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Health and Fitness

Health and Fitness

Friday, March 10, 2017

Trump Selects Westporter to be FDA Head

President Trump announced today that he will nominate Westport resident Scott Gottlieb, a conservative physician and businessman with deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry, to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

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Scott Gottlieb: Westporter awaits Senate confirmation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) American Enterprise Institute photo

A physician and partner at one of the world’s largest venture capital funds and a former deputy commissioner at the FDA, his name surfaced in December as one of the front runners for the post. (See WestportNow Dec. 12, 2016)

If confirmed, Gottlieb would bring a strong pro-industry, deregulatory approach to an agency that Trump has criticized as being overly restrictive, The Washington Post reported.

“But he is also likely to support one of the agency’s basic functions: to ensure that drugs are proven safe and effective before they are sold,” the newspaper said.

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03/10/17 07:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 09, 2017

CT Resident Dies From Tainted Cheese, Recall Ordered

A Connecticut resident has died after eating tainted cheese from a New York creamery, the state Department of Public Health said today.

A Whole Foods grocery store in Fairfield received the soft cheese, and the store initiated its own recall, state officials said.

The cheese is called Ouleout and it comes from the Vulto Creamery of Walton, N.Y.

Two of six people who ate the cheese contracted a rare, but serious bacterial disease, officials said.

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03/09/17 03:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Comings & Goings: Orangetheory Fitness to PRE

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Orangetheory Fitness opens at 645 Post Road East sometime before May, according to the manager of its Norwalk studio. The Florida-based franchise business has more than 500 locations nationwide. Wilton residents Mark and Fred Molina are the franchise owners of locations in Fairfield, which opened in 2014, Norwalk, which opened last year, and the Westport location. The Fitness center offers one-hour group classes tailored to the individual participant.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/18/17 09:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Information Session Set for Hospice House

The Westport Library will host an information session on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. about the Fairfield County Hospice House (FCHH) in Stamford.

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The Fairfield County Hospice House is now under construction in Stamford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Topics will include an update on the facility, now under construction, as well as what to consider when making decisions about hospice and end-of-life transition, an announcement said.

There also will be a discussion about how the team behind the FCHH worked with Connecticut legislators to enable multiple persons to receive home hospice care in a single residence.

A change in legislation paved the way for the construction of the six-bedroom, 10,000-square foot house located in a residential neighborhood of Stamford just off the Merritt Parkway.

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02/15/17 01:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine’s Day Heart to Heart Talk

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In a timely topic on Valentine’s Day, Westport resident Jeffrey Berman, vice chairman of the Department of Cardiology at Bridgeport’s St. Vincent’s Hospital, today addressed the Westport Rotary Club on the significant strides in cardiology over recent decades. Emphasizing the importance of seeking prompt medical care immediately upon symptoms of a heart attack, Berman said, “Most deaths from heart attacks happen outside the hospital. Inside the hospital the death rate is a much lesser — 1 to 2 percent.” He said seven points of prevention reduce the risk of a heart attack by 95 percent. The seven are: control of blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes plus four that are “lifestyle-driven” — not smoking, a proper diet, controlled body weight, and an exercise regimen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/14/17 02:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Analysts: Big Pot of Money Awaits CT if Marijuana Legalized

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut could bring in $45.4 million to $104.6 million a year in revenue if the legislature legalizes marijuana in the same way Massachusetts or Colorado have, Connecticut’s nonpartisan fiscal experts say.

The estimates, by the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis, were for the second full fiscal year after legalization of the drug and varied depending on which state’s model for taxes and licensing fees was followed.

If the legislature allowed municipalities to also apply a 2 percent sales tax to marijuana, cities and towns could collectively bring in $9 million by the second full year of legalization, OFA estimated.

The revenue would be smaller in the first full year of legalization, between $30 million and $63.9 million for the state and $5.6 million for municipalities. The growth from year to year reflects that experienced in Colorado since legalization in 2014.

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02/07/17 10:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, February 06, 2017

Flu Cases on the Rise; WWHD Still Has Vaccine

The Westport Weston Health District, (WWHD) noting that flu activity continues to increase throughout the nation and is widespread in Connecticut, says it still has vaccine available.

If you have not received your annual flu vaccination, you are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible, an announcement said.

“The flu season will peak around February and March but the season can continue until May, so it is not too late to get vaccinated,” said Mark Cooper, WWHD director of health.

And Monica Wheeler, registered nurse, said the district has seen a significant spike in locally reported cases.

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02/06/17 01:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, December 12, 2016

Report: Westporter Being Considered as FDA Head

Westport resident Scott Gottlieb, a physician and partner at one of the world’s largest venture capital funds and a former deputy commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to run the agency, according to sources close to the transition team, the Reuters news agency reported.

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Scott Gottlieb: reported on short list to head FDA. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) American Enterprise Institute photo

Gottlieb, 44, a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, is well known in health policy circles and is a frequent commentator on television and in print.

Gottlieb, who purchased his Westport home in 2010, is a former internist at Stamford Hospital. He served as a deputy commissioner at the FDA from 2005 to 2007.

He is concurrently a clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine and advises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a member of the Federal Health IT Policy Committee.

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12/12/16 03:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, October 17, 2016

Flu Shot Clinics Underway

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Monica Wheeler of the Westport Weston Health District today gives a flu shot to Westporter Iris Frey. There was a large turnout for flu shots at the district office on Bayberry Lane. The next flu shot clinic will be on Monday, Oct. 24 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by one Tuesday, Nov.1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Friday, Nov. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There will also be a clinic on Thursday. Nov 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

10/17/16 06:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Comings & Goings: Fountain of Youth Closes Retail Outlet

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Fountain of Youth, a health organic market located at 1789 Post Rod East in the Westfair Shopping Center opposite Stop & Shop, has closed its retail store. Owners John and Kay Moretti, Westport residents, said their store, in the same location since 1983, has been driven out of business by the internet, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and others who also sell natural food products. “We were here before what we do became mainstream,” said John Moretti. “Marlo Thomas and Paul Newman were among our frequent customers.”  He added, “We’re not going out of business, just closing this shop. Our customers can still purchase our products by calling us at the same phone number, (203)259-9378. We’re doing mail order and, if local, one-hour delivery service.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

09/01/16 03:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

For Zika, West Nile, Health District Urges‘Bug Smarts’

By James Lomuscio

You don’t have to have a pond, large water feature or even a bird bath to spawn mosquitoes prone to harbor the Zika virus, says Mark A. R. Cooper, director of health for the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD).  WestportNow.com Image
Mark A. R. Cooper: take precautions. File photo

Even a bottle cap that fills with water is enough, he says.

“When you walk around your garden and see and standing water, even in bottle caps, get rid of them,” Cooper said, adding that residents insistent on water features use mosquito larvae killing, nematode donuts.

“Zika mosquitoes are going for the smaller things to leave their larvae, the smaller things, the bottle caps, soda, old coffee cups,” he added. “So, as you’re enjoying the outdoors, get rid of standing water. That will address West Nile. That will address Zika.”

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08/09/16 09:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

CT Gets Nearly $1M to Combat Zika Virus

By Kyle Constable

www.ctmirror.org

State officials have nearly $1 million in new funds at their disposal to fight the Zika virus after receiving a pair of federal grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is giving the Connecticut Department of Public Health two grants – a $579,000 grant announced Monday and a $400,000 grant announced today – to protect Connecticut residents from the Zika virus and monitor existing cases.

Florida’s governor announced Monday as many as 14 cases of the Zika virus in his state may have been locally transmitted – the first cases of the virus transmitted in the continental United States.

The $579,000 grant announced Monday will be used to “support and enhance the state’s efforts to protect Connecticut residents from Zika virus and monitor serious birth defects, like microcephaly, and other adverse health outcomes that can be caused by Zika virus,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office said.

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08/02/16 09:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Making History, RTM Approves Disabilities Commission

By James Lomuscio

To a round of applause, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a new Westport Commission on People with Disabilities.

Sarah Heath, the town’s new human services director, made the proposal, saying such a commission had been “almost 10 years in the making.”

The idea for a disabilities commission took root in 2007 when the Community Inclusion Task Force, which had been appointed by the Health & Human Services Commission and the Westport Weston United Way, issued its final report.

Heath said that creating the new town body would demonstrate “that Westport is a community where people with disabilities are valued,” and that they contribute to the town.

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07/19/16 09:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Senate Poised to Quash CT GMO Food Labeling Law

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – The U.S. Senate is expected to move forward Wednesday on a bill that would pre-empt Connecticut’s genetically modified food labeling law, replacing it with a national food safety standard advocates say would be much weaker and not apply to many foods.

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A GMO notice on the side of a box of Wheaties. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

Last week the Senate held a procedural vote – approved 68-29 –  on the contentious issue of labeling genetically modified organisms in food, or GMOs. Its sponsors, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, call the legislation a compromise.

The Roberts-Stabenow bill would create a mandatory labeling regime for food made with genetically modified organisms. Food makers would be required to either print a text message on the package disclosing whether a product contains GMO ingredients, or print a QR code or an internet link directing customers to GMO information not on the package.

Food safety advocates, who say they were caught off guard by the Senate’s action, have dubbed the bill the “Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act.”

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07/05/16 09:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Comings & Goings: New York Sports Clubs Closing

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New York Sports Clubs, 427 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center, will close July 31 after 14 years at the location, according to employee Michael Pettway. He said all members are being offered a refund or a transfer of membership to another New York Sports Club with the nearest in Stamford and Greenwich. Pettway, who said the decision to close was a corporate one, has been employed by the club for about one year and was offered a position at the Stamford location. He said there are about 10-11 employees in Westport, which opened in January 2002.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

07/03/16 04:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, June 04, 2016

‘Push Up Against Cancer’ Attracts Hundreds

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Individuals and teams from across Connecticut gathered at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion today to show their strength and determination to raise money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp during Mental Grit Fitness’ 7th Annual Push Against Cancer event. See video here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

06/04/16 10:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 06, 2016

Agency Head: Mosquito-control Funding Cut

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

Pending cuts to state funding for mosquito control could pose a problem for the agency that monitors the insects for the Zika virus and other diseases, the director of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said today.

“It’s really not adequate for us to do what we want to do,” Theodore G. Andreadis said after a press conference with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on the Zika virus.

But Malloy said money necessary for screening and testing mosquitos would be made available, whether in the budget or not.

The budget deal reached this week by the Malloy administration and Democratic legislative leaders would cut funding for mosquito control at Andreadis’ agency from $507,516 to $446,779 for the upcoming fiscal year – a 12 percent decrease. Legislators are expected to vote on the budget during a special session next week.

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05/06/16 04:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fourth Zika Virus Case in CT

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that a fourth Connecticut patient, a non-pregnant woman in her 30s, has tested positive for the Zika virus.

The patient traveled from the Caribbean to Connecticut on April 25 and became ill on April 29, the DPH said. Her symptoms included fever, rash and conjunctivitis. 

The patient and her physician have been informed of the test result.

The State Laboratory confirmed the patient’s test result using PCR testing. This level of testing is used for patients who are actively experiencing symptoms of the virus.

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05/06/16 03:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

CT Pregnant Woman Tests Positive for Zika Virus

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that a pregnant Connecticut woman has tested positive for Zika virus.

According to DPH, the patient became ill with a fever and rash while traveling in Central America. It was during this trip that the patient conceived.

The patient has since returned to Central America, a news release said.

DPH officials contacted the patient’s Connecticut physician today with the positive result and are working to get in touch with the patient or her family to ensure that she seeks medical care while she is out of the country, DPH said.

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05/03/16 06:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, April 25, 2016

House Passes ‘Comprehensive’ Opioid Bill

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

After a floor debate laced with stories of the toll drug addiction has taken across Connecticut, the House today unanimously passed what legislators described as a comprehensive measure aimed at curbing the epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse.

WestportNow.com Image
Sue Kruczek, wearing her son Nick’s memorial hockey jersey, speaks earlier this year in favor of a bill to cap the supply of opioid prescriptions. Nick died at age 20 of a heroin overdose after initially taking prescription opioids. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Arielle Levin Becker for ctmirror.org

The proposal, approved 144-0, would require first responders to carry overdose-reversing drugs, limit initial opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies in most cases involving acute pain, make changes to a prescription monitoring program aimed at helping prescribers identify patients who could be misusing drugs, and charge the state’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Council with developing a plan to reduce the number of opioid-induced deaths in the state.

Drug overdoses now kill an average of two people in Connecticut each day – more than car accidents. Last year, 723 people died from accidental drug overdoses in the state, and more than 60 percent involved opioids.

“They’re digging graves in every town in Connecticut,” Public Health Committee Co-Chair Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said. He noted that more than 50 bills on the topic were submitted to the committee at the start of the session – a sign of the level of concern among lawmakers across the state.

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04/25/16 10:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 21, 2016

Westport Lauded as Clean Energy Leader

By James Lomuscio

Connecticut’s clean energy future seems bright, according to a Town Hall forum tonight that drew about 25 persons. 

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Tonight’s clean energy forum praised Westport’s clean energy efforts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

And leading the way is Westport, cited as “a great example” of a community taking the reins.

The auditorium forum was orchestrated by state Rep. Johnathan Steinberg, who had invited Acadia Center, a nonprofit clean energy advocacy group, to discuss alternative energy advancements over the past decade, plus future efforts.

At the last minute, Steinberg, who had been scheduled to give a legislative perspective on state efforts, was unable to attend due to a family emergency.

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03/21/16 10:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 18, 2016

First Confirmed CT Case of Zika Virus

The State Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that the first case of Zika virus in Connecticut has been detected by its state laboratory. 

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An Aedes species mosquito that transmits the Zika virus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) CDC photo

According to DPH, the patient, 60-69 years of age, traveled to a Zika-affected area and had onset of illness on the day of return in early March. 

The patient’s illness was characterized by skin rash, conjunctivitis, fatigue, chills, headache, and muscle aches, an announcement said. The patient has been seen by a physician and is recovering.

In January, Gov. Dannel p. Malloy directed DPH to test for Zika virus. The tests were conducted at the DPH Laboratory, which was approved for and began testing for Zika virus on Feb. 29, the DPH said.

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03/18/16 07:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 14, 2016

Staples Hosts Brain Talk

The connection between the mind and body is the subject of a Staples High School talk next week by a best-selling author, which is open to the public.

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John Medina: to discuss brain and body connection. Contributed photo

John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and founding director of two brain research institutes, will speak at the school on Wednesday, March 23 at 6 p.m, the school district announced today.

He is the author of The New York Times best-selling book “Brain Rules.”

Among his topics—how people learn, the effects of stress on the brain and how physical activity benefits cognition, an announcement said.

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03/14/16 12:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Comings & Goings: Concussion Center Opening

Heads Up Westport - Concussion Center will soon open at 25 Imperial Ave. in Westport.

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Audrey Paul (l) and Deborah Mogelof: specializing in youngster concussions. Contributed photos

Co-owners are Westport physicians and residents Deborah Mogelof and Audrey Paul.

In addition to her work at the new business, Mogelof said she will remain associated with Westport Urgent Care, 1045 Post Road East, where she has served as a director for the past three years.  Paul is a pediatric emergency medicine physician.

“Our practice will provide baseline ImPact (concussion) testing for children 10 and over,” said Mogelof. She said this is something the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.

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03/09/16 07:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, February 19, 2016

Heroin Scourge Affects Westport, Too

By James Lomuscio

Westport has not escaped the surge in heroin and other opiate overdoses in Connecticut.

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Heroin overdose deaths have soared in Connecticut and nationally. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

While no deaths have been reported in Westport, the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said this week the number of people in Connecticut dying from drug overdoses continued to skyrocket in 2015.

More than 720 people overdosed, with heroin-related deaths climbing at alarming rates, the office said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, of the nationwide 47,055 drug-overdose deaths in 2014 — an all-time high, and more people than died of liver disease or renal failure, of suicide, or in car accidents — heroin was responsible for over one-fifth.

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02/19/16 04:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Westport Psychologist: Retirement May Cause Stress

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A Westport psychologist, Stephen Temlock, told a Westport Library audience tonight that retirement can often be a stressful event. “Retiring is one of life’s major events,” said the adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College. “For some, retiring is a good thing, but for others, particularly for those who have been in high level positions, it may cause stress, anxiety and a sense of loss.” He added: “Life is about getting things done, but retirement is not about achievement so there’s often much stress in retirement created by the sudden void.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/02/16 08:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blumenthal Bill Would Speed Generic Drug OK

By Kyle Constable

www.ctmirror.org

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., plans to introduce legislation intended to speed up FDA approval of generic prescription drugs and combat the “astronomic rise” in the cost of health care, he said today.

The bill, titled the “Fast Generics Act,” will be sponsored by Blumenthal and a number of other legislators. He announced the proposal and called for more federal action to combat high prescription drug prices during a panel discussion at Hartford Hospital.

“The astronomic rise in health care costs is due to lax enforcement, broken markets and, unfortunately, unvarnished greed,” Blumenthal said during the event. “There are more fundamental problems that need to be addressed. Many of the companies are too big – and are monopolies – and have misused their monopolistic power.”

Blumenthal called for stronger enforcement of federal antitrust laws and more transparency in drug costs, saying that claims of research and development necessitating the cost increases need to be verifiable.

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01/19/16 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, October 25, 2015

NYT Columnist Jane Brody: Exercise Daily

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There was a full house today at the Westport Center for Senior Activities for a talk by New York Times personal health columnist Jane Brody. In the event sponsored by AT&T and the Friends of the Senior Center, Brody urged her audience to be careful with what they eat and to exercise every day. “I don’t make a daily decision to exercise. I just do it,” she said. Brody, 74, will mark her 50th anniversary of writing her column in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

10/25/15 05:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Anthem Individual Rates to Rise 2.4%, ConnectiCare’s 8.5%

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

Premiums for the 55,000 people who buy Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans through the state’s individual market will rise by an average of 2.4 percent next year, while ConnectiCare Insurance Company’s 34,400 customers will see an average rate hike of 8.5 percent.

Both companies sought higher increases, but the Connecticut Insurance Department deemed their proposed rates excessive and required the companies to revise their proposals.

Similarly, Golden Rule, which covers 3,414 people, sought an 18.5 percent rate hike but, after revising it based on the regulator’s findings, will instead raise rates by 1.1 percent.

The requests by Anthem, ConnectiCare and Golden Rule were subject to a July public hearing.

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09/08/15 10:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

West Nile in Norwalk, ‘Matter of Time’ Here

By James Lomuscio

Although no mosquitoes in Westport of Weston have tested positive for West Nile Virus, “it is only a matter of time” since the virus has shown up in Norwalk and 14 other parts of the state, Mark A.R. Cooper, director of health for the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD), said today. WestportNow.com Image
Mark A. R. Cooper: take precautions. File photo

“It is only a matter of time before mosquitoes become positive for the virus in Westport,” said Cooper. “It happens every year around this time.

“Therefore, it is time to start advising citizens to take precautions against mosquito bites,” he added.

According to recent reports from the New Haven-based Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, “which has traps set up all over the state, including Westport,” said Cooper, 15 towns have trapped mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus.

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08/25/15 10:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

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