Media Coverage

  • Best Places for Halloween [WalletHub]
    Wallethub interviewed Mark Hicar, associate professor of pediatrics in the Jacobs School, about financial and health aspects of Halloween this year. In terms of staying safe from COVID-19 he said: “The highest safety would be outdoor events. If the local spread is very high, this will add risk to any of this, and mask-wearing for anyone trick-or-treating should be strongly considered. Again, if there is lots of community spread, if you are unvaccinated or have high-risk persons in your family, you may want to forgo trick-or-treat activities. I would check with your local public health officials for guidance. Trick or treaters should use hand sanitizer or wash after the event. Last year, we were not really sure of how safe it was to handle candy. If there is a concern, candy can be wiped down.”
  • Stimulating Pressure Points in Ear Could Help Treat Kids’ Chronic Abdominal Pain
    Several publications reported on a UB pilot study suggesting that stimulating pressure points in the ear could be a promising treatment for functional abdominal pain disorder (FAPD), which affects 13.5 percent of children and adults. “Our objectives with this study were to determine the level of auricular acupoint activity in FAPD and also to assess how participants felt about this kind of therapy,” said Rachel E. Borlack, MD, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics. More than 85 percent of the FAPD patients in the study reported interest in using self-administered acupressure to manage their symptoms, and more than 40 percent said they would definitely be interested in traveling to a clinic just for auriculotherapy.
  • 3 WNY Hospital Systems to Put Unvaccinated Workers on Leave [Buffalo News]
    Peter Winkelstein, MD, executive director of UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics and clinical professor of pediatrics, told the Buffalo News that most local health care workers are vaccinated. Winkelstein was commenting for the paper’s story on the arrival of a state mandate that went in effect requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. “The vast, vast majority of health care workers understand the importance of getting vaccinated and have gotten vaccinated,” Winkelstein said. “That’s what’s getting lost in this. Most people get it.”
  • Experts Warn of Another Fall COVID-19 Surge in WNY
    Multiple stories reported that local experts warned that Western New York will likely experience another surge of new COVID-19 cases this fall, according to recent models from UB. “I’m quite concerned that we’re going to see another wave this fall again at roughly the same time, when the weather gets cold and when we enter the so-called ‘respiratory season,’” said Peter Winkelstein, MD, executive director of the UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics and clinical professor of pediatrics. “Added to that concern is that we’re starting out right now at a much higher level of transmission of the virus in the community than we were at the same time last year.”
  • Doctors Say Vaccine Mandate for Eligible Students Could Help Slow Spread of COVID-19 [WKBW-TV]
    Peter Winkelstein, MD, executive director of UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics and clinical professor of pediatrics, suggests a vaccine mandate for students 12 and older could help reduce a potential spike in cases. “We do this all the time. There are vaccine mandates all the time for kids in school. I don’t see the COVID vaccine as being much different,” he said.
  • Covid & Children [WIVB]
    WIVB broadcast a show dedicated to the topic of COVID-19 and children and featured Mark Hicar, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who said that the best way adults can help children who can’t yet be vaccinated as they return to school is by decreasing community spread through vaccinations, social distancing and masking. Asked about reducing the possibility of co-infections this coming season with both COVID-19 and flu, Hicar recalled what happened last year and said: “With social distancing and masking, we had the best flu season last year that we’ve had in a long time.”
  • UB hosts forum on masks before kids return to school [WIVB]
    WIVB-TV interviewed Dennis Kuo, chief of the Division of General Pediatrics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, about the university hosting a virtual forum to educate the public on face masks in the classroom. Kuo says almost all children can safely wear a face mask or a face shield. He’s urging parents to speak with their kids about the best ways to cover the noses and mouths. “We recommend a model of explaining the mask, asking the child what is comfortable and modeling wearing the mask, and finding out what mask may be comfortable for the child,” Kuo said.
  • UB Holds Special Panel About Vaccinating Pregnant Women [Spectrum News]
    Spectrum news reported that UB hosted a panel for local providers on how to reach more pregnant women and help them feel safe about receiving a coronavirus vaccine. Among the panelists was Erie County Health Commissioner Gale R. Burstein, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, who said “people should be able to get this vaccine wherever they get their other vaccines.”
  • Sengupta Answers Questions About Easing the Back-to-School Transition [WIVB-TV]
    WIVB-TV interviewed Sourav Sengupta​, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, about mental health considerations as students return to school this fall. The Q&A covered several topics, including signs that parents can look out for, and tips for helping children make the transition. “Kids thrive on good positive structure and routine, and that’s a lot of what (the) early school years really teaches kids,” Sengupta says. “And so parents can help kids especially in these last couple of days and weeks before school gets going by just returning back to a nice structured routine as they get ready for school.”
  • New Accreditation For UBMD Pediatrics’ Sleep Medicine Center [In Good Health]
    In Good Health reported that the UBMD Pediatrics Sleep Medicine Center has received accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), making it Western New York’s only pediatric-dedicated sleep center with this accreditation. The story quotes the center’s physicians, Amanda Hassinger and Geovanny Perez, both UB Department of Pediatrics faculty members, and Steven Lipshultz, president of UBMD Pediatrics and A. Conger Goodyear Professor and chair of the department in the Jacobs School.
  • Set Up Your Kids for Back-to-School Success With These Tips From Pediatricians [Buffalo News]
    Fred D. Archer III, MD, and Sarah J. Ventre, MD, both clinical assistant professors of pediatrics, are quoted in a back-to-school story in the wake of COVID-19. “The biggest concern I hear from parents is, 'If I send my kid to school, are they going to get COVID?’” said Archer. “They’e also worried about all the time their kid has been home and if they’re going to function well.” Ventre said primary care providers are an important resource when considering a vaccine for parents and children over 12. “I don’t think there is going to be a mandate for school, but I think it’s going to be highly recommended,” she said.
  • FDA Urges Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to Expand Trials for Kids 5 to 11 [Verywell Health]
    Mark D. Hicar, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is quoted in a new report that vaccine makers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are expanding their clinical trials for children aged 5 to 11 at the urging of the Food and Drug Administration. “This expansion is to make sure they aren’t seeing a much higher rate of heart inflammation in younger children,” he said.
  • Could your body's insulin response influence your food choices? A UB study aims to find out
    Niagara Frontier Publications reported on a new study underway at UB in which researchers aim to find out whether the body’s insulin response influences food choices. “In general, we know that foods that have a higher glycemic index, that is foods with more sugar, tend to be more reinforcing, motivating people to consume more of them, which is why so many people have difficulty cutting them out,” explained Matthew Biondolillo, study coordinator and a postdoctoral associate in the Behavioral Medicine Lab in the Jacobs School. “We are trying to understand if there are physiological differences that make avoiding those foods more difficult for people who have Type 2 diabetes or are at risk for developing it.”
  • Western New York medical experts and school leaders react to change in CDC guidance [WKBW]
    WKBW-TV interviewed the Jacobs School’s Dennis Kuo, associate professor and division chief, general pediatrics, and Karl Yu, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, for a story on local medical experts’ reactions to the CDC’s recommendation on Tuesday that everyone in K-12 schools should wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. “I think it’s great. Honestly, I think the CDC caught up to what we were saying,” said Kuo, who serves as the medical director for Buffalo Public Schools. Said Yu: “The American Academy of Pediatrics took a stand and said it outright that we should be more aggressive in maintaining masking indoors. We were waiting for the CDC to change their mind and catch up.”
  • Parents, Kids Can Sleep Easier With New UBMD Pediatrics Specialty Center [Buffalo News]
    The Buffalo News reported on the opening of the area’s first child sleep study center run by UBMD Pediatrics at Oishei Children’s Hospital and the center’s recent accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The story describes how there was no pediatric sleep study center in the region until North Buffalo native Amanda B. Hassinger, MD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics, took matters into her own hands. Nine days after completing a yearlong sleep medicine fellowship at UB last June, she helped open the UBMD Pediatrics Sleep Medicine Center. Hassinger and Alberto Monegro, MD, attending physician in the Department of Medicine, run the center.