In opioid crisis, a call to action for advanced practice nurses

Rates of opioid abuse and heroin use have reached epidemic proportions in Connecticut. According to government statistics, accidental deaths rose from 357 in 2012 to 723 in 2015 — 53 percent of those involving heroin. That is a 102 percent increase in lives lost in a three-year period. Not only do individuals and families suffer but the financial implications are also substantial.

CT Health Care Cabinet proposal will hurt doctor-patient relationship

A state committee that most people have never heard of, the Health Care Cabinet, is planning to damage health care in Connecticut by disrupting the only thing that’s really working for us right now – our doctor-patient relationships. I am a breast cancer survivor and caregiver to my severely injured husband. Our family has spent years struggling with Connecticut’s broken, insurance-driven health system. We know how badly the system needs reform, but the Cabinet, whose mandate is to find practical fixes, is making a big mistake by focusing on the wrong thing.

‘Planned Parenthood stays open – no matter what’

Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years, and one thing is clear: we will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the health care they need. All people, including immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people of faith, and more, are entitled to and deserve high-quality health care without barriers.

Vote Tuesday for our country’s future — our children

I am a pediatrician and I vote. I vote on behalf of kids who cannot speak up for themselves. I vote so that the needs of children are prioritized by our elected leaders. I vote on behalf of the children I see in my clinic every day.
In a few short days, all of us will have the opportunity to make a difference by casting our votes, and I plan to use my vote to support our country’s future – our children.

How Progressives can invest in future elections on Nov. 8

Voters are disheartened, with polls showing much dislike for both Trump and Clinton. But to paraphrase Michelle Obama, even as this presidential race has brought us “low,” we can still go “high” by effecting change beyond 2016. We have an opportunity to contribute to a more representative, democratic electoral future by considering other presidential candidates —“third parties”– who represent important populist issues neither Trump nor Clinton do.

Feds new policy on Part B hurts cancer patients

Connecticut residents are doing everything they can to find a cure for cancer both professionally and personally. For some, that means lacing up their sneakers and participating in charity runs, for others, it means showing up for treatment or work at hospitals, cancer centers, medical offices or biopharmaceutical firms across the state. However, a new proposal that officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are pushing could thwart many of these efforts and result in cancer doctors having to move away from providing patients the most advanced medications.

13 wrong-site surgeries, one on the wrong person, and she has questions

The 2016 Connecticut Department of Public Health Report on adverse medical events was recently released. I was waiting for this report and hoping that I would read about significant improvements from the past years, showing meaningful reductions in the number of patient harm events leading to death or serious injury or consequences. What I read was that there has been no significant reduction in the number of patient harm events over the last year.

Disability and invisibility in Connecticut

I was in the park, enjoying the roses when a good-looking man said to me, “I’m an orthopedist. I’ve taken care of your type of people. I know what wrong with you.”

No, he didn’t.

I’m often short tempered, a procrastinator and not detail oriented. I’ve bombed out writing poetry and can’t seem to learn how to structure a novel. These are real flaws. Athetoid cerebral palsy, though, is just a physical difference. In a world free from prejudice, the issues it creates would only be logistical – how to get from here to there, how to pour without spilling, how to make yourself understood by strangers when you’re nervous.

The casual comment made me feel the invisibility that disability rights advocate Anastasia Somozo would later refer to at the Democratic National Convention.

Cry me a river, Aetna

You might be thinking, based on what insurance company CEOs have been saying over the past few weeks, that carriers are awash in red ink because of Obamacare and would surely go bust if they had to keep paying the medical claims of their Obamacare customers for even one more year. You might even be shedding a tear or two for their poor shareholders.