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Health

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The state is making contingency plans in the event that 2,500 nursing home workers in Connecticut go out on strike next month.

As the number of confirmed measles cases in New York continues to tick up, one county is determined to stem the spread of the disease by keeping it out of public spaces.

Careene Reid, a certified nursing assistant, speaks at a press conference April 15 at the legislative office building in Hartford about demands for increased wages and better staffing in Connecticut nursing homes.
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Nursing home workers in Connecticut are planning to strike if they don’t see increased funding for more staff and better benefits in the next two weeks.

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

A third case of measles in Connecticut has been confirmed and is linked to the ongoing outbreak in New York City.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are seen at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., Wednesday, March 27, 2019.
Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Painful rashes, diarrhea, even possibly blindness or deadly brain inflammation -- these are all symptoms of measles. Before researchers developed a vaccine, this disease once affected millions in the U.S. and hospitalized tens of thousands every year.

Thanks to the vaccine, measles was eliminated from this country two decades ago. Yet today, communities in New York and Washington state are experiencing devastating outbreaks today. This hour, we ask why is a virulent, deadly, but entirely preventable disease reappearing in the U.S.?

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

More than one hundred cancer survivors, legislators and advocates met at the State Capitol building Wednesday to rally support for raising Connecticut’s tobacco purchase age.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Three teenagers were charged this week with first-degree arson in connection with the fire that destroyed the historic Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. A lawyer representing one of the young men told Hearst Connecticut Media that the teens will likely be charged with at least four other recent fires in the area. 

Henry Hagnäs / Creative Commons

Criminal justice reform advocates thought the state was on a better path after former Gov. Dan Malloy signed a 2017 law that banned solitary confinement for juvenile prisoners.

But a January report by the state Office of the Child Advocate found that young inmates in adult facilities were still being put in isolation. 

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are seen at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., Wednesday, March 27, 2019.
Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Connecticut is taking a wait-and-see approach as its next door neighbor New York battles a measles outbreak by declaring a public health state of emergency.

sabianmaggy/flickr creative commons

Connecticut's Safe Haven Law has been on the books since the year 2000 -- but supporters say it needs to be better known. The law allows a parent to legally and confidentially leave an infant at a hospital emergency room within 30 days of giving birth, if they are unable to care for it. 

Elder Abuse Investigations More Than Doubled In Seven Years

Apr 3, 2019
Rita Pompano of West Haven says she was a victim of elder abuse in 2011, when her husband Ralph tormented her and beat her daily for seven months before she was able to escape with her son's help.
Carl Jordan Castro / C-HIT.org

State investigations of elder abuse, ranging from neglect to emotional abuse to physical abuse, more than doubled in Connecticut between 2011 and 2017, from 3,529 to 7,196.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

One by one, people bundled up in long coats, hats and scarves made their way down into the basement of the Center Church Parish House in New Haven on a Wednesday afternoon.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The option for terminally ill residents to choose when and how they they die isn’t coming to Connecticut this year.

The state Public Health committee did not hold a vote on a medical aid-in-dying bill Monday, which means it won’t advance by Wednesday’s legislative deadline.

Supporters of the proposal called the decision “beyond disappointing” while those who are against the idea say it’s a relief that the bill won’t go any further.

Gregory Bull / Associated Press

President Trump threatened on Friday to close the southern border unless Mexico stops migrants from entering the U.S. illegally.

“Mexico’s tough. They can stop ‘em, but they chose not to," he said. "Now they’re gonna stop ‘em. And if they don’t stop ‘em, we’re closing the border”.

Among those people entering the country are children and teens.

Are You Prepared? Taking A Life In Self-Defense

Mar 29, 2019
PVT Friberg with the Oregon National Guard's 741st Brigade Engineer Battalion clears a building on March 2, 2019 at Camp Rilea, Oregon.
Jonathan Levinson / OPB

Standing in the master bathroom of his Bend, Oregon, home, Brennan Pebbles is describing the night a home intruder shot a rifle through his front window, killed his roommate, and then hunted him through his house.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Medium cardboard boxes take up the surface of a side table in Dr. Raul Pino’s office on Capitol Avenue in Hartford. They’re filled with picture frames, certificates, documents and other items that for the last three years have decorated the room.

Pino is spending his last few days in office as the state commissioner of the Department of Public Health by taking care of loose ends and preparing a smooth transition for the new commissioner appointed by Gov. Ned Lamont last month.

bmJi / Creative Commons / Flickr

High rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic health conditions have doctors supporting local, state and national policies on reducing the amount of sugary beverages that kids drink.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Between public testimonies on whether or not Connecticut should legalize recreational marijuana, legislators also heard from patients and health care providers Friday on proposed changes to the existing medical marijuana program.

Among them is a plan to add opioid use disorder as a condition that would qualify for treatment with medical cannabis, but many doctors testified against the idea, citing a lack of medical study.

Men are dying after opioid overdoses at nearly three times the rate of women in the United States. Overdose deaths are increasing faster among black and Latino Americans than among whites. And there's an especially steep rise in the number of young adults ages 25 to 34 whose death certificates include some version of the drug fentanyl.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

People who describe themselves as "proponents for choice in vaccines" held a press conference Tuesday at the state capitol, on pending state legislation that would mandate certain vaccines. Part of the press conference was a presentation by vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who raised concerns about the safety of one particular vaccine, Gardasil. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Only a small number of states have aid-in-dying or death-with-dignity laws that allow terminally ill patients to end their lives, and Connecticut supporters want that option, too. But opponents argue it could be dangerous, especially for people with disabilities.

Pixabay

Today, there are 5.8 million Americans who are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to grow by more than half.

Yet how do we know the right questions to ask to get a timely diagnosis in order to plan for the future? We hear from advocates who want to see additional training for primary care physicians so they recognize the signs of dementia earlier.

Healing From Cancer

Mar 19, 2019

Colin was diagnosed with melanoma last year. He had a few scary weeks between diagnosis and removal of the cancer. He's told he's clean but, what happens next? 

Fewer Americans diagnosed with cancer this year will die from their disease than at any other time in the last two decades. Medical advances in detection and treatment and a population more aware of the habits that can lead to cancer are helping more people live with cancer.

Intersex Advocates Say Society Needs To Change, Not Them

Mar 18, 2019
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

When it comes to sexual anatomy, not everyone is born with bodies that fit typical definitions of male or female. Like with other human traits, internal and external gentalia can come in different varieties. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut emergency departments will get free supplies of naloxone, the opioid antidote, to start distributing the reversal drug to patients as they leave the hospital.

Nathalie Taranto, 85, of Easton, said she's worried about how a proposed Connecticut asset test would affect her eligibility in the Medicare Savings Program.
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut is considering reinstating an asset test for Medicare Savings Programs. State officials say it will save money while program enrollees are worried about losing coverage and experiencing higher health care costs.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

State lawmakers revealed details Thursday on how Connecticut could create and run its own public option health care plan, which would compete with private insurers.

diego_cervo/iStock / Thinkstock

In southeastern Connecticut, a team of Recovery Navigators is offering a hand -- and a sense of hope -- to residents with opioid drug addiction. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the work this team is doing.

We also hear why some municipal leaders -- including the mayor of New London, Connecticut -- are championing legislation that would grant municipalities the right to sue big pharma over the ongoing opioid crisis.

And finally, when it comes to Medicaid insurance, why are certified nurse midwives in Connecticut reimbursed at a lower rate than OB/GYN physicians? We take a closer look with Connecticut Public Radio health care reporter Nicole Leonard, and we also hear from you. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Brianne Foley didn’t have time to plan for the birth of her first child. So when she and her husband were having their second child, Foley did extensive research on which ones accepted Medicaid and were within driving distance of her home in Watertown.

That’s when she found a practice run by certified nurse midwives.

Death first visited me on a Thursday.

I had a brown 'n' serve roll in my hand and a Vesuvius of buttered mashed potatoes on my plate. It was Thanksgiving and my 7th birthday, 1983.

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