Recent Articles

Masks Work!

COVID-19 Immunity After Infection? Like the Virus, Uncertainties Remain

With the focus on tragic results of many coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, it’s easy to overlook that the majority of people do recover from the disease. What’s unclear, however, is if those people who recover are then immune to reinfection. “The literature is not clear on immunity, or how long immunity...

Medical Marijuana

Why Chronic Pain Added to State’s Medical Marijuana Qualifying List

In an attempt to help people who struggle daily with chronic pain, a state regulatory committee recently added it as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. “A lot of people live with pain,” said Dr. Andrew Salner, director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital and a member of...

Tommy John Surgery

Here’s the Risk Level of Each School Sport in Return From COVID-19

Professional athletes are sorting out their seasons, your kids are cajoling to get back in the game and all you can envision is a COVID-19 nightmare. We know infectious disease specialists say it’s safer to be outside where fresh air mitigates infection risk, but is it safe to start playing...

Reopening

Is the Worst to Come? How COVID-19 Could Upend State’s Phase 3 Reopening

The good news is that Connecticut is heralded as one of two states, with neighboring Rhode Island, experiencing a consistent decline in COVID-19 cases. The not-so-good news is the World Health Organization revelation that “the worst is yet to come.” WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed to the...

COVID-Related Depression

These Age Groups Most Affected by COVID-Related Depression, Anxiety

Experts call it the underlying crisis. While COVID-19 cases spike around the country, more than a third of Americans report related depression and anxiety. “The spread of COVID-19 leaves people feeling out of control, which is uncomfortable and unnerving,” said Dr. James O’Dea, vice president of operations for the Hartford...

Cookout

10 Tips to Keep Your Summer Entertaining Safe During COVID-19

The summer season is officially underway and whether you’re spending the Fourth of July holiday weekend at home – again! – or widening your world in some way, chances are you’ll be trying to socialize sometime soon. COVID-19 social distancing guidelines have kept us largely at home. As infection rates...

Memory screening

Dermatologist: How to Prevent Skin Problems From Your Face Mask

It’s just a relatively small patch of skin we’re hiding under the face masks required during the COVID-19 pandemic, but keeping it covered for long periods and recapturing the moist air we exhale against it all day can cause a variety of skin problems. “The masks are a great way...

EndeavorRx

First Video Game, by Prescription Only, Approved to Treat ADHD in Youths

It might seem like a treat for the children, but 30 minutes of prescribed video-game playing could lend a sense of calmness that their parents can enjoy as well. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month took the revolutionary step of approving the video game EndeavorRX by Akili Interactive...

Medical Laboratory

Why This Common Steroid Could Be Life-Saving COVID-19 Drug

British research demonstrating the effectiveness of a common steroid to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients was reassuring to Hartford HealthCare clinicians already using the drug in the system. The World Health Organization announced the research results for dexamethasone which cut mortality by one third in patients relying on ventilators and...

Virtual Health

Virtual Health Visits Nearing 200,000 Since COVID-19. Here’s How it Works.

Telemedicine was not a new concept when the COVID-19 pandemic locked society down in March, it was simply underutilized. “I’ve been using virtual visits for several years now with my pacemaker patients,” said Dr. Steven Zweibel, system director of cardiac electrophysiology for the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Heart & Vascular Institute....

Doctor showing anatomical spine to his patient

How the Pandemic is Shaping Spine Wellness Center Coming to Westport

The COVID-19 pandemic opened eyes to new processes and flexibility in healthcare or,as Dr. Khalid Abbed says, “opportunities to do things better.” Dr. Abbed, co-physician-in-chief for the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute, said one of the things people can see through the struggles of the pandemic are how integrated the...

Social distancing

Why Some Experts Say 6-Foot Social Distancing Isn’t Enough

Six-foot rings for the beach and bubble suits are being used in some bars to keep people far enough apart and prevent the spread of COVID-19 germs. Sadly, that distance might not be far enough, according to medical professionals who study the spray of coughs and sneezes. Ten feet, they...

Social Distancing

What To Do When Someone Invades Your 6-Foot Space

If the old Police lyrics “Don’t stand so close to me. . .” play in your head in this COVID-19 world, you’ve probably wondered how to talk with people who invade your 6-foot social-distancing zone. It’s a tough conversation. You want to be polite and avoid an argument, but you...

Back to the Office

If You’re Returning to Your Office, Some CDC Guidelines

Hanging out by the water cooler, chatting with coworkers about last night’s ballgame while sharing a bag of chips is not a scene you’ll likely see in the office any time soon. Nor is racing through the office door, dropping gear at your desk because you’re late for a meeting....

Demo Day

How COVID-19 Created Crisis Innovation Under Pressure

Hartford HealthCare (HHC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used their existing partnership during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to create crisis innovation that will remain in place long after the last infected patient leaves the hospital, according to HHC President and CEO Jeff Flaks. “These types of...

Men & Depression

IOL Research: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective Against Hoarding Disorder

People with hoarding disorder don’t necessarily have to suffer alone, as research published by an Institute of Living (IOL) psychologist shows significant effect with group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Dr. David Tolin, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the IOL, part of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN),...

Clear Masks

The New Look: Better Communication With Clear Masks Now at Hospitals

At one of the most frightening points in your life, sick and battling the lethal COVID-19 virus, maybe even on a ventilator, alone because visitors are not allowed, what a joy it would be to see a smiling, reassuring face bent over you in your hospital bed. Until now, that...

Masks in public

Drop in COVID Positivity Rate Due to Increased Testing, Not a Weakening Virus

News that Connecticut’s COVID-19 “positivity rate,” or the number of people testing positive for the virus, is down seems like great news – maybe even cause for celebration that the virus is gone for good – but understanding the numbers tells a more cautionary tale. Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical...

Racial Stereotypes

Psychologist: By Age 4, Children Aware of Racial Stereotypes

As the world marches and protests for equal rights, the eyes of our children are watching, much like they observe and take cues from general adult behavior. Very young children recognize racism and discrimination in their world early, and feel the effects both physically and emotionally, according to Dr. Aieyat...

Safe Protests

How to Protest, Safely, During COVID-19

There’s one thing that doesn’t care about your politics in the recent protests across the United States – COVID-19. Demonstrations, protests and marches might prove to be “seeding” or “super-spreader” events that trigger waves of new virus infections, according to Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers of Disease Control...

Pulse Oximeter

What Is a Pulse Oximeter? And Why Are People Buying Them During COVID-19?

If you’ve ever had a healthcare provider clip a small device onto the tip of your finger, red light flashing, you’ve experienced a pulse oximeter as it measures the level of oxygen in your bloodstream. Pulse oximeters have become crucial tools in the fight against COVID-19, a virus that attacks...

Skin Cancer

How to Have Fun, and Remain Safe, at the Beach or Pool This Summer

It beckons with the rhythmic ebb of the waves and the promise of a cool dip on a hot day, feeding the soul, which needs it more than ever after a grueling few months of COVID-19. The beach – like any other favorite outdoor spots – is not off-limits in...

Cranberry Bread Pudding

Baking and Biking? Yes, the Go-To Comfort Activities During COVID-19

What do baking and biking have in common? They’ve both become outrageously popular activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the moment they heard the words “hunker down,” it seems people have been channeling anxiety and nervous energy into both. Toilet paper flew off the shelves, but so did yeast and...

COVID

Will COVID-19 Mutate By Fall? Why That Could Be a Good Thing

As the world’s eyes skip over the summer to a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall, the major advantage will be experience and preparation, according to Hartford HealthCare‘s chief clinical officer. Dr. Ajay Kumar said reinforcing and reinstituting protective measures such as social distancing and isolation early and thoughtfully...

Hartford Hospital

New Visitor Guidelines: Hospital Restrictions Eased

With safety measures in place, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) announced a phased-in relaxation of the visitor restrictions put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was the right thing to do, the safe thing to do to try to limit the potential spread of this virus,” said HHC President and CEO...

Wearing a mask

Mask Tips (And No Gloves!) From an Infectious Disease Doctor

Until recently, it was only cool for Batman to wear a mask. Now we’re all wearing them in varying patterns and styles to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. According to a study backed by the World Health Organization and published recently in The Lancet, putting a cloth or paper...

Cardiogram

Hartford Hospital Study: Alarming Drop in Cardiac Emergency Patients During COVID-19

A Hartford HealthCare (HHC) cardiology research team pinpointed a 38 percent drop in the number of people coming into the hospital with cardiac emergencies since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amanda Zaleski, PhD, an exercise physiologist in preventive cardiology at the Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital, said...

Parkinson's

Free Webinars on Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment for Parkinson’s

More than 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor or dystonia, all of which affect the nervous system and cause worsening tremors, stiffness and loss of balance that severely impacts the person’s quality of life. One effective treatment, deep brain stimulation, is a surgical technique that targets the specific...

Contactless Appointment

The New Waiting Room for a Doctor’s Visit: Your Car

It’s all about making it safe, easy and stress-free for people to see their healthcare providers in this COVID-governed world, and the folks at Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute have a method to do both. At Tallwood’s Waterford location, Michael Spinnato of Mystic recently pulled into the parking...

Mobile Testing

Mobile COVID-19 Program Reaches State’s Underserved

Hartford HealthCare (HHC) this week reached a milestone of 37,864 COVID-19 tests completed. Thousands were through its mobile testing program, designed to help reach underserved population across Connecticut, according to Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer for the system. Because testing is critical to managing the spread of the virus and...

Walk on the Beach

Is it Safe to Take a Summer Vacation, Even Fly?

Distancing, both physical and social, is the buzzword of the year and one Hartford HealthCare (HHC) experts want you to remember as the state reopens and you begin venturing out of your home this summer. The warmer months, when kids are traditionally of school, are a time when many people...

Skin Cancer

If a Spot Looks Like This, it Could be Skin Cancer

The sun feels amazing on your face after a wet, dismal spring, but just a few moments of unprotected exposure can bring even more dismal consequences. Dr. Girish Mohan, director of cosmetic and laser dermatology with Hartford HealthCare Dermatology, wants to remind people that protecting skin on the face and...

COVID-19

What to Watch, Medically, as the State Reopens

There are three measurements to watch as society begins to reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown and people start gathering again in churches, restaurants and parks, according to Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer with Hartford HealthCare. The metrics, he said, are: The number of active cases. The number of people...

Multiple Sclerosis

What’s the Risk to Multiple Sclerosis Patients During COVID-19?

Layering a potentially lethal virus like COVID-19 onto a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) can seem daunting, but strengthening the relationship with your specialist may be key to getting through. Dr. Derek Smith, a neurologist with the Ayer Neuroscience Institute’s Multiple Sclerosis Center, part of Hartford HealthCare, said staying in...

BJI

Turning on the Faucet Slowly: Non-Emergency Surgeries Resume

Sixty patients filtered through Hartford Hospital within the last week for nonessential surgical procedures and “overwhelmingly” reported feeling safe as life in the facility starts to step out of the shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. John Grady-Benson, medical director of the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Bone & Joint Institute,...

Emergency Department

Why Paramedics Are Now Needed in the Emergency Room

The fear of coming into contact with COVID-19 has many people making dangerous gambles with their health and avoiding emergency care until they are in crisis. But at Hartford HealthCare (HHC), that’s when experts in pre-hospital medical care are pressed into service. Paramedics like Tom Latosek at HHC’s Charlotte Hungerford...

Suicide Prevention

A COVID-Related Suicide Spike: Where to Find Support

Ongoing stresses related to the COVID-19 pandemic – financial constraints, unemployment and isolation – have caused a national spike in suicide. Patricia Rehmer, MSN, ACHE, president of the Behavioral Health Network and senior vice president of Hartford HealthCare (HHC), said national sources estimate up to 75,000 people will die by...

Kids and COVID-19

Immune System Attacks Body in Rare COVID-19 Reaction in Children

Until a few weeks ago, Dr. Lucia Benzoni thought children had “gotten away scot-free” and largely avoided serious infection with COVID-19, but recent outbreaks of a related inflammatory disease have her thinking otherwise. Dr. Benzoni, a pediatrician with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group in Litchfield, said there’s been a surge...

Middle-aged couple.

Free Erectile Dysfunction Webinar June 1

Erectile dysfunction affects more than three million American men each year, impacting their intimacy, relationships and self-esteem. Despite the commonness of the problem, many men suffer in silence. Through the power of technology, Hartford HealthCare will broach the subject in an informational webinar that men and their partners can attend...

BJI

7 Ways to Make Hospitals, Doctors’ Offices Safe From COVID-19 as State Reopens

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Hartford HealthCare has never closed. But to help contain the spread of the virus, it suspended nonessential services, procedures and testing. Gradually, those services are phasing in at Hartford HealthCare hospitals, surgery centers, primary care offices, health centers and other facilities (above, the Bone & Joint...

COVID-19

How COVID-19 Might Reshape Healthcare

As “unprecedented” as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) President and CEO Jeff Flaks said it will guide transformation of the healthcare industry. “We’re going to see a new industry emerge worldwide – new beds, new ways to clean rooms, new ways to enter rooms,” he said in...

Students

How to Help Teens Resist the Urge to Blow Past COVID-19 Guidelines

While parents often feel like broken records, constantly repeating safety reminders and directions on an endless loop, pandemic parents of teenagers need to be prepared to keep that theme moving as the world starts to reopen around us and the kids want out. “We, as adults, know to go slow...

Handwashing

Hands Washed Raw? Here’s Your New Anti-COVID Strategy

As the potential carriers of COVID-19, your hands have been scrubbed vigorously and washed with soap, water and alcohol-based sanitizers for the last two months to keep them clean and germ-free. It’s time to give them some love. While handwashing remains an important way to minimize the risk of COVID-19...

Serious-looking couple on beach.

Time for a Change? How to Reexamine Your Life Amid COVID-19

Everyone seems focused on the light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel and getting back to “normal” once the pandemic eases, but is that what we should want – what was normal to us – or is there something else? Maybe you’ve mentally penned a list of things you...

Teen girl

Look for These Signs of Depression in Children, Teens During COVID-19

Children and adolescents are not immune to the stress stirred up by the COVID-19 pandemic, as disrupted schedules and separation from friends and activities leaves many of them feeling anxious and fearful. Dr. Ari Steinberg, clinical supervisor of ambulatory services at the Institute of Living (IOL), part of Hartford HealthCare’s...

Summer and COVID-19

New Report: Summer Heat Won’t Slow COVID-19

The flu is seasonal, but experts say COVID-19 is not, so don’t expect it to take a break as the mercury rises this summer. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a report May 8 in which University of Toronto researchers reported the virus and its spread is not fueled by...

Marijuana

Why Marijuana Might Not Be Harmful to the Teen Brain

Cheech & Chong aside, commentary published by a Hartford HealthCare researcher declares that teen marijuana use may not affect one’s IQ as is generally assumed. Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, director of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center and research director at the Institute of Living, part of Hartford HealthCare, was the single...

COVID-19 Blood

Hartford HealthCare to Test Employees for COVID-19 Antibodies in Study

With an increased risk to employees of exposure to COVID-19 – and a need to keep them healthy and working to care for others infected with the disease and other serious illnesses – Hartford HealthCare (HHC) announced a study of the virus antibody in its healthcare workers. Dr. Pavlos Papasavas,...

Emergency Department

Non-COVID Patients Avoiding ER, Says Emergency Medicine Chief

Staying home amid the COVID-19 pandemic was universally urged to protect people from exposure to a potentially lethal infection, but, in the process, too many people ignored serious medical issues that should have sent them to their provider or an emergency room. Nationally, many patients with serious and chronic conditions...

Woman sitting at laptop.

6 Ways To Fight Job Burnout During COVID-19

Work for those battling on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic as never been more challenging, which only increases the chances of burnout. Employers can put various tactics and protocols in place, and organize help for teams, but workers should also be vigilant for early signs their job is causing...

COVID-19

How Effective Will Herd Immunity Be Against COVID-19?

In the fight against any virus, knowing a large number of people are immune to infection increases the sense of overall safety. It’s a concept called “herd immunity,” when a large percentage of people in a population are immune to an infection and, therefore, unable to spread it to others....

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Violence Spikes During COVID-19: How to Get Help

For some, following stay-at-home recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic is torture. For others, it is bliss. But for an increasing number of people, it is downright dangerous. Patricia Rehmer, Vice President of behavioral health for Hartford HealthCare, said the incidence of domestic violence in Connecticut have risen more than 20...

Ovarian Cancer

Chief Clinical Officer: No Reason to Put Off Procedures Now

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw hospitals nationwide cancel all but emergent surgeries to keep people out of the buildings and safely away from any potential contact with the lethal virus. With the COVID-19 peak for hospitalizations passed in Connecticut, those days are about to pass, and Dr. Ajay Kumar,...

MidState ICU

Antiviral Drug Remdesivir To Be Used For Seriously Ill COVID-19 Patients

Hartford HealthCare will start using the recently-approved drug remdesivir for specific, extremely ill COVID-19 patients within the next week. Eric Arlia, MBA, RPh, senior director of pharmacy for the system, said he expects a supply from the federal government, which is distributing the drug to healthcare facilities based on the number...

MidState Medical Center

How Will Hospitals Prepare for Second Wave During COVID-19 Slowdown?

Warm weather may beckon, but this is not the time to relax social distancing practices because national and local healthcare experts still predict a second wave of COVID-19 will hit this fall. “Social distancing is the only thing we have to decrease the spread of this disease,” said Dr. Ajay Kumar,...

Depression

What You Can Do to Help Someone Who Is Depressed

Few people really seem themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic as we juggle new schedules, isolate ourselves and, for essential workers, face spirit-crushing realities as many help others gravely ill with the virus. But, besides other responsibilities you may be juggling right now, being mindful of the behavioral health state of...

COVID-19

Life Upside Down? Here Are 7 Things You Can Control Now

Life certainly feels off lately, but you can still be in control. Sure, you’re physically separated from loved ones or your job, unable to visit favorite shops and limited to takeout for dining, but when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended your life, it’s even more important to focus on what...

Alcohol Abuse

Has ‘Stay at Home’ Meant More Drinking at Home?

At first, the COVID-19 requirement to stay home felt chaotic and unstructured, but even as many found a groove, some uncontrolled habits remained, including excessive drinking. Whether it’s isolation, lack of in-person support group meetings or sheer boredom, the nation’s consumption of alcohol has spiked as the pandemic drags on....

Reopening Economy

Will Reopening Too Quickly Feed Second Wave of COVID-19?

Anticipating a second wave of the COVID-19 virus this fall, Dr. Faiqa Cheema, a Hartford HealthCare infectious disease specialist, cautioned politicians and residents to relax social distancing guidelines in a methodical, responsible way. “My concern is (reopening too quickly) will most likely lead to a rebound of the outbreak and...

Mobile Testing

COVID-19 Testing Goes Mobile, Expanding Reach Into Communities

Understanding that services can only help those able to access them, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) launched a mobile unit this week to help people without transportation to sites for COVID-19 testing. The unit made its first stop at the Open Hearth, shown above, an organization in downtown Hartford dedicated to helping...

Handwashing

These Hand-Washing Mistakes Could Increase COVID-19 Risk

We’ve been washing our hands – to varying degrees of effectiveness – since gathering around the foot-pumped sinks in kindergarten, but at a time where it provides crucial protection against a deadly virus, could we be doing it better? There are a few basic mistakes many make when hand-washing, which...

COVID

Even After Peak, Why COVID-19 Will Remain a Marathon in State

The numbers telling the COVID-19 story come out daily – how many people are tested, how many test positive, how many need hospitalization, how many go home or pass away. Those figures have gotten worse as the story moves into its third month in Connecticut. As experts at Hartford HealthCare,...

MidState ICU

The Lasting Effects of COVID-19 on Patients Who Need Ventilators

With about one in four COVID-19 patients needing a ventilator to help them breathe, the long-term effects of the potentially lethal virus on the body, especially the lungs, heart and kidney, are still largely unknown. Dr. Daniel Gottschall, vice president of medical affairs for Hartford HealthCare’s Fairfield region and St....

Courage Awards

Yale QB Rawlings, Sacred Heart Swimmer Cielo Get Courage Awards

Well before COVID-19 required it of everyone, Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings and Sacred Heart University swimmer Bryana Cielo displayed courage beyond their years. The pair of Connecticut athletes was honored via Zoom presentations as April’s recipients of the Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Courage Award, which includes a plaque and a $1,000...

Medical Laboratory

Chief Clinical Officer: Summer Sun Not Likely to Slow COVID-19 Transmission

Summer’s warmer temperatures may beckon but they do not promise to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a leading Hartford HealthCare physician. Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief Clinical Officer for the system, told reporters in his daily press briefing April 27 that there is no evidence indicating that...

Stress and Your Heart

For Some, PTSD Expected to Follow COVID-19

While the full emotional effect of the fight against COVID-19 won’t be fully realized for years, behavioral healthcare teams are beginning to see increases in the number of people needing help. Patricia Rehmer, MSN, ACHE, president of the Behavioral Health Network and vice president for Hartford HealthCare, said she and her...

COVID-19 Blood

CDC Identifies More Symptoms of COVID-19 Infection

For weeks, we’ve been eagle-eyed for fevers, coughing and trouble breathing, but doctors are now revealing additional symptoms that can be signs of the deadly COVID-19 virus. The Centers for Disease Control recently expanded the list of signs a person may be infected with the virus to include: Muscle pain....

Apple iPhone

Too Much Information: With Downtime Comes More Screen Time

They’re lifesavers – how we work, socialize at Zoom happy hours, visit with doctors via virtual health, stay abreast of the news – but our screens may also spark digital overload that negatively impacts our mental health. It’s not just teenagers who need to separate from smartphones, laptops or tablets....

Frustrated woman worried about problem sitting on sofa with laptop

Poll: Here’s COVID-19 Toll on Americans’ Mental Health

Nearly half of American adults report that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health, according to a new poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Even with that high percentage, the real measurement of the pandemic’s effect will come later, after hospital beds empty and people emerge...

Sleep Problems

Can’t Stay Asleep During COVID-19? Try This Sleep Expert’s 7 Tips

A quality night’s sleep provides an added weapon in your immune system’s fight to stay healthy amid the encroaching COVID-19 pandemic – but what if you fall asleep easily but can’t stay in dreamland for an entire night? Many people struggle with middle-of-the-night wakening, and not just for a sleepy...

Mask

MIT Model Shows Connecticut’s COVID-19 Peak is Near

As predicted by tracking algorithms designed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team, the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Connecticut is in sight and might be less pronounced than originally feared. Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer at Hartford HealthCare, said the “good news” is that residents’ adherence to...

Disinfectants

When Disinfecting Backfires: Poisoning Emergencies Spike Nationwide

While the need to rid our homes of germs that could cause COVID-19 has transformed us all into Felix Ungers, taking things too far has actually caused a nationwide spike in calls to poison control centers and serious injuries. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report states that “exposures...

Turkey Burger

10 Ways to Keep Your Weight Down While Staying Safe at Home

You’re home, where snacks are close and the urge to bake a different treat each day can be strong, but it’s not the time to overindulge and gain the Quarantine 15. Much like the Freshman 15 plaguing first-year college students, weight gain is possible as we stay home and seek...

Pensive Woman

Missing: People Seeking Help for Mental Health, Addiction During COVID-19

The numbers of people seeking help for behavioral health and substance abuse issues aren’t jibing for Dr. J. Craig Allen, vice president of addiction services for Hartford HealthCare. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads into its second month in Connecticut, sales of alcohol, cigarettes and vaping substances have increased, but the...

Taming allergies.

Home Remedies Can Soothe Allergy Symptoms

With spring’s blooms – and grasses and flowering trees – come headaches and sinus distress for many people. Sinus pressure as a result of colds or allergies does not mean you need to see your primary care provider, though. There are a few home remedies that can help soothe your...

Stress Relief

10 Ways to Get Better Sleep During COVID-19

When you finally put your head on the pillow to sleep – or in the middle of the night when you awake with a start – you can probably blame the anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when we feel like we have everything under control – from adjusted work...

Stop Coronavirus

A Doctor Improvises: Office Laminate Sheets as Face Shields

In the Hartford Hospital Emergency Department, necessity has truly proven to be the mother of invention in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, the need to preserve supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) has spawned efforts led by Dr. Shawn London, an ED physician, to create face shields for...

Human Heart Anatomy

Classic Signs of Heart Attack Triggered by COVID-19

One of COVID-19’s mysteries is how it can cause heart attack-like symptoms in patients, leading researchers to believe the stress of the virus harms the muscle in atypical ways. In a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a team of New York University researchers detailed how...

Mask

Cancer Institute Joins National COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, specialists with the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute have joined academic cancer centers across the country to examine the virus’ effect on patients with cancer. The group, called the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), is led by Vanderbilt University and provides a national registry with input...

Head and Neck Cancer Rehab

How COVID-19 Crisis is Upending Cancer Patients’ Treatment

COVID-19 is the great disruptor, but for cancer patients, it’s one added threat to their lives. Dr. Peter Yu, physician-in-chief of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, said that while everyone’s lives are disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, for patients with cancer, it is one added layer of...

Stress and Your Heart

A Looming Mental Health Crisis From Forced Isolation of COVID-19 Pandemic?

Social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines are needed to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, but Hartford HealthCare behavioral health experts predict it could spark a mental health crisis that lingers well after the pandemic ends. In an appearance on the podcast “Healthy Rounds,”  Dr. James O’Dea, vice president...

Virtual Chat

Anxiety, Depression as Part of the Pandemic: Get Help, Virtually

The blend of fear and isolation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting social distancing guidelines can drop a cloak of depression and anxiety on our world that seems impossible to manage. But, even though in-person visits and group meetings have been suspended to protect against spread of the...

Dr. Niamey Wilson

With COVID-19, It’s a New World for Doctors, Too

Virtual-health visits allow Dr. Niamey Wilson to keep appointments with her patients, but practicing medicine in the age of COVID-19 is tremendously different. “It is very, very interesting being a physician during this time,” said Dr. Wilson, above, director of breast surgery research and quality at the Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute....

Convention Center

Preparing for the COVID-19 Surge With Two Alternate-Care Sites

In anticipation of the coming surge of patients needing hospitalization for COVID-19, Hartford HealthCare partnered with the state and Army National Guard to build two alternate-care sites to treat low-acuity patients with the virus. The goal is to leave beds in the system’s hospitals available for patients with advanced cases...

Virtual Visit

Dump the Mercury Thermometer: Here’s How to Take Your Temperature

When it comes to COVID-19, gauging your temperature by touching the back of your hand to your forehead just isn’t going to cut it. Fever is one of the signs of the virus but, even beyond COVID-19, knowing your body’s temperature is an important way to manage any illness. The...

Blood Plasma

How Blood From Recovered COVID-19 Patients Can Save Others

After identifying suitable donors, Hartford HealthCare has started scheduling donations of plasma from people who recovered from COVID-19 to treat those who are still critically ill with the virus. The plan, announced by Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare’s chief clinical officer, follows national efforts by the federal Food and Drug Administration...

Coronavirus Closeup

A Zoom-Enabled Virtual ‘Cockpit’ Leads to Reduced-Risk Covid-19 Care

Expertise in innovation and technology has enabled Hartford HealthCare to help its intensive care unit (ICU) specialist physicians maximize their ability to care for the sickest patients while minimizing their exposure to COVID-19. These specialists, called intensivists, can now cover a system ICU bed capacity that is expected to swell...

Face mask

How Superspreaders Fueled COVID-19 Pandemic

You feel fine but you could still be spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) to others without knowing it. People who have COVID-19 but show no symptoms are called “super” or “silent” spreaders because they can infect other people. In China, where COVID-19 first raged, a new study reveals that for every one...

Opioids

Why COVID-19 Could Make the Opioid Epidemic Even Worse

The COVID-19 pandemic brings all the elements needed to worsen the state’s opioid epidemic – increased isolation, inability to keep medical appointments and an overarching pall of fear and depression. “I’m concerned that this pandemic will worsen the opioid epidemic in a number of ways,” said Dr. J. Craig Allen,...

COVID testing site

MIT Model Targets Connecticut’s Peak COVID-19 Date

Tapping a two-year research relationship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hartford HealthCare leaders announced the anticipated COVID-19 peak in Connecticut will be the end of April or beginning of May. “If we continue social-distancing measures through the end of April, we can expect a significant decrease (in COVID-19 infection),”...

COVID Concerns

Worrying Your Way Through COVID-19? Here’s How to Quiet Your Mind

Your mind races from one thought to the next on a seemingly endless loop of mostly frightening possibilities and crippling ideations as the COVID-19 pandemic heightens all your fears and anxieties. While it’s not unusual to have such thoughts at times of such unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty, for your emotional...

Parkinson's

What Does COVID-19 Self-Quarantine Mean for Parkinson’s Patients?

Social distancing and isolation required during the COVID-19 pandemic causes more than just depression in people with Parkinson’s disease. It can actually worsen symptoms. According to Dr. Elena Bortan, a movement disorders neurologist with the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center, part of the Hartford Healthcare Ayer Neuroscience Institute, said being confined...

ydroxychloroquine sulphate tablets

Hartford HealthCare Now Treating Some COVID-19 Patients with Anti-Malaria Drugs

Physicians with Hartford HealthCare have joined others around the country in using hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat some hospitalized patients with coronavirus (COVID-19). On March 28, the Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the medications, which were developed for use against malaria and have been used...

Virtual Visits

Mental Health, Addiction Services Now Available Via Zoom

The uncertainty of these coronavirus times only increases the population’s need for mental health and addiction services, and the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network responded quickly by shifting outpatient individual and group counseling sessions online. Using the electronic platform Zoom, the BHN now offers therapy services for all ages, according to...

Vaping Bearded Man

Vaping a COVID-19 Risk for Teens, Young Adults

While the nation focuses on protecting older, infirmed people from exposure to COVID-19, teens and young adults aren’t immune to the coronavirus, especially those who smoke or vape. According to data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of COVID-19 cases nationwide are in...

Family Time

Stuck at Home During a Pandemic: Some Family Survival Tips

In a time when nothing feels “normal” and families struggle to coexist under one roof for infinite lengths of time, a Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN) child psychologist suggested we strive for a routine and be gentle with each other. Dr. Laura Saunders, who heads the LGBTQ track at...

Immune System

These 8 Things Make it Harder for Immune Systems to Fight Illness (Like COVID-19)

Boosting the body’s immune system is even more important during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But it’s equally important to curb or stop any behaviors that can lower your resistance. The following are ways we hinder our immune system, which can not only leave the body more susceptible to viruses like...

Inequality

Keeping an Eye Out for People Who Lack Access to Healthcare

In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s important to remember the needs of some of the community’s most vulnerable, according to Sarah Lewis, vice president of health equity for Hartford HealthCare. Lewis, who participated in the system’s press briefing on March 27, said, “We have seen some of...

Video Games

Parents Playing Video Games with Their Kids? Suddenly, There’s Time

Maybe you haven’t played a video game since PacMan gobbled up the colored pellets in the flashing maze, but while you’re self-quarantined with the family, a battle of the joysticks might be just the right bonding moment. “The current situation of families being cooped-up at home together is absolutely the...

Alcohol Abuse

COVID-19, Social Distancing and Alcohol Problems

The Quarantini is the cheekily-named beverage many are clutching while social-distancing, but the danger the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might bring to those with alcohol use disorder is more sobering. If supplies run out or liquor stores are forced to close — there’s no indication now that will happen — many...

Hartford Hospital

Hartford Hospital ER Nurse: It’s ‘Morale and Resilience’

Life in the Emergency Department is often hectic and unpredictable, but nurse Audrey Scott says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked deeper connections between staff and the community. Scott, who is assistant nurse manager of the Hartford Hospital Emergency Department, said during a March 26 press briefing that she is...

Coronavirus and Gastrointestinal Problems

Digestive Symptoms Now Linked to COVID-19

Fever, cough, shortness of breath – we all know the well-publicized symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) by now, but research from the pandemic epicenter in China indicates that digestive symptoms need to be added to that list. According to a study published in the latest issue of the American Journal of...

Coronavirus

Alert: Beware of Fake In-Home COVID-19 Tests

On the heels of a federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning about the health risks posed by fake in-home test kids for coronavirus (COVID-19), a Hartford HealthCare infectious disease specialist underscored the need to seek care only from trusted sources. “You should only be using a test that has...

Hartford Hospital

‘Flattening the COVID-19 Curve’: When Will it Happen?

Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief Clinical Officer with Hartford HealthCare (HHC), offered this update March 25 on COVID-19 testing, personal protection equipment (PPE) donations and surge planning on Wednesday. He then fielded questions from local media. Using the word “optimistic” more than once regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kumar said thoughtful...

Maternal Mortality

When COVID-19 Turns to Attacks Against Millennials, Asian Americans

A 20-something professional was running on a trail near her house this week to expend excess energy and anxiety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when she was ambushed by the nasty comments of an older woman walking nearby. “Millennials! That’s why this is happening!” the older woman yelled, referring to...

COVID-Testing

COVID-19 Clinical Update: PPE Donations, Patient-Surge Planning

Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief Clinical Officer at Hartford HealthCare, offered this update March 24 on COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) donations and surge planning. He then fielded questions from local media. Daily, Dr. Kumar said Hartford HealthCare teams have been examining the system’s surge capacity and ability to tap...

Donate blood

Wanted: Blood Donations for Non-Coronavirus Patients

Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients don’t need blood transfusions, but the pandemic’s spread and related concerns about gathering in groups has triggered a severe shortage of blood supplies for those in emergency situations who do. Social-distancing directives have caused the cancellation of nearly 6,000 American Red Cross blood drives nationwide and more...

Dr. Jim Cardon

45 Positives So Far Among 1,000 COVID-19 Tests at Hartford HealthCare

Dr. James Cardon, Chief Clinical Integration Officer and cardiologist at Hartford HealthCare, offered an update March 23 on COVID-19 testing, personal protection equipment (PPE) donations and surge planning. Hartford HealthCare, Dr. Cardon said, has conducted more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests; 45 have been positive; 12 people are in Hartford HealthCare hospitals;...

Virtual Chat

It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere: Why Not Try Virtual Social Hosting?

While we’re all busy social distancing, many of our hearts ache for the exact opposite – hugs, laughter, the clinking of glasses full of shared cheer – so why not try virtual social hosting? Technology like Zoom, Google Hangout and FaceTime allows us to connect with people through video chat...

Child with Fidget Spinner.

The Kids are Managing Stay-at-Home. What About You?

It’s hard to imagine when you’re stuck inside, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine is only a temporary blip in your life and while it’s natural to feel sad and lonely, there are some ways to keep your spirits up. Be productive. That hall closet you’ve ignored can be cleaned, the...

Workout

Here’s Your Exercise Plan During COVID-19 Pandemic

Now that your gym is closed and you’re staying home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it doesn’t mean you need to skip exercising. “The best example of aerobic exercise is sustained walking,” said Dr. Darren Tishler, director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford HealthCare. “Biking (both stationary and...

Handwashing

Why Soap and Water Is More Effective Than Hand Sanitizer Against COVID-19

Store shelves may be wiped clean of hand sanitizer but soap is more effective for protecting yourself from COVID-19, according to infectious disease specialists. “If at all possible, wash your hands with soap and water,” said Dr. Virginia Bieluch, the chief of infectious diseases at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, “If...

COVID-19 Test

Why People with Preexisting Conditions Are More at Risk of COVID-19

Risk is the buzzword during the COVID-19 pandemic and when it comes to people with underlying conditions like heart disease, diabetes or lung diseases like asthma, the chance that they will die from the virus can be as much as 10 times the average person’s chances. The American College of...


How to Control Coronavirus Anxiety

Whether it’s wiping out a store’s stock of hand sanitizer and toilet paper to overzealously taking children’s temperatures, people’s fears about the coronavirus are escalating. The facts bear some concern, according to experts at the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN). Respiratory symptoms and illnesses, which can be associated with...

Courage Award

March Courage Award Winners: Central’s Mann, Mitchell’s Anderson

Stroke? Cancer? Little seems able to stop strong, focused and dedicated local college athletes, two of whom were recently named Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Courage Award winners for March. The awards are given by the system, in association with the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), to student athletes who...

Emergency Department

He’s Offering A New Kind of Addiction Help in Emergency Department

He’s sitting near the hospital bed, his deep, baritone voice quiet as he listens to a tearful patient details his struggles to stay sober. “My man,” William Dantzler said gently, leaning slightly toward the young man whose cheeks glistened with tears. “Live for you.” The moment was brief at the...

Digital Health

Behavioral Health Network Explores New Possibilities in Digital Psychiatry

Just as technology augments a surgeon’s ability to precisely place a new hip joint and expands the field of view for a radiologist scanning films for signs of cancer, software and other advances touch the field of behavioral health in impressive and patient-centric ways. Dr. Manu Sharma, a staff psychiatrist...

US Surgeon General Visit

Here’s the Surgeon General’s Plan to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Calling it “the defining issue of our time,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, invited healthcare providers to return to basics when addressing the nation’s opioid epidemic. In Hartford March 2 as part of a presentation co-sponsored by the Hartford Medical Society and Hartford HealthCare (HHC), Dr. Adams said...

Aging Eyes

Free Talk: Find Help for Your Aging Eyes

Like every part of the body, the eyes are affected by the aging process, some more than others. From vision challenges, including the loss of peripheral vision, to more complex problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts, the eyes will require added attention as you get older. To help understand...

Vas Madness

Watch This Vasectomy Clinic Turn March Madness Into ‘Vas Madness’

While you’re laid up on the couch recovering from your vasectomy, you may as well have something fun to watch, right? For the second year, Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Men’s Health is offering a Vasectomy Clinic timed with the height of March Madness, the annual college basketball playoff tournament. The clinic...

Joint Pain

Home the Same Day? This Isn’t Your Grandparents’ Joint Replacement Surgery

Let’s do a little word association. Hip replacement. Knee surgery. What comes to mind? Overnight. Hospital stay. Lengthy recovery. You may be wrong about that. We’ve come a long way since our grandparents had these operations. Today’s procedures at Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute (COI) at MidState Medical Center in Meriden are...


Art exhibit helps ease the anxiety of cancer treatment

Rounded and slightly distorted, the photos give the feel of looking through a ship’s thick glass porthole or the domed eye of a fish at a view that is both wondrous and intriguing. Two dozen pieces from the collection of regarded Wethersfield photographer Jack McConnell’s “Hartford Parallax: ‘Round Hartford” collection...

Epilepsy

How Specialty Care Can Lower Risk of Death From Epilepsy

Patients getting epilepsy care in a specialty center had a lower chance of death, according to a Canadian study released in the Journal of the American Medical Society Neurology. Dr. Gabriel Martz, director of The Epilepsy Center at Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute, said in some cases the challenges of...

Opioids

Connecticut’s drug-related deaths up 18 percent in 2019

The numbers tell a sobering story – after a dip in deaths from drug overdoses in 2018, Connecticut recorded 1,200, or 18 percent more, drug-related deaths in 2019, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The one stagnant piece of information in the equation, however, is the fact...

Dr. Elena Bortan

Movement Disorders Care Comes to Mystic

Much as the design of the new Hartford HealthCare facility at 100 Perkins Farms Drive in Mystic reflects the vibe of coastal community, the location of specialists from the HHC Ayer Neuroscience Institute’s Chase Family Movement Disorders Center to the facility answers a demand for high-quality care and support in...

Abbott Infinity DBS System.

Why Deep Brain Stimulation ‘Life-Altering’ for Some Parkinson’s Patients

By Sarah Zurek, RN, BSN Chase Family Movement Disorders Center When it comes to Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia, there is no cure but there are ways to reduce symptoms and improve your movement and quality of life. One way is through the surgical procedure called deep brain stimulation...

Pink in the Rink

Trinity Men’s Hockey, in Fundraiser Game, Sees Pink in the Rink

Unless women are playing, there’s not usually too much pink showing on the ice during a hockey game. But, on a recent Friday, the Trinity College men’s hockey team draped the Koeppel Community Sports Center in Hartford with the color for Pink in the Rink, a fundraising game that has...


UConn Football Captain, Fairfield Basketball Player Get Courage Awards

Life is unpredictable, but two local college athletes prove that tenacity and resilience is as important as physical prowess, a trait that earned them designation as February’s Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Courage Award winners. The awards are given by the system, in association with the College Sports Information Directors of America...

Parkinson's and Singning

Did Linda Ronstadt Have To Stop Singing? How Parkinson’s Therapy Could Help

Ten Grammys, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame membership and many gold and platinum albums couldn’t shield Linda Ronstadt from Parkinson’s disease. The singer known for “Blue Bayou,” “Don’t Know Much” and “You’re No Good” started noticing changes to her voice as...

Fracture at 3rd and 4th metacarpal bone

Find Out What’s Causing Numbness in Your Hands

The human hand has 27 bones that move in almost as many joints, making it one of the most flexible parts of the body. Such small bones and joints – and the amount of tasks we rely upon our hands to perform – also result in many aches, strains and...

Skin vs. Winter

It’s Your Skin vs. Winter: Here’s How Your Skin Wins

Winter’s wind, low humidity and frigid temperatures bite at the skin, even when we’re swathed in sweaters, hats and gloves or hiding out indoors. “Ambient humidity drops during the winter, both indoors and outdoors, and contributes to increased trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), which means our skin is losing water at...

Artificial Intelligence

Breast Radiologists Get a Second Set of Eyes: Artificial Intelligence

One fear about artificial intelligence generated by computers is that it will replace humans, but a trio of radiologists with Hartford HealthCare welcomed recent headlines about the technology in mammogram reading rooms. Google-funded researchers, in a study published in the journal Nature, asserted that AI could be more efficient than...

Head and Neck Cancer

ASCO Grant Recognizes Cancer Institute’s Efforts to Minimize Care Discrepancies

As the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute expands services across Connecticut, bringing specialists offering advanced care to locations closer to residents’ homes, national organizations have taken notice. The work to minimize discrepancies in care for minorities and those living in rural areas, also called healthcare disparity populations, has earned the Cancer...

SAM Training

New Training at Behavioral Health Network Helps Identify Suicide Risk

A fundamental element of the Zero Suicide Initiative at the Behavioral Health Network is developing a competent, caring workforce, which includes training staff to identify and intervene with people in crisis and compassionately supporting staff after a suicide death. To achieve this goal, a dedicated team was developed and implemented a...

Homeless Count

With Point in Time Census, Rushford Team Hopes to Aid Homeless

Deanna Bencivengo and her team didn’t get to work until well after dark recently, and moved from the warmth of Rushford buildings into the streets as part of annual efforts to count the area’s homeless population and ensure needed services are available to them. Called the Point in Time (PIT)...

Arthritis and Aging

Free Talk: How to Manage Arthritis as You Age

Arthritis may be one of those stereotypical diseases of aging – there are more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year – but older people don’t need to give in to the pain and limitation this inflammation of the joints can cause. Dr. John Magaldi, director of rheumatology at the...


ECSU, Trinity Distance Runners Earn Courage Awards

A pair of local college runners understand the term “going the distance” perhaps better than most, a quality that earns them ribbons on the track and, more recently, designation as January’s Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Courage Award winners. The quarterly awards are given by the system, in association with the College...

Domestic Abuse

New Safety Card Connects Domestic Violence Victims With Help

Helping victims of domestic violence can be as basic as getting the right information into their hands and listening when they reach out, according to Susie DiVietro, PhD, a research scientist with the Injury Prevention Center. Dr. DiVietro offered a statistically and emotionally harsh look at intimate partner violence (IPV),...

Bone & Joint Institute

New Bone & Joint Institute Leader Looks to Data Analytics for Better Patient Care

In January 2017, the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute (BJI) at Hartford Hospital opened to much anticipation. Now a new leader looks eagerly to the future of caring for people with musculoskeletal issues. Dr. John Grady-Benson, who started as the BJI physician-in-chief in October, offers a quote from Galileo...

Ozzy Osbourne

How Physical Therapy Might Help Ozzy Osbourne, Other Parkinson’s Patients

For years, substance abuse might have been the presumed root of shaking and stumbling by rock star Ozzy Osbourne, but the 71-year-old rocker recently revealed that Parkinson’s disease is to blame. Parkinson’s, a chronic and progressive movement disorder for which there is treatment but no cure, affects more than 200,000...


‘A Good, Sober Way to Have Fun’: Boxing and the IOL’s Dual Diagnosis Program

He stood quietly, watching the others throw punches that sometimes missed the mark. Then Michael, his eyes intent behind roundish glasses, stepped forward and launched a series of solid punches, first at the instructor’s outstretched training mitts and then to the jaw of a sparring dummy. Uppercut. Thwack! Jab. Thwack!...

Exercise and Your Heart

February Walk to Wellness: The Best Exercises for Your Heart

The heart is a muscle and needs exercise just as much as other muscles in the body, but just how much exercise is enough to maintain good health? Similar to a prescription for any medication, exercise can be prescribed for the prevention, treatment and/or control of almost any chronic condition,...

After Cancer Treatment

How Tailored Cancer Care Improves Older Patients’ Quality of Life

The disease may be the same, but the body’s reaction to cancer and related treatment can be very different in older people. So, too, are the decisions about seeking care. “As we age, we might want different things for our lives and value quality time more,” said Dr. Rawad Elias,...

Anti-inflammatory Diet

Cooking Class Alert: Whip Up a Meal That Fights Chronic Illnesses

Inflammation is at the center of many chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. To help you lower your risk of such issues, a dietitian with Hartford HealthCare’s Bone & Joint Institute is offering a pair of cooking classes. Anti-Inflammatory Cooking Classes are set...

Alcohol Use Disorder

These Prescription Drugs Can Help Treat Alcohol Use Disorder

Long before the opioid overdose epidemic hit the news, alcohol-related deaths were taking nearly 90,000 American lives a year. Despite being the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States – after tobacco and obesity – alcohol use is often overlooked as an opportunity for life-changing intervention. Decreasing or...

Change

Word Leaders Support Gender Fluidity With ‘They’ Pronoun

It’s a four-letter word that means so much more today than ever before and the recent announcement that the word gurus at Merriam-Webster dictionary dubbed the pronoun “they” its word of the year marked a milestone for those identifying as non-binary. The dictionary had enhanced its definitions of “they” and...

Asian couple cooking in the kitchen

January Cooking Class: Winter Recipes That Fight Chronic Illness

Inflammation is at the center of many chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. To help you lower your risk of such issues, a dietitian with Hartford HealthCare’s Bone & Joint Institute is offering a pair of cooking classes. Anti-Inflammatory Cooking Classes are set...

Dr. Alan Solinsky

How This ‘Casual Bicyclist’ Ophthalmologist Pedaled Across Israel in Fundraiser

It had been on his bucket list for a while – biking across a beautiful foreign country and helping sick children in the process – so Dr. Alan Solinsky, an ophthalmologist and casual bicyclist, became a marathon rider. From November 10-14, Dr. Solinsky, of Solinsky EyeCare in West Hartford and Hartford Hospital’s...

Webb School

Webb Schools Find Disciplinary Alternative, Get Team Of the Year Award

The Webb Schools team was nominated for the Hartford Hospital Team of the Year Award after demonstrating excellence in its determined work to reduce the use of seclusion and restraints with students. The schools implemented the Positive Relationships and Intervention Strategies (PRaIS) model, which was developed and implemented by Webb...

Dr. J. Antonelle de Marcaida

Dr. DeMarcaida Makes ‘Woman of Distinction’ List

Hartford Magazine uses words like “exceptional” and “significant” to describe the 30 Women of Distinction profiled in its December issue. And, right there on page 49 is Dr. J. Antonelle de Marcaida, medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute’s Chase Family Movement Disorders Center. Dr. de Marcaida, a...

Dr. Bret Schipper

Dr. Bret Schipper, New Surgical Oncology Chief, Starts Seeing Patients

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute has announced the appointment of Dr. Bret Schipper as chief of surgical oncology at Hartford Hospital and director of oncologic surgery for the entire Cancer Institute. Dr. Schipper’s areas of interest include hepatobiliary surgery, both benign and malignant; minimally-invasive robotic surgery; soft tissue (melanoma/sarcoma) and gastric...

Senior man giving wife a kiss

Why ‘Hot Chemo’ Can Be More Effective Than IV Against Cancer

While traditional chemotherapy drips intravenously into the body to circulate and attack deadly cancer cells, a faster, a more effective way of helping people with some cancers is now available at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. Called Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC), the treatment is designed for people with cancers of...

Marijuana

With IOL’s Pearlson, TEDxHartford Talk to Highlight Marijuana, Driving Research

What do an organizational behaviorist, real estate marketer and anti-trafficking activist have in common with a behavioral health researcher from the Institute of Living (IOL)? For four hours on Tuesday, Dec. 3, the answer is the attention of those attending the TEDxHartford program as they share innovative and inspiring ideas...

Pancreatic Cancer

Where a Radiation Oncologist Fits in Your Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Treating hepatobiliary cancer involves getting the most powerful treatment directly to the source of the disease, which is where the skill of a radiation oncologist often comes in. Dr. Timothy Boyd, a radiation oncologist with Hartford Hospital and part of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute’s team approach to treating pancreatic...

The Joker

Here’s the Reality of ‘The Joker’ and Mental Illness, Violence

Arthur Fleck’s life is rife with challenges. In crime-riddled Gotham, he struggles with mental illness that often goes untreated due to his chronic employment issues, he’s mugged and bullied, and he cares for a sickly mother. The protagonist in the latest DC Comics blockbuster “The Joker,” Arthur muddles through until...

Chemo

Targeted Chemo Treatments Promising for HPB Patients

Everyone knows the connection between chemotherapy and cancer. It’s treatment and disease. With pancreatic cancer, maybe more than in other cancers, chemotherapy constitutes an integral part of the treatment. Medical oncologists oversee the use of chemo and other systemic treatments in patients with cancer, according to Dr. Rawad Elias, a...

Breast Cancer

HER-2 Gene: This Aggressive Breast Cancer Requires Targeted Treatment

Click here  for a callback from a breast health nurse navigator. All breast cancers are not structured, and therefore not treated, the same, which is why doctors test tissue removed during biopsies to determine the type and stage of the disease. All tissue is also tested for what is called...


How Age Can Affect How We Handle Stress

Stress is like taxes and death – one of life’s certainties — but as we age, the types of stress we face and our ability to handle it changes, and not always for the better. “Contributors to stress and anxiety vary with age,” says Peter Lucchio, a clinical psychologist who...

New GI Tract Procedure

A New Way to Remove Precancerous Lesions from GI Tract

Tiny lesions rooted deep inside the intestinal tract might sound deadly and, in the past, they might have been. But, thanks to a new technique being done at Hartford HealthCare, many patients are leaving the operating room cancer-free. Dr. Vaibhav Mehendiratta, a gastroenterologist with Connecticut GI who is affiliated with...

Patricia Rehmer

Coalition Against Domestic Violence Honors Rehmer

Awareness and education are keys to dispersing the shadow shame casts over domestic violence and when the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) honors people for their contribution to that effort this year, the Behavioral Health Network  president will be among them. Patricia Rehmer, who also serves as senior vice...

Mother and adult daughter.

How Surveillance Program Can Make a Difference When Breast Cancer Risk is High

One important way women at increased risk for breast cancer can monitor their health is by participating in Hartford HealthCare’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Surveillance Program. A variety of factors can may contribute to a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, including: A strong family history of breast cancer....

TAVR

Can You Get a New Aortic Valve While Partly Awake? With TAVR, Yes.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is the popular technique for replacing a defective heart valve without open-heart surgery, and one Hartford HealthCare fellow found a way to make it even safer, more efficient, more effective and less costly. Dr. Wassim Mosleh, a second-year University of Connecticut cardiology fellow working with...


Do You Have a Drinking Problem? Find Out With This 5-Question Quiz

Several recent scientific papers have tackled the health effects of alcohol, some claiming there are health benefits while others suggest the national published guidelines for “safe drinking” should be lower. The debate may make it harder to know if you or someone you care about has a drinking problem. “The...

Meat and Diet

Cardiologist on Meat Study: An ‘Utter Disservice to the Public’

Seems like as soon as you adjust your diet to follow the latest healthy recommendations, those suggestions change. But one Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute cardiologist said you can’t always believe what you read. Dr. Waseem Chaudhry warned against being too quick to add servings of red meat to your...

Deep Brain Stimulation

After Deep Brain Stimulation, Parkinson’s Patient Playing Banjo Again

Paul Cochrane hadn’t picked up his banjo in years, ever since Parkinson’s disease had caused tremors that prevented his fingers from plucking the strings to any semblance of a tune. But, after having the Vercise Gevia Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) battery implanted in January and turned and adjusted over the...

TryCycle

TryCycle, a Mobile Tool, Gives Added Connection in Recovery

It’s easy enough to talk about the urge to use opioids when you’re seated across from your counselor in a regular appointment. It’s the reason you’re there. But office visits are typically not when the temptation of opioid use disorder (OUD) is most challenging. That itch comes later, when you’re...

Your brain and aging

How Normal is Memory Decline as We Age?

Normal aging makes joints creak and skin sag. Inside the brain, cognition changes in similarly “predictable ways,” according to Dr. Amy Sanders, director of the Ayer Neuroscience Institute’s Memory Care Center in Wethersfield. Research has shown, she said, that the speed with which adults process new information or retrieve stored...

Exercise Program

New Twist for Cancer Survivors: Exercise Makes a Difference

So much of cancer seems beyond your control, but staying as active as possible can be key to managing the side effects of the disease and treatment and improving survival. Gretchin Bade, a physical therapist and program director of oncology with the Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network, cited at least 20...

Vaping

Addiction Expert: Recreational Vaping vs. Quitting Smoking

The lack of research and regulation around recreational use of e-cigarettes and vapes – plus national outcry after serious illness and deaths led to multi-state bans on sales – makes the devices less desirable than ever. In fact, one Rushford doctor had two words for anyone thinking of picking one...

Substance Abuse

People With Brain Injury Vulnerable to Substance Abuse

Increasingly, people with a traumatic brain injury are likely to have a substance use disorder, providing another alarming layer to the nation’s opioid overdose crisis as each pose a risk that people might develop the other. Dr. J. Craig Allen, vice president of addiction services with Hartford HealthCare, said, “The pairing...

Cancer Navigator

Find Out How Navigators Can Help on Your Cancer Journey

The diagnosis, the appointments, the blood work, the imaging tests – hearing the words “breast cancer” can be overwhelming enough but adding the related tasks can make you shut down emotionally. That’s why Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute locations offer breast cancer patients the help of nurse navigators who are involved...


Low T: What it is and what you can do about it

It’s one of the many results of aging for men, affecting 2 to 4 million men, but when low testosterone begins to affect quality of life, it’s time to seek expert attention. In a free talk entitled “The What, Why and How of Low Testosterone,” Hartford HealthCare endocrinologist Dr. Helen...

Suicide Prevention

New study: Will Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Prevent Suicide?

Hospitals provide a safe, if temporary, haven for people who have attempted suicide. Once they are released, however, the risk they will try to kill themselves again remains quite high. A newly-funded study at the Institute of Living in Hartford, part of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network, will investigate...

AAA

The Pain in His Side Was an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: How He Beat the Deadly Odds

Before July 2017, Richard Nobile thought AAA referred to minor league baseball or the automobile club. Unfortunately, he’s since learned it can also stand for “abdominal aortic aneurysm,” or a bulge in the abdominal segment of the aorta, the body’s main artery. More common in men, AAA is connected with...

Sports and Concussion

How Treating Concussions Has Changed: Free Talk On What You Should Know

Maybe the first time you realized how serious concussions could be was when the NFL started fielding lawsuits from former players with repeated head injuries that forever changed – or ended – their lives. Concussion – the mildest form of traumatic brain injury – can result from an accident, sports...

Vaping Bearded Man

Vaping and Your Kid’s Health: A Guide for Parents

Marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, vaping is now being linked to a stream of bizarre lung illnesses causing shortness of breath, chest pain and vomiting. Six people have died from a severe lung illness linked to vaping. More than 200 people, mostly teens or young adults, in 25...

Breast Cancer Surgery

New: Radiofrequency Seeds Aid Breast Surgery, Improve Cosmetic Results

Not all breast disease can be felt, so surgeons have developed ways to mark the lump or lesion for more effective removal. At Hartford HealthCare, that process just got a lot more high-tech and efficient. This month, the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute Breast Program becomes the first in the state...

Therapy Session

When Medical Illness Causes Mental Health Problems in Youths

As if struggling with chronic medical illness is not challenging enough for young adults, research shows they are also far more likely to develop mental illness than those not facing physical challenges or limitations. A two-year research study released by the Cambridge Health Alliance followed 48,000 youth between ages 6...

Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Hartford HealthCare Adds Neurosurgeon Andrew Wakefield

Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute announced that the providers with Connecticut Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, LLC, joined the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group and will continue to provide services at Hartford Hospital. The practice includes Andrew Wakefield, MD, FAANS, and Sean Brennan, PA-C. Dr. Wakefield, shown above, earned a master’s degree...

Opioids illustration

Meriden-Rushford Opioid Program Offers Clinical Services, No Arrests

Six months into a partnership with municipal and community groups in Meriden, a Rushford team of professionals and the city’s first responders have made a significant difference in the pervasive opioid epidemic with 45 referrals to wrap-around services that might have not been made otherwise. Perhaps more importantly, however, the...

Hispanics and Depression

At Rushford, Help for Hispanic Youths Facing Anti-Immigrant Vitriol

Biological causes aside, recent research indicates Hispanic youths struggle with depression more often than their black or white peers as a result of the bubbling negative sentiment against immigrants in this country. The vitriol is even evident locally, thousands of miles from the contentious United States-Mexico border and El Paso,...

Bulletproof Backpacks for Kids?

Parents Buying Bulletproof Backpacks for Children: Why It’s a Bad Idea

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing for pens, highlighters and notebooks, but some parents are picking up backpacks that come with bulletproof inserts in an effort to protect their children against school shootings. While the pricey backpacks – available at many retail outlets – are only able to block bullets...

Pills popping out of bottle.

Know Your Heart Meds: Here’s The Lineup

Heart disease varies from one person to another, as does the type of medication prescribed to take care of it. What doesn’t change is the need to understand what medicine you’re taking, follow the instructions and know what the potential side effects. “It can be confusing to keep medications straight,...

Golden Gate Bridge

How Suicide Prevention Became Part of This Officer’s Job

When Kevin Briggs was sent out on his California Highway Patrol motorcycle to monitor the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, he had no training in interacting with suicidal people but the pain and anguish he saw in their eyes affected him instantly and deeply. “I just wanted to be...

Parkinson's

Why Parkinson’s Researchers Now Targeting the Gut, Appendix

It might seem odd that one of the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is constipation, but those familiar with the workings of the human gut understand that it holds the key to many bodily functions. Dr. Duarte Machado, a Parkinson’s disease specialist and co-director of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience...

Dr. Elena Bortan

Dr. Elena Bortan Joins Ayer Neuroscience Institute

The Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute announced the appointment of Dr. Elena Bortan, a movement disorders specialist, to its team. Dr. Bortan comes to Hartford HealthCare from Middlesex Hospital, where she has worked for almost a decade. She earned her medical degree from Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy...

Recovery sign

New Program to Train Recovery Support Specialists

Sharing personal stories and helping others can be a rewarding part of the recovery process for many people, and the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network has created a way to make that happen. The Recovery Leadership Academy — an 80-hour certificate program for people in recovery from mental health and/or...


10 Signs of Mental Health Issues in Men

We know – and joke about – how, generally, men don’t particularly like seeing doctors for physical ailments, but getting them to see a professional for behavioral health issues is nearly impossible. Dr. Alexander Miano, physician psychiatrist at the outpatient behavioral health clinic at Backus Hospital in Norwich, has been at...


New Report Outlines Mass Violence Recommendations

A national report from behavioral health leaders, including two from the Hartford HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Network (BHN) dispelled popular beliefs that mass violence is caused by people with mental illness. Released Tuesday by the Medical Director Institute (MDI) of the National Council for Behavioral Health, “Mass Violence in America: Causes,...

New Doctors

Cancer Institute Adds Four Medical Oncologists

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute announced the appointment of the following four new providers: Dr. Sara Dost, a medical oncologist and hematologist whose clinical interests are breast oncology and supportive care of cancer patients, begins in August. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Dost earned her medical...

Anorexia Study

Genetic Link Between Anorexia and Psychiatric, Metabolic Disorders?

For the first time, researchers have found a possible genetic link between anorexia nervosa and not only psychiatric but also metabolic disorders that may contribute to the disorder’s development. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a distorted perception of body size, severe restriction of food intake and dangerously...

Fiyabomb

At IOL, Connecting Young Clients Through Giant Murals

Eleven-year-old Xavier Hill had never really done anything artistic until he met a woman who managed to coax acrylic images of rainbows, skulls and basketballs out of him simply by sharing her personal story about art and mental illness. The Wethersfield boy, who attends the TOPS Extended Day Program at...

Dr. Arthur Tarantino

Dr. Tarantino Named To national Urological Association Board

Dr. Arthur Tarantino, a urologist with Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute at Hartford Hospital, was recently named to an eight-year term on the board of directors of the national American Urological Association. Founded in 1902, the AUA is the nation’s premiere professional urological organization, promoting the highest standards...

Blood Pressure

Local Study: Hypertension Patients Exercise More if They Can Check Blood Pressure

It’s not exactly mind over matter, but a recent study involving cardiologists with the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute demonstrated that people with hypertension exercised more if they could check their blood pressure before and after the workout. The first-of-its-kind study, conducted by a team from the University of...

Opioids illustration

These Three Medications Are the Best Way To Fight Opioid Epidemic

Fentanyl, the super-potent synthetic opioid that dealers and distributors have introduced into the illicit drug stream, has complicated efforts nationwide to prevent opioid-overdose deaths. Fentanyl, inexpensive to manufacture in “basement labs,” is being added to opioids and cocaine to stretch supplies and boost the highs, according to Dr. J. Craig Allen,...

Suicide Prevention Conference

IOL Sets Conference as Part of World Suicide Prevention Day

As American healthcare progresses on many fronts, trends around suicide remain alarming with the Centers for Disease Control saying the suicide rate is the highest it’s been since World War II. Consider these statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: In 2017, there were 13.42 suicides per 100,000 people....

Epilepsy

Cameron Boyce: Explaining ‘Sudden Unexplained Death’

Although a seizure stemming from his epilepsy is believed to have caused the recent death of actor Cameron Boyce, it is an extremely rare side effect of the disease, according to Dr. Gabriel Martz, director of The Epilepsy Center at Ayer Neuroscience Institute. Epileptic seizures – which occur when the...

Summer Cookout

How to Avoid Food Poisoning at Summer Cookouts

It’s all fun and games at the summer cookout until the food poisoning sets in; fortunately, there are easy and safer ways to plan for your family’s outside eating to avoid food-borne illness. The heat of summer makes it even more important to keep an eye on things that need...

Zero Prostate

ZERO Prostate Run/Walk in Hartford Raises $110,000

More than 550 participants raised more than $110,000 for prostate research and education as part of the 2019 ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk activities on June 30 in Hartford. The Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute partnered with ZERO Prostate on the event, which included a 5K run/walk, kids’ Superhero...

Doctor's Visit Via Video

A Doctor Visit Via Video? Let’s Check That Pacemaker or Defibrillator Incision

Download your guide on irregular heartbeats – and how they’re diagnosed and treated.  It takes less than five minutes for Dr. Steven Zweibel or the APRNs in his electrophysiology office at the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute to check the incision made to install a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)...

Millennials' health

Why Are Millennials Less Healthy Than Gen Xers?

So often, people say “it’s an age thing,” but in the case of millennials, poor health may be directly related to their age, and their regular use of social media and electronic devices. According to a report issued as part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association “Health of...


Hartford HealthCare Honors Cancer Survivors

Anyone who has faced a devastating diagnosis such as cancer well knows that life is too short. At Hartford HealthCare, we believe every patient is a survivor from the moment of diagnosis, even as they battle through any needed treatment or surgery. To celebrate survival and recognize National Cancer Survivors...

Men & Depression

Men, But Not Women, Experience These Signs of Depression

Depression – never considered a one-size-fits-all disease – varies so dramatically between men and women that many men don’t even realize they have it. Then, if some symptoms do seem familiar – or, most likely, someone close to them points it out – many men tend to downplay the severity...

Women and Heart Attacks

Why More Young Women are Having Heart Attacks

As more and more young women – particularly of color – experience high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, they are having heart attacks at an alarming rate. According to a study in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, the number of acute myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks, in...

Cardiac Surgery

Heart & Vascular Institute Earns Top Cardiac Surgery Ratings in North America

The Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital has earned distinguished international three-star ratings from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for its patient care and outcomes in aortic valve replacement, coronary artery bypass grafting and mitral valve replacement and repair. Earning three-star ratings, which denote the highest level of quality,...


ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk Set for June 30 in Hartford

The Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute providers treat more cases of prostate cancer a year than any other center in the state, but they would still like to see an end to the cancer, one of the most treatable forms when detected early enough. That is why the...

COVID Concerns

Just Zap It: Device Gets FDA Approval After Headache Center Testing

A revolutionary wearable device for migraine treatment, investigated by a Hartford HealthCare headache specialist, recently earned approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use. Dr. Brian Grosberg, director of the Hartford HealthCare Headache Center, said the new treatment comes in the form of electrical pulses delivered through...


Study: Teen Bullying Victims Struggle with Mental Health, Unemployment

Life as a bullied teen can be anxious and intolerable, but the effects of unaddressed behavior can linger long after days on the schoolyard or in the gym locker room. A recently released British study indicates that victims of teenage bullying are 40 percent more likely to grapple with mental...


Panel Discussion Addresses Minorities and Mental Health May 29 at Hartford Hospital

With research showing that minorities do not seek professional help for mental illness at the same rate as others, it’s vital to breach the gap, overcome stigma and share the value of treatment. On Wednesday, May 29, the National Association of Health Services Executives Connecticut Chapter and Hartford HealthCare will...

Pack of cigarettes

Hartford Hospital to Host Outreach Fairs on World No Tobacco Day

Many things in this life can take your breath away, but tobacco should not be one of them. To commemorate World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the Stop Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (STOPP) — a new population health initiative held at Hartford Hospital in partnership with the Connecticut...

Suicide Prevention

IOL Study, Funded by $1 Million Grant, Focuses on Repeat Suicide Attempts

Time is precious when someone is admitted to the Institute of Living after attempting suicide, making tailored, effective intervention key to warding off future attempts. That’s the impetus behind a three-year study launching under the direction of Dr. David Tolin, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center and Center for Cognitive...

Ayer Institute Adds Neurosurgeon

Dr. Mohamad Khaled, a Neurosurgeon, Joins Ayer Institute

Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute announced the appointment of Dr. Mohamad Khaled as a neurosurgeon seeing patients both at Hartford Hospital and in offices in Enfield. “Dr. Khaled’s broad base of expertise enhances the services we already provide to patients suffering from various diseases and tumors of the brain and...

Food-Drug Interactions

Dark Chocolate and Ambien? Watch Out for These Food-Drug Interactions

Eating “right” takes on a whole new meaning when you understand how medications might interact with certain foods – making them more or less potent or causing unsafe reactions. According to Jasmine Chen, pharmacy resident at Hartford Hospital, it’s important to talk to your prescribing doctor or the pharmacist about...

Cure Award

Cancer Institute’s Abbi Bruce an Extraordinary Healer Award Finalist

Abbi Bruce, director of the Hartford Region of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, has been recognized as a finalist for the CURE 2019 Extraordinary Healer Award. This is a distinguished national award presented at the Oncology Nursing Society annual conference to honor oncology nurses who have made great strides in...

Cancer and Bacteria

Study Investigates Bacteria’s Role in Fighting Cancer

Millions of bacteria are inside or on the surface of our bodies at any one time and are necessary for good health because they help us digest foods and keep harmful bacteria at bay. More recently, we have learned that they also modulate the strength of our immune system, which...

Telehealth and Sobriety

How MATCH’s Telehealth Video Conferencing Can Aid Sobriety

The Rushford clinical team offering supervised, medication-supported help for opioid addiction makes getting sober even easier by introducing video conferencing so patients don’t have to travel far to check in with an addictions doctor. Called telehealth, the initiative is an extension of Rushford’s Medication Assisted Treatment Close to Home (MATCH)...

Tommy John Surgery

Why Tommy John Surgery is On The Rise for Youth Pitchers

When Major League dreams start early, young baseball pitchers think of three things – throwing faster, throwing longer and throwing harder. What they’re not usually thinking about is how the activity on the mound affects their body, specifically their pitching arm and, even more specifically, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL)...

Our Families

‘Our Families’: New Mental Health Support Group for African Americans

Depression is a very individual experience, influenced by everything from body chemistry, living situation, education level and even race. The latter factor prompted Kimesha Morris, director of social work at the Institute of Living, to create a free, twice-monthly support group aimed specifically at the local African American community. “Our...

Anger

Why People, And Medical Researchers, Need Help with Anger

Anger is the first negative emotion babies can express and research shows that as many people seek treatment for it as depression and anxiety combined. Yet it is not officially classified a mental health disorder which, according to Dr. Ray DiGuiseppe, director of education with the Albert Ellis Institute and...

Dancing with the Stars

Watch Your Step: It’s Stars Dancing for Parkinson’s May 10

They’re doctors, administrators, corporate organizers – and now they’re dancers as part of the second annual Stars Dancing for Parkinson’s fundraiser to benefit the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center at the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute. “I’m no dancer – I’m not even sure I have rhythm!,” said Donna Handley, president...


Cancer Patients Find Care at their Fingertips with MyChart Bedside

As a patient, you, believe it or not, are the most important member of your healthcare team; you know yourself best, can feel when something is not right, and have the power to ask for what you need. Through a new initiative called MyChart Bedside, the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute...


Tapping Good Bacteria in the Fight Against Cancer

Millions of bacteria are inside or on the surface of our bodies at any one time and are necessary for good health because they help us digest foods and keep harmful bacteria at bay. More recently, we have learned that they also modulate the strength of our immune system, which...

Dr. Jimmy Choi

How Researchers Can See Psychosis in Someone’s Eyes

The pupil – the dark circle in the center of the eye that flexes in size based on available light – performs a much different role in people with psychosis. “The pupils are a direct link to the brain. They give away what you’re doing, thinking and feeling. It’s a...

Epilepsy

When is a Seizure Defined as Epilepsy?

When signals in the brain misfire for whatever reason, the result can be a seizure that can include violent, spastic movements, foaming at the mouth and loss of consciousness. When someone has multiple seizures that are unpredictable, it may be epilepsy. “Epilepsy is characterized by seizures but people can have...


BHN’s Prominent Presence at National Council Conference

As the National Council for Behavioral Health held its annual conference in Nashville in late March, a Behavioral Health Network contingent was on hand, with several clinicians presenting research and observation as part of professional sessions throughout the four-day event. “Hartford HealthCare was well-represented at the conference by an enthusiastic...

Autism Study

Autism Study, Backed by $3.6 Million Federal Grant, Targets Socializing Deficit

Understanding the way neuromechanisms in the brain help humans socialize might prove key to helping people with autism and other disorders like schizophrenia improve the way they connect with others. That’s the premise behind the research of Dr. Michal Assaf of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of...

MitraClip.

Hartford Hospital Heart Study Helps Push FDA’s MitraClip Approval

The good news for people with leaky mitral valves is that the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a device called MitraClip as an effective remedy that does not require open-heart surgery. The better news for Connecticut residents is that some of the ground-breaking research that prompted the FDA decision...

Stress and Anxiety

Stress, Anxiety and Your Immune System: How to Avoid Getting Sick

You take a daily multivitamin, even a Vitamin C boost when you feel a sniffle, but avoiding something else in your life is a better way to improve your immunity. “Stress and anxiety have a tremendous impact on our immune system,” said David Tolin, PhD, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center...


Hartford HealthCare to Begin Offering Text Message Reminders for Imaging Services

Life seems to get more and more hectic every day, with work calendars, social agendas, the children’s activities and, oh right, your health to think about. In an effort to gently remind people about upcoming outpatient imaging appointments, Hartford HealthCare will begin offering text message reminders. Through a partnership with...

Peripartum Depression

Beyond ‘Baby Blues’: IOL Program Identifies, Treats Perinatal Depression

Pregnancy should be a time of joy, but for women with mental illness it can be a complex period with layers of anxiety, fear and guilt overshadowing the excitement and anticipation. Up to 3 million women suffer from depression while pregnant and after giving birth, according to Art Guerra, APRN,...

Ketamine

What’s Next With New Ketamine Depression Drug? At IOL, a Study With Kids.

While the nation is clamoring for more information about the new treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for depression, Drs. Andrew Winokur and Mirela Loftus are quietly working on the next application. A nasal spray containing the active ingredient Esketamine — a chemical “relative” of the drug ketamine...


Turning Recovery into a Vocation

On the darkest days of his week-long hospitalization at Natchaug, Robert Belenchia talked to people. Diagnosed with general anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depressive disorder, Belenchia had checked himself into the hospital after isolating himself for weeks in his Norwich apartment. Many of the people around him...

Dr. Jessica Clement

Dr. Jessica Clement, Medical Oncologist, Joins Cancer Institute in Manchester

Dr. Jessica Clement has joined the team of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute as a medical oncologist. She will see patients at the new Hartford HealthCare location in Manchester starting March 25. Dr. Clement’s arrival is timed with the opening of a three-story medical facility in Manchester as part of...

Cancer

Another New Cancer Drug Targets Tumors Based on Genetic Makeup

For the second time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug treatment for patients with a specific genetic change in their tumor, regardless of the type of cancer. At Hartford Healthcare, Laila Mnayer, division director of Molecular Pathology and Cytogenetics, had already identified the importance of these fusion...

Opioids illustration

Suboxone Therapy Added to Institute of Living’s Professionals Program

A grim lesson of the opioid epidemic is that addiction can happen to anyone, including working people. The Professionals Addiction Recovery Program at the Institute of Living helps those in the workforce successfully address addiction issues. An intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to facilitate recovery efforts, the Professionals Program...


‘One for Everyone’ Donates to Avon Cancer Center

“What do we have in excess?” That was the simple question posed by a group of Avon seventh graders who had formed a charitable organization called One for Everyone. When the group was organized five years ago, the youth wanted to help those less fortunate but didn’t know what would...

The Science of Love

Teledildonics? Could Your Next True-Love Sexual Partner Be Non-Human?

Questions about men’s health, including sexual function? Click here to download your free informational guide.  With human brains wired to connect, the digital age has only expanded the ability to make liaisons of all kinds, from romantic to robotic. Robotic? Indeed, the science of love, lust and intimacy has expanded...


Saving ‘MORR’ Lives

K.C. Conklin’s song “Sober” debuted in January, reaching the Top 100 on the I-Tunes Hip Hop Chart and grabbing more than 1 million views online and through social media. But that’s not the amazing thing about this 31-year-old Wallingford resident. The real story is his comeback from the depths of...

HOCC adds endocrine surgeon.

Hospital of Central Connecticut Adds Dr. Carrie Carsello, Endocrine Surgeon

NEW BRITAIN – The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) has announced the addition of endocrine surgeon Dr. Carrie Carsello.  She is the only Hartford HealthCare surgeon who is fellowship trained in endocrine surgery, which treats conditions thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, goiters, hyperparathyroidism, Graves’ disease and nodules, tumors, and cancer of...


A March Madness Shocker: It’s the Tallwood Vasectomy Clinic!

While you’re laid up on the couch recovering from your vasectomy, you may as well have something fun to watch, right? That seems to be the thought behind a craze dubbed “Vas Madness” in which doctors and healthcare systems see an increase in the number of vasectomy procedures performed each...

CBD

The Power of CBD, a Marijuana Derivative, in Chronic Pain Management

Connecticut might not yet be a state where you can legally buy marijuana, but a derivative known as a good way to relieve chronic pain is readily available. Dr. Jonathan Kost, medical director of the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center and the Spine and Pain Institute at MidState Medical Center,...

Hand Pain

Hand Pain? When to See a Specialist

There’s a certain amount of ache you might expect with age and overuse of some body parts, but if pain in one or both hands affects much of your day, it might be time to see a specialist for relief. Dr. Michael Aron, an orthopedic doctor specializing in hands with...

Children's Anxiety

How Parents Create an Anxiety ‘Minefield’ for Children

As parents, we want the best for our children – limitless opportunities to pursue and enjoy a happy life – but, in reality, much of our hovering and fretting does them more harm than good. Dr. Eli Leibowitz of the Yale Child Study Center presented “The Role of Parents in...

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

How Pain in Her Shoulder Became Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Veronica Debkiewicz was just a few months shy of earning her nursing degree when she lost feeling and function in her right arm. “I woke up with a lot of pain in my shoulder,” said Debkiewicz, who now works as a perioperative nurse at Hartford Hospital. “It felt like my...

AdVance XP Sling

New ‘Sling’ Targets Stress Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Surgery

There’s advanced and there’s beyond advanced, and Dr. Richard Kershen entered the latter realm when he became one of the first urologists in the United States to implant a newly available urethral sling system in men struggling with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) as a result of previous prostatectomy. In light...

Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s: How to Get an Accurate Diagnosis

When stomach cramps and other bathroom distress seem to trouble you over and over, it might be more than just the lunchtime burrito or nerves. For about 700,000 Americans, these are the signs of Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s – which, with colitis, is an...

Migraine Treatment

New Armband Device, in Study, Delivers Relief for Migraine Sufferers

Most migraine sufferers have tried it all – medications, injections, resting in dark, quiet places – but a Hartford HealthCare headache specialist calls an armband device delivering electrical pulses a potential “revolutionary” new treatment for acute care. Dr. Brian Grosberg, director of the Hartford HealthCare Headache Center, was the principal...

Living with an Alcoholic

Living with an Alcoholic: What a Sober Partner Can Do

On good days, life seems to be exactly as you hoped – full of laughter, good conversation and shared goals. On bad days, you wonder if you’re in the same relationship at all. Living with an alcoholic, someone with alcohol use disorder, can feel like a frenetic ride on an...

Apple Watch

Why Heart Patients Shouldn’t Use Apple Watch to Detect AFib

Need to know more about abnormal heart rhythm and its treatments? Click here for your free informational guide.  Seems that the Apple smartwatch can do it all – check email, send an SOS, connect to your car, get directions, open your garage door and order a pizza — but checking...

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Lung Cancer Surgery: A Closer Look

Surgery to remove a lobe of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lung just before Christmas brought worldwide attention to a disease that is on the rise in the United States. While it’s not known if the 85-year-old justice, who does not have a history of smoking, had lung cancer...

Lung Cancer Screening

Lung Cancer Study Leads to New Screening Program

Need to know more about lung cancer? Click here to download your free guide.   Following national research data demonstrating substantial improvements in lung cancer mortality, Hartford HealthCare  researchers completed their own study exploring the feasibility of lung cancer screening in Connecticut. In a landmark study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute,...

Men's Health: Walk to Wellness

January Walk to Wellness at Westfarms

Monday, Jan. 8 8:30 am to 9:30 am Westfarms mall Men’s Health 101 Men and those who love them started the new year right at Men’s Health 101 as part of the Walk to Wellness program at Westfarms mall. Dr. Jared Bieniek, medical director of Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Men’s Health discussed...

The benefits of video games.

A Prescription Video Game? How Gaming Can Be Good for You

They’ve been linked with all sorts of negative things like violence and obesity but some video games can actually enhance psychiatric treatment, according to Dr. Paul Weigle, associate medical director of outpatient services at Natchaug Hospital. Noting that the Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing the first prescription video...

Alcohol Test

How Professionals Screen For Risky Alcohol Use

With the parties, charcuterie platters and twinkling lights of the holiday season comes an increase in alcohol consumption. Adding to the typical warnings about drinking and driving, however, is the heightened responsibility for front-line clinicians to screen for risky drinking and signs of alcohol use disorder, or AUD, according to Dr....


Breast Surgeon Earns Award

The Southern Connecticut Black Chamber of Commerce recently honored Dr. Camelia Lawrence, director of breast surgery at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (THOCC) and MidState Medical Center, as its Business Woman of the Year. The award was one of five given out at the group’s 11th Annual Awards and Holiday...


Jordan Mission Trip: ‘Never Seen [Medical Conditions] Like This Before’

The moment Dr. Waseem Chaudhry examined a woman whose veins were protruding, filled with patches of yellow and red bumps because of her high cholesterol he knew he was far, far away from his Hartford office. Dr. Chaudhry, a cardiologist at the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute, was in...


Suboxone Treatment Can Begin in the Emergency Room

On a recent Saturday, a patient was brought into The Hospital of Central Connecticut Emergency Department overdosing on opioids; doctors diagnosed him with Opioid Use Disorder and asked if he wanted to start recovery. When he agreed, they gave him a dose of Suboxone, a medication that eases what can...

Nutrition and Cancer

How an Oncology Nutritionist Can Help Your Body Fight Cancer

Nutrition is an essential part of health and shouldn’t be neglected when going through cancer treatment. MaryBeth Dahlstrom-Green, an oncology nutritionist with the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Backus Hospital, said the often rigorous treatment required to fight cancer can leave patients physically and emotionally depleted. That’s where she comes...

Memory and Marijuana.

Memory and Marijuana: Study at Olin Research Center Focuses on Young Users

From the control room of the functional MRI at the Institute of Living’s Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, Dr. Alecia Dager watches the monitor for signs of activity in the portion of the brain that controls memory, curious as to how the drug impacts this process. (In the image above, the orange...


Community Partnership Puts Opioid Users into Treatment Instead of Jail

Drugs fueled a vicious, seemingly unending circle for Steven Mikkanen. Using since high school, when he “wanted to fit in,” left him homeless and broke throughout his 20s. He’d steal to support his habit, but multiple arrests left him undesirable to employers and feeling worthless. In 2014, after three arrests...

Cholesterol

Why Coronary Calcium Testing is a Focus of New Cholesterol Guidelines

The recent introduction of new American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) cholesterol guidelines underscored the need for a more personalized approach to assessing cardiovascular disease risk, including more widespread use of coronary calcium testing, an approach long supported by Hartford HealthCare’s Preventive Cardiology Program. The AHA,...

E-cigarettes

Here’s Why Juul Is More Addictive Than Other E-Cigarettes

News this week that the manufacturer of the electronic cigarette Juul will voluntarily limit sales of its flavored liquids to online purchases is a step in the right direction but certainly not snuffing out the problem, according to some Hartford HealthCare providers. “Regulatory action preventing Juul sales would be great,”...

Winter and your heart.

Why Breathing Winter Air Through Your Mouth Is Bad for Your Heart

Benefits from exercising in the winter include helping beat seasonal blues, increasing energy levels and boosting your immune system in cold and flu season, but breathing cold air can have adverse effects on your body. “The rate of heart attacks may be as much as 30 percent higher in the...

Flu vaccine and the heart.

Study: Flu Shot Can Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke

Preventing the flu is reason enough to get an annual vaccine, but a research study this year also suggests that flu shots can help prevent heart attacks and stroke as well. A research team from the University of Toronto examined close to 20,000 patients testing positive for the flu and...

Opioids

What FDA Approval of Powerful Opioid Dsuvia Means to Addiction Fight

Recent Food and Drug Administration approval of Dsuvia pain medication has stirred controversy in a nation enduring a relentless opioid crisis spurred in part by the physical dependence many people develop after seeking legal remedies for pain. As politicians and caregivers in the nation’s healthcare system struggle to find a...

Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate Cancer: What is ‘Active Surveillance’?

While it may seem passive, the “active surveillance” approach to treating prostate cancer requires a diligent monitoring process. Dr. Stuart Kesler, a urologist with the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute, says that even when prostate cancer is discovered, there isn’t always a need to start treatment immediately. Often,...


Dr. Patricia DeFusco to Lead Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute Breast Program

Dr. Patricia DeFusco (left) with Dr. April Duckworth at the recent Pink Party in West Hartford. Dr. Patricia DeFusco, affiliated with the Hartford Hospital Division of Medical Oncology since 1986, was recently named the first director of the Breast Program for the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. Her experience – and...


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Recurring Thoughts and Actions that Affect Your Life

It’s one of those abbreviations that gets tossed around freely in conversation, but OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a chronic, long-lasting disorder that plagues many people with uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and requires they repeat behaviors over and over just to get through the day. “People oversimplify OCD, using it as...


Blackouts: Common and Dangerous Result of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

They’ve been the subject of comedy skits, courtroom dramas and even Supreme Court justice nomination hearings but the reality is that blackouts are a common and dangerous result of excessive alcohol consumption. “A blackout comes after heavy or binge drinking when the person loses control over impulses and, later, has...


Jamie Lee Curtis: ‘Getting Sober Remains my Single Greatest Accomplishment.’

PHOTO CREDIT: Gage Skidmore via Flickr It was a prescription for painkillers after eye surgery that served as the entry into a battle against opioid abuse for “Halloween” actress and children’s book author Jamie Lee Curtis. “Getting sober remains my single greatest accomplishment,” she told People. “Bigger than my husband,...

Dr. Camelia Lawrence

A ‘Bit of Anxiety’ Over This Physician’s First Mammogram, at 40

Dr. Camelia Lawrence took the proverb “physician, heal thyself” quite seriously when she donned a johnny recently and stepped up to a machine in The Hospital of Central Connecticut radiology suite in Plainville recently for her first screening mammogram. She just turned 40 and, as director of breast surgery for...

Rushford sign.

For Rushford Clients, an ‘Eye-Opening’ Fitness Center

In a small room crammed with eight pieces of exercise equipment, dozens of Rushford clients are logging actual miles of recovery. The Rushford Fitness Center in Middletown, featuring equipment donated by an area Planet Fitness and painted with the brand’s bold yellow and purple, has been booked solid by clients...

Scott Kress

Hartford HealthCare’s First Neuroscience Symposium Set for Oct. 27

Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute will host its first symposium to help providers care for patients with common neurological conditions and make appropriate subspecialty referrals. Called “Innovations and Advances in Neuroscience Conditions,” the event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Connecticut Convention...

Opioids Crisis

How $22 Million Federal Grant Will Be Used in State to Fight Opioid Crisis

A federal infusion of $22 million to help fight the opioid crisis in Connecticut, where the overdose rate is higher than the national average, will be directed at retrieving unused narcotics through pharmacy and police department collection centers. Dr. Vincent McClain, associated medical director of residential services with Rushford, spoke...

Counseling.

Rushford: Despite Opioid Epidemic, More People Seeking Help For Alcohol Abuse

Much attention has been paid to the scourge of heroin, opioid addiction and related overdose deaths, but clinical supervisors at Rushford locations say the clients they see are primarily suffering from alcohol use disorder. “Eight-one percent of our clients last month were treated for alcohol problems and only 13 percent...

CT Scan

Ayer Neuroscience Institute Adds Multiple Sclerosis Services, Specialists

Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute is expanding its services and is proud to announce the formation of a Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center, which will be led by Dr. Brian Wong and Dr. Derek Smith. The program will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and...

First-Episode Psychosis

What Happens After Experiencing Psychosis for the First Time?

It might start subtly or be something easily attributable to the nuances and stresses of growing up, but first-episode psychosis is an important peek at the mental unraveling that will certainly occur if nothing is done. Early intervention is key to helping people with first-episode psychosis, or FEP, get the...

Heart & aspirin.

Baby Aspirin a Day for Your Heart? Not For Everyone

While about 50 percent of older American adults take aspirin regularly to ward off heart disease, a new study reveals that the practice may actually cause more harm than good for healthy people. Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology and physician co-director of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute,...

MitraClip.

Study: MitraClip Device a ‘Game-Changer’ for Heart-Failure Patients

Until now, patients with serious heart failure caused by leaky valves were treated so they felt a little better but the disease relentlessly stunted their life expectancy relentlessly. Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, however,  gives hope to these patients, according to Dr. Sabet Hashim, chair...

Pharmacist

The List: Patients Who Don’t Take Meds as Prescribed, By Condition

“Devastating” and “staggering (toll)” are adjectives used by officials with the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Medical Director Institute, or MDI, on its recent report showing a grave lack of compliance to medication prescriptions. Noncompliance with medication regimens — when people do not take prescription drugs as prescribed by their...

Brain tumor.

Free Symposium to Help Brain-Tumor Patients, Caregivers

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute will host the 12th annual Fred Cohen Symposium on Friday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Hartford Marriott Downtown at 200 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford. The session, “Living with a Brain Tumor: Tools to Empower Patients & Caregivers,”  is free for...

Vaping

5 Myths About E-Cigarettes, As FDA Considers Action

The Food and Drug Administration last week threatened a ban on flavored e-cigarettes after research showed the number of teens using the devices has reached epidemic proportions. “I’ve been asked a lot of questions about electronic cigarettes in my community nurse travels,” says Lisa Hageman, a nurse at Backus Hospital....

Rushford sign.

National Accreditation Boosts Rushford Addiction Medicine Program

Dr. Samuel Silverman,  director of medical education and the Rushford Addiction Medicine Fellowship, announced the program recently earned Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accreditation, the final step in bringing national recognition to local efforts to elevate addiction medicine as a subspecialty in American medicine. Once a field has American...

Dr. John Santopietro

Dr. Santopietro Brings ‘Servant Leadership’ to Behavioral Health Network

Every summer and Christmas vacation from high school through medical school found John Santopietro, MD, DFAPA, donning a rubber apron and working in his family’s fish market, preparing, stocking and selling filets, squid, eel and snails. The large Italian family that gathered often and talked incessantly was a good breeding...

Illustration showing head with letters OCD.

Free Talk at Blue Back: Getting Help for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It’s one of those abbreviations that gets tossed around freely in conversation, but OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a chronic, long-lasting disorder that plagues many people with uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and causes them to repeat behaviors over and over again just to get through the day. To help people...

Recovery

5 Tips on Supporting Your Loved One During Recovery

Loving someone in recovery for mental or substance abuse disorders can be challenging, but there are a variety of ways to be supportive as they make their way. “Family members and close friends are tremendously important influences when someone is in recovery,” says Patricia Rehmer, president of the Hartford HealthCare...

Written epilepsy diagnosis, with pills.

Brain-Protein Study Could Lead To New Epilepsy Drugs

Research identifying the role of a specific protein in the brain in triggering epileptic seizures could spark creation of a new family of medications to help patients with the disease, according to Dr. Gabriel Martz,  director of the Epilepsy Center at the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute. The research, published in...

Doctor with patient.

Arthritis? Osteoporosis? Lyme Disease? Why You Might Need A Rheumatologist

Rheumatology encompasses many various acute and chronic, lifelong conditions of the body’s joints and soft tissues that are often misunderstood. This, according to Dr. John Magaldi, chief of rheumatology at Hartford HealthCare’s Bone & Joint Institute, can include such conditions as: Arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoporosis...

Austin Rice

‘It Felt Like I Was Screaming but There Was No Sound Coming Out of Me’

Austin Rice knew better. Watching people overdose while in high school in Colchester, he saw how seductive and addicting opioids can be. Studying chemistry in college, he learned how they can ravage the mind and body. In the end, he knew, but he didn’t care. Rice was 21 when a...


Diabetes Patient Credits Backus Wound Care for Saving His Foot

Like many people with diabetes, Roland Bowley couldn’t feel the sore on his right foot until it got so bad a nurse said he might need to have it amputated. The disabled 63-year-old from Canterbury says he had a wound that became infected. “I just didn’t feel it until it...

Demi Lovato

How To Identify Signs, Symptoms of Impending Relapse

The tragic backslide of singer-actress Demi Lovato into addiction may have shocked some of her fans, but comes with less surprise to those familiar with the signs and symptoms of an impending relapse. According to news reports, she was seen in late-night clubs, was struggling to keep her commitments and...

Drug counselor with client.

How Relapse of Patient with Psychiatric, Substance Use Disorders Affects the Clinician

Empathy is defined as the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, an important quality for healthcare providers. Medical disorders with overt physical symptoms – those of a heart attack or broken bone, for example – engender these feelings. Unfortunately, medical disorders with emotional or behavioral symptoms are often not...

Cancer Screenings for Men

Men: Cancer Screenings You’ll Need, By Age

Worried about cancer? Click here to get a call back from one of our cancer experts.  When it comes to cancer, the best defense is often an offense in the form of routine screenings, especially since many cancers grow long before you’ll experience or recognize a symptom. Screenings can include bloodwork, diagnostic...

Young woman.

Women: Cancer Screenings You’ll Need, By Age

Worried about cancer? Click here to get a call back from one of our cancer experts.  When it comes to cancer, the best defense is often an offense in the form of routine screenings, especially because many cancers grow long before you’ll experience or recognize a symptom. Screenings can include bloodwork, diagnostic...


Expert: Soccer Players Trapped in Cave Will Bounce Back

As the world watched the drama unfold beneath the earth in Thailand, where 12 youth soccer players and their young coach were trapped for more than two weeks after a spelunking trip, J. Craig Allen, MD, thought about their mental health. “Being separated unexpectedly from family and friends can be...


What’s a Baby-Friendly Hospital? Ask a Breastfeeding Mother

With breastfeeding experiencing a global resurgence bolstered by research touting its benefits, Hartford HealthCare hospitals have responded by creating Baby-Friendly environments focused on supporting mothers in their feeding choice. The Centers for Disease Control’s 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card reveals that more than eight in 10 new mothers begin breastfeeding their...

Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana For Opioid Withdrawals? A Vote For More Research

A lack of scientific evidence snuffed out efforts to add opioid-use disorder and opioid withdrawals to the approved list of indications for access to Connecticut’s medical marijuana program, a decision earning support across Hartford HealthCare. “In terms of curtailing cravings, we just don’t have the evidence,” Dr. Jonathan Kost, director...

Stroke

New Imaging Software Helps Minimize Stroke Damage

Time is the best tool for someone having a stroke. Although a stroke, or interruption in the flow of blood to the brain, happens every 40 seconds in the United States, new interventions can markedly reduce the size of a stroke up to 24 hours after it occurs. “Stroke remains...


Pre-Diabetes: What are the Risk Factors?

It’s like a wake-up call for your body but, unfortunately, most people who have pre-diabetes don’t hear it because there are no telling symptoms. The statistics from the Centers for Disease Control are alarming, revealing that more than 84 million American adults, or 33.9 percent of the adult population, have...


New Vaccine Offers Relief for Shingles

The odds of protecting yourself against the painful shingles infection have almost doubled with the introduction of a new vaccine for people over the age of 50. “One in every three adults will develop shingles at some point and, over the age of 85, 50 percent of the population will...

"Vitamin D" written in sand.

Which Nutritional Supplement (If Any) Is Right For You?

Almost every day you see an ad or hear someone talking about taking a supplement to help with metabolism, memory or sleeping, but the shelves at the drugstore are loaded with so many types of supplements it can be dizzying. Where do you start? As with many health-related questions, start...

Richard Kristoff

A Closer Look at Longtime Runner’s Knee-Replacement Surgery

When Richard Kristoff was about 40 years old, his brother called him fat, launching a 45-year passion for running. The Columbia native ran at least five miles a day, more on weekends, in pockets of time he found around his work schedule with Pratt & Whitney, where he spent 40...

Female doctor talking to male patient.

What is External Beam Radiation Therapy?

It sounds like something dangerous or straight out of a science fiction movie, but external beam radiation therapy is one of the best and most advanced ways to treat prostate cancer. Dr. Nicole Anderson, a radiation oncologist with Backus Hospital, says external beam radiation is recommended for many patients with...

Woman at indoor rock-climbing facility.

How to Stop the Brain Drain of Aging

As aging takes its toll on our bodies and brain mechanics, researchers point to lifestyle, exercise habits and eating patterns that can maximize brain health and minimize impairment. Lynne McPhee, a registered dietitian at Backus Hospital, says what we eat and how we live can impact our brain’s ability to...

23andme test kit, opened.

Why You Should be Skeptical About FDA-Approved Cancer Test by Mail

The recent Food and Drug Administration decision allowing people to be tested for hereditary cancers through the mail may be more challenging than it seems. Dr. Sapna Khubchandani,  a breast specialist with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group Hematology Oncology practice in Waterford, says it is “concerning” that the genetic testing...


Carpal Tunnel: What You Need to Know

If your hands ache after a day at the computer or you can’t open a jar without help, how do you know if it’s a sign of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Stephen Scarangella, MD, director of the Hand Program at Windham Hospital, suggests asking yourself these five questions before making a...


Surgical Program Yields Dramatic Results in First Year

Just a year ago, a Backus Hospital colorectal surgeon and his nurse practitioner started coaching their colorectal surgical patients to get in the  best possible shape weeks before they even entered the operating room, with the belief that preparing or “training” for surgery would help them achieve the best possible...

Group photo with kid holding two cards.

Why Kids’ Care Packets for Cancer Patients Won’t Stop Now

They say it takes a village, and sometimes it’s the smallest villagers who make the biggest difference. Take 10-year-old Ava Benson of Mansfield, for example. After watching her mother Alicia go through treatment for breast cancer at Windham Hospital, the two talked about giving back to the hospital and helping...


Courtney, in Windham, Says Rural Hospitals Need Medicare’s ‘Extra Boost’

Calling it “an incredible priority in eastern Connecticut,” Rep. Joe Courtney celebrated the recent five-year extension of the Medicare Dependent Hospital Program with a visit Tuesday to one of its beneficiaries, Windham Hospital. “Rural hospitals like Windham need the extra boost,” Courtney said of the $3.8 million in annual reimbursements...

Dr. Howard Haronian

Lower Your Blood Pressure With These Lifestyle Changes

Olympics fans know him as the Flying Tomato, a snowboarder who defies gravity on the halfpipe and looks rather dapper draped in gold medals, but as a child Shaun White was a medical challenge. Born with a heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which comprises four congenital heart defects, White...

Adrianne DeVivo

Help for the Caregiver: Windham Hospital Adds Dementia Specialist

WILLIMANTIC — In most cases of dementia, there are two people in need – the person with the disease and the caregiver. Adrianne DeVivo, the new dementia specialist at the Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging at Windham Hospital, cares for both of them. DeVivo conducts assessments with dementia patients...


Why He Thanks a Robotic Arm for His New Hip

Bob Poole could manage the pain in his hip as long as he was working full-time and sitting down for most of the day. But when he retired, it started to keep him sidelined from the activities he enjoys. “It’s the golden years, right?” says Poole, a Lisbon resident, with...

Woman scratching head, question marks in background.

‘Chemo Brain’ is Real. This is What It Feels Like.

As if the diagnosis and treatment for cancer weren’t bad enough, side effects like “chemo brain” can further upend your life and leave you searching for keys, eyeglasses or even words. “Chemo brain is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems they experience after...


Study: Extending Treatment Reduces Breast Cancer Recurrence

Imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer, going through the treatment and hearing that you are cancer-free, only to receive another related cancer diagnosis 10 or 15 years later. That happens to many women with estrogen receptor positive (ER-positive) breast cancer, which is fueled by their estrogen levels, says Dr. Sapna...

Teen girl

What’s Wrong (and Right) with ’13 Reasons Why’

Episode screening, discussion to be held Nov. 29 at NFA NORWICH – With a sequel to the controversial Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” on the horizon, the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network will hold a town hall discussion on Nov. 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., in Norwich Free Academy’s Slater Auditorium,...


Hartford HealthCare, Constitution Surgery Open Ambulatory Care Center

WATERFORD–Hartford HealthCare and the Constitution Surgery Alliance celebrated the opening of Constitution Surgery Center East Thursday with a ribbon-cutting at the brand new, state-of-the-art facility that will offer outpatient surgery options for patients right in their community. The Center, which will officially open for procedures next week, will be utilized...

Man with dementia.

A New Type Of Police Training: When The Missing Person Has Dementia

When Officer John John of the Willimantic Police Department is dispatched with his canine partner to search for a missing person, his adrenaline begins racing and his already animated and rapid-fire way of talking amplifies. That will be changing in some cases, however, after he attended a training on how...


How These Cancer Patients Get A Sensory Reboot Through Art Therapy

Karen Sedgwick stares intently at the outline of a body on the legal-size paper in front of her before selecting a red chalk crayon and beginning to fill it with dark red lines that stretch up and down the arms, legs and torso. She adds some blues and more red,...


Cancer And The Immune System: FDA Panel’s Approval Of Pioneering T-Cell Therapy

The availability of a pioneering T-cell therapy, the first treatment that genetically alters a patient’s cells, moved one step closer recently with FDA approval. The T-cell therapy, created at the University of Pennsylvania and licensed to the pharmaceutical company Novartis, removes immune cells from the patient’s bloodstream, genetically reengineering them...

Quite Smoking

Cancer Institute Head: Fight Teen Smoking By Raising Legal Age

There is absolutely nothing good about tobacco, according to Dr. Peter Yu, head of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. “Tobacco is just a bad product,” he says, “one that kills people or makes their lives horrific. I find it hard to think of any one substance that can harm your...