Health & Medicine

Health issues and medical community

Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield

Although the flu season hasn’t arrived yet, Central New Yorkers just never know when it will hit.  A recent analysis conducted by Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield shows confirmed flu cases across the state have peaked at different times over the past four years. Excellus Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Richard Lockwood says it's better to get the shot whenever you can because it’s difficult to know exactly when flu season will come.

  

  The staff and volunteers who answer calls to the region’s suicide hotline are encouraged by the state’s comprehensive effort to reduce the suicide rate.  Cheryl Giarrusso is Director of Crisis Intervention Services at Contact Community Services.

"I think the push right now is to make the public aware that suicide is a public issue," Giarrusso said. "It is something that has to come out of the darkness and into the light. 

WAER News

One display at the New York State Fair Wednesday was trying to help people save lives in the face of the national heroin and opiate overdose epidemic.  A-C-R Health employees know all too well the impacts of the addiction.

etainhealth.com

The state health department’s plans to expand access to New York’s restrictive medical marijuana program is being greeted with mixed reaction from doctors.  Dispensaries say growth of the program has been slow since the sale of cannabis began in January.   

  Syracuse internist Dr. Jeff Sneider is one of the few doctors in the area certified as a medical marijuana provider.  He said he did it partly out of curiosity, and knowing he had patients who might be eligible.

Scott Willis / WAER News

 

  If you happen to be in the science and industry building at the New York State Fair, you may hear the occasional ringing of a seven inch polished brass bell.  Nine-year-old Madeline Pointer of Holland Patent was the first to enthusiastically ring the bell Thursday at Upstate Medical University’s exhibit.  Her mother Kelly says the little girl is a seven year kidney cancer survivor.  

acscan.org

  New York State scored five out of a possible ten in getting behind suggested policies and aggressively passing laws to reduce cancer deaths and suffering.  The Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality was released yesterday from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.  Government Relations Director Julie Hart says while the State scores high to deter kids and adults from smoking… there’s still room for improvement.

  Advocates for people living with H-I-V and AIDS are trying to find out what kinds of services and support could be improved.  Mohawk Valley Health Infectious Disease Clinic Director Regina Brown says treatment for those with the virus has improved to one-pill-a-day to keep them healthy.  But that doesn't solve the problem for many people.

Scott Willis / WAER News

 Synthetic drugs continue to plague the Syracuse area, and Senator Chuck Schumer is taking another stab at trying to help federal drug agents stay ahead of the changing composition of the substances in Syracuse.   Senator Schumer says Syracuse is seen as  the upstate epicenter of the problem.  He says synthetic compounds continue to appear on store shelves as a result of the market's ability to find loopholes in the law.

Jason Chen/WAER News

  When you think of a hospital Emergency Room, the words fantasy and whimsy aren’t the first that come to mind. Today Upstate University Hospital opened its new Pediatric E.R. aimed at giving a more kid-friendly experience to younger patients. Chair of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Gary Johnson understands how difficult a hospital visit can be for families.

www.ag.ny.gov

New York State officials are trying to stop companies from marketing products they say prevent or protect against the Zika Virus. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today sent cease-and-desist letters to seven companies that are taking advantage of public concern about the outbreak.

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