Health & Medicine

Health issues and medical community

Pan American Health Organization / panho.org

A Syracuse infectious disease expert believes that four Central American nations are justified in warning their citizens to delay pregnancy as a precaution against the recent outbreak of the Zika virus.  The virus has made its way to the southern United States, prompting some alarmist rhetoric from citizens. Chief of Infectious Disease at Upstate Medical University Timothy Endy believes their worries aren’t unwarranted.

"We knew it was an emerging virus, but honestly, the current outbreak in Brazil and the types of birth defects that are occurring was unexpected."

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The epidemic of heroin and opioid painkiller abuse was on display in a packed forum last night at Syracuse’s Civic Center.  The event emphasized the incredible scope of the growing problem…but also some ways to attack it. 

A crowd of more than 250 people came to a weekday evening meeting which showed the size and concern over the heroin problem.  It’s pointed out by at least one statistic: an 800% increase in heroin admissions at Crouse Hospital’s treatment facility.  

(A list of treatment resources below)

Chris Bolt / WAER News

  Onondaga County’s Sheriff has a few ideas about how to reduce what he’s calling an epidemic in heroin abuse.  He’s trying to help addicts in the community as well as those behind bars. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

You might say it was the first day of school Thursday for SUNY Upstate Medical University’s new president.  Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena has spent the past three months or so getting to know the university and the community it serves.  She calls the transition between her appointment in September and today "marvelous."

"I've been anticipating the first day, and I'm thrilled."          

She says one of her themes is to connect science and education to the work they need to do at Upstate.  She says there has to be a focus on tackling Syracuse’s high rate of poverty. 

(Jess Lis/freeimages) / Newsservice.org

  New legislation that takes effect at the start of 2016 will allow expectant mothers in New York to enroll in the state's health-insurance exchange at any time during their pregnancy.  New York is the first state in the nation to that makes pregnancy a “qualifying Life Event” to enroll in coverage through the Affordable Care Act.  Assembly member Aravella Simotas co-sponsored the bill that

donorrecovery.org

  The greatest holiday gift a Central New Yorker could give might only require a simple sign up or a check off on your drivers’ license.  The Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network is using the holiday season to try and get more people to give the gift of life.  Communications Director Nancy Ryan says any fancy clothes or electronic gadget pales in comparison to an organ someone might be waiting for.

John Smith/WAER News

  The air quality is officially smoke free today inside Syracuse Housing Authority properties.  They’ve been preparing tenants for a year in advance and the new policy is gaining praise from local health officials. 

healthcare.gov

  Qualifying Central New Yorkers will be able to sign up for new low-cost health insurance starting Nov. 1.

The Essential Plan is an extension of the Affordable Care Act and will cover people who have enrolled starting January first. Any working person who makes under $24,000 qualifies. With the plan, people would receive free insurance from one of the major carriers that covers all essential health benefits.

facebook.com/UpstateMedicalUniversity

  Upstate Medical University’s next president is spending a few days meeting with hospital and medical school staff a few months before she takes over.  Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena was named to the post back in September.

drugfree.org

  The Upstate Poison Control Center is receiving an increasing number of calls about toddlers unintentionally ingesting the liquid from E-cigarettes. In 2014 more than 3700 exposures to liquid nicotine were reported to poison control centers nationwide. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports, this year that number has already topped 2200. 

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