WBFO Health & Wellness Desk


For a region to thrive, its people need to be healthy; inadequacies in health and wellness have a range of social and economic consequences that affect many members of our community. Health inequality, cancer clusters, and high rates of heart disease and obesity are all part of the fabric of WNY, as much as the world-class research and treatment providers that are becoming a growing part of the region’s economic power. WBFO is committed to providing listeners with incisive reports on all of these issues that affect their lives.

The Health & Wellness New Desk is funded by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO News

A block party, including a scheduled tightrope walk by acclaimed high wire artist Nik Wallenda, was to be held Thursday afternoon in the Buffalo neighborhood where D'Youville College was opening its Health Professions Hub, a 59,000-square-foot facility that will serve patients in the near community while training students for entry into the workforce. Those opening the Hub say the needs to aid local patients and create more health care jobs are great.

National Cancer Institute

There is a new prostate cancer treatment for patients who have used up all of their alternatives.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo eased mask rules, protesters were along Walden Avenue outside the Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga protesting masks.

Office of the Governor

After a weekend of confusion for schoolchildren, their parents and teachers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo clarified changes in mask policy for schools in New York on Monday. He said children don’t have to wear masks outside, but do have to wear them inside.

Pathstone Mental Health

As students limp to the finish line of this school year, many are believed to be mentally beaten down by loneliness, lack of knowledge and problems trying to learn online, potentially in a home where there are siblings in the same fix. That is the result of a new study of 90,000 kids across the Niagara River in Ontario.

Catholic Health has announced the opening of its Sisters Health Center D'Youville.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Earlier this month, a downtown Buffalo clinic began administering a treatment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus that replaces a daily diet of pills with a monthly pair of injections. Cabenuva's path to approval by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year passed through Buffalo.

Doug Ford / Twitter

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has unveiled the plan for loosening the province’s tough coronavirus pandemic rules. The easing of restrictions will take place in three steps.

Provided by Darren Lisicki

As New York State eases mask wearing guidelines for people vaccinated for COVID, the public is increasingly eager to move on from the pandemic. For most, this will happen. But for many who suffered the effects of coronavirus during the pandemic, they continue to endure health complications months later. And health experts are concerned some will face potential serious problems down the road.

Erie County / YouTube

The long fight against COVID is more and more becoming a debate about when to wear or not wear a mask.

Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor

Many COVID-19 pandemic restrictions will end on Wednesday in New York, including capacity restrictions for some sporting events, indoor gatherings, and offices. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who set the date for the reopening earlier this month, is not yet ready to abide by new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that say fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in most settings.

WBFO file photo

Congressman Brian Higgins, who for months has urged the US and Canadian governments to ease restrictions at their international border, is now calling on President Joseph Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to relax rules later this month, and then reopen the border early in the summer.

Doug Ford / Twitter

People in Ontario will have to stay at home for at least another two weeks. The province has extended the stay-at-home order until June 2.

Water usage in the Village of Mayville is back to normal.

NYS begins Pfizer vaccinations for 12-15 age group

May 13, 2021
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

New York State is following Washington, DC's approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination for young people aged 12-15.

Christine Elliott / Twitter

COVID-19 daily case counts in Ontario have dropped significantly over the past week, but the provincial government is being advised to keep the stay-at-home order in effect beyond the May 20 expiration date. The pandemic restrictions could continue into June.

Six Flags Darien Lake

Six Flags Darien Lake is teaming up with the Genesee County Health Department to offer a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic Tuesday.

Erie County Department of Health

When Erie County was slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic just over a year ago, the county had to shut down many of its routine health operations and pivot to fighting the virus. In recent weeks, there has been a return to more normal operations and serious sexual ill-health problems are turning up at its sexual health clinic.

Erie County Department of Health

Erie County is showing sign of having the same problems getting young people vaccinated against COVID-19 as with older groups.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that some remaining COVID-19 restrictions in New York will end in a couple of weeks, including capacity limits on most events, and in some cases, the 6' social distancing rule.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited Niagara Falls Monday morning to promote a package of bills that she and other backers say will reel in rising prescription drug costs.

National Cancer Institute

One of the casualties of COVID-19 is routine screening for potential health problems, but a late diagnosis can mean more serious progression of cancers like lung, breast and prostate.

Office of the Auditor General

Once again, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spotlight on Ontario’s long-term care homes. Two reports criticize the lack of action by the government, as well as existing problems in the homes, which left hundreds of residents and staff easy targets for the pandemic -- and they paid the ultimate price.

Bill de Blasio / Twitter

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, facing resistance to lingering COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, says the virus is not yet conquered, and is urging caution on reopening up society too quickly.

Monte McNaughton / Twitter

After weeks of pressure, Ontario has announced a program of paid sick leave benefits. It’s the latest move by Premier Doug Ford’s government to help curb the transmission of COVID-19.

Erie County / YouTube

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz held a COVID-19 update briefing in Buffalo, discussing the latest case numbers, as well as a new incentive for getting vaccinated. Watch it here.

Darren McGee- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo held his regular COVID-19 update briefing in Binghamton Tuesday. Watch it here.

Jacobs Institute

The Jacobs Institute, a medical innovation center located on Ellicott Street within the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, named Dr. Adnan Siddiqui its new chief executive officer Tuesday.

Erie County / YouTube

The average age of COVID-19 patients in Erie County continues to drop heavily, because there has been so much effort to vaccinate older residents. Now young people playing sports has become a major issue.

Erie County Department of Health

The vocal parent group Western New York Students First wants Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein fired by the county executive for not allowing wide reopening of schools.