Thursday, December 01, 2016
Westport’s JoyRide Cycling + Fitness Studio has announced it will expand to launch a new state-of-the-art, 4,000-square foot cross-training space.
The expansion will allow it to offer cross-training classes and personal training sessions, as well as introduce a new signature class, JoyX, “a challenging, full-body, high-energy workout designed to free one’s inner athlete and push boundaries,” an announcement said.
These intense group-training classes will focus on strength, agility, speed and power, by incorporating rowing machines, TRX, boxing, mixed martial arts and weights, it said.
JoyRide will also be able to expand its popular JoyCircuit class, which will now be accessible to more people.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center is leasing 2,900-square feet of space at 1800 Post Road East, previously occupied by People’s United Bank, according to Franco Fellah, executive vice president of Westport’s HK Group.The shopping center is anchored by Stop & Shop. Founded in 1994, the business already has established locations in Trumbull, Shelton, Stratford and Fairfield, Fellah said. The Westport space is currently under construction and should be ready to open for business in very early 2017, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
By Jennier Frank
Connecticut Health Investigative Team
Reported cases of tuberculosis jumped 17 percent in Connecticut from 2014 to 2015, mirroring a national and global trend and prompting federal officials to ask primary care providers to be on the alert for at-risk patients.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) said 70 people, in 29 towns, were reported with active TB, the contagious form of the disease, in 2015, compared with 60 the year before. About 80 percent of Connecticut patients were foreign-born, many from Asian countries.
Nationally, TB cases totaled 9,563 last year, an increase of 157 over 2014. It was the first jump in cases after more than two decades of annual declines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. New England had one of the largest regional upswings, federal figures show, with 330 reported cases, a 7.5 percent increase.
Connecticut and national health officials are unclear on what’s behind the uptick and said more studies are needed. Drug-resistant strains have become a challenge, but that’s largely a problem overseas at this point, they said. About two-thirds of the cases nationally in 2015 were foreign born, the CDC said.
Saturday, November 05, 2016
Bar ‘Bucha, 601 Riverside Ave., opened today, offering an ancient fermented tea called kombucha. The store is owned by Staples High School student Aishah Avidu (r., blue shirt) who says kombucha is rich in probiotics and antioxidants. It is offered in the form of “mocktails” via taps, and by the bottle. All brands are curated from microbreweries nationwide that have mastered the art of kombucha. Aishah, who has joined the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce to promote her effort, says her parents will help out while she is in school. She also plans on having Staples students’ art as decoration and for sale and offering a schedule of events to promote health and education, including tai chi opportunities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, September 02, 2016
By Keith M.Phaneuf and Arielle Levin Beckerwww.ctmirror.org
Most Connecticut health insurance plans sold through individual and small group markets will undergo steep rate hikes next year, although in some cases, the prices will not go up by as much as carriers had sought.
The state Insurance Department approved 13 health policy rate hikes today that far outstripped increases in recent years, averaging nearly 25 percent for individuals and 13 percent for small groups.
The department also rejected three requests for major rate hikes — two from Anthem Health Plans and one from ConnectiCare Insurance Co. — directing the carriers to recalculate final rates.
Nearly all of the rates for other plans will increase by double-digit percentages, including hikes ranging from 15 to 24 percent for ConnectiCare policies sold through Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange. Those policies alone currently cover 47,597 people.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Green & Tonic, a health food cafe, opened today at 17 Jesup Road at the corner of Taylor Place and Jesup Road. (See WestportNow June 11, 2016) Owners Jeff and Cai Pandolfino, Cos Cob residents, announced that two grand opening receptions will be held Thursday and Thursday, June 23 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. with food samplings, beverages and champagne. Pandolfino said he and his wife plan to expand the concept regionally and nationally. Currently Green & Tonic cafes are located in Darien, New Canaan, Cos Cob, and Greenwich in addition to Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, June 04, 2016
Some of the participants in today’s Mental Grit Fitness’ seventh annual Push Against Cancer event at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts to benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. During this friendly and fun push-up competition, participants challenged themselves to perform as many push-ups as possible with each participant getting family members, friends, co-workers and employers to sponsor their efforts. “We are so inspired by how the kids of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp find possibility in each challenge they face,” said Mental Grit Fitness owner and personal trainer Andy Berman. “Being able to face this fitness challenge and raise enough to send as many kids as possible to Camp seems a fitting tribute to them.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, February 12, 2016
By Jan Ellen Spiegelwww.ctmirror.org
Susan Lewis’s soccer-adoring son Justin was already through his chemo and radiation treatments for lymphoma and thinking about getting back to his team at Fairfield University when she caught a television report one morning.
“There was a story about a soccer player,” she said. “I stopped to watch it, and my mouth dropped open.”
The report was about cancer cases among athletes playing on artificial turf made from ground-up used tires – crumb rubber is what it’s called. Some soccer players in particular had been diagnosed, mostly with lymphoma as well as leukemia. The question posed was whether the crumb rubber was the cause.
“Obviously, as parents of this young man, we wanted to understand why or how this could possibly happen,” she said. The first focus had to be on getting Justin better. “But when that came up, I certainly thought, ‘Wow, could that be the answer?’”
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Friday, January 29, 2016
Green&Tonic, a health food eatery, will open in April at the corner of Jesup Road and Taylor Place, the former site of Crumbs, which closed in November 2015 (see WestportNow Nov. 10, 2015.) The Cos Cob-headquartered business, founded in 2011 by Jeff and Cal Pandolfino, opened in Darien (1098 Boston Post Road) and Cos Cob (7 Strickland Ave.) in 2012, Greenwich (85 Railroad Ave.) in 2013 and New Canaan (5 Burtis Ave.) in 2014. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
By Dave Matlow
Several Westport area residents afflicted with Parkinson’s disease (PD) today participated in a first-time boxing therapy session intended to combat the progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly a million Americans.
The session took place at Rich Dean Boxing Fitness studio, 10 Bay St., and was led by Rich Dean, former Golden Gloves boxing champ and past member of Jamaican Olympic team, and Josh Lander, a chiropractor, who practices at Westport’s Willows Medical Center on Kings Highway North.
Program coordinator and “cheerleader” Don Harris of Weston said the event was inspired by a “CBS Sunday Morning” report in November 2015 by CBS News correspondent Lesley Stahl whose husband, Aaron Latham, is afflicted with PD. Latham called it “the incredible shrinking disease.”
Lander said it has been long known in the medical community that vigorous exercise is effective therapy for movement disorders such as PD. He said the rigorous intervals of boxing movements increased blood flow to the brain.
Friday, January 15, 2016
By Arielle Levin Beckerwww.ctmirror.org
The state Department of Public Health has asked health care providers to report suspected cases of Zika virus – a mosquito-borne illness being investigated for possible links to birth defects in Brazil – to state and local health officials.
No cases of the disease have been reported in Connecticut, according to DPH. A case was confirmed in Puerto Rico in December, and cases have been reported in travelers, but the virus has not been transmitted elsewhere in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus is usually mild, but a possible link between Zika virus in pregnant women in Brazil and birth defects in their children is being investigated, according to DPH.
“All people, especially pregnant women, who are traveling to areas where Zika virus is found, should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites to reduce their risk of infection of Zika virus as well as other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue and chikungunya,” Dr. Raul Pino, acting DPH commissioner, said in a statement today.
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Monday, December 21, 2015
Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore gets together tonight with former Staples High School Principal John Dodig at Westport’s Vespa restaurant following the screening of Moore’s new film “Where to Invade Next” at at Bowtie Cinemas Royale 6 in Norwalk. The film is an expansive, subversive comedy in which Moore, playing the role of “invader,” visits a host of nations to learn how the United States could improve its own prospects. In France, Moore marvels at the exceptional quality of the cuisine served in its public schools and in Finland he spotlights its education measures, including doing away with homework and seeking to educate the whole person, rather than merely training students to pass a standardized test. Dodig said he told Moore his entire career has been devoted to promoting similar goals for his students. Also in the audience and at the reception was Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Sun Reflexology opened today at 877 Post Road East in the shopping center near the Sherwood Island Connector. The new salon is the second location in Westport for Sun Reflexology, which will continue to operate its first site at 1543 Post Road East, which opened in 2011, according to Hannah Sun, the owner’s daughter. The salon’s brochure describes reflexology as “a technique that works critical points on the hands and feet that improve the entire body’s health - the reflexologist views the hands and feet as a mirror image of the entire body and every organ.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Westport’s Chipotle Mexican Grill, 376 Post Road East, was not doing much business tonight amid confirmation that more than 120 Boston College students have reported symptoms associated with the highly contagious norovirus since eating at a Chipotle restaurant near the school. In another outbreak, since October, 52 people have fallen ill from E. coli traced to Chipotle locations in nine states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The Westport restaurant opened in June. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, November 29, 2015
By James Lomuscio
UPDATE A Westporter says the first hospice home in lower Fairfield County won’t be in Westport because “nobody wants to confront their mortality.”
Inspired by Westporters who initially hoped lower Fairfield County’s first residential hospice would be in their hometown, Fairfield County Hospice House (FCHH) will have its official groundbreaking attended by state and local officials Wednesday, Dec. 2, at noon in Stamford.
Westporter Larry Weisman, a retired land use attorney and co-chairman of the FCHH board, said that the six-bedroom home planned on 1.25 donated acres has been six years in the making. The nonprofit FCHH originally considered using space on Westport’s town-owned, 22-acre Baron’s South property, “but we knew that was not going to work out,” Weisman said.
“It’s a hard sell because nobody wants to confront their mortality,” said Mary Lou Weisman, who has worked with her husband on the project. “But in a hospice, a peaceful death and taxes are what we all have in common.”
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Rich Dean Boxing Fitness has opened at 10 Bay St., lower level next to Post 154 restaurant. Owner Rich Dean, 45, born in the Bahamas and raised in Yonkers, N.Y. is a three-time Golden Gloves champ (1987, 1994, 2000) as a featherweight and then junior welterweight, an Olympic boxer in 2000 in Sydney, Australia and two-time gold medalist in the Empire Games, 1999 and 2000. He said he is the only certified boxing fitness trainer in Fairfield County. His business offers one-on-one personal training “Olympic-style” and also conducts small Olympic boxing style fitness classes for both men or women. “It’s light sparring without the bruises,” Dean said. “We’re a fitness gym in a boxing environment.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Believing that the “tween” years are pivotal in developing healthy and productive lifelong habits, the Westport Weston Family YMCA today announced an eighth grade membership program featuring $15 monthly membership fees.
The program, effective July 1, replaces the Y’s current seventh grade membership initiative. It is available to all rising local eighth graders in Westport and Weston schools, an announcement said. The eligibility period runs through June 30, 2016.
The YMCA being a cause-driven charitable organization, there is a requirement that all eighth grade members complete 10 hours of volunteer service over the course of the year, Y officials said.
Volunteer opportunities may include assistance in the Y’s Kids’ Club, clerical help, small maintenance projects like helping with the annual Camp Mahackeno cleanup, and meeting and greeting YMCA members in the Welcome Center.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The Westport Library tonight was host to a Tick-borne Diseases Symposium sponsored by the Westport Weston Health District, the Library, the Lyme Disease Alliance, and the Tick-borne Disease Alliance. Pictured is Monica Wheeler of the Westport Weston Health District introducing Kirby Stafford III, chief entomologist, author of the “Tick Management Handbook” and expert on various kinds of ticks and how to keep them under control. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
William M. Jennings, president and CEO of Bridgeport Hospital, told the Westport Rotary Club today that the Affordable Healthcare Act “is not working for us.” In response to a question, Jennings said the legislation has not reduced emergency room activity or changed the profiles of the types of patients being seen. “The Healthcare Act has not been a positive experience for us so far,” he said. Jennings noted that Bridgeport Hospital’s cost basis is among the lowest in the country. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, February 23, 2015
Richard Bunting of Westport was among those who appealed to legislators in Hartford today to allow terminally ill patients access to experimental treatments that have not yet received FDA approval.
He told the Public Health Committee that his wife, Mary, has multiple sclerosis and cannot tolerate the medications that are currently available. He said has cancer that is in remission, but it has no treatment.
When you have cancer, doctors tell you to try this or that, said Bunting, 63. “And then one day, they tell you, ‘We’ve tried everything.’”
He said he wishes people like his wife had better access to experimental drugs. “A Hail Mary pass is better than laying down to get tackled,” he said.
For more on story, click here
Thursday, February 05, 2015
By Arielle Levin Beckerwww.ctmirror.org
Hackers targeting health insurer Anthem gained access to personal information on tens of millions of current and former customers and employees across the country, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The company said cyber attackers had obtained personal information including names, birth dates, medical identification and Social Security numbers, street and email addresses and employment information, including income data. There was no evidence that credit card or medical information had been compromised, according to a statement from Anthem President and CEO Joseph R. Swedish.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
A standing room only crowd, including Staples High SchoolAP Environmental Studies students, came to the Westport Library tonight to hear Dr. Eric Starbuck, Save the Children advisor on child Health and pandemic preparedness, speak about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the impact of the first U.S. cases. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
By James Lomuscio
UPDATE Even though no Ebola virus cases have been reported in Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today declared a public health emergency in the state because of the outbreak.
Malloy signed an order that gives the commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH) the power “to effectively quarantine an individual or a group of individuals” who may have been exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus.
In a statement, Malloy’s office stressed the quarantine is not due to a specific case being identified, “but rather as a precautionary and preparatory measure,” whether it is confirmed or potential case in Connecticut.
“Right now, we have no reason to think that anyone in the state is infected or at risk of infection,” Malloy said. “But it is essential to be prepared, and we need to have the authorities in place that will allow us to move quickly to protect public health, if and when that becomes necessary. Signing this order will allow us to do that.”
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The new Garelick & Herbs Saugatuck opened today with co-owner Paola Garelick (l) behind counter. The store fills a spot vacated in June by CM Gourmet Market. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, June 02, 2014
Michelle Abbruzzese, co-owner of Norwalk-based Work It Dance and Fitness Club, performed pole and burlesque dancing at the Westport Woman’s Club June luncheon today. Abbruzzese, 43, said her career includes captain of the cheerleading team at the University of Connecticut. Her husband and co-owner, Tony Abbruzzese, said pole dancing is an especially effective fitness form in that it mimics rope climbing that requires lifting your own body weight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Members of the Westport Woman’s Club today did a little shaking as Michelle Abbruzzese, co-owner of Norwalk-based Work It Dance and Fitness Club, performed pole and burlesque fitness dancing at the club. Among those taking part were former state Sen. Judi Freedman (3rd r) and Barbara Levy (r), who may be more used to the steps than other members, having been a Radio City Rockette. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, April 10, 2014
By Arielle Levin Beckerwww.ctmirror.org
The Connecticut state Senate voted 25 to 11 tonight to allow nurse practitioners to practice independent of physicians, a controversial concept that has gained traction amid growing concerns about the availability of primary care providers in the state.
The proposal, which now goes to the House, originated in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration, which pitched it as a way to increase access to primary care at lower costs as thousands more state residents gain insurance as part of the federal health law.
But critics have raised concerns about the effects the change could have on patient care and primary care physicians.
The ability of nurse practitioners to work independent of doctors has long been a contentious matter between the two professions. Connecticut law required nurse practitioners to be supervised by doctors until 1999, when legislators loosened the requirement, calling instead for nurse practitioners to work “in collaboration” with a physician.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014
Connecticut’s performance in the 2014 American College of Emergency Physicians’ state-by-state report card on America’s emergency care environment released today shows mixed results, with grades in categories ranging from a B+ to a D.
“Our low rates of fatal injuries and the general good health of our residents are to be commended,” said Jorge Otero, president of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians. “However, people are waiting almost six hours for emergency care. The best medicine in the world doesn’t help you if you can’t get to it in a timely manner.”
The state’s strongest grade, a B+ in the Public Health and Injury Prevention category, results from low rates of accidental firearm-related deaths, accidental poisoning deaths, fatal occupational injuries, homicides, suicides, smoking and obesity.
In the category of Access to Emergency Care, Connecticut earned a C-. It has one of the highest rates of Level I or II trauma centers in the country, but hospitals have one of the highest occupancy rates in the nation. Waits in the ER are the sixth longest in the country, which is due in part to having a relatively small number of emergency departments, the report said.