Health

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NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock said law enforcement and African-American communities need to come together to talk about their concerns to help ease tensions, but lawmakers must also address aggressive policing nationwide.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

There's a bill in Congress that could expand a unique legal-medical partnership in Connecticut to the rest of the country. 

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 A group of doctors, scientists, and engineers announced an ambitious new medical goal this week in Hartford: they'll attempt to re-generate a human knee and a human limb. 

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It's not uncommon to see someone wearing a prosthesis, especially after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent many veterans home minus a limb. While losing a limb is a life-changing event, a good prosthetist can "carve" a prosthesis with just the right fit. It's a long process that can take years to perfect. 

Limbs today vary from simple body-powered prostheses moved by cables to a "fully robotic arm that has 26 joints, can curl 45 pounds and is controlled by the wearer's mind." As the stigma of a prosthesis lessens, amputees are seeking enhancement over replacement, opting for limbs that transcend what's biologically possible, even if lacking the aesthetic of a natural limb.

Mark Tardie On the Importance of Showing Up for Treatment

Nov 12, 2015
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On average, around seven percent of pancreatic cancer patients survive five years. Mark Tardie has been cancer-free for 12.

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Health insurance co-ops are companies that were given federal incentives to compete for business under the Affordable Care Act. Roughly two dozen of them set up shop across the country. Now, only half are still in business, and one of them is in Connecticut. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut has received national attention for juvenile justice reforms, like its efforts to reduce the number of kids in the system. But advocates say a black eye remains.

For years, critics of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School have called on lawmakers to close the facility for delinquent boys, saying youth -- especially with a history of trauma -- aren't being helped. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing in Hartford’s downtown library, Salvatore Pinna was over the moon. He met a woman. Life could not be sweeter.

The last time we checked on Pinna, he’d just moved into a Hartford apartment after some 20 years on the street – some of that time, literally on the street. 

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Governor Dannel Malloy is encouraging the state to consider raising the age at which criminal offenders can be treated as juveniles.

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When Kim Czepiga was diagnosed with breast cancer, she found that gaining knowledge was the best way to feel control over the situation.

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President Obama spoke with frustration last month at a press conference after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

He asked if anybody really still believes we need more guns and fewer gun safety laws.

Mass shootings are a big problem, but the majority of gun deaths are from homicide, accidental shootings, and suicide. The common denominator in all of them is easy access to guns.

Courtesy of Access Health CT

The third year of health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is here. But the goal now isn’t just increasing the number of people with insurance. It’s also making sure they go to the doctor. 

Connecticut's health insurance marketplace is providing a checklist of materials people need in order to purchase coverage through the exchange.

For decades, African-American women have been less likely to get breast cancer than white women, but that health advantage has now all but disappeared.

"For a while we've seen the increase in black women and stable rates in white women," says Carol DeSantis, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who led the study. "Even though we'd seen the trend," she says, "it's sort of shocking."

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Early in his battle with lung cancer, Bob Amendola had a conversation with his nurse that has stuck with him ever since.

Jill Stewart flickr.com/photos/nobodyneedstoknow/3972438599 / Creative Commons

A bipartisan working group met for the first time Tuesday to look at the danger presented to children who are exposed to second-hand smoke while riding in a car. 

Penn State flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/9661553955 / Creative Commons

Cancer that spreads to the brain often results in a terminal diagnosis, but new research out of Yale University School of Medicine says that's not always the case and is pointing toward an even more promising future for genetic testing and personalized medicine.

Are OB-GYN Well Visits Short-Changing Women?

Oct 26, 2015
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During their childbearing years, many women view their obstetrician-gynecologists as primary care physicians, seeing them for preventive health care as well as for reproductive-related issues.

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Whole Foods Market has recalled curry chicken salad and deli pasta salad sold in its stores in seven Northeast states because of possible listeria contamination. 

Gerard Campion On Enjoying Life After Cancer Diagnosis

Oct 22, 2015
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In 2006, Gerard Campion was diagnosed with male breast cancer. Although his cancer was detected early and he underwent treatment, Campion was diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 breast cancer in 2011.  

Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

Oct 22, 2015
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Humans are used to being the predator, not the prey. But when it comes to our relationship with bed bugs - well, these little critters have been making a meal of us for thousands of years.

Rhoda Baer / National Cancer Institute/Creative Commons

The American Cancer Society changed its recommendation for how often women should get mammograms. The new guidelines push back the recommended age for annual mammograms for most women from age 40 to 45. Some experts say the change is warranted and data-driven, while others say it'll lead to possible delays in detecting breast cancer. 

And Planned Parenthood is no stranger to headlines. Last month a heated exchange in Congress over de-funding the women’s health care agency, an effort that failed to pass the U.S. Senate. A highly edited sting video showed Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donations as impetus for the de-funding efforts. Some argue that tax dollars shouldn’t be spent on an organization that so many find objectionable in nature. 

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Connecticut’s students score well overall on standardized tests. But lower-income minority students in urban areas continue to lag behind their classmates. 

OK, When Am I Supposed To Get A Mammogram?

Oct 20, 2015

If you're confused about when to start getting mammograms and how often you should be getting them, you're not alone. The very organizations that are responsible for telling us when and how often to get those screenings don't agree.

More and more schools are trying to serve meals with food that was grown nearby. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released some statistics documenting the trend.

Rhode Island Researchers Get $2M For Tick Study

Oct 20, 2015

A tick researcher at the University of Rhode Island will use $2 million in federal grant funding to study tick repellent clothing. Professor Tom Mather plans to test garments that have been treated with a chemical called permethrin. If it’s effective, Mather said it could have serious public health benefits.

“Ticks up here transmit multiple diseases,” said Mather. “Lyme disease is of course what everyone hears about, but just as dangerous probably more dangerous are some of the infections that black legged ticks in our area carry.”

Most women don't need to start getting an annual mammogram to screen for breast cancer until they turn 45, according to the latest guidelines from the American Cancer Society.

Previously, the society recommended women start annual mammograms at 40 and continue every year for as long they remained in good health.

USDA / Creative Commons

Access to health care has improved significantly since Obamacare, with big gains for previously uninsured minorities who were unable to gain access before the law took effect. But insurance isn’t the only barrier to overcome. Entrenched cultural beliefs and the way we deliver care can also limit access.

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Navigating our healthcare system is frustrating and time-consuming enough when you're healthy. But what if you get a serious diagnosis? You'll probably have to deal with multiple doctors' offices and their front-desk staffs, a hospital or clinic that may not be familiar, and a sudden deluge of paperwork, phone calls, and appointments. The chances for confusion and miscommunication multiply all along the chain -- and this can lead to problems ranging from annoying clerical mistakes to serious medical errors.

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