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25 shave heads to support fight against cancer

A member of the St. Rose community gets their head shaved. - Matt Soriano / WNYT

If the cold weather doesn't break soon, more hats are going to be needed on the St. Rose college campus in Albany.

That's because more than 25 students, administrators and staff shaved their heads on Wednesday.

They are doing it to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

St. Baldrick’s supports the fight against childhood cancer.

While a NewsChannel 13 crew was there, two freshman girls got their heads shaved.

Between the two of them, they raised $5,000.

Free kidney screening offered in Albany

ALBANY – About 1.5 million New Yorkers are living with chronic kidney disease and more than 8,700 are waiting for a kidney transplant.  Those numbers may grow even larger as more New Yorkers gray and more become obese.

So the Northeast Kidney Foundation is collaborating with lawmakers Tuesday to sponsor a free kidney screening.  It's going on at the well of the Legislative Office Building.

Heroin summit addresses national epidemic

ALBANY - According to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, fatal heroin overdoses in America increased 45 percent in recent years.

Actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cory Monteith were among the celebrity victims who have drawn attention to the epidemic. Julianne Malin of Rotterdam says her teenage son became hooked on heroin and -- but for the grace of God -- could have wound up just like them.

"He quit school, he couldn't keep his job, and his whole personality changed," Malin said. "Things also started disappearing from my home."

Malin shared her family's story at a community heroin summit Tuesday night at the Albany College of Pharmacy, the same place where 16-year Serena, who's now being treated for her heroin addiction at Hope House, told the crowd how she knew she had hit rock bottom in her own life.

Albany Medical Center hosts 'Rare Disease' forum

ALBANY - World Rare Disease Day is Friday.

Albany got a jump on it on Wednesday with its second annual Rare Disease Day forum.

Doctors from the Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center took the opportunity to discuss management of pediatric rare and complex diseases. In this country, a disease is considered rare when it affects less than 200 thousand people. There some 7,000 known, rare diseases in the world affecting an estimated 300- million people.

For kids diagnosed with a rare disease it can mean many doctors, lots of juggling of schedules and treatment and a sense of being alone.

“Many families can feel very alone that they have this child who is the only child in this area with this diagnosis. But by bringing this together we can as a group help the families and help our practitioners to take better care of these children,” says Dr. Patricia Hopkins of Albany Medical Center.

Second case of measles confirmed in Capital Region

The state Health Department is reporting a second case of measles in the Capital Region.

The first was an RPI student.

Now, a young child, who was admitted to Albany Medical Center, has a confirmed case.

If you were a patient or visitor at Albany Medical Center last weekend, and have not been immunized against measles, you may be at risk.

The hospital is warning people who were in the C or D buildings, from 7:45 a.m. through 8 p.m. on Friday, January 31 or C7 between 8 p.m. Friday, January 31 through midnight on Saturday, February 1.

Albany Medical Center says they are notifying patients who may have been in that area during those times. Anyone with questions should call (518) 262-2101.

State Health officials say the this case is not related to the recent diagnosis at RPI.

E-cigarettes banned in Albany County owned, run buildings

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announces at a press conference on Thursday morning, announcing the ban. - Lou Swierzowski / WNYT

Some have called E-cigarettes an alternative to regular smoking. On Thursday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy issued a ban on the devices in buildings owned and run by the county.

Currently, regular tobacco laws and age restrictions do not apply to E-cigarettes. However, some say that the health risks are just as great. Others say youth could use them to develop an early addiction to nicotine.

Supporters of E-cigarettes argue they are more socially acceptable because they provide a vapor instead of smoke, or could be used as a way to help people quit smoking.

McCoy says the FDA has not approved E-cigarettes for that use.

The announcement comes one day after drugstore chain CVS announced they will stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores.

To read the proclamation banning e-cigarettes, please click here.

American Heart Association wants CPR taught in school

A paramedic administers CPR on an adult dummy. - File / AP

COLONIE - With the start of the legislative session, the American Heart Association is pushing their bill to get CPR taught in public high schools.

The hands-only method is easy to learn and can save a life while waiting for ambulance crews to arrive.

The group along with local leaders hosted an event Monday morning at Shaker High School.