Health & Medicine

Health issues and medical community

John Smith/WAER News

Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse has been accredited as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV Healthcare in Buffalo.  It’s only one of two hospitals state-wide to receive the status.  Upstate has expanded its Stroke care with medical technology that allows for real-time brain images and a specialized suite used by neurosurgeons for more severe cases. Director Dr. Julius Jean Latorre says that strokes are complex; however, his team is ready.

2015newyear.org

  2015 is greeting Central New Yorkers with a renewed threat of the flu virus.  Statewide the number of cases almost doubled in the past week, jumping 90 percent.  Onondaga County's Health Department knows how dangerous the disease can be with two deaths just before the New Year.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Two elderly Onondaga County Residents have died and many others are hospitalized due to an outbreak of the flu.  County health officials say state lab tests confirm 88 cases, or twice as many as this time last year.  But that number is likely only a fraction of actual illness in the community.  The primary virus is Influenza "A" H3N2, which is different than the vaccine and the reason for the spike in illness.   Still, Health Commissioner Doctor Indu Gupta says residents should continue to get inoculated, especially the very old and very young.

  Central New Yorkers trying to sign up for medical insurance through the state's health exchange have until Friday night to enroll in order to have that coverage take effect January 1st.  New York Health Benefit Exchange Director Donna Frescatore  says an original deadline was pushed back.

This week phones rang at record pace as people tried to get answers about the various insurance plans or needed help completing applications.  

nyhcampaign.org

Obamacare has provided health insurance for some New Yorkers, but there’s a new proposal that one State Assembly member, some doctors and others say would be a better way to deliver healthcare.  State Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried authored an act that would bring state-wide universal healthcare to New York.  He says under the program, people with employer funded health insurance would save even more. 

They would not pay a premium; they would not pay a deductible; they would not pay a co-pay.  If they go out of network , they would not pay out-of-network charges.  The system would be entirely funded by brad-based assessments based on ability to pay."   

Robert Ostrander is a doctor with a family practice and teaches at Upstate Medical University who supports the plan.  He thinks it would simplify the healthcare system and cut his overhead costs in half.  He says that taxpayers already pay enough…

"When you consider Medicaid, Medicare, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, the State Exchange Subsidies and health insurance for government employees on every level, taxpayers are already purchasing a large percentage of health care coverage in an unnecessary complicated and inefficient manner."  

Ostrander adds that most physicians, employers and patients favor a single-payer healthcare system… even with some misgivings.

Generous Donation to American Red Cross to Help Disaster Relief Efforts in Central, Western New York

Dec 2, 2014
Welch Allyn and The American Red Cross

A Skaneateles-based global manufacturer of medical equipment has raised money for the American Red Cross of Western and Central New York in a unique way.  Welch-Allyn donated $10,000 to the region’s disaster relief fund through employee bids on old office furniture left behind after they consolidated their facilities.  

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Women Veterans in the Central New York area have a new, larger medical center to treat a variety of needs.  That can mean normal health services and even the effects of sexual assault.

purple logo with hands reaching, holding a sign saying ACT AWARE, HIV
worldaidsday.org

Monday was World Aids Day, a nation-wide effort to re-ignite awareness of a dangerous disease that's claimed 35 million lives since 1983.  Health experts here in Central New York are still working with patients to fight the pandemic. According to Doctor Elizabeth Reddy, Medical Director for the Designated Aids Center Clinic at Upstate University Hospital, “the general public has this idea that HIV is a thing of the past, or perhaps it’s just something that’s going on abroad and it’s not in my community.” 

(c) Scott Willis, WAER

The Great American Smoke Out, which urged smokers Thursday to kick the habit, coincides with the recently released expansion of Syracuse University’s “Smoke-Free” Policy. Starting next July, use of tobacco products and vaporizers will be prohibited outdoors on campus. Temporary exceptions will be made, however, for the Carrier Dome, Sheraton Hotel, Syracuse Stage, and Drumlins.

John Smith/WAER News

  Obama care goes into its second enrollment period beginning this Saturday, and one local organization aims to make that process faster and easier.

A-C-R Health opened a new office in Syracuse to assist residents with signing up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.

Assistant Director of Insurance Services Steve Wood, says about 50% of people who sign up, enroll online by themselves, but they do not complete the application correctly. He says that's where A-C-R Health can help. 

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