Health

Affordable Care Act
8:42 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Numbers Of Americans With Health Plans Way Up, But States Vary

Arkansas, Kentucky, Delaware and Colorado have all seen significant increases since 2013 in the percentage of residents who have health insurance.
Vectoraart/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 9:47 am

A Gallup poll released Tuesday suggests the Affordable Care Act is significantly increasing the number of Americans with health insurance, especially in states that are embracing it. It echoes previous Gallup surveys, and similar findings by the Urban Institute and Rand Corp.

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Ebola
6:28 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Is A Global Health Emergency, WHO Says

A nurse helps a health worker put on protective gear before treating Ebola patients at a clinic in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, in July.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 5:52 pm

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa won't be stopped until front-line health workers get more support, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said Friday at a news conference in Geneva.

After a unanimous vote by a committee of public health and risk management experts, the WHO decided to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency.

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Migrant Youth
3:32 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Trauma Plagues Many Immigrant Kids In U.S. Illegally

A young immigrant caught crossing the border illegally is housed inside the McAllen Border Patrol Station in McAllen, Texas, last month.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 11:15 am

Many of the Central American children who have entered the U.S illegally in recent months have come with a heavy burden — a history of hardship and violence. And many of the children now face difficult and uncertain futures.

This has social service agencies around the country scrambling to figure out how to help the more than 30,000 unaccompanied minors who have been placed with family and friends since January, as they await their immigration hearings.

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YouthBuild
1:17 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Hartford Organizations Get $2.2 Million to Help At-Risk Youth

Anibal Torres, participant in a YouthBuild program in California.
Credit U.S. Department of Labor

Two Connecticut organizations are sharing $2.2 million in federal funds to help youth who have been in trouble with the law or dropped out of school. 

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Ebola
11:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Cambridge Biotech Company Asks Feds For OK On New Ebola Drug

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 11:37 am

A Cambridge-based biotech company is seeking approval from federal regulators to use its experimental medication on patients brought to the United States for treatment after being infected in West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak.

Sarepta Therapeutics says if given approval, the firm will, within a few months, have enough of the injectible drug — AVI-75370 — for up to 125 patients.

The drug aims to stop the virus from replicating, allowing the body to fight it off.

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Affordable Care Act
3:37 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

State Says Obamacare Has Cut Uninsured Rate By Half

Gov. Dannel Malloy discusses new data on rates of people without health insurance in the state.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

More than half of the state residents who signed up for new insurance under the Affordable Care Act didn't have insurance beforehand. That's according to new data released Wednesday by Access Health CT -- the state's health insurance marketplace. 

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Lyme Disease
1:30 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Blumenthal Announces Grant for Lyme Disease Testing

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, at right, reviews an intake questionnaire in 2011 at the Western Connecticut Health Network Lyme Disease Registry, alongside Amber Butler and Ramin Ahmadi (file photo).
Credit WCHN / Facebook

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal announced on Wednesday a $600,000 federal grant to improve testing for Lyme disease.

The Connecticut Democrat made the announcement in Danbury alongside researchers from Western Connecticut Biomedical Research Institute and the Seattle-based RareCyte, Inc. 

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Maternal Infant Outreach
9:13 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Hartford Hospital Cuts Funding to Program for New Mothers

Credit George Ruiz / Flickr

The city of Hartford and two hospitals jointly fund a program to check in on new mothers and their infants in their homes. The goal is to reduce infant mortality rates. But one of those hospitals has told the city it is pulling out. 

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Ebola
9:47 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Liberian Natives Are Working To Fight Ebola Outbreak From Boston

People working for a petroleum company take part in an Ebola awareness campaign in Liberia on Monday. (Abbas Dulleh/AP)

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:20 pm

In Boston, some natives of Liberia are working to improve sanitation conditions and train health workers on the ground in their homeland, as the country and two of its neighbors battle a deadly Ebola outbreak.

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Health Insurance
2:56 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Health Law Calls For Automatic Enrollment Of Some Workers

When is no choice a good choice?
endopack/iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 4:28 pm

Newly hired employees who don't sign up for health insurance on the job could have it done for them under a health law provision that may take effect as early as next year.

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Disease
11:30 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Why U.S. Hospitals Are Testing People For Ebola Virus

Television trucks converged on Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Monday after it announced that it was screening a patient for Ebola virus.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 12:21 pm

If you show up at a hospital emergency department with a high fever and you just happen to have been traveling in Africa, don't be surprised if you get a lot of attention.

Hospitals are on the lookout for people with symptoms such as a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea who had been traveling in parts of West Africa affected by Ebola, following instructions from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, New York's Mount Sinai Hospital announced that it was evaluating a patient who had recently been in West Africa.

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Hot Cars
3:05 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

"Look Before You Lock" Effort Launched

State officials are bringing attention to the problem of children left alone in hot cars.
Credit Miki Yoshihito / Creative Commons

A campaign to raise awareness about the problem of leaving children alone in hot cars is being launched in Connecticut, weeks after the death of a Ridgefield toddler. 

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Ebola
12:18 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Doctor With Ebola Is Improving, As Nigeria Reports Second Case

Dr. Kent Brantly, of Fort Worth, Texas, was treating Ebola patients in Monrovia, Liberia, when he himself became infected with the virus.
Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 1:11 pm

He didn't need a stretcher — not even an arm around his shoulder.

Kent Brantly, of Fort Worth, Texas, is the first person to be treated for Ebola on American soil. The 33-year-old family doctor surprised everyone Saturday when he walked out of an ambulance and into an Atlanta hospital.

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Designing for Health
10:28 am
Mon August 4, 2014

One Step To Combat Obesity: Make Stairs More Attractive

TK
Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:12 pm

If there's a single invention that helped shape New York City, literally, it might be the elevator. Along with steel frame construction, the elevator allowed New York City to grow up.

But according to architect David Burney, former New York City commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, it's time to celebrate the steps.

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Maternity
8:24 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Breast-Feeding Is Still Difficult For Many Moms

Amber Medel weighs her 3-week-old baby, Elijah, as lactation consultant Carol Chamblin takes note. Medel had problems breast-feeding and Chamblin encouraged her to use a breast pump to get the milk flowing more easily.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 10:19 am

When Elizabeth O'Connell was expecting her first child, she knew she wanted to breast-feed. And, she says, she sort of expected it to just happen, naturally.

That's not quite how it panned out. "I was experiencing very tremendous pain," she says.

At first she figured that was normal — but soon it became too much to handle. "I was devastated," she says. "The reality is nursing is a wonderful bonding experience, but when you're in pain, you aren't really thinking about that."

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Ebola
7:03 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Why Treating Ebola With An Experimental Serum Might Help

In 1995, amid an Ebola outbreak, Zairian Red Cross personnel picked up sick people and bodies left on the streets of Kikwit, 250 miles from the capital Kinshasa.
Jean-Marc Bouju AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:23 am

Last week we learned that two Americans working in Liberia for a medical charity, Samaritan's Purse, were among those who had contracted Ebola. When their symptoms took a turn for the worse, the organization announced that the two were going to get experimental treatments. One was going to get a blood transfusion from a 14-year-old boy who recovered from the disease, the organization said; the other was to get an "experimental serum." What's that?

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Veterans
6:23 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Veterans Groups Sue VA Over Disability Claims Process

Credit Kuzma/iStock / Thinkstock

Two veterans groups have sued the federal VA for a policy they say discriminates against thousands of veterans with PTSD who endured rape, sexual assault or harassment during their service. 

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immunization awareness
2:01 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Doctor Advises Not to Avoid Vaccines

Credit United States Army Corps Of Engineers

Doctor Ulysses Wu, the chief of infectious diseases at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, said there are lot of things out there that can kill us. "Diptheria," he said, "tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilous influenzae, pneumococus, meningicocus..." 

Wu said immunizations against those diseases are one of the greatest advances in medical science known to mankind. 

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Data on Violence
1:57 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

New Data Released on Intimate Partner Violence in Connecticut

Credit Thinkstock

On average, 14 people die each year in Connecticut as a result of intimate partner violence. There have been 188 intimate partner homicides in the state since the year 2000.

These are among the statistics in this year's annual report by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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Health Equity
3:49 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Obamacare, Doctor Pay, and the Access to Care

Dr. Doug Gerard in his New Hartford office.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Affordable Care Act is about insuring the uninsured. Insurance is one thing, but actual access to a doctor or a provider is another.

One variable plays an important role in determining the quality of care that patients will get: how much doctors are paid. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:59 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Dreamland, a Cruise Through the Science of Sleep

Credit Jonf728/flickr creative commons

Science still can't say for sure why we need sleep, though we spend a third of our lives asleep, or trying to sleep. Those trying to sleep include the millions who have some sort of sleep issue, from insomnia to over-sleeping.

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Affordable Care Act
4:44 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Federal Courts Weigh in on Obamacare Subsidies

Credit jwblinn/iStock / Thinkstock

Should the federal government help Americans pay for their new health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act? That's a question being tackled in courts across the country. Two of them have issued very different rulings. 

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Education and Health
5:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

High-Performing Charter Schools May Improve Students' Health

Researchers are just starting to look at how school choice affects health.
romester/iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:47 pm

Many people are intensely interested in how publicly funded charter schools affect children, and that includes not just their academic achievement but their health.

Researchers from UCLA and the Rand Corp. wanted to know whether attending a high-performing charter school reduced the rates of risky health behaviors among low-income minority teenagers.

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Vaccinations
11:27 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Vaccines Stored at Improper Temperatures Across Connecticut

The affected vaccines were stored in a malfunctioning refrigerator.
Credit Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

The Hartford HealthCare Medical Group is contacting patients who may have received vaccines that were not stored at the proper temperature.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri July 18, 2014

The Modern Age of Science; Connecticut Bull Osborndale Ivanhoe

Horia Varlan
Horia Varlan Creative Commons

Back in March, a team of Harvard scientists claimed to have found the first direct evidence of gravity waves from the Big Bang. Within a matter of hours, their story had made its way around the Internet, spreading across blogs, news sites, and social media.

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Laboratories
3:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Head Scientist At CDC Weighs Costs Of Recent Lab Safety Breaches

The CDC's director, Tom Frieden, testified before a congressional subcommittee Wednesday regarding a recent anthrax incident and lab safety improvements he is instituting.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:40 am

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the hot seat.

It all started in mid-June, when the CDC announced that dozens of its scientists might have accidentally been exposed to anthrax.

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Transgender Teen
8:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Transgender Community Watching Connecticut's Jane Doe Case

Supporters of Jane Doe rallied in Hartford last spring.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

The transgender community has been watching Connecticut and its handling of a 16-year-old transgender girl, who's in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

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Medicine
3:17 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Medical Marijuana to Become Available Later This Summer

Various strains of medical marijuana.
Credit AudioVision / Creative Commons

Later this summer, medical marijuana will become legally available to patients in Connecticut.  

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Health Insurance
10:35 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Most Employers See A Benefit In Covering Contraceptives

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:32 am

Despite questions raised by the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses.

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Mental Health
3:30 am
Tue July 15, 2014

When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:13 am

In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.

Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.

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