiously monitoring the actions in the Republican-led Congress to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and they say in all versions, their health care centers face big reductions.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It is a disease that does not get much attention, but for those who suffer from Lyme disease or have close family members who do, it is an awful health problem for which they say there is not much help out.


WBFO News file photo

Electronic cigarettes will no longer be allowed on public or private school grounds across New York State.  Governor Cuomo signed legislation to ban the use. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with a health behavior expert at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.


Flickr

The Senate is moving ahead on the repeal and possibly the replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and policy makers in New York are bracing for the worst.


WBFO's Mike Desmond

There is an increasingly vocal group in Western New York. Its members are suffering from Lyme disease or are family members of those with the tick-borne disease. They packed an Erie Community College South auditorium Monday night to complain they are not getting the help they need.

Kia Briggs / Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County

As the over-prescription of opioid pain killers continues to plague the country, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing new legislation to help curb it. In Chautauqua County on Monday morning, Gillibrand announced a new bipartisan bill that would limit initial supplies of opioid prescriptions for short-term acute pain to just seven days.

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