Thursday, September 03, 2009
By Larry Untermeyer
An opinionated and vociferous crowd of more than 1,000, including many Westporters, gathered in the Norwalk High School auditorium tonight to express their feelings, both for and against, proposed health care reform.
A man gestures to the crowd tonight at a health care forum hosted by Congressman Jim Himes (rear) at Norwalk High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
The audience members were extremely vocal in stating their opinions, while Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) in a calm and dignified manner listened and responded to all who spoke. Tonight’s meeting was one of several that the congressman has held throughout his district.
Himes’s sedate manner contrasted sharply with the boisterous yelling of the apparently organized opponents of any form of health care reform, many of whom seemed unwilling to listen to any reasonable explanation of the proposals.
At times, the noise of the hecklers was so loud that the congressman could hardly be heard.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
In between area Town Hall-type meetings on health care reform, Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) addressed the Westport Rotary Club today on a number of issues, but with health care reform the focus of most interest. The freshman congressman said the one thing most people agree on is that the present system is unacceptable. If it is not changed, he said, “health care cost inflation will crush this country.” Himes said the proposed health care bill creates more competition in the marketplace but lamented what he said was a deficiency in that it does not encourage people to be healthy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, August 24, 2009
The towns of Westport, Weston, and Wilton, acting with the Westport Weston Health District, have formed an H1N1 Task Force to deal with issues related to a possible H1N1 outbreak, Health District Director Mark A. R. Cooper announced today.
Mark A. R. Cooper: “Doing all that is possible…”. File photo
He said details of the work of the group will be announced Tuesday at a news conference involving municipal leaders, as well as school and public health officials of the three towns.
“We are working together to do all that is possible to prepare for the uncertain flu season ahead of us and to make sure our citizens understand how best to minimize the spread of influenza in our schools and communities,” Cooper said.
He said the towns of Westport, Weston and Wilton have reviewed and are prepared to implement their Public Health Preparedness and Response Plan should the severity of the H1N1 flu increase in the coming weeks or months.
The Westport Weston Health District today announced the dates of its seasonal flu clinics and said it is important that Westporters get seasonal flu shots in addition to possible H1N1 flu shots.
“While the H1N1 influenza virus has been the focus of attention since the spring, it is important that we do not forget the risks posed by seasonal influenza viruses,” the District said in a news release.
It said every year in the United States, on average 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes.
Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from seasonal influenza, the District said.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Westport physician Robert Levine has authored a new book, “Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System: Why Comprehensive Reform Is Needed.” In it, Levine says that in order to cut administrative costs, the United States needs a single-payer system and should put all physicians on salary to prevent profit-driven medical practices. “Our health care system is in great trouble and no one is talking about it in terms of containing costs,” Levine said. The book, which will not be sold in stores, is available beginning Friday through www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Employees of the Patagonia sportswear store at Westport’s 87 Post Road East were rewarded with a Dahon folding bike for their first place ranking of all 25 Patagonia stores across the country for their excellence in the company’s bike week last month. All 14 store employees racked up 562 miles commuting on bikes. Store manager Nate Paulson (not in photo) commuted from White Plains to Westport by bike on four days that week, a distance of 37 miles each way. Louis Pietig of Westport, a member of the store’s management, said, “We encourage our employees to bike to work – and many are doing that.” The folding bike award was presented by Westporter Steve Cuomo, U.S. marketing manager for the Dahon Company. Pictured are (l-r) Cuomo and Patagonia employees Dave Hames of Weston, Rilke Klingstorn of Greenwich, and Pietig. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, May 22, 2009
Lynn Crager: her post is first of a kind. Contributed photoA Westporter is filling a new position established by the Department of Spiritual Care at Norwalk Hospital—Nurse Chaplain.
Lynn Crager was named to the innovative position established in collaboration with the hospital’s nursing leadership.
The post, a first of its kind in the country, will serve to support the spiritual and personal well being of nursing staff at the hospital, said Rabbi Jeffrey Silberman, director of the spiritual care program.
Crager is currently adjunct oncology chaplain at the hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Center. She is a Master’s level nurse who worked in the Emergency Department at New York’s Bellevue Hospital early in her career.
Has your dog or cat been vaccinated for rabies? The Westport Weston Health District and the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association are holding a low cost rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats on Saturday, June 6, from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Westport Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane.
The cost for vaccination is $15 per animal, cash only. There is no residency requirement. All dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers. Pet owners who are on public assistance are permitted to have one pet vaccinated at no charge by showing their state public assistance identification cards to the clinic coordinator.
Bring the animal’s prior vaccination records, if available. Written proof, either a valid rabies certificate or dog license showing a prior vaccination, must be presented to qualify for a three-year vaccination. Otherwise, a one-year vaccination will be given. Collar tags and certificates of vaccination will be provided.
Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals. The virus is transmitted in the saliva of infected animals, usually through a skin puncture or open wound. It is fatal to both animals and humans if left untreated.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
UPDATE The state Department of Public Health (DPH) said today there have been two confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza in Westport. Both cases were described as mild and the individuals are recovering at home.
The state report, released by the Westport Weston Health District, followed by several hours an e-mail message sent to parents by Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon. He informed them there had been a confirmed case of H1N1 influenza in the school system and that it was mild and the student has recovered.
While Landon said he would not identify the school involved, a Health District spokesman said the school was Staples High School. He said the other Westport case involved a student who went to school out of state.
“The individuals are residents of Westport who experienced mild symptoms, were not hospitalized, and are recovering at home,” the Health District said in a statement.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A new Westport group is promoting environmentally responsible lawns and gardens.
The GreenScapes Action Project will be on hand at Saturday’s Green Earth Fair at Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to launch its “GreenScapes Challenge.”
The challenge involves residents “committing to a more responsible path,” the group said, and those participating will receive a lawn medallion declaring their commitment to environmental responsibility.
“If you’re interested, we’ll use ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of your lawn or garden to acknowledge your efforts in the fall,” the group said in a news release.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
By Marty Yellin
The purpose of this article is not to necessarily alarm you but instead to make you aware of collective evidence from the National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences, the EPA, the American Journal of Epidemiology, and other respected medical sources.
They all document evidence linking commonly used lawn products to increased odds of childhood leukemia, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, brain cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas of the colorectum and testes among children living in households where pesticides are used.
A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that home and garden use of pesticides can increase the risk of childhood leukemia by almost seven times.
Herbicides and pesticides applied to lawns are tracked into the house where they remain for months in carpets, toys and house dust. Everyone in the house, especially children and pets continues to be exposed.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Members of several dozen Westport organizations with interest in the environment met at Westport Town Hall tonight for what was billed as an “environmental summit.” Conservation Department Director Alicia Mozian (r) greeted the attendees and said the meeting was aimed at better coordination and eliminating duplicating efforts among the groups in improving the environment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Westport Weston Health District offered flu shots at the Westport (Saugatuck) train station tonight. The mobile clinic also served as a drill—joined by other area health districts at other Metro-North stations—to test the ability to rapidly inoculate large numbers of train travelers in a health emergency. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Isabel Blair and Nancy Toll, Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service members, conducted an infant and child Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class today at Westport police headquarters. Pictured is Toll (r. foreground) as she gave instructions to class participants. The next classes are scheduled for Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon for adult CPR training and on Dec. 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for child and infant CPR training. The classes are free to Westport residents while nonresidents are welcome at a fee of $20. Call 341-6030 for information or to register. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, November 08, 2008
The Westport Weston Health District will conduct a flu vaccination clinic on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Westport’s Saugatuck train station that will also serve as a drill by area health authorities to rapidly inoculate large numbers of train travelers.
The clinic will be located on the New Haven-bound side. Those planning to attend may complete their registration form ahead of time by downloading a copy of the flu vaccination consent form from the Westport Weston Health District Web site.
The cost is $35, but there is no cost to Medicare Part B participants who must bring their Medicare cards for billing purposes. Checks made out to WWHD or cash payments will be accepted.
The event is also serving as a drill testing the capacity of the region’s public health system to collaboratively work across town boundaries to rapidly dispense medicine in a coordinated effort to the tens of thousands who commute via train each day.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
The first selectman of Southbury, Mark A. R. Cooper, today was named public health director for the Westport Weston Health District.
Mark A. R. Cooper: First Selectman of Southbury has health background. File photo
The District’s board’s appointment of Cooper, effective next month, is subject to approval by the state Department of Public Health.
Cooper succeeds Sue Jacozzi, who has served in the post since August 2005. (See WestportNow Aug. 29, 2005)
At today’s board of directors meeting, Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff praised Jacozzi for her service to the District and said he looked forward to working with Cooper.
Monday, October 06, 2008
The Westport Weston Health District today announced it is offering flu shots for the homebound.
Homebound is defined as someone who no longer drives and is unable to obtain needed services outside of the home without experiencing undue physical or emotional hardship, an announcement said.
A nurse will visit a homebound resident to administer the flu shot as long as they have Medicare as their primary insurance, the District said.
For spouses and caregivers of the homebound, the cost of the flu shot is $35; no cash will be accepted. To make an appointment, call Loren Pace at (203) 227-9571 ext. 231.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Performing at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the first time tonight, Hot Peas ‘N Butter, a multi-cultural bilingual five-piece band and dancer, entertained a large audience of all ages. Their entertaining lyrics comprised of interchangeable Spanish and English encourage youngsters to become familiar with bilingual sounds and vocabulary. The group, which appears regularly on the Noggin TV network catering to preschoolers, was founded in 2000 by the Latino duo of Bronx-raised Frank Cotto (l) and Brooklynite Danny Lapidus (c). They met at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts in Manhattan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, March 02, 2008
More than 400 riders from throughout Fairfield County, including many from Westport, took part today in the Ninth Annual SpinOdyssey to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer research. The event at Fitness & Tennis Club in Norwalk hoped to exceed last year’s total of more than $500,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A team from the Westport Weston Family Y posed for a group photo today before joining hundreds of other cyclists at the Ninth Annual SpinOdyssey to raise money for breast cancer research. The event was held at the Fitness & Tennis Club in Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Monday, November 05, 2007
Joel Singer: new procedure reduces recovery time. Contributed photoIn one of the more bizarre attempts to commercialize Westport’s notoriety and cachet, a Westport plastic surgeon said today he has begun to offer what he calls the “Westport Face Lift.”
The minimally invasive face lift offers women and men the opportunity to make lasting improvements in their facial appearance without a long recovery period, according to Dr. Joel Singer, founder of Imperial Plastic Surgery on Imperial Avenue.
Unlike “weekend face lifts” that usually involve tightening and sculpting the jaw line, the Westport Face Lift instead focuses on tightening the skin on the cheeks, he said.
“Most local residents considering cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of their mid face area are only given the option of a full face lift or temporary improvement with injectable fillers,” Singer said. “With Westport Face Lift, I offer a better choice for many patients.”
Friday, September 28, 2007
The director of the Westport Weston Health District has rejected a “demand” by two Westport residents that play on Westport’s synthetic turf fields be limited or eliminated while tests for health risks are conducted on the fields’ rubber infill.
“In the absence of data about the fields, and given the widespread use of this type of turf worldwide without an issue, it would be presumptuous of us to limit their use based on the very limited data available to us,” wrote Susan Jacozzi in a letter dated Tuesday and made public today.
She was responding to a Sept. 14 letter from Westport residents Patricia Taylor and Stacy Prince in which they said they were lodging a “formal complaint” about four fields on Westport town property.
The women cited a May study issued by New Haven-based Environment and Human Health Inc. and subsequent comments by David Brown, a Westporter who serves as the group’s public health toxicologist, that children should be kept off the fields as a precautionary measure.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The Westport Weston Health District said today it has received its shipment of ample flu vaccine supply for the season and scheduled two clinics for October.
The first flu clinic will take place on Saturday Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bedford Middle School, 88 North Ave. The second Flu clinic will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Northfield Church, Northfield Road, Weston.
The clinics are open to anyone 9 or older wishing to be vaccinated. There are no appointments necessary. The cost of the vaccine is to be announced at a later date. Call the WWHD flu hotline (203)227-9571 Ext. 239 for more information.
There is no cost to Medicare Part B participants. Medicare B participants must bring their Medicare cards to the clinic for billing purposes.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The Westport Parks and Recreation Department said today that continued use of synthetic athletic turf fields in Westport is warranted despite concerns expressed by some that they may adversely affect the health of users.
In a statement, Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said: “The Westport Parks and Recreation Department continues to support the installation of synthetic athletic turf as a safe alternative to grass playing fields.
“While we are constantly reviewing all available information on this subject we have seen no evidence that playing on these fields is unsafe. There is ample evidence that these fields perform well, use fewer pesticides and improve playing conditions and athlete safety over the current over-used grass fields.”
McCarthy said the department encourages continued testing of these products to assure the safety of users of these playing fields.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Westport’s Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services has named Westporter Stewart Levine as chief medical officer of the facility at 47 Long Lots Road and chairman of psychiatry for St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport.
Prior to being appointed to the position by Susan L. Davis, president and CEO of St. Vincent’s Health Services, Levine served as clinical director of Hall-Brooke and vice chairman of psychiatry at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
Levine joined Hall-Brooke in 2004 after serving as director of inpatient psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan where he also spent periods as assistant unit chief and unit chief.
Friday, June 29, 2007
By Ed Kiersh
They hope it will never happen, but Westport officials are refining their plans for an Avian influenza or bird flu pandemic.
Westport Weston Health District Director Sue Jacozzi, pictured at the District today, says Westport is constantly studying how to be a step ahead in pandemic flu preparations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ed Kiersh for WestportNow.com
After attending a regional meeting Thursday of police, fire, and emergency care givers at Fairfield University, Westport Weston Health District Director Susan M.Jacozzi said today the town is well prepared.
“Westport’s local plan is very good,” she said. “We have doctors advising us and we have a very good relationship with first-responders.”
Jacozzi, who has served in her post for almost two years, said, “It’s a worry that we don’t have anti-virals or a vaccine. Yet we are constantly thinking of what could happen, and trying to be a step ahead.”
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The first session of the Aquasize class for Westport seniors started with a lovely warm day at Westport’s Longshore Pool today. Ruth Sherman leads the hour-long class in water exercises every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:35 a.m. Westport seniors are welcome. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Westport Health Care Center is planning upgrades to its building to address changes in the long-term health care field, and the Zoning Board of Appeals is the first stop for those changes.
The ZBA recently held a hearing that will continue on May 8 for changes to the 120-bed facility at 1 Burr Road opposite Kings Highway Elementary School. If variances are approved, the plans will move on to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“The framework of today’s long-term care environment is comprised of advanced rehabilitation techniques and accompanying equipment in addition to evolved systems of caring for and making comfortable prototypical age-related illness and disease,” said a document from the center filed in the Planning and Zoning Department.
“In conjunction with these advances in treatment and therapies is both a federal and state focus to make the long-term care setting less institutional and more of a friendly residential environment.”
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The Westport-Weston Health District has flu vaccines available to those who may not have received one yet this year.
The vaccine is available by making an appointment by calling Loren Pace at (203) 227-9571 x231.
There are no residency restrictions to receive the vaccine, which costs $32 in a cash payment.
There is no cost to Medicare Part B participants, and they must bring their Medicare cards for billing purposes when receiving the vaccination.
Health officials said vaccination in December and later can still provide protection because during most years, the flu season does not peak until February or later.
Friday, May 19, 2006
The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club today heard the emotional story of Kerry Keenan and her heart transplant. Kerry, who grew up in Westport and is the daughter of longtime Westporters Sheila and Todd Keenan, was stricken with a virus that led to the transplant in September 2004. She received the heart of a 15-year-old girl from Old Lyme, Conn. “It’s a very difficult process that someone had to die to save my life,” she said. She urged everyone to sign up to become organ donors. “You could be responsible for saving as many as 50 lives,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo