Health

Reporting on health issues

Trysil / Flickr

The time to pull out the winter sporting gear has come, but with it comes the possibility of injury

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Navan Duggal discusses the strain winter sports can have on the body and what you can do to decrease the risk of injury. Duggal was chief of the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is currently in private practice at Syracuse Orthopedic Surgeons.

chelsea / Flickr

When Rebecca Soffer lost both of her parents in her early thirties, she realized how isolating grief can be. She envisioned a community of younger adults sharing stories, not judgment, in a productive and honest way.

This week on “Take Care,” Rebecca Soffer shares her story and the website that came out of her experience. She is the co-founder and CEO of the website Modern Loss.

baasiilb15 / Flickr

High traffic on the New York State of Health website is to be expected, according to the head of the state exchange. Saturday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance that starts the first of the year.

So far, during this open enrollment period which started Nov. 15, more than 194,000 New Yorkers who didn't have health insurance have signed up.

Donna Frescatore, the executive director of the New York Health Benefit Exchange, says more than 40,000 of those were added since last week.

Why snow plus sports so often equals injuries

Dec 19, 2014

Winter sports are certainly popular in northern and central New York. But whether it’s skating, skiing or sledding, falling on the snow or ice is inevitable -- and can lead to injury. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp speak with Syracuse-based orthopedist Dr. Naven Duggal about the risks of winter sports and how to prevent injuries.

On this week's show Maria Erdman explains how a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in oncology can help cancer patients as they go through treatment. Appetite, eating habits and weight are all potentially affected by cancer treatment.

"Some people sail right through, but for many people it's very challenging," Erdman says.

Also this week: searching for ways to replace cells that are lost during retinal degeneration and the history of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The state health department announced more than 154,000 previously uninsured New Yorkers have signed up for health insurance since open enrollment began Nov. 15.

Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society, a key navigator agency in New York, says her agency has experienced a high volume of requests for assistance enrolling in the state exchange, despite early speculation that it would be more difficult to reach uninsured people this year.

NY State of Health enrollment deadline extended

Dec 15, 2014
Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The national deadline to enroll in health care during the second year of open enrollment is today, December 15, but New York state has extended the deadline through Saturday, December 20.

If you plan to use the New York State of Health Marketplace to sign up for health care, you have five more days to enroll if you want your coverage to start on January 1. The extension applies for new or renewing coverage.

Christiana Care / Flickr

A vocal doctor-patient relationship is crucial especially when a patient's needs should be addressed. 

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Atul Grover discusses the importance of increased communication between doctors and patients. Grover is chief public policy officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Gout -- how it starts and how to decrease its risk

Dec 14, 2014
Ivan Lian / Flickr

When an individual has their first encounter with gout, it can develop quite suddenly, over a period of hours.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Robert Shmerling talks about risk factors and how to reduce your likelihood of getting gout.  Shmerling is a Harvard Medical School professor and clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Gene therapy presents potential treatments to disease

Dec 12, 2014
Universtiy of Rochester Medical Center

Medical researchers are putting a lot of resources into understanding genes as both the causes and solution to many diseases.

University of Rochester Medical Center professor of pediatrics Dr. David Dean studies the best way to treat diseases through gene therapy.

His laboratory recently received a  four-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dean explains one challenge facing researchers in his field.

Focusing on the patient

Dec 12, 2014

Doctors used to be seen as authority figures who could not be questioned. But as society becomes more service oriented, patient-centered care has become something that the medical community is increasingly focused on. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp speak with Dr. Atul Grover of the Association of American Medical Colleges about how this emphasis is changing the way doctors are trained.

Ted / via Flickr

It’s been 30 years since psychiatrists began using the term seasonal affective disorder. As we inch towards the shortest day of the year, a lack of light can lead to what is a debilitating seasonal depression for some people.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about five percent of Americans suffers from this winter depression and another 20 percent have a milder form of this ailment.  

This week: a story of how the flu can be deadly

Dec 10, 2014

Joseph Marotta was a healthy kindergartner when he contracted, and died from, the H1N1 flu. Today his parents advocate for influenza vaccination through the organization, Families Fighting Flu. Hear their story, this week.

Also this week: Dr. Lorena Gonzalez talks about varicose veins and a treatment called sclerotherapy, plus how to eat healthy during the holiday season.

jasleen_kaur / Flickr

The New York State Palliative Care Collaborative was formed recently to promote more access to this specialized type of medical care that provides relief to patients with serious diseases.

Palliative care emphasizes improving quality of life while a person copes with chronic and serious health conditions.

Michael Burgess, New York government relations director of the American Cancer Society, says the collaborative wants to assure comfort care is a right to all seriously ill patients.

Health Information Technology: the future of medicine

Dec 7, 2014
Community Eye Health / Flickr

With so much information being stored on the web today, it may come as a surprise that medical records have only recently begun the conversion into a digital format known as HIT, or Health Information Technology.  Like any big change, using electronic medical records poses many potential benefits and risks.

This week on “Take Care,” David Whitlinger discusses the factors involved in the switch from paper-based medical records to electronic medical records.  Whitlinger is executive director of the New York eHealth Collaborative and former director of healthcare device standards and interoperability for the Intel Corporation’s digital health group.

Maintaining a healthy weight through the holidays

Dec 7, 2014
thepeachmartini / Flickr

It happens every year. The holiday season rolls around and suddenly you can’t eat enough. Some people argue that holiday food is the best food of the year, but what can we do to make sure we don’t end up ruining a year’s worth of diet and exercise?

This week on “Take Care,” registered dietician Ashley Koff suggests strategies to eat healthy and not gain too much weight during the holiday time. Koff is a contributing editor to Prevention magazine, the author of two books and on the faculty of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A downstate Democrat is trying to reinvigorate a plan to create a publicly funded, single-payer health care system in New York state. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried is getting the ball rolling with a series of legislative hearings, including the first in Syracuse.

Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat, says getting rid of insurance companies and putting the state in charge of health care would save consumers $20 billion a year by eliminating insurance company overhead and the administrative costs doctors and hospitals incur while dealing with insurance companies.  

A common sight in doctors’ offices is a huge wall filled with paper patient files. But there's a move in the medical world to ditch the paper and go electronic. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with David Whitlinger, executive director of the New York eHealth Collaborative about the benefits of electronic medical records.

Lorraine Rapp: What’s prompted the transition from a paper system to an electronic one?

Orthopedic surgeons are using a new tool at Upstate University Hospital which helps them precisely install replacement parts for hips and knees.

“This robotic arm is connected to a series of computers that allows the machine to recognize where, in a three-dimensional space, the tip of that arm is located,” describes Dr. Robert Sherman.

Also this week: Ray Straub and the American Cancer Society’s Jason Warchal discuss the Men to Men prostate cancer support group, and editor Deirdre Neilen presents the 14th annual issue of the Healing Muse, Upstate’s literary journal.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

There’s a special place at Syracuse’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center for female military veterans.

The Syracuse VA has been offering a Women Veterans Wellness Center for over a decade now. The number of female veterans they see in that time has tripled, so earlier this year, they moved into a brand new suite on the hospital’s ninth floor.

A fireplace and serene furnishings offer a kind of spa-like environment for women needing a wide range of care from mental health consultations to gynecological exams.

World Bank Photo Collection

Today is World AIDS Day. The director of the Designated AIDS Center at Upstate is optimistic that the state will reach its goal of dramatically reducing the number of new HIV infections across the state.  

In October, New York state announced a target of reducing the number of new HIV infections to 750 per year. Right now there are 3,000 new diagnoses reported every year in New York State.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

School lunches have changed dramatically in recent years in because of the federal government’s Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, meant to curb childhood obesity. Portion sizes, calories and salt have been cut; whole grains, fruits and vegetables have been added. And now one central New York School district is bracing for the next changes.

Julia Botero

For the second year in a row, every student who completed Jefferson County Community College's nursing program passed the New York State Board of Nursing exam on their first try. This makes JCC one of the top schools in New York to get an associate's degree in nursing. But does the best test taker make the best nurse? 

The importance of planning for your senior years

Nov 28, 2014
amrita b / Flickr

Many people don't think through what their needs will be in their senior years, as their physical capabilities or health decline. But, experts in the field of elder care believe that is a mistake. WRVO Public Media community recently held a community forum in Ithaca on the topic, which will be broadcast Sunday at 7 p.m. The three expert panelists agreed that much more planning should be done by all involved in the lives of the elderly.

Among the blessings for which Timothy Hudson and Edward St. George are thankful is the medical care they each received when they faced separate health crises earlier this year.

Timothy Hudson’s kidneys were failing when his son decided to donate one of his kidneys. He recalls the experience with transplant surgeon, Dr. Vaughn Whittaker.

Edward St. George broke his neck in a fall over the summer. He and neurosurgeon Dr. Lawrence Chin explain how careful emergency response made the difference in his recovery.

Elder care, a community health forum

Nov 25, 2014
MTSOfan / Flickr

This forum aired on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse has been able to turn a small profit after two years of deep losses, due in part because the hospital reduced its staff and increased bill collection.

The public hospital eliminated 139 positions in 2013 through attrition. It also relied a little more on contracted labor, said Stuart Wright, the hospital’s chief financial officer.

"Sometimes they can be cheaper, overall, but it’s not our overall goal to have temporary labor, but it can be slightly less expensive," he said.

Challenging America's food culture

Nov 23, 2014
Jon Mould / Flickr

When you were a child, you may have been told by your parents to finish everything on your plate.  You may also have been forced to eat vegetables as punishment or you were given candy as a reward for good behavior.  While such approaches to eating can be helpful in some circumstances, they are usually unhealthy and can contribute to obesity. 

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Cynthia Morrow talks about the unhealthy eating habits that are ingrained in American culture.  Morrow is a public health physician and teaches public health and preventive medicine at Upstate Medical University.

Acne -- not just for teenagers

Nov 23, 2014
Shawn Campbell / Flickr

You may have left the carefree days of teenagers years behind long ago, and the physical and emotional changes that come with being that age. But then, if you're an adult, why are you still getting acne?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Emmy Graber discusses why we continue to get acne as adults and what we can do to treat this disease. Dr. Graber is an assistant professor of dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center and is also the director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center.

Sudipto Sarkar / Flickr

On the anniversary of the Great American Smokeout, a leading anti-cancer group says Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration should be spending more to cut back on smoking.

The American Cancer Society’s Michael Burgess says while the Centers for Disease Control recommends New York state spend $200 million annually on tobacco cessation programs, the current state budget has just under $40 million allotted for it. Burgess says in the past, it’s been demonstrated that spending the money on things like a smokers quit line works.

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