Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sponsors

Health and Fitness

Pole Dancer Energizes Woman’s Club Members

WestportNow.com 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 WestportNow.com

Enjoying a Little Shaking

WestportNow.com 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 WestportNow.com

Local Hoarders the Focus of Task Force

By James Lomuscio

It’s the stuff of reality television that always seems to occur elsewhere and often appears more staged than real—hoarding.

WestportNow.com Image
A special Westport task force is studying the hoarding and clutter issue in area homes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

But to hear local officials tell it, hoarding is a local reality with at least 10 known cases in Westport and two in Weston, enough for the Westport-Weston Health District (WWHD) to recently announce the formation of the Safer Homes Task Force, a 10-member group comprising social workers and first responders.

According to Loren Pace, WWHD public health nurse and task force coordinator, the group of Westport and Weston town department representatives began to address the problem informally in June 2012. They have been meeting monthly and have just recently has gone public. Their next monthly meeting is set Tuesday, May 27 at 1:30 p.m. at WWHD offices at 180 Bayberry Lane.

“Our main objective is to protect the public health and safety of the client, the first responders, and the community,” Pace said.

CT Measles Cases: 3 in Past Decade, 3 More in 2014

Connecticut has had three confirmed cases of measles this year—the same number of cases as in the previous 10 years combined, according to public health officials.

All three people have recovered, and none of the three cases appear linked, according to the state Department of Public Health. The third case, announced today, occurred in an adult in New Haven County. The first two occurred in Fairfield County in February. One patient was a child and one was an adult.

DPH is urging people who are not sure if they’ve been vaccinated for measles to check with their doctors. People who had the disease in the past are considered to be immune.

According to the health department, people who are not immune to measles and are showing symptoms of the illness should call their health care providers rather than going to a health care facility to avoid exposing others.

—Ctmirror.org

CT Senate Votes to Ban sales of Genetically Engineered Grass Seed

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

The state Senate voted 25 to 11 tonight for legislation that would ban grass seed that is genetically engineered to resist pesticides and herbicides, a step that the Senate’s top leader calls necessary to protect the environment against the overuse of lawn chemicals. Opponents call the bill an overreaction to a product not yet on the market.

For the second time in two years, Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, has taken the lead on legislation addressing genetically modified organisms. Also for the second time, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, is looking skeptically at a pet issue of his Senate counterpart.

It was unclear tonight if Sharkey would call a vote in the House before the session ends May 7, especially with House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, promising strenuous opposition, which likely means delaying actions.

Cafero said Republicans object to the substance of the bill and the method by which it was passed: Williams amended a pesticide bill to include the ban on genetically engineered seed. The ban never was subjected to a public hearing.

Click here for more of story

Senate Votes to Expand Role of Nurse Practitioners

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.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.

Click here for more of story

Internal Medicine Group Links Up With Norwalk Hospital

WestportNow.com Image
Internal Medicine Associates of Westport (IMAW) has joined Norwalk Hospital Physicians and Surgeons, the employed physician group of Norwalk Hospital, it was announced today. Explaining the move, Jay Horn, IMAW president, said: “Our doctors can concentrate on the day-to-day care of patients and let a larger organization deal with the administrative tasks that frequently distract doctors from patient care tasks.” Pictured are the IMAW physicians (back row, l-r) Robert Teltser, Jay Horn, Nina Karol, and Robert Altbaum; (front row) David Baum, Jill Denowitz, and Robert Dresdner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Cutting Connecticut’s Trees Sparks Disagreement

By Jan Ellen Spiegel

www.ctmirror.org

Eric Hammerling has a bumper sticker on his car that says: “don’t blame the trees.” It refers to power outages   -– like the massive ones since 2011 after the tropical-style storms Irene and Sandy, and a variety of blizzards and nor’easters.

WestportNow.com Image
Last week’s removal of trees at Westport’s Longshore Club Park did not involve potential power line issues but was highly controversial nevertheless. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

Falling trees and limbs that took out power lines are most often cited for the outages, and the upshot has been a rush by utilities, the state Department of Transportation, municipalities and individuals to cut trees back and down.

“We can blame the trees,” said Hammerling, executive director of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. “But it’s mostly on us for failure to manage our roadside trees for many, many years.”

The management of trees –- what, where and how much to cut -– has become contentious in Connecticut. It pits those who are most concerned about keeping the lights on against those who believe we are verging on literal overkill in taking down trees.

Click here for more of story

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.

WestportNow.com 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.

CT Regulators Losing Patience With Anthem Coverage Delays

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

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.

Click here for more of story