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Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

An American Legion post in Jewett City has dedicated the last decade to raising money so it could help homeless veterans. On Monday, hundreds of Griswold residents turned out to celebrate the project's completion. Post 15 renovated its building so to provide 18 apartments to veterans who need housing.

U.S Navy

On Monday, The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education in Stamford hosted a viewing of "Invisible War," an award-winning documentary about sexual assault in the military. More servicemembers who have experienced this trauma are starting to file claims with the VA.

In tomorrow's special legislative session, lawmakers will consider a plan to make doctors get most of their child vaccines from the state. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, pediatricians across the state don't like the idea.

Currently, doctors who need vaccines for children only have to get them from the state if their patient is on Medicaid. The rest can be bought on the private market. But a change in state law up for discussion could change that -- making it mandatory for doctors to source nearly all of their vaccines from the state.

Lady Parts

Jun 5, 2012
David Sim/flickr creative commons

Prepare for a frank discussion, adults only, on women and men's health and sexuality. The show features Dr. Mary Jane Minkin of Yale and novelist and former therapist Amy Bloom.

Robert S. Donovan

e-MagineArt.com

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally approves drug therapies faster and earlier than its counterparts in Canada and Europe, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers. The study counters perceptions that the drug approval process in the United Statesis especially slow.

Led by second-year medical student Nicholas Downing and senior author Joseph S. Ross, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine, the study will be published May 16 online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Lance Neilson

Preliminary results from an ongoing, large-scale study by Yale School of Medicine researchers shows that oxytocin — a naturally occurring substance produced in the brain and throughout the body— increased brain function in regions that are known to process social information in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Sex After 60

May 22, 2012
dark_ghetto28, Flickr Creative Commons

A few years ago Men's Health, one of the magazines I write for, spun off a brother publication called Best Life, which was specifically aimed at the generation a little older than the washboard abs, do-it-all-night target demo of Men's Health. And I was dispatched over there to write a sex column. For aging men. Best Life didn't last all that long. I think everybody still wants to participate in the dream of Men's Health, even if it's not all that realistic any more. But I had a  lot of fun while it lasted. Which would be a good title for a book about sex ad aging.

All About Feet!

May 21, 2012
Christian Haugen, Flickr Creative Commons

One night, a couple of years ago, I laid me down to sleep and discovered my foot was numb.
 It was numb like Adam Sandler's chronically frostbitten foot in the cinema masterpiece "Mr. Deeds," wherein he invites people to whack it with a fireplace poker while he smiles blissfully.

An hour later, my foot was still numb.

Stroke. That's it, I thought. I'm having a stroke.

The problem with even thinking a thought like "I'm having a stroke," is that immediately you start having a stroke, more or less.

Last week, lawmakers didn't act on a proposal to expand membership on a board that will help shape the future of health care in the state. WNPR's Jeff Cohen explains.

As part of the controversial Affordable Care Act, states across the country are working to set up what are called exchanges -- marketplaces that will eventually let the uninsured comparison shop health insurance plans. In Connecticut, that process is run by a board. The board will decide which types of benefits insurance companies will have to offer as part of their plans.

Connecticut Department of Public Health

The state department of public health has launched an initiative to promote better food choices and a more physically active lifestyle for pre-schoolers.

In the new campaign children are introduced to a cartoon cow and her son, a rabbit and a super strong chimp with a simple message: "Fruits and veggies give you the energy to play hard. And low-fat dairy helps you grow strong. Eat healthy, play hard."

That's just one of the public service announcements running on CPTV and other cable TV channels state wide as part of the Action Pack campaign.

A bill that would prohibit insurers from charging patients for colonoscopies that end up as surgical procedures passed the legislature. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it now awaits the governor's approval.

Not long ago, we told you about an oddity in health insurance. It went like this. Under the nation's new health care law, called the Affordable Care Act, most preventative screenings should come at no additional cost to patients. But what happens when a screening turns into a treatment? Here's what happens.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Sanofi Pasteur

Connecticut requires almost a dozen immunizations by the time a child enters school.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports there's a temporary shortage of one particular vaccine.

The vaccine is called Pentacel and it's a combination vaccine that protects children from several different diseases.

Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio and Meningitis. Four doses are required before a child turns nineteen months old.

But if your child is due for his or her next dose of Pentacel, it may not be available.

Conflicts of Interest in Health Care

May 2, 2012
Chion Wolf

As the business of health care continues to boom, the drumbeat against so-called "conflicts of interest" in medicine has gotten louder.

A national debate’s been cooking about the close relationship between money and medicine. How is that relationship affecting patient care? Can doctors make the right decisions when they’re inundated with sales representatives from pharmaceutical and medical device companies?

Dr. Suzanne Campbell

Fairfield University is participating in the nationwide initiative, Joining Forces, to to help veterans. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with the Dean of the School Of Nursing, Dr Suzanne Campbell.

The Aging Brain on Music, Exercise, and Animals

Apr 23, 2012
Catie Talarski

We know that music, pets, and exercise make us feel good - but did you know they can also make our aging brains stronger? 

It used to be that getting older meant forgetting more, slowing down, and acting more and more like our grandparents. But no more. We can add years to our lives and boost our brain power by learning to play an instrument, jog around the block, or even bond with our dog.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.  But he says there's an obstacle -- a state law that says only nurses can give medications to people in the Medicaid system living at home. The governor's plan has faced some opposition in the legislature.

Flickr Creative Commons, Jay Erickson

Three former prisoners at Niantic's York Correctional Institution are staging a play mixing Dante’s Inferno with real life prison stories. WNPR’s Patrick Skahill has more.

When Lynda Gardner was sent to jail for larceny in 2005, she didn't think she'd be reciting lines from Dante's Inferno.  She just thought she was in hell.

"I woke up in York and decided for the first six months I was going to kill myself," Gardner said. " I felt dead."

Smaller Hospitals Struggle With Deficits

Apr 17, 2012

Eight of Connecticut’s 30 acute-care hospitals ended the last fiscal year in the red—double the number that reported financial losses the year before, according to a new state report.

The data filed with the state Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) is a mixed bag of news about the financial health of the state’s hospitals. It shows that only six hospitals had operating losses in the 2011 fiscal year in contrast with nine that did not break even on operations in 2010. But when non-operating gains and losses are included, eight had negative total margins, or deficits.

Uma Ramiah

INTRO: As the New England Journal of Medicine celebrates its 200th anniversary, a national debate has been brewing about the close relationship between money and medicine. In the first of a 2-part series, the Connecticut Mirror’s Neena Satija examines how researchers come under fire for taking industry money, yet can’t survive without it.

Rusty Clark/flickr creative commons

Does what we eat control our thoughts and feelings? After many studies, a neuroscientist says it's true.

The Great American Foreclosure

Apr 13, 2012
JeffreyTurner, Creative Commons

The housing crisis that has cost millions of Americans their homes.  In fact, banks have foreclosed on more than 4 million homes since the crisis began in 2007. Almost 6 million are still in danger of foreclosure, and some analysts say 2012 could be the worst year yet.

Athletes over Fifty

Apr 3, 2012
Providenz

Today's show was the brainchild of producer Betsy Kaplan, but it seems like something I might have thought up, just to deal with some (de)pressing problems in my life. I'm 57. I have arthritis in both knees. One of the magazines I write for wants me to do, this fall, a Gran Fondo, a bike ride of more than 100 miles with a significant elevation change.

I'm literally not sure I can.

But all around me are examples of athletes over 50 doing remarkable things.

For the health policy world, the Supreme Court's tough questioning of the individual mandate last week was a seismic event.

But in Hartford, Conn., the city sometimes called the epicenter of the insurance industry, David Cordani isn't quaking.

Cordani is the CEO of Cigna, the nation's fourth-largest health insurer. He says the insurance industry started changing itself before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. And the changes will continue regardless of what happens at the high court.

Where We Live: Greg Tate Kicks Cancer's...

Apr 2, 2012
Chion Wolf

Greg Tate of the HartBeat Ensemble has been an important part of Hartford’s artistic community. They create original plays based on the place where they live...and work with school systems to create student theater works.

Tate has been diagnosed with lung cancer - and has been sharing intimate details of his treatment on a simple blog called “Greg Tate Updates.”

Losing Your Voice

Mar 28, 2012
thekeithhall, creativecommons

John Mayer, Adele and Keith Urban have all had to cancel shows in past months because of vocal problems.

But pop singers aren’t the only ones who find their careers in jeopardy because they’ve lost their voice.

Our NPR colleague Diane Rehm has struggled for years with a condition called “spasmodic dysphonia” - which causes spasms in the vocal cords.

It’s a condition very similar to the one that knocked me off the air for nearly a year in the late 1990s.

Traumatic brain injury or TBI has been called the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense Department data indicates more than 233,000 veterans have been diagnosed with at least a mild brain injury. But the number is even higher because not all veterans seek help. A non-profit and the VA have partnered to offer support to these servicemembers in Connecticut.

Could 'Contagion' Strike Connecticut?

Mar 22, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, blmurch

Which is a worse way to die: the Spanish influenza that nearly killed off Elizabeth McGovern in Downton Abbey, or the respiratory virus that took out Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Contagion?

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