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Health

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

It was during his freshman year of high school when Sam Smith approached his doctor—he had been exploring his sexuality for a couple years.

“I was like, hey, I’m having sex with guys,” he said, recounting the doctor’s visit. “What do I do?”

Smith hoped that his doctor would suggest pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which is a daily pill that can prevent someone from contracting the HIV virus if they’re exposed to it.

After Serious 911 Mishaps, Rhode Island Will Now Pay for Better Training

Jun 18, 2019
Rhode Island Department of Public Safety

Rhode Island lawmakers are moving forward on a spending plan that includes money to train all 911 call takers to respond to cardiac arrests and other medical emergencies.

BankingBum / Wikimedia/Creative Commons

In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died from gun violence in the U.S. according to the CDC.

Aswad Thomas is a survivor. A victim of a Hartford shooting outside a convenience store in 2009. He is also one of the people featured in the documentary The Sweetest Land, which looks at the epidemic of gun violence in the city of Hartford.

This hour, Thomas joins us along with the documentary’s director. What steps can local policymakers and public health take to effectively address gun violence? We take a closer look and we want to hear from you.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Democratic legislators and government officials stood with a small crowd of supporters at the Legislative Office Building in March to announce that it was time that Connecticut created a public option health insurance program. 

DSNDR-Videolar / Pixabay

What efforts are underway -- both locally and nationally -- to help improve individuals’ access to housing?

This hour, we listen back to a panel moderated by Lucy Nalpathanchil in Hartford recently for the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. We hear from policy and advocacy experts.

Later, we also learn about a "Net Zero" affordable housing proposal in the town of Norfolk.

Saving Children From Cycle Of Trauma

Jun 12, 2019
Hilary Hahn, Project Director, Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center and New Haven Police  Department Lieutenant Manmeet Colon during a meeting at the Yale Child Study Center.
Melanie Stengel / C-HIT.org

Shawn was 4 years old when he watched his dad, Jonathan Whaley, keel over at their doorstep from a gunshot wound to his back. He remembers the pool of blood, the paramedics, and the police.

Paramedic Peter Canning walks through Hartford’s Pope Park. He picks up empty heroin baggies as he passes by athletic fields, a public pool and a picnic pavilion where a few people appear to nod off.

Jeannine, who is 37 and lives in Burbank, Calif., has endured widespread pain since she was 8. She has been examined by dozens of doctors, but none of their X-rays, MRIs or other tests have turned up any evidence of physical injury or damage.

yourgenome / Creative Commons

With the last decade of the twentieth century came the first clinical trials for a biotechnology known as gene therapy. Since then, how far has gene therapy come? And how far has it left to go?

This hour, we consider these and other questions, and we also hear from you. Were you or was someone close to you diagnosed with a genetic disease? What thoughts or questions do you have about gene therapy and its ongoing advancement? 

Guns Make Some Women Feel Safe, From What?

Jun 7, 2019
Janet Paulsen poses for a portrait at her Acworth, Georgia home on Sunday April 21, 2019. Her estranged husband shot and paralyzed her in 2015.
Bita Honarvar / WABE

At this year’s National Rifle Association annual meeting, President Donald Trump invited some special guests on stage. The first was a young mother from Virginia, April Evans.

“One night in 2015 she was alone with her two-year-old daughter when an intruder broke into her home violently,” said Trump.

Lamont: We'll Revisit Public Option Health Care Issue Next Year

Jun 6, 2019
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that efforts to push through a revised public option health care bill came “too late” in the legislative session, and he pledged to revive the issue next year. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

What if you just don't really enjoy food very much? What if you're totally fine eating the same thing every single day? What if you think food is an inefficient way to get what you need to survive?

What if, rather than eating "food," you just mixed a white powder (that is definitely not made of people because it's made of soy protein isolate instead) with water and drank that in food's place?

This hour: a look at what you might call the non-foodie movement and the "powdered food" meal replacement product that is Soylent.

A Fidelco guide dog wearing a harness
Tikeyah Whittle / Connecticut Public Radio

Read a transcript of  this show here.

This hour, guest host Ray Hardman takes you to Fidelco -- the guide dog school in Bloomfield, Connecticut where we meet some guide dogs in training.  And we talk with guide dog users about the impact these animals have on their lives.

We also speak with author and poet Stephen Kuusisto, who’s written a memoir about his first guide dog, Corky.   

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

People crowded together on the top step of the Connecticut Supreme Court, shielded from the pouring rain under the building’s stone portico.

Kamora Herrington stood in the center of the group in front of a large white banner painted with the words “CT Black Women.” She spoke into a megaphone mic, her voice amplified over the street traffic and rain.

John Draper and I are sitting in the cab of a tractor on the research farm he manages for the University of Maryland, alongside the Chesapeake Bay. Behind us, there's a sprayer.

"So, away we go!" Draper says. He pushes a button, and we start to move. A fine mist emerges from nozzles on the arms of the sprayer.

We're spraying glyphosate, killing off this field's soil-saving "cover crop" of rye before planting soybeans.

Farmers have been using this chemical, often under the trade name Roundup, for about four decades now.

Kristy Faith / Creative Commons

A 10-year-old boy in the New Haven area had developed a bad case of chronic asthma — he could no longer play sports with his friends and had to take high doses of steroids. He was constantly missing school and ending up in the emergency department.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A strike threat by thousands of nursing home workers across Connecticut has been withdrawn after a large group of the nursing home facilities reached a new contract deal Friday.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Democratic lawmakers are pushing a new public option health care proposal, angering Republican colleagues so close to the end of the legislative session.

Supporters are calling the new plan Connecticut Option — it’ll be a program overseen by the state and offered through insurance companies or a network created by the state.

Columbia Township Paramedic Kevin Barnard demonstrates how to apply a tourniquet. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have offered new evidence that a tourniquet can be applied for longer than previously believed.
Matthew Richmond / WCPN

The first time Clevelander Robert Woodard saw someone who had been shot, it was overwhelming.

“So me running to the scene and me getting there and them bleeding and I'm just as hysterical as them,” Woodard remembered. “It's like, ‘Wow, what do I do?’ I have no tools. I have no anything.”

So last summer Woodard, a violence prevention worker with a group called the Wolfpack, completed a first aid training on how to stop bleeding.

Many adults are wondering if they should get re-vaccinated for measles, with more than 800 cases this year in the U.S.

A health official in Springfield, Massachusetts, said she was surprised by a jump in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the city, and she doesn't know why it happened.

Genome Research Limited / Creative Commons

Gilead, the biopharmaceutical company responsible for manufacturing Truvada, has come under scrutiny for its HIV drug pricing. This hour, we get the latest on this story. We also preview an upcoming Hartford rally, scheduled to coincide with AIDS Awareness Day. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Legislators said Thursday that they are holding off on changes to the state’s childhood vaccination laws, including the religious exemption.

Mark Mirko / The Hartford Courant

A Connecticut couple once decided to create and cryogenically freeze human embryos so that they could expand their family. But then their marriage ended, and a question remained: what should happen to a remaining frozen embryo?

Army Veteran Peter Antioho with his wife, Amy and son, Mark in their Berlin home. Antioho was exposed to black smoke from an open burn pit in Afghanistan. He's fighting for federal disability benefits.
Melanie Stengel / C-HIT.org

Every day for 10 months in 2012, Peter Antioho walked through dense, black smoke from an open burn pit on his Army base in Afghanistan. Human and medical waste, plastic water bottles, ammunition and chemicals were among the materials burned with diesel fuel 24 hours a day.

GOVERNMENT OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND / CREATIVE COMMONS

New and corrected data on school vaccination rates were released Friday after the state gave out controversial and disputed information last week.

Officials from the state Department of Public Health said they worked with school officials to identify and correct errors in a report that shows the number of unvaccinated children attending every school in the state.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Unionized nursing home workers have reissued a notice of their intention to strike for an increase in wages, giving legislators a new deadline Thursday.

Members of the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199 SEIU, voted to go on strike June 3 if they don’t see more funding in the next state budget go toward wage increases for industry employees.

Stakeholders Square Off Over Proposed Public Option For Health Coverage

May 9, 2019
A sign at the Health Care Action Day at the state Capitol on May 1.
Christopher Hoffman / C-HIT.org

While tolls, bonding and the budget have dominated this legislative session, a battle has been quietly brewing over the creation of a state-administered health insurance public option for small businesses.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The owner of Barbour Gardens, a subsidized housing complex in the North End of Hartford, was expected to appear in court Tuesday to face criminal housing charges, but the New York-based landlord was a no-show.

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