Health

Insurance Reimbursement
9:22 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Five Connecticut Hospitals Leave Anthem Network in Pay Dispute

Hartford Hospital is one of the five that is now out-of-network for Anthem customers
Credit Elipongo / Creative Commons

Five Connecticut hospitals have left the network of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, after they failed to reach an agreement with the insurer. 

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Disease
6:11 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

First U.S. Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Dallas

A patient at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has a confirmed case of Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. He is being treated and kept in strict isolation.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 9:27 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.

A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:32 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Smart Living: It Makes Sense To Plan for a Cancer Diagnosis

Credit Jeff Turner/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Whether it's you or someone you know, why can't we be prepared to take certain actions if we're diagnosed with cancer? We prepare for retirement, for funerals, for wills—isn't it wise to have as much information as possible for ourselves and people we care about, should we face the challenge?

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Disease
2:16 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

12 Cases of Enterovirus Confirmed in Connecticut

Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
C-HIT

The Connecticut Department of Health announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed twelve cases of enterovirus D68 in the state. The most recent confirmation came from cases at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. The virus causes breathing problems but nationally, there are some cases that have other troubling symptoms, as well.

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Rural Communities
12:07 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Task Force Tackles Opiate Addiction in Litchfield County

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington.

Earlier this year, the heroin epidemic in this country was front and center. It's not in the headlines anymore, but that doesn't mean the problem of opioid addiction, fueled by abusing prescription drugs or heroin, has gone away.

Torrington received a lot of attention for the number of overdose deaths there in 2013.  Late last year, community stakeholders came together to form the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force. One of the task force's biggest initiatives to combat the problem throughout the entire county was the creation of a community case manager to work at the local hospital.

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Ebola Outbreak
1:09 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

The Experts The Ebola Response May Need: Anthropologists

In Sierra Leone, a burial team from the government carries the coffin of an Ebola doctor who succumbed to the virus. Funerals and other expressions of mourning are key moments for anthropologists to translate between native cultures and foreign aid efforts, anthropologist Ann Kelly says.
Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 4:33 pm

As the Ebola outbreak gains steam, experts continue to deploy to the region.

Teams from Doctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization, the U.S. military and others are in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia assembling treatment centers and fighting the deadly virus.

There's one group of experts missing from the picture, says Ann Kelly, senior lecturer at the University of Exeter: anthropologists.

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Genetics
11:08 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Who Should Get a Genetic Test for Breast Cancer?

Credit Huntstock / Thinkstock

Historically, doctors recommended genetic screenings in certain women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. This month, Mary-Claire King, an influential the geneticist who discovered links between a gene called BRCA1 and breast cancer, said doctors need to offer genetic tests to all women 30 and older.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

America: The "No-Vacation Nation"?

One in four Americans gets no paid time off.
Krystal International Vacation Club Creative Commons

Research shows that using your vacation time can have some major benefits. For one, it’s better for productivity, and -- as one study shows -- it can even be better for your health. But are Americans taking enough time off, or are we really a "no-vacation nation"? 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

A Tribute to Twins!

Identical twins Lucy & Layla with their father, Roger, who is also an identical twin.
Credit Courtesy of The Defining Photo

Identical twins are just like us - and then they're not! From Ann Landers and Dear Abbey, from the Castro brothers, one of whom might be our first identical twin president one day, carbon-copy twins live lives that the rest of us cannot fathom.

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Ebola
7:02 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Dire Predictions On Ebola's Spread From Top Health Organizations

A World Health Organization worker trains nurses how to use Ebola protective gear in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Michael Duff AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 8:55 pm

Two of the world's top health organizations released predictions Tuesday warning how bad the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could get.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization agree that the epidemic is speeding up. But the CDC's worst-case scenario is a jaw-dropper: If interventions don't start working soon, as many as 1.4 million people could be infected by Jan. 20, the agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Hospitals
10:46 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Avoid The Rush! Some ERs Are Taking Appointments

Michael Granillo and his wife Sonia await treatment at an emergency room in Northridge, Calif.
Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 12:19 pm

Three times in one week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo returned to the emergency room of the Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Southern California, seeking relief from intense back pain. Each time, Granillo waited a little while and then left the ER without ever being seen by a doctor.

"I was in so much pain, I wanted to be taken care of 'now,' " says Granillo. "I didn't want to sit and wait."

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Mental Health
2:20 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You

Keith Negley for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 8:21 am

Chronic stress is hazardous to health and can lead to early death from heart disease, cancer and of other health problems. But it turns out it doesn't matter whether the stress comes from major events in life or from minor problems. Both can be deadly.

And it may be that it's not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it's how you react to the smaller, everyday stress.

The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years.

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Altruism
3:32 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Biology Of Altruism: Good Deeds May Be Rooted In The Brain

Rob Donnelly for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:55 am

Four years ago, Angela Stimpson agreed to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.

"The only thing I knew about my recipient was that she was a female and she lived in Bakersfield, Calif.," Stimpson says.

It was a true act of altruism — Stimpson risked pain and suffering to help another. So why did she do it? It involved major surgery, her donation was anonymous, and she wasn't paid.

"At that time in my life, I was 42 years old. I was single, I had no children," Stimpson says. "I loved my life, but I would often question what my purpose is."

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Code Switch
11:47 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Is Corporal Punishment Abuse? Why That's A Loaded Question

Adrian Peterson (right) was ordered to stay away from his team, the Minnesota Vikings, while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 1:10 pm

Over the past week, Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings' all-world running back and one of the NFL's biggest stars, has become the face of corporal punishment in America. Peterson turned himself in to police over the weekend on charges of child abuse after he allegedly hit his son with a switch that left welts on his body.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Leveling the Playing Field on Education and Health Care

Leveling the Playing Field panel, University of Hartford
Lorraine Greenfield

All this week, the University of Hartford has hosted events marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs have been designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “what can we do now?”

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Parenting
3:37 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

If a child feels like the odd person out, it could mean more problems in the teenage years, psychologists say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 5:32 pm

We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you're thinking it's not you.

But does that really make a difference? It can, researchers say, but not always the way you might think.

Less-favored children are more likely to be using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as teenagers, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.

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Newborn Health
2:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Listen: For Connecticut Parents in Distress, a Safe Haven

Kelly Pabilonia
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

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Storm Preparedness
2:09 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Connecticut Hospitals Struggled During Sandy

Credit scantaur/iStock / Thinkstock

A new federal report finds hospitals in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey were not prepared to meet the challenges of Superstorm Sandy. 

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Ebola
8:47 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Will Obama's Plan Bring The Ebola Outbreak Under Control?

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:50 pm

It is the biggest anti-Ebola effort yet.

After months of calls by aid workers for the global community to do something about the escalating crisis, President Obama has announced plans for a massive international intervention.

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Vermont
7:56 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Governor Temporarily Pulls Plug On Troubled Health Care Exchange

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:31 pm

Vermont’s online connection to its health care exchange has been temporarily disconnected. The governor pulled the plug Monday night to fix persistent problems.

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Cities
12:09 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Yale's Rudd Center Plans Major Move to Downtown Hartford

Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford, where the Rudd Center is moving January 1.
Henk Sijgers Creative Commons

A nationally recognized research center dedicated to food policy and issues of obesity will leave Yale University at the end of the year and partner with the University of Connecticut.

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Disease
8:18 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Children Treated for Respiratory Virus in Hartford

Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
Credit C-HIT

Officials at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford said they're treating children with symptoms similar to those of a serious respiratory illness suspected of sickening dozens of boys and girls in at least 12 other states. 

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Public Health
5:36 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Newly Crowned Miss America Felt Helpless Against Domestic Violence

Several contestants in this year's Miss America pageant chose domestic violence as their platform topic.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:09 am

Update at 11:50 p.m. EDT

This year's Miss America competition has involved lots of satin and some excellent ventriloquism by Miss Ohio. But it has also involved a public health issue that's been in the headlines over the past week: domestic violence.

And it's not just because it's in the news. Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev — who was crowned Miss America 2015 in Sunday's ceremony — was in an abusive relationship during college.

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Brain Science
1:32 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Some Things You Can Do In Your Sleep, Literally

After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep.
Courtesy of Current Biology, Kouider et al.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:23 am

For those who find themselves sleeping through work — you may one day find yourself working through sleep.

People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions, according to a study by researchers in France. They think this may help explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.

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Medical Education
11:32 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Mentoring Program Works to Attract More Young, Black Nurses

A mentoring program in Connecticut aims to attract more young African Americans to nursing. Pictured is College of DuPage Nursing student Monashay Pertee.
College of DuPage

A mentoring program in Northern Connecticut is working to get more African Americans interested in nursing.

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Research Funding
5:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

When Scientists Give Up

Randen Patterson left a research career in physiology at U.C. Davis when funding got too tight. He now owns a grocery store in Guinda, Calif.
Max Whittaker/Prime for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 3:29 pm

Ian Glomski thought he was going to make a difference in the fight to protect people from deadly anthrax germs. He had done everything right — attended one top university, landed an assistant professorship at another.

But Glomski ran head-on into an unpleasant reality: These days, the scramble for money to conduct research has become stultifying.

So, he's giving up on science.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:59 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Napping at Work Makes Employees More Productive

Credit Takashi Hososhima/flickr creative commons

Studies show that power naps at work make us more productive. At the software giant Google's headquarters, employees are actually invited to nap in an area set up for this purpose.

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Ebola
8:11 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut Doctor Fighting Ebola Outbreak: "It's a Terrible Way to Die"

A 19 year old woman fully recovered from Ebola kisses her baby outside a Doctors Without Borders Clinic in Sierra Leone.
P.K. Lee Medecins Sans Frontieres

A doctor from Southern Connecticut State University is sharing what he saw while spending time in Africa fighting the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

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Ebola Outbreak
3:56 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

U.S. Doctor Didn't Treat Ebola Patients Yet Still Caught The Virus

Dr. Rick Sacra, who had worked in Liberia in previous years, went back in August to tend to pregnant women and to children. The 51-year-old Massachusetts family physician is the third American to contract the Ebola virus.
Courtesy of SIM

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:49 pm

Christian aid group SIM has identified the third American to catch the disease as Dr. Rick Sacra.

The 51-year-old family physician from Massachusetts has been working on and off in Liberia with his wife, Debbie, since 1995. He joined SIM in the late '80s and between 2008 and 2010 was the acting medical director at the group's ELWA Hospital in Monrovia. He had previously served as the group's Liberia director for several years.

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Law Enforcement
1:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

New Training Helps State Troopers Save Lives

Tourniquets and gauze can help to stop severe bleeding quickly.
Defense Imagery Management Operations Center U.S. Department of Defense

Connecticut state troopers say new training they've received on how to prevent death by controlling early bleeding from major injuries has helped to save lives.

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