Health & Wellness

Health news

Creating a healthier Buffalo community

Feb 14, 2013
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo community is being encouraged to fight obesity. Independent Health hosted its second "Conversations for a Healthier Tomorrow" featuring former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell.  Purcell served as the vice chair of the committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Washington. 

ECMC opens new nursing care facility

Feb 8, 2013

After 87 years, the Erie County Home in Alden is closing and residents and staff are moving to the ECMC Health Campus in Buffalo.

Wikimedia Commons

As smoking bans become more widespread, some cigarette smokers have turned to so-called 'electronic cigarettes.' But health experts says it's too soon to say whether e-cigarettes are safe.

Young girl's death attributed to flu

Feb 6, 2013

A six-year-old girl died Monday night at Women & Children's Hospital in Buffalo.  Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein tells WBFO News the child's death is attributed to influenza.

During a visit to Buffalo Wednesday, Lt. Governor Robert Duffy helped launch a new initiative at Roswell Park Cancer Institute to better understand, prevent and cure cancer.

Another Western New York hospital is notifying its patients that they may have been exposed to potential contamination through the improper reuse of insulin pens.

Roswell Park photo

Residents in Northern Erie and Niagara Counties will find it easier now to be cared for by Roswell Park. As WBFO's Chris Caya reports, the cancer institute has opened a new satellite location in Wheatfield near the Niagara Falls International Airport. 

File photo

In an effort to minimize the risk of influenza at its local hospitals, two major healthcare providers have announced restrictions for patient visits.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

As Kaleida Health finalizes its schedule for moving Women and Children's Hospital to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, speculation is building concerning what will happen to the site of the current complex on Bryant Street.

Photo provided by Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a Public Health emergency for all of New York State in repsonse to a severe flu season.

The Erie County Health Department is warning residents about an outbreak of Norovirus -- more commonly known as the "stomach bug" -- this winter.

BlueCross BlueShield present "Good For You!"

Nov 20, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

On Tuesday, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and WNED presented the latest edition of Good For You!,  a live radio series dedicated to healthy living.   The panel of experts discussed Aging with Grace: a discussion for healthy seniors. 

UB participates in national periodontal study

Nov 12, 2012
Photo from University at Buffalo Website

The University at Buffalo is a part of a major study on Periodontal disease.  UB Distinguished Professor of Periodontics Dr. Robert Genco is the principal investigator for the Buffalo Clinical Center. 

With New Era gift, Roswell expansion to proceed

Nov 8, 2012
Chris Caya/WBFO News

A large gift from a Buffalo-based company has capped off 'The Campaign to Build a Greater Roswell Park.'

DNA biomarker tests Multiple Myeloma

Nov 2, 2012
Photo from Empire Genomics Website

A company located in Buffalo's Medical Corridor has unveiled the first DNA biomarker test to be used to treat a certain type of blood cancer. 

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Children with cancer will be able to get the care they need in one location under a new plan announced Thursday by Women and Children's Hospital and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Advocates hope new law will boost organ donation

Oct 22, 2012

Starting at this time next year, anyone over the age of 18 who is getting a new driver's license will have to declare whether or not they want to be an organ donor.

Erie County Clerk Christopher Jacobs says because the question is currently optional, many people skip it.  

"We believe that this will be a significant step to encourage those to really think about organ donation and not just pass over it. Sometimes they pass over it without even knowing [and] if they did know, they would want to sign up," Jacobs said at a news conference Monday morning.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo Bills organization is gearing up for a large event Friday night in downtown Niagara Falls.  The Bills "Billieve" Breast Cancer Awareness Event will help raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.  

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley sat down with organizers of the event -- including two Buffalo Bills wives and a breast cancer survivor.

"I had a mastectomy.  I had chemotherapy. I had radiation.  I had the whole nine yards," said  Susan Morreale. 

Five years ago Morreale experience what many women fear -- the discovery of a lump in her breast.

Roll up your sleeve: Drive-thru flu shot clinics

Oct 12, 2012

If you think you're too busy to get a flu shot -- think again!  Western New York Immediate Care will be holding drive-thru flu clinics in the region Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Claire Jones is with Immediate  Care.  She says you don't have to leave your vehicle to receive shot.

"Drive right up, roll down the window and roll up their sleeves," said Jones. "They will be met by a registration person.  They will have their temperature taken.  They will drive up to the next person to get their shot.  The whole process takes not even five minutes."

Mike Desmond/wbfo

Albany is pushing harder to persuade people to donate organs and tissue when they die.

"Lauren's Law" is named in honor of now 12-year-old Lauren Shields from Rockland County, who received a heart transplant in 2009.

Sheilds has lobbied for greater encouragement of organ donations in a state which is 48th in donations, with only 18 percent of adults enrolled to donate.  Donation is higher in Western New York. Nationally the number is 43 percent.

9,700 New Yorkers are on the waiting list for donations among the 113,000 around the country awaiting a transplant.

Children's Hospital being named after Oishei

Sep 25, 2012
Chris Caya/WBFO News

Women and Children's Hospital is not only building a new home, it's also getting a new name.

When the facility opens in 2015 at Main and High Streets downtown, it will be called The John R. Oishei Children's Hospital.

The Oishei Foundation has made a $10 million donation, the largest single gift in the foundation's history, to name the facility in honor of the Buffalo industrialist and philanthropist.

Kaleida Health Board Chair John Koelmel thanked the Oishei Foundation for its "tremendous generosity, passion and courage" and "for being a real difference maker." 

Light the Night Walk: Lives touched by cancer

Sep 25, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

This Friday the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will hold the 14th Annual Light the Night Walk.  The fundraising event celebrates and commemorates the many lives touched by cancer. 

WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley met with this year's Light The Night committee member and chair of Day of Fundraising for Light the Night -- Wayne Bryant of Williamsville.  He is a cancer survivor and shares his story.

The push is on for flu vaccinations.

Erie County Health Commissioner Doctor Gale Burstein says now is a good time to have your flu shot and possibly a pneumonia vaccination also. She suggests talking to your doctor about what you may need.

The health commissioner says earlier is better because there are several new strains of flu in the shot for which is there is no past immunity and the body needs time to adjust.

There are a variety of ways to get a shot this year, including the nasal spray vaccination.

Photo provided by Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Local healthcare workers protested outside the State Health Department office on Delaware Avenue Friday afternoon.

They held a picket against Albany's failure to pass a Safe Patient Handling bill. Healthcare workers -- who lift patients -- often suffer from back injuries. The bill would require hospitals and nursing homes to provide equipment to help lift patients.

Bill Nowak is with the healthcare coordinating committee of CWA District One. He says state lawmakers need to stop playing games with patient safety.

NFL Charities is awarding more than $1.5 million in grants to 15 institutions nationwide, including the University at Buffalo, for sports-related research.

Nearly two-thirds of the money is earmarked for concussion prevention and treatment. UB is using its $100,000 grant to further develop a standardized exercise test for athletes who have experienced concussions. Dr. John Leddy of UB's Concussion Management Clinic compares their test to a stress test for the heart, only this one is for the brain.

Photo from CDC Website

There has been one confirmed human case of the West Nile virus in Erie County. 

County health officials said Thursday an adult was hospitalized, but has been since released to recover at home. 

The Health Department is warning residents to take precautions against mosquitoes that carry the disease.  Director of Public Health Dr. Scott Zimmerman says the drier than normal summer has not flushed out standing water, allowing mosquitoes to breed.

A local foundation named for a young boy with a lethal disease is urging Congress to pass legislation that would speed up the Food and Drug Administration's lengthy drug approval process. 

Suneel's Light Foundation Chief Science Officer George Hajduczok says the FAST (Faster Access to Specialized Treatments) Act removes regulatory uncertainty and formalizes the process for getting drugs approved faster.  

Given the popularity of animal exhibits and petting zoos at county fairs, health officials are reminding the public about the importance of practicing good hygiene. This after an outbreak of swine flu in about a dozen states. 

So far, the outbreak has been limited to mid-western states.  But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the 162 cases reported as of Friday an extraordinary increase over the 13 swine flu cases confirmed during all of 2011. 

Medical exchange partnership set up for veterans

Aug 1, 2012

Veterans who rely on Veterans Affairs and private providers for their healthcare don't have to carry around paper copies of the medical records anymore. Local vets can now allow healthcare providers access their medical records electronically.

VA Healthcare System of Western New York Director Brian Stiller says the VA has joined HEALTHeLINK, the region's clinical information exchange. The program allows private practitioners, local hospitals, labs, and the VA to share a patient's test results, x-rays, MRIs and medication history.

WBFO News photo

For a smoker, the Herculean task of quitting takes many paths.

Pills. Jogging. Stress management. Chewing gum. Name it, a smoker has tried, failed, and continued lighting up.

Subbing veggies for smokes, is not new, but according to UB researcher Gary Giovino, new information indicates it may be a highly effective way out for the nicotine addict.