WBFO Health & Wellness Desk

Funded by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

WBFO News file photo

The cuts proposed under the Republican health care bill could end up hurting thousands of local residents who rely on Medicaid to live in the community.

Thousands of older homes in the city of Buffalo are considered to be at-risk for lead paint hazards. It's a problem that health officials consider to be a crisis. But according to Dan Telvock of Investigative Post, city efforts to combat the problem are not making much progress. He outlines the issue on WBFO's Press Pass.

WBFO file photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo is being urged to sign a bill that would expand eligibility for the state's medical marijuana program to include patients undergoing treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

A new summer STEM program is giving high school students from across Western New York the opportunity to help kids in need through 3D printing and design.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Game over, record set, mission accomplished. The 11 Day Power Play wrapped up early Monday in HarborCenter, successfully achieving its lofty goals in a cause launched months ago to support cancer research.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The State of Play report released in Western New York last week identified a lack of youth participation in sports, despite a wide majority of parental appreciation of the benefits of physical activity by their kids. That report, as we previous reported, encourages a renewed interest in free play. It also encourages letting kids try a wide variety of sports, avoiding early specialization. Experts and even one former pro athlete share the opinion that intensive concentration on one sport at a young age is a mistake.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A newly-released report about youth sports participation in Western New York shows a lack of physical activity by many young people. But it also offers ideas on how to get kids more interested and involved with sports. It begins with a question for the children: "What do YOU want?"

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Thursday night, the hockey puck will drop at HarborCenter as an ambitious attempt to set a new record gets underway. Two teams of volunteers will spend the next 11 days playing a continuous game of hockey. While participants in the 11 Day Power Play seek to become the longest-ever hockey game played, the larger goal is to raise one million dollars for cancer research.

Being able to identify the symptoms of concussion in youth contact sports is not only critical to the safety of young athletes, it’s also Erie County Law. Now there’s training to back it up.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County lawmakers voted Thursday to approve plans for how to spend one million dollars to curb an ongoing opioid addiction crisis. More will be discussed. Meanwhile, the legislator who first introduced the idea of the million-dollar boost is frustrated by what he considers stalling by his peers.

Dominic LoVallo

As a global campaign focuses attention on elder abuse, a local initiative is gearing up to spread joy to thousands of senior citizens across Western New York.

letstalkstigma.org / Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition

Perceptions are often the biggest barrier to people with mental health conditions finding the help they need to live healthy and productive lives. Through the efforts of the newly-formed Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition, those barriers may fall.

University at Buffalo / NIAID

There is a serious problem around the world - and it is growing. A University at Buffalo research team is taking a new approach to combat the problem with old antibiotics.

WBFO News file photo

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is going to allow Tonawanda Coke to burn hazardous waste. That's raising concerns among neighbors who have been dealing with the convicted polluter for years.

Karen DeWitt

Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol to gain support in the state Senate to adopt a statewide single-payer health care system. It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump have been trying to dismantle.

Major insurers accused of defrauding Medicare

May 23, 2017

The complexities of billing the Medicare program may have provided cover for some major health insurers in an effort to defraud the federal government. According to a report from The New York Times, the companies may have exaggerated patient diagnoses to inflate Medicare payments by billions of dollars. Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins decried the practice, calling it a "blatant violation of the public trust."

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Members of the Erie County Legislature continue to discuss a proposal to provide $1 million for efforts against an ongoing opioid addiction crisis. But at Thursday's Health and Human Services Committee meeting, it was clear that lawmakers are divided on how the money should be spent, and how soon it may be spent.

S.H.E. Clinic

Bleeding disorders in women and young girls can affect every-day life – from missed days at work to missed time in the classroom. But, often, the disorders go undiagnosed. A new clinic in Buffalo’s Delaware District is working to change that.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Senior citizens are vulnerable to abuse, not only of their physical selves but also of their life's savings. This morning in Amherst, partners in a newly formed task force announced their mission to provide elderly individuals with assistance in cases of financial abuse and exploitation.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

For many people, the term “population health” may be a new and undefined concept. What do you know about it, and does it involve you? Find out.

Almost 100 hospitals reported suspicious data on dangerous infections to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials, but the agency did not follow up or examine any of the cases in depth, according to a report by the Health and Human Services inspector general's office.

Most hospitals report how many infections strike patients during treatment, meaning the infections are likely contracted inside the facility. Each year, Medicare is supposed to review up to 200 cases in which hospitals report suspicious infection-tracking results.

One day after House Republicans led passage of the American Health Care Act, advocates for the developmentally disabled in Western New York are raising concerns about a key element of the plan.

Some of New York’s leaders are expressing outrage over the Republican House of Representatives vote to undo the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County legislators are lining up in support of a proposed law intended to protect senior citizens living in assisted care homes. The Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee discussed the proposal, known as "Ruthie's Law."

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Buffalo’s Lafayette Square was host, on Wednesday afternoon, to the latest stop in a campaign to educate New Yorkers on a potential new tool in the fight against drug use - a tool that is drawing mixed opinions.

Some local nonprofit agencies are expanding their workforce as part of a new behavioral health program. A main goal of the program is to increase access to outpatient services. 

Drug Policy Alliance

As Western New York and the nation deals with an opioid crisis, a group of drug reform advocates, former users and health care professionals have launched an effort to bring to New York State facilities where addicts can consume their drug of choice in a safe, secure and supervised environment.

Office of State Senator Chris Jacobs

New York State ranks last in the nation for participation by residents in organ donor registries. So how do you change that when most people sign up at their local auto bureau when getting a driver’s license?

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Three prominent names in Buffalo-area health care are uniting to construct a new radiation oncology center in the Southtowns.

Paul Schermerhorn

Drugs and the opioid epidemic are an ongoing burden in Western New York, with continuous efforts being made through education, medical treatment, and government agencies. But a church in Jamestown is trying a different approach to dealing with this very real crisis.