Coming Home Project
4:58 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

VA Gives Gun Locks To Veterans To Prevent Suicides

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Every day an estimated twenty-two veterans kill themselves in the U.S. and most of them will use a gun to do so according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This trend mirrors the general population where more people kill themselves with guns than with all other methods combined. The VA is trying to help with a program that offers gun locks to veterans for free. The thinking is that if they lock their guns up they might not reach for them in the spur of the moment. 

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New Study
4:03 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Salt Could Be Behind Rise In Autoimmune Diseases

Dr. David Hafler is chairman of Yale's Department of Neurology. He's been studying multiple sclerosis for several decades. His lab looks at T-cells known as "helper cells," which are meant to assist the immune system, but do the opposite in diseases like Type 1 diabetes. He says the cells went wild when they removed them from blood and added salt: "The surprise of the study was the degree to which salt could induce as much inflammation both in the mouse and in vitro."

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Where We Live
10:44 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Population Demographics: Have More Babies?

Parker Knight, Creative Commons

So, if there are now 7 billion people in the world, how can we possibly need to have MORE babies?

Well, the truth is, today, deaths outnumber births in more than a dozen countries, and another 24 will see population decline by mid century.

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Where We Live
10:24 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Hyper-Local Aid To Africa

Chion Wolf

The idea ‘For what you pay to feed your cat, you can save lives in my country.’ That...set a fire under Quinnipiac Professor Dennis Richardson.

He works in remote villages in Cameroon to aid a community of about 1,000 people.

On the opposite side of Africa, student and faculty of the University of Hartford are helping remote farmers create sustainable agriculture businesses in rural Kenya.

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Starving For Change
8:21 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Stigmatizing "Food Addicts"

Chickadeeacres on Flickr Creative Commons

In the first studies to examine what the public thinks about people with an addiction to food, researchers at Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, found that while those with food addiction are viewed more favorably than those with other addictive behaviors, labeling obese persons as addicts further stigmatizes them.

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Coming Home Project
6:12 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Clifford Beers Clinic to Help Military Families

Courtesy of Clifford Beers Clinic

A New Haven mental health clinic has received a federal grant to help the children of military families. The clinic aims to use the funding to fill a gap that exists in the VA health care system.

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Where We Live
8:18 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Assisted Outpatient Treatment Laws on Flickr Creative Commons

The Sandy Hook shootings have resulted in a special bipartisan task force of the Connecticut legislature.  Last week’s public hearing dealt with recommendations to enhance school safety.  Today’s lengthy hearing is about reducing gun violence, and tomorrow they’ll talk about increasing access to mental health care.

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Where we Live
1:40 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Treating Trauma Before It Hurts

Kortunov on Flickr Creative Commons

After Newtown, school nurses and teachers have been asking for training to identify the early signs of trauma in children. The Child Health and Development Institute held two training sessions last week for school personnel in Connecticut with several more planned in the following weeks. 

Joining us this morning is Dr. Robert Franks, a trauma expert and Vice-President of The Child Health and Development Institute.

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Where We Live
10:41 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Providing Healthcare in Rural Communities

Chion Wolf

There are plenty of roadblocks to healthcare, especially if you’re without insurance and money. But for many Americans, just finding a doctor can be difficult.

Although nearly a quarter of the U.S. population lives in rural communities, only a one in ten physicians practice there....they have only a third as many specialists as cities. The population’s smokes more...and suffers from more accidental deaths.

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Where We Live
10:59 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Feeding Our Children

TJ Hanton (Flickr Creative Commons)

According to Children’s HealthWatch, in 2010, there were 48.8 million Americans who lived in households that were food insecure, including 16.2 million children.

But in a nation suffering from an obesity epidemic, is hunger really the problem? Experts tell us that yes, while obese kids are not all hungry, many of the most malnourished are obese.

But, as the richest state in the nation, how can Connecticut really have that many hungry kids?

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Coming Home Project
4:22 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Formerly Homeless, An Army Vet Prepares for Christmas

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

It's been five months since 16 homeless veterans moved into permanent supportive housing thanks to the American Legion Post in southeastern Connecticut. The Jewett City Post renovated its own building to create the apartments. The project was funding by the federal VA with help from private donations, Second district Congressman Joe Courtney, and the state of Connecticut.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:44 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

The State of Mental Health Care in Connecticut

Chion Wolf

I'm not a big fan of getting ready to fight the previous war. Our next crisis will not be Adam Lanza. It will not be an exact replica of the facts of his life, not that we know those for sure yet. (I would say, parenthetically, that the worldwide rush to diagnose Lanza makes me massively uncomfortable.)

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Coming Home Project
5:42 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Suicide 'Epidemic' Among Active Duty Military and Veterans

Photo courtesy of

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called on military leaders to explore a "epidemic" of suicide among active duty servicemembers and veterans. Each day, 18 veterans kill themselves according to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. In Connecticut, 30 veterans have died this way since 2009, but those are only the suicides that the VA knows about.

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Economic Development
3:31 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Connecticut Health Council Launches

Today was the launch of something called the Connecticut Health Council. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the council's ultimate goal is to attract new healthcare industry jobs to the state.

The council will have meetings every six weeks or so to talk about topics in health care, and representatives from various areas within the industry are planning to take part. It's part education, part networking, and part Connecticut sell job.

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Less Reimbursements
11:10 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The "Doc Fix" Set To Expire


On December 31, doctors will experience a 30% decrease in reimbursements through Medicare and Tricare,  the federal programs that provide care for people over 65 years of age and active and retired members of the military, unless Congress acts to stop it.

In 1997, Congress created a formula that tied increases in physician payments from  Medicare and Tricare to economic growth, a formula that leaves a shortfall in payments to doctors when health care costs rise faster than the nation's economic growth. 

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Mandatory Shots
12:54 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Hospitals Prepare For The Flu

United States Army Corps Of Engineers

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this year's flu season is off to it's earliest start in nearly a decade. Many hospitals nationwide, including 19 in Connecticut, have implemented mandatory flu shots for it's workers. 

But, there has been some pushback from unions representing hospital workers, and at least a few workers have been fired for refusing to get the flu shot. 

Dr. Mary Reich Cooper, Vice-President and Chief Quality Officer at the Connecticut Hospital Association talks about it.

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Where We Live
11:42 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Living With The Mystery Of Our Death

Rebecca Dubell

Religious leaders get to oversee some of life’s happiest moments, but they’ve also seen enough death to last a lifetime.

They officiate funerals, bless graves, and provide comfort to those who are suffering loss.  So it makes sense that we expect them to have some kind of wisdom about death.  

But how do their experiences influence their views of their own mortality?

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Where We Live
10:27 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Cheers To Living To 100! Or... Forever?

dark_ghetto28, creative commons

Are there places where people just live longer?

We’ve been hearing about this phenomenon for years, but our guest today has proof.

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Child Health
4:15 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Study: Hartford Children Have High Rates of Obesity

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

A study of Hartford pre-school students shows that many of the city's young are obese by the time they are four or five years old. The study by UConn's Center for Public Health and Health Policy shows that Hartford has roughly the same rates of preschool obesity as other U.S. cities. Seventeen percent of the children measured classified as overweight; 20 percent of them qualified as obese. Both rates, though, are significantly higher than national averages.

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Where We Live
12:10 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Surviving Cancer


More people than ever are surviving after treatment for cancer, but sometimes living a life after cancer is almost as difficult as having the disease.

Many people expect that when their treatment for cancer is complete, they’ll go back to feeling the same as they did before they got sick.

Instead, survivors live with the lingering physical and emotional complications of the treatment that saved their lives.

But this is changing.

Programs are growing to meet the demands of survivors wanting more out of post-cancer life.

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Health Care
4:42 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

New Law Allows Non-Nurses to Administer Medications to Patients at Home

A new state law was just passed that will eventually give non-nurses the ability to give medications to poor and disabled patients living at home. The governor's bill lets trained home care aides -- who cost about half what nurses do -- administer medications. 

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Health Care
6:16 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Need for Primary Care Doctors Touches Community Health Centers, Too

With legal and political battles over the Affordable Care Act all but settled, it now appears that the health care overhaul law is here to stay. The goal of the law is to promise insurance coverage for more Americans and, if it works, increase access to care.

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Where We Live
10:41 am
Fri November 16, 2012

A Moment of Solitude

Natesh Ramasamy, Creative Commons

If Einstein was right that "The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind," why don’t more of us seek it out?

Sure, we all say we want a little “me time” or want to “get away from it all” but how often do we really spend time alone and quiet. Not just “unplugged” - an adjective that Einsten, Emerson and Thoreau never had to deal with - but truly engaged in a state of being by oneself.

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Where We Live
12:06 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Small Business Breakfast: Health Care

Chion Wolf

We get together a few times a year to talk about the issues that face small businesspeople in Connecticut.  And today's topic is Health Care.

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Health Care Regulation
10:40 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Regulating Pharmacies To Protect Public Health

Diane Orson

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro met Thursday in North Haven with public health officials and pharmacists.  She heard their views on how the federal government could better regulate compounding pharmacies. 

The fungal meningitis outbreak that infected more than 400 people and caused 31 deaths across the country has been traced to a pharmacy in Massachusetts.    

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Where We Live
11:12 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Medical Advertising: Educational or Promotional?

benjamin sTone (Flickr Creative Commons)

Driving on I-84 in Hartford, have you seen a billboard from Hartford Hospital. It's the one that asks, "What’s scarier -- a colonoscopy or cancer?"

What’s the point of an ad like that? Does it inform us? Does it freak us out?

Rexford Santerre is a finance professor and healthcare management at the UConn School of Business. He says the ultimate test would be to see whether advertising improves our health.

But that’s pretty hard to do. So here’s how economists think about it.

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Where We Live
12:52 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

A Patient-Centered Medical Home

Chion Wolf

The "patient-centered medical home" is a fairly new way of talking about what medical care used to be. The idea is that a patient has a primary care doctor who does more than just see them when they’re sick, but actually knows them, has all their records at hand, can suggest specialists, and most importantly, work with the patient on keeping him or herself healthy.

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Where We Live
10:52 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Sick and Tired from Sugar


Sugar is getting a lot of the blame these days for its role in obesity and other illness from heart disease to cancer.

We’ve been eating sugar for a long time, so, what’s changed?

According to the USDA, Americans now consume approximately 156 pounds of sugar, per person, per year--much of it hidden in the foods we eat, even when those foods don’t taste sweet.

Doctors say that willpower alone may not be enough to counter our love for sugar. Yeah, you heard right in that we eat about 156 pounds, per person, per year!!!

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Homemade Wine
6:40 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Capturing Summer's Harvest, One DIY Wine Bottle At A Time

Customers at a Hartford produce market, choosing grapes to turn into homemade wine.
Jeff Cohen NPR

If buying a local wine just isn't local enough for you, then you might consider joining the growing ranks of people making homemade wine this fall.

Some home winemakers make wine with friends for fun, some make wine with family for tradition; some make it "old school," adding nothing, and drink it by Christmas; others do it "new school," adding preservatives, and wait a year or more to bottle.

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Public Health
3:09 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

City Concerned About, and Testing for, Hepatitis C

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Hartford public health officials say they are concerned with new data on Hepatitis C in the city. The numbers show ten to 20 cases a month of people newly-diagnosed with a chronic form of the disease. The city is using computer mapping to help it better target, test, and treat its residents. 

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