Nicole Leonard | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Nicole Leonard

Nicole Leonard joined Connecticut Public Radio to cover health care after several years of reporting for newspapers. In her native state of New Jersey, she covered medical and behavioral health care, as well as arts and culture, for The Press of Atlantic City. Her work on stories about domestic violence and childhood food insecurity won awards from the New Jersey Press Association.

While an undergraduate journalism student at Boston University, Nicole was a reporter for The Daily Free Press and a radio host at WTBU. As an intern, her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe and Boston.com. In her downtime, she watches way too many movies and television shows, which complicates her goal to become a better runner.

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.

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.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Dr. Suzanne Lagarde and her team at Fair Haven Community Health Care in New Haven see a steady stream of patients most days. People come in for routine wellness checks, or when they’re sick or injured.

And sometimes, a primary care physician could use the help of an e-consult.

Mark Mirko / The Hartford Courant

Connecticut’s highest court heard arguments Tuesday about what should happen to frozen human embryos when a couple gets divorced.

The Supreme Court case, which was started by a divorced Connecticut couple who created frozen embryos while married, joins a group of legal cases across the country that don’t neatly fit into one specific area of the law.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The union representing workers at 20 Connecticut nursing homes has withdrawn a strike notice, saying it’s seen meaningful commitment to find new funding for employees. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

In her mid-20s, Sarah Howroyd was in a car accident with her fiancé. She suffered minor injuries to her neck and back, and the couple sought treatment for the pain.

“And we were prescribed an astronomical amount of Oxycontin,” she said.

It was the beginning of her long struggle with opioid addiction. 

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.

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.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Workers clustered together at the two entrances to the Stop & Shop store in East Hartford, holding signs in the air and chanting, "Better contract, better lives. Better contract, better lives!"

The store's employees were among unionized workers at Stop & Shop stores across Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island who walked off the job Thursday, after weeks of tense contract negotiations with the supermarket chain that have so far failed to yield a new contract.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

While the total number of people who died from any overdose in 2018 is slightly down from the year before, fentanyl showed up in more than 75 percent of deaths—making it more common than heroin.

Sarah Locke, of New Haven, identifies as queer and is on the steering committee at CT Equality. Locke said she supports a paid family medical leave bill, but hopes it's inclusive and considers people in the LGBTQ community when defining "family."
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Sarah Locke got excited when she heard that Connecticut lawmakers are trying to bring paid family medical leave to her home state, but then it gave her pause.

A child died from influenza this week, becoming the first pediatric flu death in Connecticut this season.

Officials from the state Department of Public Health announced the child’s death in a statement Friday while stressing the importance of vaccinating children against influenza.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Peeling paint, leaking showers, mice and mold—these are just some of the problems that residents of a Hartford apartment complex say they have been dealing with for years. But now, people living at the Barbour Gardens apartment complex claimed a victory in their fight with management after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced they would help residents relocate to safe housing. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut lawmakers are taking a closer look at how crisis pregnancy centers advertise their services to women. The state Public Health Committee heard testimony this week on a bill that would make it illegal for centers to be “false, misleading or deceptive” in what they offer in reproductive medical services, counseling or treatment. 

Pages