Health

Reporting on health issues

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The New York Department of Financial Services will post the new coverage rates proposed by insurance companies and allow for public review starting next month.

Last year, the state allowed insurers an average increase of 5.7 percent. They had requested rates higher than 12 percent above the previous year.

About one in four Obamacare enrollees who signed up for high-deductible health insurance chose not to access any care last year, according to a new study.  Health advocates are calling for more states to adopt programs like one just announced in New York state that connect people with low-cost coverage.

An analysis of data from the Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey showed more than 25 percent of people who bought non-group insurance last year did not use the coverage for needed services, like medical treatments, prescription drugs, and tests.

Cancer and its treatments can leave patients feeling nauseated, tired and deconditioned. But research shows that exercise during treatment can help them feel better and even function better.

“The goal of physical therapy is to assist the patient with cancer maintain their quality of life by managing the physical effects of the disease and/or its treatment,” said Cassi Terpening, who has a doctorate in physical therapy. She explains the most appropriate types of exercises on this week’s show.

PunchingJudy / Flickr

In the last six months, New York state has trained 10,000 laypeople to use Narcan, a drug that can save a person from death after an overdose of opioids like heroin or prescription pain killers. Local emergency medical technicians say they are behind the move, if people are properly trained.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

While the federal government and some state governments are looking to punish companies that sell pure powdered caffeine, local emergency personnel are getting a primer on how to deal with an overdose.

Upstate New York Poison Center toxicologist William Eggleston says it’s only a matter of time before someone dies using powdered caffeine in New York state.

"I think if the product continues to be readily available, it’s inevitable that someone is going to unintentionally misuse the product,” Eggleston said.

Chewing tobacco means big league risks

May 17, 2015
Ben Roffer / Flickr

As baseball season gets underway, there's a revival of not only hot dogs, but chewing tobacco. Baseball’s history with chewing tobacco began early on, when players sought to keep their mouths from getting dry due to hot, dusty conditions. What are the dangers of chewing tobacco and other forms of smokeless tobacco, and why has it been overlooked even as society clamps down on cigarettes?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. David Pfister discusses the dangers chewing tobacco has on the mouth area and the entire body. Pfister is the chief of the head and neck oncology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Nail salon safety: how to avoid a foot bath faux pas

May 17, 2015
FoundryParkInn / Flickr

A visit to the nail salon is a time to relax, decompress and spruce up your digits, but don't think you're out of the water (or foot bath) just yet. Have you considered the safety of your visit?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Dana Stern talks about nail salon safety and how to avoid catching fungal infections. Stern is assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Chewing tobacco is one of the oldest methods of consuming tobacco. And even as American society has clamped down on the use of cigarettes, the various forms of smokeless tobacco on the market don't get nearly as much attention. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care,"  hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen interview Dr. David Pfister, chief of the Head and Neck Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City about why this kind of tobacco is so dangerous.

Medical problems that afflict inmates are not much different than the ailments that are common in the central New York community, according to Dr. Anne Calkins.

Dr. Calkins leads the medical team providing care for adults incarcerated at the Justice Center jail in downtown Syracuse and the Jamesville Correctional Facility, and for youths at the Hillbrook Juvenile Detention Center in Syracuse.

Susumu Komatsu / Flickr

A study looking into ways to reduce the plaque that causes Alzheimer’s disease, wants to attract more African American participants. The clinical trial is taking place in Rochester, Buffalo, and several locations near New York City.

African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to develop Alzheimer’s disease. University of Rochester Medical Center Dr. Anton Porsteinsson says medical researchers don’t exactly know why.

State heroin task force meeting around the state

May 12, 2015
WXXI News

New York senators are calling heroin and opioid addiction an epidemic in the state.

New Yorkers in recovery for heroin addiction, their families, health care providers, and law enforcement gave testimony recently in the Rochester-area about the escalating problem.

Last year, Monroe County saw a 40 percent increase in overdose fatalities linked to opioids.

Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Tim Prosperi says the problem touches people of all backgrounds.

Fairfax County / Flickr

Now that warmer weather appears to be here for good, central and northern New Yorkers need to be aware of Lyme disease. The disease, carried by deer ticks, is endemic to the area, and can have a devastating effect.

Lyme disease changed the life of of Baldwinsville resident Kathy Wallace. The former hairdresser, says it took a couple of years before a physician from Rhinebeck, in the Hudson Valley, first mentioned Lyme as a reason for an array of symptoms she was experiences, ranging from fatigue to aching joints.

Do you know what's in your herbal supplements?

May 10, 2015
jdurchen / Flickr

When you buy herbal supplements, are you really getting what you pay for? Is the label accurate?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Arthur Grollman talks about herbal supplements. Grollman is a professor of pharmacological sciences, a professor of experimental medicine and director of the Zickler Laboratory of Chemical Biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

With warm weather finally here again, experts say it’s important to find the best way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Emmy Graber discusses what kind of sunscreen to buy and the benefits of using it. Graber is an assistant professor of dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center.

Herbal supplements: how regulated are they?

May 8, 2015

Vitamins and supplements are big business in the U.S. But herbal supplements have recently come under scrutiny amid accusations that sometimes they do not even contain the herb they are advertised to. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen interview Dr. Arthur Grollman, professor of pharmacological sciences and experimental medicine at Stony Brook University, bout exactly how herbal supplements are -- or are not -- regulated by the government.

How to mother a child who's not a kid anymore

May 3, 2015
Callum Baker / Flickr

As a mother, when your children have reached their 20s and have left the nest, how do you find the balance between giving them their independence while still parenting?

This week on “Take Care,” Harriet Lerner discusses mothering a young adult. Lerner is a psychologist and author of the bestselling book “The Dance of Anger.”   

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Historically speaking, the heel has always been a soft spot. If you find you've got a pain occurring in the heel -- whether it's when you’ve gotten up in the morning or after you’re done exercising -- it might be plantar fasciitis.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Navan Duggal talks about plantar fasciitis, who it affects and what people can do to ease their discomfort. Duggal is former chief of the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is currently in private practice at Syracuse Orthopedic Surgeons.

This week: lupus, autism spectrum disorder and sonography

May 1, 2015

The survival rate for lupus has improved significantly, but treatment of the chronic autoimmune disease remains difficult. That's according to Dr. Andras Perl, division chief of rheumatology at Upstate Medical University.

Lupus can affect almost any organ of the body and patients can suffer flares that last for days or months. But with new drugs on the horizon, the outlook for lupus patients is brighter today than it was 20 years ago, says Perl. He talks about the increasing use of indicators called biomarkers to measure a patient’s response to treatment.

Mothers of 20-somethings have to negotiate a new relationship with a child who's not a child anymore. But may still expect mom to "take care of things" in a crisis situation. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with psychologist and author Harriet Lerner. They began by asking her whether mothers should feel responsible for how independent -- or dependent -- their adult children are.

Chris Enn / Flickr

Spring time means a return to the outdoors and spring cleaning. Unfortunately, spring cleaning or other home improvement projects sometimes result in trips to the emergency room or even death.

This week on “Take Care,” hosts Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp discuss home improvement injuries with Dr. Ryan Stanton. Stanton is an emergency physician at Baptist Health in Lexington, Kentucky.

Prevention is key to avoiding mold in the home

Apr 26, 2015
additionpictures / Flickr

Mold isn't just an eyesore, it can also damage the structural integrity of your home and negatively impact your health. A hidden leak or humid basement can quickly become a serious (and seriously expensive) problem.

This week on “Take Care,” Bob Vila discusses how mold is caused and how to prevent it in the home. Vila is the TV-handyman host of “This Old House” on PBS and author of “Bob Vila’s Complete Guide to Remodeling Your Home.”

Home improvement can equal health risks

Apr 24, 2015
Collin Anderson / Flickr

As winter turns to spring, a homeowner's thoughts turns to home improvement. But those needed chores around the house and yard come with the risk of injury. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Ryan Stanton, emergency physician and medical director at University of Kentucky Good Samaritan Hospital about the most common home improvement injuries.

An alarming number of people who take synthetic marijuana are arriving at hospital emergency departments in Syracuse suffering from dangerous reactions. Dr. Ross Sullivan stresses that people need to know this drug can cause coma, extreme agitation, seizures and even death.

Dr. Sullivan, director of the medical toxicology consultation service and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Upstate University Hospital, says street drug makers constantly tweak the chemical structure and stay one step ahead of law enforcement.

comedy_nose / Flickr

In 2016, low-income New Yorkers will have a new option for health coverage on the state health insurance marketplace. 

State Health officials have announced the adoption of a Basic Health Plan that allows people who earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line to enroll in low-cost health coverage.

Premiums cost around $20 a month and there are no deductibles.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News

Law enforcement and elected officials have again found themselves trying to keep ahead of an outbreak of synthetic drugs in central New York.

Local legislative action and federal law enforcement raids of area head shops three years ago quelled a rash of overdoses in upstate New York on synthetic drugs, often called bath salts.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s been a spike in the number of people heading to emergency rooms in Central New York, for treatment after using synthetic marijuana.     

Christine Stork, clinical director of the Upstate New York Poison Center, knew there was a problem when she came to work last week.

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Dealing with a major medical crisis in your life is stressful enough. But suppose something goes wrong, and the outcome isn't what you had expected? When does a patient move from being merely disgruntled and dissatisfied to seriously considering a lawsuit?

This week on “Take Care,” Chris Stern Hyman discusses medical malpractice and its principles. Hyman is a healthcare attorney, former litigator and founder of Medical Mediation Group in New York City.

The myths of detox diets

Apr 19, 2015
Marilyn M / Flickr

Can mixing cayenne pepper, lemon juice, syrup and water help flush out toxins from your body? Can detoxing help weight loss?

This week on “Take Care,” Susan Moores discusses the negative effects detox diets have on the body. Moores is a registered dietician and former national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Medical malpractice is a difficult issue for both patients and doctors. The frequency -- and threat -- of lawsuits have changed the way medicine is practiced, to some degree. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO’s health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with health care attorney Chris Stern Hyman of the Medical Mediation Group in New York City. Hyman discusses how frequent medical errors occur and how the healthcare industry has responded.

Lorraine Rapp: What is the legal definition of medical malpractice?

Neurologist Deborah Bradshaw discusses two types of disease-modifying treatments that are in clinical trial and could have a profound effect on people who have muscular dystrophy.

“Because we know finally what’s wrong in the gene, how that translates to an abnormal protein and how the protein may be processed abnormally in the cell, we’re actually designing drugs that interrupt that pathway and may, literally, change the course of a genetic disease,” said Bradshaw. “It is amazing.”

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