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WASA’S SIZZLING SUMMER SPECTACULAR AT SAUGATUCK SWEETS! On Saturday, June 13, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., WASA volunteers will be at Saugatuck Sweets (575 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT) with an array of fun family – including those four-legged members –Westporters: Get your Early Bird to the 8th Annual Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival
Jillian Klaff Homes: real hard facts for really smart moves. 203.858.2095. Westport, CT
Saturday, May 30, 2015

Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Learning About Tick-Borne Diseases Image
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

Posted 09:05 PM
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bridgeport Hospital CEO: ‘Healthcare Act Not Working’ Image
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

Posted 03:36 PM
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Westporter: ‘Hail Mary Pass Better Than Getting Tackled’

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

Posted 06:41 PM
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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Anthem Says Hackers Stole Customers’ Personal Information

By Arielle Levin Becker

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. Image
Gov. Dannel P Malloy addresses a news conference on the Anthem data breach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas/ photo

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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Posted 05:13 PM
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Packed Library Program on Ebola Image
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

Posted 09:05 PM
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Ebola Prompts Malloy to Declare Health Emergency

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.”

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Posted 11:15 AM
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Open for Business Image
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

Posted 05:30 PM
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Monday, June 02, 2014

Pole Dancer Energizes Woman’s Club Members Image
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

Posted 08:03 PM
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Enjoying a Little Shaking Image
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

Posted 07:55 PM
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Senate Votes to Expand Role of Nurse Practitioners

By Arielle Levin Becker

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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Posted 12:54 AM
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

CT Shows Mixed Results in Emergency Care Survey

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. Image

“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.

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Posted 04:01 PM
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CT Regulators Losing Patience With Anthem Coverage Delays

By Arielle Levin Becker

David Gilbert says he sent his $825 check to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in early December. It was supposed to ensure that the Voluntown man would have health insurance by the start of this year.

But two weeks into 2014, Gilbert, 63, is still waiting for proof that he has insurance. An Anthem representative told him his check had been received, but as of Monday it hadn’t been cashed. That means Gilbert has been unable to get an insurance ID card, which he needs for a referral to an orthopedist.

He’s starting to wonder if he’ll ever get the coverage he thought he bought.

Gilbert is one of many Connecticut residents who signed up for Anthem plans through the state’s health insurance exchange but are still struggling to get their coverage set up.

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Posted 08:34 PM
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Monday, December 09, 2013

CT, 7 Other States Seek Midwest Pollution Crackdown

By Mark Pazniokas and Jan Ellen Spiegel

Connecticut and seven other eastern states, all with Democratic governors and all under longstanding orders to reduce air pollution, said today they are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to force stricter air standards on nine upwind states from the Rust Belt and Appalachia that rely on coal-fired power plants. Image
This CT DEEP map shows pollution flows from the south (yellow) and west (red) that travels hundreds of miles at high altitudes. Green shows local, lower-level flows. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) DEEP illustration

The governors said their states have largely exhausted ways to mitigate local ozone pollution and now must act decisively to force upwind states to reduce pollution at the source. Efforts at negotiation have failed, leaving the eastern governors with no choice but to seek federal intervention.

“They have been warned. They know this action is coming,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, one of four governors who addressed the media today, either by conference call or in a press conference in Washington, D.C.

Malloy said the eight states are seeking federal action to lower unhealthful ozone levels that plague places like Connecticut’s Fairfield County on many summer days and produce acid rain across Vermont and New Hampshire, degrading lakes and forests that are key to tourism.

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Posted 10:35 PM
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Friday, November 01, 2013

CT Exchange’s First Month Enrollment Figures Released

By Arielle Levin Becker

In its first month, Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, enrolled 7,615 people in health care coverage, according to figures released today.

Of those, 53 percent—4,065—have signed up for private insurance plans. The other 47 percent are signed up for Medicaid.

In addition, 55 small businesses have signed up for coverage through Access Health’s small business exchange. Altogether they have 306 employees.

Created by the health law commonly known as Obamacare, the exchange sells insurance offered by private companies and enrolls people in Medicaid. The health law aims to reduce the number of uninsured people in the country by expanding Medicaid to cover people at higher income levels and providing federal subsidies to reduce the cost of premiums for private coverage.

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Posted 10:12 PM
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Westporters Urged to Check on Arsenic in Wells

By James Lomuscio

High levels of naturally occurring arsenic in well waters in Weston today prompted a call from the director of the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD) for Westporters living near the Weston line to have their wells checked too. Image
Mark A. R. Cooper: urges testing of wells north of Merritt Parkway. File photo

A deadly poison in high doses, arsenic is relatively harmless in minute, acceptable levels as it appears almost everywhere: soil, air, vegetables, rocks and well water.

But in recent months, some wells in Weston tested at 40 times the acceptable level, said Mark A. R. Cooper, WWHD director.

As a result, Cooper said he is urging Westport residents north of the Merritt Parkway to have their wells tested, too.

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Posted 01:27 AM
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