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.



Cancer researchers are looking into the insides of cancer patients and healthy people, checking out their intestinal bacteria. More and more research says there is good bacteria and bad bacteria and the bad bacteria is associated with cancer. The good bacteria is associated with good results from cancer treatment.

Matt Ryan, New York Now

Sponsors of a measure to create a single payer health care system in New York offered a revised bill, but its future is uncertain. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state might not be able to afford it.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Officials from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center joined together at the latter campus Friday morning to announce a new collaboration which both sides say will make specialized services more accessible to patients in Niagara Falls and Niagara County. It's a region where, experts say, cancer rates have increased by 36 percent over the past four decades.

High health risks without measles vaccine

Feb 8, 2019
WBFO News file photo by Mike Desmond

The Center for Disease Control reports individual cases of measles have been confirmed in ten states and that includes New York. Four cases were confirmed earlier this week in the Rochester area. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with the Erie County Health Commissioner about the importance of getting children vaccinated.  

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

State Senator Chris Jacobs, in collaboration with the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will distribute thousands of bags specially designed to render unwanted drugs useless for purposes of safe, environmentally-friendly disposal.

U.S. Attorney's Office

Local prosecutors say they are using a new high-tech mapping system to help search out drug dealers involved in fatal overdoses and to get overdose victims into treatment faster.

University at Buffalo

A landmark study at the University at Buffalo has found young people who have suffered a concussion can continue to exercise moderately as part of their recovery.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Three Mount St. Mary Academy High School students created a special activity book for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says as part of the school’s entrepreneurs program, the students published a book called Forget Me Not.  

Chart courtesy of American Lung Association

New York is not spending enough money on smoking cessation programs. The 2019 State of Tobacco Control report released late last week suggests New York is no longer a leader when it comes to spending money on programs that reduce smoking rates.

Dangerously cold wind chills in effect

Jan 31, 2019
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A Wind Chill Warning remains in until 6 p.m. Thursday. Dangerously cold wind chills will continue that could dip as low as 25-below zero. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Erie County's top health leader has a warning for citizens about the extreme cold.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Kaleida hospitals are working to serve patients in the midst of now what is a blizzard. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke a Kaleida Health official about managing in the snow storm.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo Public School District is working to provide winter coats for families in need. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley visited one of the district's four Parent Centers to learn more about the giveaway.   


A new study led by UB faculty says surgery to remove the thymus gland in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), a relatively rare autoimmune disease that impacts neuromuscular function, provides long-term health and financial benefits.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A SUNY Fredonia student started an initiative to provide free sanitary products to students on campus.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the program is called FREDFlo. 

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Erie County Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee, whose chairman vows to pass legislation that "gets it right" on limiting e-cigarette access by minors, heard from educators who shared concerns including what they believe is a blatant effort to market them to young people.


After a year of planning and zoning challenges with the Town of Pomfret, Brooks-TLC Hospital System is picking a different location for their new hospital.


Entrepreneurship among seniors is trending in the United States and research shows that people 50 and older are opting to turn a business idea into a rewarding and profit-making retirement plan. 

Office of the Governor

The New York State Legislature voted Tuesday to codify the abortion rights in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into New York law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure immediately after the vote.


It took $733,000 and five years of planning, but Buffalo's VA Medical Center cut the ribbon on its new Intensive Care Unit Tuesday morning.

WBFO file photo

The New York State legislature is poised to approve a bill to codify the abortion rights in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade into state law. For supporters, including the majority of Senators and Assemblymembers, it’s been a long time coming. For opponents, it’s a bitter disappointment.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The event in International Preparatory School Thursday night wasn't unusual: an auditorium, a crowd, rows of renderings and drawings about a project, speakers. What was different about this "Imagine LaSalle" project is that the money - $50 million - is in hand for the transformation.

Buffalo Catholic Diocese

Western New Yorkers are among those in Washington, D.C. who have traveled there to participate in the March For Life, which is held every year on or around the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion. Those attending from Western New York who identify themselves as "pro-life" say there is much more to that term than the abortion issue and they include that in their message.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Tonawanda Coke may be closed and bankrupt, but their legacy remains. Scientists are trying to figure out what that legacy is.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is using the nationwide shingles vaccine shortage as another example of why the federal government needs to get back to work. He spoke at a New York pharmacy to demonstrate the extent of the shutdown, which is now nearly a month old.

Photo from Western New York Human Services Collaborative

A group of non-profits is teaming to create the Western New York Human Services Collaborative to help benefit Buffalo's east side. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says an ambitious project is underway to try and house all eight in one building on Broadway.  

Owlstone Medical

Many forms of cancer are caught only in their late stages, often leaving a doctor to tell that patient there probably is little hope. They remain hidden deep within the body.

That is what happened to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her lung cancer was found when she was x-rayed for broken ribs.

British researchers are now testing use of a breathing mask that can potentially show cancer earlier.


It was a solemn Saturday evening as the congregation at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Cheektowaga observed the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

WBFO News File Photo

The legal purchase age for tobacco products in New York would rise from 18 to 21 under a package of bills unveiled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Saturday.

Hospital standard charges now online

Jan 11, 2019
Catholic Health

Have you gone to the website of your local hospital this year? You will notice it now posts a list of their standard charges online.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County lawmakers are considering ways they may regulate electronic cigarettes, in order to keep them away from the hands of minors. On Thursday in downtown Buffalo, members of the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony from experts and advocates who say vaping is not a safer alternative to traditional tobacco. They also explained how vaping is being marketed to young people.