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POLITICO New York Health Care: HIV milestone; Council spends on PrEP

Dear readers: POLITICO New York Pro subscribers receive this email at 5:30 a.m. each weekday. If you'd like to receive it at that time, along with a customized real-time news feed of New York health care policy news throughout the day, please contact us at and we'll set you up for trial access.

written by Dan Goldberg

HOUSEKEEPING — POLITICO New York is off Thursday and Friday. The newsletter will be back in your inbox Monday morning. Happy Thanksgiving!

MILESTONE — New York State is reporting zero infections passed from mother to child for an entire year. That’s a marked turnaround from two decades ago, when New York was one of the leaders in maternal transmission rates. In 1990, almost 1,900 HIV-positive women in the state gave birth with an estimated 450 to 700 of their infants having HIV. By 2010, only 500 HIV-positive women gave birth with just three of their infants having HIV.

PREP SPENDING — The New York City Council is committing $6.6 million toward HIV/AIDS prevention, according to a press release from Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

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AND MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW Josefa and me on Twitter @J__Velasquez & @DanCGoldberg. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @katiedjennings

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? — LaRay Brown will be Interfaith Medical Center's new president and CEO, the hospital announced Tuesday. The hospital, which recently emerged from bankruptcy and has struggled for years to find solid financial ground, has been looking for a new leader since July. Brown is senior vice president for corporate planning, community health and intergovernmental relations at New York City Health + Hospitals, where she has worked for the past 28 years. [PRO]

NOW WE KNOW — The European Journal of Physics explains one of life’s enduring mysteries: why are chocolate fountains so beautiful?

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EXPANDING — WellCare Health Plans, a Medicaid managed care plan with more than 110,000 members in New York, announced Tuesday it had been approved to serve five new counties: Nassau, Niagara, Schenectady, Schuyler and Steuben. The approval puts WellCare in 16 counties across the state.

MAKING ROUNDS — Plachikkat Anantharam will be the new chief financial officer for NYC Health + Hospitals, the city's public hospital system. Anantharam replaces Marlene Zurack, who is retiring next week after serving 15 years. Anantharam has been a deputy director for health and social services at the city's Office of Management and Budget since 1998.

FAB FOUR — Four NYU professors have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are Timothy Bromage, a professor in the Departments of Biomaterials & Biomimetics and Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology at NYU's College of Dentistry and in NYU's Department of Anthropology; Hannah Klein, vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology and a professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Medicine and Pathology; Mark Philips, a professor in the Departments of Medicine, Cell Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology; and William Rom, the Sol and Judith Bergstein Professor of Medicine and professor of environmental medicine.

NO MORE TANNING Planet Fitnesses in New York will no longer allow unlimited tanning, part of a settlement reached with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

DON’T DO THAT Ryan Caleb Fleming, a nurse who took drugs from an Oswego hospital for personal use, has been fined $500 and placed on probation for one year, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

AND DEFINITELY DON’T DO THIS — Kristen Johnson, 26, must give up her nursing license as part of a plea deal. The former Upstate University Hospital nurse took a picture of an unconscious man’s genitals.

GRANT LAND — Dr. Zhen Yan, professor of physiology and neuroscience in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, was awarded a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health.

IN CASE YOU MISSED — Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, wrote an op-ed for City & State praising the de Blasio administration’s efforts to improve mental health.

ACROSS THE RIVER: Gov. Chris Christie today will make an announcement on "ending the stigma of addiction.”

PHARMA REPORT — Portrazza, Eli Lilly’s latest drug to treat lung cancer, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.


-FROZEN EGGS — More women are freezing their eggs, but NPR asks if those eggs will ever be used.” [S]o far, very few women who've frozen their eggs since the experimental label was lifted in 2012 have gone back to try to use their eggs. SART found that of the 353 egg-thaw cycles in 2012, only 83 resulted in live births. In 2013, there were 414 thaw cycles and 99 live births. "Live birth" is not babies born — it means delivery of one or more infants, so it can include twins. Overall, the success rate of live births from frozen eggs has remained consistently pretty low, at about 20 to 24 percent since 2009.”

-HOOKED ON COKE — The Global Energy Balance Network is a nonprofit dedicated to combating obesity. It took $1.5 million from Coke but insisted that money had no influence on its work. “But emails obtained by The Associated Press show the world's largest beverage maker was instrumental in shaping the Global Energy Balance Network, which is led by a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Coke helped pick the group's leaders, edited its mission statement and suggested articles and videos for its website.”

-$3 BILLION FOR NIH — House Republicans are pushing for a $3 billion increase in the National Institutes of Health’s budget, according to POLITICO. “That's $2 billion more than what House appropriators had approved this summer before Congress struck a budget deal to increase spending.” Read the Republicans’ letter here:

TODAY'S TIP — Comes from Lenox Hill Hospital, which offers tips for a healthy Thanksgiving.


-THE TOP TEN — Scientists from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, writing in Cell Death and Differentiation, have identified 10 genes that, when inhibited, can protect kidney cells and could protect against acute renal failure. “We are looking forward to clinical translation of our work,” Dr. Eugene Kandel, assistant professor of oncology in the Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park, said in a press release from the RPCI. “A lot of preclinical and clinical testing is yet to be done, but it is encouraging that well-characterized drugs that target the product of TACR1 gene already exist. Our findings also give some clues as to how tumor cells could tolerate ischemia-like conditions and why some cancers don’t respond well to therapy. In the long term, this knowledge may help us to match cancer therapy to the pre-existing mutations in a given tumor in order to overcome drug resistance and prevent harmful side effects.”

-GRAYING DRUG PROBLEM An NYU study found adults in their 50s now make up the largest cohort of people seeking help for opioid addiction.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up here: 11/24, 11/23, 11/20, 11/19, 11/18

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