Health and Fitness
Friday, September 28, 2007
Health District Rejects “Demand” to Limit or Close Turf Fields
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
Westport Weston Health District Sets Flu Clinics
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
Parks & Rec. Dept. Affirms Continued Turf Field Use
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
Hall-Brooke Names Stewart Levine Chief Medical Officer
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
Westport “Well Prepared” for Bird Flu Pandemic
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
Aquasize at Longshore
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 Center Looks to Upgrade
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
Flu Vaccines Available at Health District
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
Sunrise Rotary Hears Emotional Story of Heart Transplant
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
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Westport’s Hall-Brooke Opens 16-Bed Women’s Unit
A new 16-bed inpatient unit specifically dedicated to women’s treatment has opened at Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services, 47 Long Lots Road, Westport.
Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport offered blessings on the newly opened 16-bed Women’s Unit of Westport’s Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services. With Lori are (l-r): Dr. Thomas E. Smith, Hall-Brooke’s medical director, and Jennifer L’Herbette, MSW. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The advanced design 10,000-square-foot Woman’s Unit is staffed by clinical experts versed in the particular needs of women’s mental health and well-being, according to Thomas E. Smith, M.D., Hall-Brooke’s medical director.
The specific gender focus of the new unit “puts Hall-Brooke in the vanguard of mental health treatment centers which recognize the importance of biological and social factors on the mental health of women,” Smith said. “There are very few comprehensive programs tailored to women available in the entire country.”
The unit’s specially trained staff understands the mental health needs of women and recognizes the influence of hormones and premenstrual symptoms, reactions to infertility or pregnancy loss, and emotional distress related to life changes, he said.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Connecticut Reports First Flu Cases
State health department officials said today that four confirmed cases of influenza have been reported in Connecticut – two in Fairfield County.
State Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin said the confirmation by the state Public Health Laboratory means that that the influenza season has officially begun in Connecticut.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Galvin urged Connecticut residents to talk to their doctor about getting a flu shot.
“If you have been waiting to get a flu shot, please don’t wait any longer — flu is here and there is still vaccine available in the state,” Rell said in a statement.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Y Offers Aquatics Classes
The Westport-Weston Family Y aquatics staff will be offering free “Aquatic Fusion” clinics this week. They will be held Wednesday and Friday at 8:45-9:45 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday in the 90-degree pool at the YMCA. Pictured are (l-r) Audrey Thompson, Aquatic Fitness Director Patty Kondub, and Shelly Goldman (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Avian Flu Health District Focus
To address concerns over what has been called a possible pandemic and to explore ways to protect oneself, the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD) has scheduled an avian flu information program for Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 109 at Westport Town Hall.
Dr. Stuart Steinman, the health district’s medical advisor, plans to discuss the nature of avian influenza, “how to protect yourself and loved ones and learn what your country is doing to protect you,” health district officials say.
According to the WWHD, avian Influenza, or bird flu, is a contagious disease of animals caused by viruses that normally infect poultry, waterfowl, and other birds. While it is unusual for humans to acquire influenza virus infections directly from birds, the health district reports that human infections and deaths have occurred in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Citing research from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the WWHD reports that the widespread persistence of avian influenza in poultry poses two main risks for human health. The first is the risk of direct infection when the virus passes from poultry to humans, resulting in very severe disease. The second is that the virus can change into a form that is highly infectious for humans and spreads easily or pandemic.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Westport EMS Sets CPR Courses
The Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service is sponsoring two cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses next month.
Both will be held in the police classroom, 50 Jesup Road.
An infant and child heart-saver CPR class will be given Thursday, Nov. 3, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. A fee of $25 will be charged and. registration is required. Certification will be given upon successful completion.
A full healthcare provider CPR course will be given Tuesday, Nov. 8 and continue on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. A fee of $65 will be charged and registration is required. Certification will be given upon successful completion.