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The older I get, the more excited I am to be corrected when I’m wrong.

Sure, it may sting for a second because hearing someone say “actually…” can be kind of annoying, and if I’m wrong about something, then that means that contrary to my sparkling self-image, I don’t know it all.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public

Federal workplace safety officials have fined Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London after an employee there contracted COVID-19 and later died.

Connecticut's Halfhearted Battle: Response To Lead Poisoning Epidemic Lacks Urgency

Nov 18, 2020
Melanie Stengel / C-HIT

It wasn’t until Bridgeport lead inspector Charles Tate stepped outside the house on Wood Avenue that he saw, immediately, where 2-year-old Rocio Valladares was being poisoned.

Sanofi Pasteur / Creative Commons

The Center on Climate Change and Health at the Yale School of Public Health has just released a report on climate change and health in Connecticut. It comes to some troubling conclusions and makes urgent calls to action. One of the authors of that report is Laura Bozzi, Ph.D. She outlined the report’s findings on Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

The principle of inclusive economic growth, holistic strategies aimed at helping all income groups prosper, is appealing in concept to state Sen. Saud Anwar, a physician for the past 25 years.

But in practice in Connecticut, it sometimes amounts to offering medicine to an asthmatic child trapped in a moldy, run-down apartment and hoping for the best. Medicine generally is helpful, but if offered within an overwhelmingly negative climate — one that’s unlikely to change — the prospects for measurable improvement are slim.

jwblinn/iStock / Thinkstock

The U.S. Supreme Court’s new 6-3 conservative majority was assumed by many to be the death knell for the Affordable Care Act. But a funny thing seems to have happened Tuesday during oral arguments. Conservative Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh appeared to indicate their support for leaving the ACA intact -- with the exception of the individual mandate. 

Donna Sullivan visits with her long-time partner, Walter Zbikowski, through a window at Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

In September, Sen. Cathy Osten watched as a nursing home in Norwich, in the heart of her district, emptied its 53 remaining residents after the state ordered the building evacuated.

Twenty-seven people had contracted COVID-19 at the Three Rivers Healthcare Center and four died in one of the biggest nursing home outbreaks over the summer, even as the rate of new cases in most facilities statewide had slowed. Osten fielded calls from worried families as the remaining residents were transferred to other nursing homes.

Mold, Asbestos May Put Connecticut Weatherization Goal Out Of Reach

Nov 4, 2020
Costly removal of mold and asbestos can be a barrier to updating home insulation.
National Institutes of Health

Lorenzo Wyatt owns a Connecticut energy-efficiency contracting business focused almost exclusively on low-income residents — about 80 percent of his customers are eligible for no-cost energy savings services through the state’s residential efficiency programs.

Is Food Bank System Contributing To Health Disparities?

Nov 2, 2020
Volunteer Marsha Royster adds canned beef to bags at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen.
Melanie Stengel

The nation’s food bank system, created to provide emergency food assistance, fills a chronic need. Still, it may be perpetuating obesity among those facing hunger, concludes a new report by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

"I voted" sticker at a polling place
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut is a safe blue state in national elections, yet in 2016, a significant number of residents supported Donald Trump.  And some of them plan to vote for him again.

Illustration by Chion Wolf, candy corn photo by Skeeze on Pixabay

This hour, visit a West Hartford history professor’s eye-opening Halloween display about Black Lives Matter and Covid-19, and hear what passersby think of it.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A worker at Geer Village Senior Community in Canaan wasn’t feeling well while at home. 

Blurred image of police car lights
WCN 24/7 / Flickr

Connecticut’s capital city is experiencing another public health crisis amidst the pandemic -- an epidemic of gun violence.

There have been more than 50 shootings in Hartford since September.

This hour, we talk about what’s behind this disturbing rise in violence, and how to address it. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin joins us and we hear from anti-violence advocates.

How should we make sense of a rise in shootings through a public health lens? We hear from an expert who used to lead the CDC’s national injury prevention center.

Alyssa L. Miller / Creative Commons

Our ancestors viewed sleep as a highly sensual and transcendent experience. Today, about a third of adults have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling rested. We're becoming a nation of insomniacs.

Drive-through COVID-19 Testing
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s COVID-19 numbers have been rising. And, as the weather gets colder, safe outdoor options for socializing will become more difficult. How worried should we be about a COVID-19 spike, and what can we do to help prevent it?

This hour we talk with Hartford Healthcare’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Ajay Kumar.

Are you worried about a second wave?

Illustration by Chion Wolf

Imagine feeling like you have glass shards running through your blood, and imagine your doctors don’t believe how much pain you’re in.

Then, imagine you’re in a different body, incapable of feeling any pain at all.

Then, in body number three, you inflict pain on yourself so you can rate it. For science.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Hartford HealthCare announced it has updated guidance on how masks are distributed to health care workers. The announcement comes after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the network for two alleged “serious” violations at Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Hartford HealthCare said this week it is challenging thousands of dollars in federal fines for alleged safety violations at Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield. 

The announcement, which was made Tuesday, follows an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which cited the psychiatric facility for its record-keeping practices and supplies of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rhoda Baer / National Cancer Institute/Creative Commons

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but doctors are worried that there is less awareness this year because of the pandemic -- and that could be deadly, they say.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Racism is trauma. But racism’s impact on mental health can be hard to talk about. In this third episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we hear about the stressors to mental health in the region and ways to get relief. 

Tiffany Bailey / Creative Commons

We tend to focus on the physical ailments that can arise from being fat more than how fat shaming can affect the mental health of people who are fat.

Nor do we think of how our culture (and the media) perpetuate the notion that fat people aren't desirable enough for love and intimacy. That's flat-out wrong. Sex is a physical act that is deeply influenced by how our mind perceives desire.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut’s ban on utility shut-offs during the COVID-19 pandemic will expire at the end of the month, but state regulators said last week that utility companies haven’t done enough to educate customers about alternative payment programs. 

Addiction affects people of all shapes and sizes. Skin tones and geographic locations. Ages, personalities, and genders. Today, meet two people who are committed to sobriety, and the Chief Clinical Officer at a treatment facility.

A sewer manhole
Kurt Kaiser / Wikimedia Commons

As Connecticut looks to keep COVID numbers low, some researchers have turned to studying poop -- as a tool to help public health officials.

This hour, we talk with scientists studying our waste. Can our collective toilet flushing give public health officials a head start on detecting coronavirus outbreaks?

We hear from Yale researchers who have been testing New Haven sewage to track COVID-19 cases since March. That work was recently published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

We also hear from the mayor of Stamford about how wastewater data will shape that city’s public health response.

And we check in with Yale epidemiologist and Governor Lamont advisor Dr. Albert Ko. How should Connecticut prepare for a potential coronavirus surge this winter?

VA Connecticut Hiring Practices Under Investigation

Sep 22, 2020
 Sandra Salmon, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 2138, filed the Special Counsel complaint.
Melanie Stengel / Connecticut Health I-Team

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating allegations of illegal employment practices at VA Connecticut Healthcare System connected to the hiring of seven employees­­—some in top management positions­—who are all former co-workers of the system’s director.

Pandemic Deals Another Blow To Nursing Homes: Plummeting Occupancy

Sep 21, 2020
An employee at nursing facility Kimberly Hall South in Windsor visits with a resident through her window in May.
DAVE WURTZEL / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC / DAVE WURTZEL / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC

While the deadly coronavirus seems to be subsiding in Connecticut for now, its impact on nursing homes has not. More than 6,700 beds are empty, and it may take many months of financial struggle before occupancy climbs back to pre-pandemic levels.

Hurricane: NASA Goddard - Flickr Creative Commons / Tornado: Justin1569 - Wikipedia / Wildfire: U.S. Dept of Agriculture - Wikipedia

I’ve had a recurring dream ever since I was a little kid: I’m playing in the front yard of the house I grew up in, and suddenly, the atmosphere around me changes. I feel an ominous breeze on my face. I look up, and barreling down the street, is a tornado headed straight for me. I turn to run… and the dream ends. 

I think my compulsion to run away from dangerous weather - in my dreams and in real life - is probably shared by a lot of people. But today? The folks you’re gonna meet go towards the danger to stop it, or to document it so we can understand it better.

Drive-through COVID-19 Testing
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Some COVID-19 patients recover from the virus relatively quickly, but others have to deal with lingering or even new symptoms months after battling the virus. Ellie Stevenson of Norwalk says she is what’s called a long hauler.

Waterbury Public Schools school buses
Franke Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new report from Connecticut’s Child Advocate finds staff at Waterbury Public Schools have called the police hundreds of times on elementary and middle school students experiencing mental health crises.

Some of these children were as young as five years old.

Wikimedia Commons

State health officials say a potentially dangerous bacteria found in the water along Long Island Sound has caused an unusually high number of illnesses this summer. 

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