WBFO Health & Wellness Desk

Funded by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

Karen DeWitt

A former EPA administrator and a former New York state health department official have teamed up with a Vermont college to conduct a health survey of people potentially affected by polluted water in the villages of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, and in Bennington, Vermont.


Opioids: Fearing a lost generation

Aug 28, 2017

In Western New York, addiction is everywhere - from cities to suburbs to rural areas. Medical experts say treatment facilities should be where the patients live.


National Public Radio

More and more oral cancers being treated by oncologists can be traced to a well-known and very common virus for which there is a vaccine for young people.

Ontario Drug Policy Research Network

Provincial pushback on opioid overdoses and deaths has apparently led to a major drop in prescribing the potentially deadly drugs in Ontario. A new study may include lessons for the United States.

Catholic Health

Catholic Health officially gave up Monday and told residents of a small Amherst neighborhood there would not be a drug treatment clinic next door. The new plan is to shift to an office park in Audubon.

Brett Jaspers

Sarah Harding has a police radio and a bullet proof vest. She checks in with 911 dispatch as she starts her day. 

But she's not a police officer. Harding is a clinical social worker with the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

A new integrated medical facility for Buffalo’s West Side neighborhood is nearing its grand opening after a year of construction.


West Nile Virus found among mosquitoes in Amherst

Aug 21, 2017
WBFO file photo

The Erie County Health Department reported Monday that West Nile Virus was positively identified within a pool of mosquitoes tested in the Town of Amherst.  State health officials are reminding the public to take precautionary steps to slow its spread.


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.

File Photo

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.

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