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Health

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut officials and health experts say it’s only a matter of time before the global outbreak of a novel coronavirus reaches local communities in the state, but Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday the state is ready.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

It was just a year ago that Eli Terris of Hamden was diagnosed at 30 years old with Type 1 diabetes, a lifelong chronic disease that requires a medication called insulin.

And the hardest part for him? Having to navigate health insurance and the costs for his disease treatment. 

It's recreation time at a Los Angeles County jail known as the Twin Towers. Nearly a dozen disheveled young men stand docilely as they munch on sandwiches out of brown paper bags.

They're half-naked except for sleeveless, thick, blanket-like restraints wrapped around them like medieval garments.

All are chained and handcuffed to shiny metal tables bolted to the floor.

"It's lunchtime and they're actually [in] programming right now," says a veteran guard, LA County Sheriff's Deputy Myron Trimble.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Amid pushback from Republicans and thousands of outraged parents, the legislature’s Public Health Committee voted Monday to advance a bill that would ban religious exemptions to mandatory immunizations in Connecticut.

She was in medical school. He was just out of prison.

Sarah Ziegenhorn and Andy Beeler's romance grew out of a shared passion to do more about the country's drug overdose crisis.

Ziegenhorn moved back to her home state of Iowa when she was 26. She had been working in Washington, D.C., where she also volunteered at a needle exchange. She was ambitious and driven to help those in her community who were overdosing and dying, including people she had grown up with.

Courtesy of Access Health CT

Thousands of people will get health insurance coverage this year from plans they chose through Access Health CT, the state’s Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace. But state officials worry about changes to federal law that may hinder continuing participation in health insurance programs. 

Purdue Pharma Payouts Decline As Fewer Clinicians Report Taking Money

Feb 20, 2020
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Purdue Pharma, in bankruptcy and embroiled in thousands of lawsuits for its role in the opioid crisis, paid Connecticut doctors and nurse practitioners $394,662 in 2018, a slight drop of 9% from $433,246 the prior year, federal data show.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Hundreds of people packed into the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Wednesday ahead of a public hearing on a bill that would change the state’s childhood vaccinations laws.

Connecticut children can attend public school by either complying with required vaccinations or by obtaining an exemption from vaccination based on religious or medical reasons. A proposed bill would eliminate the religious exemption. 

health care providers
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut advocates for addiction treatment say proposed funding cuts to the federal Medicaid program would leave fewer resources for people with substance use disorders.

The proposed cuts are part of President Donald Trump’s federal budget plan, which was released earlier this month. It includes cuts to Medicaid, a program that provides health coverage for people in poverty, and the Affordable Care Act totaling about $1 trillion in the next decade. 

Preventable Cancer Death Rate Falls In Litchfield And Windham Counties

Feb 18, 2020
Dr. Alvaro Menendez speaks to a patient at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute in Windham Hospital.
Carl Jordan Castro / C-HIT

“Potentially preventable” cancer deaths plunged in Connecticut over the last decade, according to a federal study, with two rural counties, Litchfield and Windham, experiencing a nearly 49 percent decrease, the best in the nation.

Though cancer deaths fell overall in the United States, the trend in rural areas was not universal. In neighboring Massachusetts, for example, preventable cancer deaths rose in non-metropolitan areas.

Cases Of Lead-Poisoned Children Drop 17% In Connecticut

Feb 15, 2020

A total of 1,665 Connecticut children under age 6 had lead poisoning in 2017, a drop of almost 17% from the year before and the largest one-year decrease in five years, according to a just-released report from the state Department of Public Health (DPH).

Erowid Center

The number of people who died in Connecticut from drug overdoses in 2019 was the most the state has recorded in a single year, even after a dip in deaths in 2018.

New state data show that 1,200 people died, an 18% jump from the previous year, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Samantha Merwin hoped to put money away in a college fund for her 13-year-old son, Logan.

But instead, any savings have gone into a health account that’s intended for Logan to use in his young adult years as he manages Type 1 diabetes, a lifelong chronic disease. 

ammunition
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

The Connecticut General Assembly will consider a proposal this legislative session that would impose an excise tax on ammunition. Revenue from the tax would support gun violence prevention efforts in affected communities.

14 Hospitals Penalized For High Infection Rates, Injuries

Feb 7, 2020
CT Mirror

Fourteen Connecticut hospitals are being penalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), losing 1% of their Medicare reimbursements this fiscal year for having high rates of hospital-acquired infections and injuries, new data show.

flu shot
AP Photo/David Goldman, File

A child has died from the flu, state officials announced Thursday, making it the first pediatric fatality in the state this season.

The child was from New Haven County and was between 1 and 4 years old, according to Department of Public Health officials.

Connecticut prepares for the coronavirus.
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The spread and impact of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, is changing rapidly as governments and public health experts report additional cases and deaths.

More than 24,500 people have become ill and over 490 have died, and the majority of cases have occurred in China, according to the World Health Organization. 

BoyuZhang1998 / Wikimedia Commons

It’s a busy week in politics. The presidential primary season kicked off in Iowa, and tonight is the President’s State of the Union Address. Meanwhile, the impeachment trial nears its end. This hour, Southern Connecticut State University political scientist Jennifer Hopper joins us.  

Carl Jordan Castro / C-HIT

The repercussions of being homeless as a child younger than 6 can be lifelong, and the strain often shows in their speech, behavior, development and health, according to child-care workers and experts.

They may be nonverbal, or act out. They’re often sick, but may not have a pediatrician. They may not even know how to brush their teeth.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

State officials are pursuing a new way to hold accountable landlords who endanger residents with unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, starting with the former owner of the Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments in the North End of Hartford. 

Ryan Caron King (screengrab) / Connecticut Public

Mark Guido had his eyes fixed on a punching bag. Jab after jab, he didn’t break focus. He had the gym to himself -- a winter storm kept other boxers off the roads. Guido said he couldn’t afford to skip. 

“If I don’t work out every day, I can tell. By the end of the day ... I’m having problems. My dexterity is gone. I’m fatigued. Coordination is off,” he said.

Petr David Josek / AP Photo

Two people in Connecticut are being monitored for signs of the novel coronavirus, an infectious disease that has spread in China and is now appearing as isolated cases in other countries, including the United States.

A student at Wesleyan University and another person in New Haven County are under observation, according to Gov. Ned Lamont’s office. Health officials said the Wesleyan student tested negative for the disease, but both people have tested positive for the flu. 

Gillian Flaccus / AP

At 6:30 a.m. in January on a residential street in West Hartford, it was 18 degrees outside and quiet. Most houses disappeared into the pitch-black darkness, making the lights coming from inside Anna Shusterman’s home especially bright.

“Hey, Max!” Shusterman yelled up the stairs from the kitchen.

Pixabay

Deaths related to alcohol have been rising over the past two decades, especially among women.  Today, we look at the impact of alcohol on public health.

And on this day in 1920, Prohibition went into effect around the country, making it illegal to sell alcohol. 100 years after the beginning of this national experiment, we ask: what is a productive policy approach today to dealing with addiction?

In early December at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, two anxious scientists were about to send 20 years of research into orbit.

"I feel like our heart and soul is going up in that thing," Dr. Emily Germain-Lee told her husband, Dr. Se-Jin Lee, as they waited arm-in-arm for a SpaceX rocket to launch.

Tracking Types Of Terrain That Harbor Disease-Carrying Ticks

Jan 16, 2020
Christine Woodside / C-HIT

On a sunny, cool day as fall gave way to winter, a team of biologists and technicians dragged white cloths through the underbrush at Lord Creek Farm in Lyme. They were looking for blacklegged ticks, which carry Lyme disease and four other deadly illnesses.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Debra Trueax knew she was struggling with an acute substance use disorder, but she wanted to hide it from family and friends. So when she went to a hospital in 2018, she had a plan.

“I went to the emergency room looking to get a bed and for mental health and addiction services,” she said. “I knew where I could get a bed where I could also sort of on the sly get treatment for substance abuse without anyone knowing.”

Jonathan Grado / Flickr Creative Commons

Life after death, in one form or another,  has been examined by multiple disciplines for centuries: From theology, to physics, to philosophy, to medicine and more. But while the topic is taken seriously by some, it remains a focus of ridicule and skepticism by others.

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

Lawmakers are wasting no time seeking public input on a proposal to erase Connecticut’s religious exemption from mandatory vaccinations.

They have scheduled a public hearing on the plan for Feb. 19 – just two weeks into the legislative session. A draft of the bill is expected to be released next week.

Russ / Creative Commons

Mental health professionals on college campuses say more students year over year are seeking services for new and ongoing mental health and substance use issues. They say it’s not a bad thing that students are being proactive about their mental health -- but resources are strained. 

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