Recent Articles

Pack of cigarettes

2 Hartford Hospital 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...

ADHD

Not Just for Kids: What it Takes To Be Diagnosed With ADHD as an Adult

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, when correctly diagnosed in children, often lingers into adulthood, but for others it’s only then that it manifests itself for the first time. Michael Stevens, PhD, of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living in Hartford, said ADHD in adults is only slightly less common...

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...

Seasonal Allergies

Here Comes Pollen Season: What to Do, What to Take

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...

Breast Screening

Breast Surgeons Group: Start Routine Screening at Age 40

If age is just a number, why is the year a woman should start having annual mammograms so important – and so controversial? Most recently, the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) issued new guidelines advising women at average risk of breast cancer to begin annual mammograms at 40, which...

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...

Men & Depression

How to Identify Depression in Men

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...

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...


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...

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

How Childbirth Can Lead to Pelvic Organ Prolapse

In a perfect world, things stay where they’re supposed to stay and perform the way they’re supposed to perform. There’s nothing perfect, however, about the way childbirth stretches and tears the ligaments in a woman’s pelvis that hold up her internal organs. When they are worn out, the uterus, bladder...

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,...

Opioids

Here’s the All-Hands-on-Deck Plan To Fight State’s Opioid Epidemic

When Connecticut made the Top 10 list for the number of opioid deaths by state for 2017, addiction experts at Hartford HealthCare were not surprised. “The data is tragic but not new,” said Dr. J. Craig Allen, medical director of Rushford, adding that several systemwide strategies were not in place in 2017....

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...

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...

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...

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...


HHC Cardiologist Brings Experience With Him on Mission Trip to Jordan

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...


Why Athletes are More at Risk for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Markelle Fultz makes a living – he was the NBA’s No. 1 pick overall in the 2017 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers — by keeping his arms aloft, guarding his team’s basket from the jump shots of opposing players. Now, that very movement has sidelined him for at least a...


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 very 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....


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,...


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...

HPV Vaccine

STD: New Human Papilloma Vaccine Protects Against Several Cancers

Like many things in science and medicine, the vaccine for the human papilloma virus has evolved. First it was recommended for females age 12 to 26 who had not been sexually active, later for males in the same age group who had not had sex. Recently, however, research prompted the...

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...

Mother and adult daughter.

A Bigger Role for Immunotherapy in Breast Cancer Treatment?

Although immunotherapy – the ability to use the body’s immune system to fight off cancer – has not been as helpful for breast cancer patients, new research shows “promise” for some women, according to Dr. Patricia DeFusco, director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute Breast Program. “Harnessing the immune system...

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...


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...

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,...

Female Soccer Players

Head Balls: Study Reveals More Brain Damage in Female Soccer Players

As female soccer players across the country lace up their cleats for another fall season, news that heading the ball is more dangerous for them than for males might have them changing their game plan. A research team at Albert Einstein College of Medicine recently revealed that brain scans showed...

Woman, arms folded.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Why Do Women Suffer Silently?

Women, known as the gender more likely to visit the doctor’s office for a medical issue, still remain largely quiet when it comes to pelvic organ prolapse. “This is something that affects 13 percent of women, but many are still embarrassed to discuss it with their physicians,” says Dr. Paul...

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...


New Research May Change the Way Women are Screened for Cervical Cancer

In Canadian research that could eventually change the way women are screened for cervical cancer, a test to identify the human papillomavirus (HPV) was deemed more accurate than traditional Pap exams at detecting precancerous cervical lesions. The study, which examined test results in more than 19,000 women, was published in...

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...

Dense breasts.

Study: Dense Breasts a Breast Cancer Risk Factor

Genetics isn’t the only thing that can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer – the density of her breasts also play a role, according to the results of a study recently published in the trade journal Radiology. Norwegian researchers studied more than 100,000 women and more than 300,000...


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...

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...


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...

Couple sitting on back of SUV.

Is This All it Takes To Avoid Cancer?

When it comes to cancer prevention, genetics are only part of your body’s story. How you live and what you eat can also promote overall health and keep your colon happy. Dr. Eric Secor, associate medical director of integrative medicine with the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, echoes the American Institute...


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...


Managing stress takes more effort as we get older

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, Psy.D., of the Institute...

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...


Study: Hormonal Birth Control Does Not Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

When it comes to a connection between hormone contraceptives and breast cancer, there seems little for women to worry about, according to a recent study. Dr. Sapna Khubchandani, an oncologist and breast health specialist with Hartford HealthCare Medical Group Oncology and Hematology in Waterford, says the study published in the...

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...

Woman's feet on scale.

When Bariatric Surgery Is Needed To Reset Your Body Weight

You may know what to do – countless trips to weight loss meetings and endless self-help articles in the media certainly gives us the information – but losing excess body weight is not always easy, especially the heavier we get. In fact, the obesity rate among American adults is the...


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...


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...