Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Health and Fitness

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.

Hall-Brooke CEO Fahey Resigns

Stephen P. Fahey has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Westport’s Hall-Brooke Behavorial Health Services after seven years to take over as CEO at the Deaf Academy, LLC, (NDA) in Mount Dora, Fla., an announcement said. WestportNow.com Image
Stephen P. Fahey: resigns after seven years. Contributed photo

During his tenure at Hall-Brooke, Fahey was instrumental in the purchase of Hall-Brooke by St. Vincent’s Health Services of Bridgeport, the construction of the new state-of-the-art facility and the affiliation of Hall-Brooke with Columbia University’s College of Physician and Surgeon’s Department of Psychiatry. 

“Steve Fahey has truly built this organization from the ground floor and has been instrumental in positively changing the perception of Hall-Brooke among the behavioral health community,” said Susan L. Davis, president/CEO of St. Vincent’s Health Services. “His contributions will be long remembered and we congratulate and wish him well on his new and exciting opportunity.”

Davis said a national search is underway for a new CEO.  In the meantime, Dr. Stewart Levine, interim medical director and Joyce Platz, director of regulatory compliance and community residential services, will serve as Hall-Brooke’s interim CEOs. 

Health District Testing Waters of Muddy Brook

By Nina Zipkin

The Westport Weston Health District is testing the waters of Westport’s Muddy Brook to try to determine the cause of high counts of E.coli bacteria.WestportNow.com Image
Westport’s Muddy Brook runs from near the Fairfield line through the Greens Farms area and into Sherwood Mill Pond. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) File photo

Testing of the stream, which runs from near the Fairfield town line south through much of the Greens Farms area to Sherwood Mill Pond, began June 18, according to Chief Sanitarian Jeff Andrews.

“We’re trying to narrow down where the high counts are and isolate the contributing factors that could cause them,” he said.

“Drainage pipes, for example. There are several reasons why they could be there – pool backwash, sump pump discharge or illegal septic overflow.”

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.WestportNow.com Image
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.”

Westport Health Center Looks to Upgrade

By Jennifer Connic

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.”

Westport Names Community Inclusion Task Force

Westport has established a Community Inclusion Task Force to address issues of concern to those with disabilities.

The task force was established by Rochelle Field, chair of the Westport Human Services Commission, and Lynn Abramson, president of Westport-Weston United Way.

The task force will focus on improving the quality of life for all Westport and Weston residents by ensuring that the needs of residents of all ages with disabilities are addressed so they may participate fully in community life, an announcement said.

“The task force hopes to identify those gaps in current programs and services that prevent full inclusion of the disabled in community life, including such concerns as the availability of after school programs for students with special needs and support for caretakers,” said Barbara Butler, director of Westport’s Human Services Department.

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.

Westport Led in 2005 Lyme Disease Cases in County

Westport led all Fairfield County towns in the number of Lyme disease cases reported in 2005, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

In 2005, 426 new cases of Lyme disease were diagnosed in Fairfield County, a 29 percent increase over 2004, according to new statistics from the department. Statewide, 1,810 new cases were reported last year, a 26 percent increase over 2004.

Westport saw the biggest increase in Fairfield County, with 57 new cases reported in 2005 compared with 20 in 2004 and 33 in 2003.

Weston had 13 new cases in 2005, compared with 23 in 2004 and 30 in 2003. Fairfield had 26 in 2005, 20 in 2004, and 26 in 2003.

Study Finds Westport Girls More Likely to Abuse Substances

WestportNow.com Image
Suniya Luthar, Columbia University psychology researcher, presents her most recent findings of a study on Westport teens. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
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Westport parents heard today that their children may be more likely to abuse substances and be depressed, especially if they are girls.

Suniya Luthar, Columbia University psychology researcher, presented her findings about a study she has been completing of Westport children, specifically the Staples High School Class of 2005.

Luthar has been surveying the group since they were in sixth grade, and she said she is continuing to survey them.

Her study shows that students—especially girls—are more likely to abuse substances than the normal, national average.