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Vaping 360 / Creative Commons

Before electronic cigarettes hit the U.S. market about 10 years ago, Connecticut was making progress in decreasing nicotine use among young people.

About one in four teens were smoking cigarettes in 2000, but by 2017, that dropped to only 3.5% of school-aged students statewide, according to state reports.

Then e-cigarettes, or vaping, became popular among middle and high school students.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio


Denise Guillemette sat at a table preparing dozens of flu vaccines that she would eventually give to residents who came to a recent community clinic in Glastonbury.

“Come on down,” she called to the next person in line waiting their turn. “How are you feeling today, good?”

26 Connecticut Hospitals Penalized By Medicare For High Readmission Rates

Oct 9, 2019
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services penalized Bridgeport Hospital 2.66 percent, the highest penalty among Conn. hospitals.
Bridgeport Hospital

Most Connecticut hospitals will lose a percentage of their Medicare reimbursement payments over the next year as penalties for having high rates of readmitted patients, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Florey Institute / Creative Commons

Trying to figure out how much a medical procedure or treatment may cost can be time consuming and complicated, but Connecticut officials hope a new web tool may now make it easier for patients and their families.

The state Office of Health Strategy Tuesday launched a cost estimator tool on HealthscoreCT.com, a new website for health care quality and cost information. The estimator tool was designed to aid people in their medical decisions and give them a better idea of how health care pricing and coverage work.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A day after the legislative session ended and still reeling from the defeat of a sweeping public option bill, lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont vowed in June to revive the health care overhaul next year. But as the General Assembly gets closer to reconvening, prospects for a resurrected public option measure are looking dim, and the debate around health care reform has shifted to cost containment, prescription drugs and reinsurance proposals that have bipartisan support. 

Ted Eytan / Creative Commons

Ten years ago around this time, U.S. legislators were in the middle of hashing out one of the biggest ever pieces of health care reform legislation. Democrats narrowly passed it, and President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March of 2010.

Looking back on the last decade, Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, health policy expert and professor emeritus at Washington and Lee University, said the ACA has accomplished a lot, but it’s also left a fragmented health system divided by private and public sectors.

Vaping306 / Creative Commons

A Connecticut resident has died from lung illness related to vaping, state officials announced Thursday. It’s the first fatality of its kind in the state and among a growing number of people who are dying in a nationwide outbreak of cases.

The patient was between 30 and 39 years old and died last week while being hospitalized for multiple medical conditions, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Chris Fifield-Smith / Creative Commons

A third Connecticut resident has died from EEE, and another person has been diagnosed with the illness, state officials announced Tuesday.

Dr. Matthew Cartter, state epidemiologist of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement that a person from East Haddam between 60 and 69 years old died during the third week of September from the mosquito-borne illness.

Courtesy: Live Well

About 75,000 people in Connecticut live with dementia. And in a stage production in Hartford, five of them are telling their stories. To Whom I May Concern is a readers-theater style performance – and part of an effort to invite those living with cognitive change to educate others about what they’re experiencing. 

TBEC Review / Wikimedia Commons

Doctors and public health officials are still trying to figure out the cause behind more than 800 lung injuries related to vaping that have been reported in the U.S. in recent months.

At the same time, there is a longer-term public health crisis as more and more young people have become addicted to nicotine through e-cigarette use -- despite decades of declining traditional cigarette use among teens. 

This hour, we talk about these two public health crises. Do you vape nicotine products like Juul, or maybe use THC cartridges or vape pens from a dispensary? Has the current outbreak in lung injuries changed your vaping habits?

A new set of analyses published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine challenges the widespread recommendations to cut back on red and processed meats.

RYAN CARON KING / Connecticut Public Radio

A Superior Court judge has dismissed a parents’ lawsuit against the Connecticut Department of Public Health over the release of school-level vaccination data.

Brian and Kristen Festa, of Bristol, challenged DPH’s decision to release school-by-school vaccination data in May. The report also included the percentage of kids with religious and medical exemptions at each school.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

 

Gov. Ned Lamont held a private meeting at his residence in Hartford Wednesday with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to discuss policy and plans around transportation, cybersecurity, economic ventures, marijuana regulation and more.

High up on the list of concerns shared by the two governors is the nationwide outbreak of serious lung illnesses that may be related to vaping.

Stephen Ausmus / U.S. Department of Agriculture

A second person in Connecticut has died from Eastern equine encephalitis, a virus passed on from mosquitos, said state officials Tuesday.

According to the state Department of Public Health, the victim was an adult resident of Old Lyme who became ill during the second week of September and later tested positive for the rare mosquito-borne illness.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

A phone conversation between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine about former Vice President Joe Biden has sparked outrage from some U.S. lawmakers and amplified calls for Trump’s impeachment. This hour, Connecticut U.S. Rep. Jim Himes joins us to weigh in on this unfolding situation. 

Philippe Put / CreativeCommons.org

Women in America die more frequently from complications of childbirth than in any other industrialized nation in the world. In addition, women of color are three to four times more likely to die than white women. And over the last 25 years that the maternal mortality was rising in America, other countries were decreasing their rate. 

Vaping360 / Creative Commons


The number of people becoming ill with lung injuries possibly linked to vaping continues to climb as states like Connecticut report more hospitalizations.

Two more cases of serious lung illness have been reported in the state, bringing the total to 13 people. That’s according to the Department of Public Health. That news follows an increase in cases nationwide.

In the first three months after getting his Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, Ric Peralta managed to reduce his average blood sugar level by three percentage points.

"It took me from not-very-well-managed blood sugar to something that was incredibly well managed," says Peralta, a 46-year-old optician in Whittier, Calif., who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008.

UConn Health

Dr. Natalie Moore was keeping an eye on the news leading up to Labor Day weekend — experts were tracking Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that was headed for the Caribbean and the Florida coast.

Shona Na / Creative Commons

Connecticut has confirmed the first human case of Eastern equine encephalitis in the state since 2013, health officials announced Monday.

State Department of Public Health experts said that an adult from East Lyme tested positive for the virus, which is usually transmitted from infected mosquitoes. The resident became ill during the last week of August and remains hospitalized.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and other state leaders promised Monday they would back efforts to eliminate the state’s religious exemption for mandatory childhood vaccinations in order to preserve immunization levels and prevent disease outbreaks.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s 3rd District Representative Rosa DeLauro is calling for all e-cigarettes and vaping products to be taken off the market as concern grows about a mystery respiratory illness linked to their use. 

Matthew Lotz / U.S. Air Force

After months of prodding by lawmakers to take a stance on repealing Connecticut’s religious exemption from vaccines, state Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell is expected to announce Monday that she is supporting the rollback. 

The state auditor is criticizing the Massachusetts public health department for taking too long to investigate elder abuse claims at nursing homes.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state is weighing its options on how to hold a Stamford-based pharmaceutical company accountable for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis. But if money ever does come to Connecticut from a potential settlement with Purdue Pharma, addiction recovery advocates have plenty of ideas on how it could be spent.

Vaping360 / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s commissioner of public health is now urging consumers not to use any e-cigarette or vaping products, as a mystery illness linked to vaping continues to spread.

Renée Coleman-Mitchell said her department has learned of six more patients hospitalized for severe lung disease, bringing the total number of potentially vaping-related cases in the state to 11. 

Naturegirl 78 / Creative Commons

Public health officials are warning Connecticut residents that they should take extra precautions to avoid the risk of contracting the eastern equine encephalitis virus from a mosquito bite.

The state Department of Public Health issued an advisory Wednesday urging people to limit their time outside between sunset and sunrise while the virus, also known as EEE, continues to pose a threat in the Northeast region of the country.

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) now says it will reopen certain medical deferred action cases, including for a number of Boston-area immigrants who previously received denial letters.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous week in which federal agencies contradicted one another and severely ill patients feared a total end to the humanitarian process that allows immigrants to remain longer in the U.S. while they receive medical treatment.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Brian and Kristen Festa, of Bristol, sat beside their attorney in Hartford Superior Court Monday as they fought to advance their lawsuit against the state Department of Public Health over the release of school vaccination data.

Monday’s hearing centered around the state’s motion to dismiss the entire case. 

Vaping360 / Creative Commons

Three more Connecticut residents were hospitalized for severe lung disease that is possibly related to vaping.

The announcement Friday by the state Department of Public Health brings the total number of cases to five people. State officials are working with federal agencies including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate a surge of severe respiratory illnesses across the country.

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