Safety Net For Neglected Older Teens Can Be Difficult To Secure

Emily Hendricks has to eat soft foods, just like her grandfather. Although she’s only 18, she’s missing six teeth due to her parents’ dental neglect, advocates say. Her mother ignored her, excluded her from meals, and did not return urgent calls from Hendricks’ school guidance counselor, so Hendricks left home and moved in with a friend’s family. Despite efforts to bring Hendricks’ case to the attention of the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) by that counselor and her friend’s mother starting a few weeks after her 17th birthday, DCF did not take Hendricks into state care until shortly before her 18th birthday. “There was a long period of time where I couldn’t understand why DCF didn’t help,” Hendricks said. “I felt very alone.

Home Births Rise In Connecticut As Pandemic Prompts Women To Seek Alternatives To Hospitals

Cameron English got comfortable on the cushioned green exam table as her 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter played nearby. Initially, as midwife Carolyn Greenfield swept a monitor over English’s pregnant belly, there was only an indistinct swoosh. But before long, the instrument found and amplified a distinctive, quick double thump. English was all smiles, hearing her baby’s heartbeat for the first time. After English’s first three children were born in a hospital, she had her fourth child at home in 2020, attended by Greenfield, a certified professional midwife.

With Medical Bills Soaring, Nonprofits, Crowdfunding, Payment Plans Offer Some Debt Relief

In February, Lori Dingwell of Waterbury tested positive for COVID-19. She says she has yet to recover fully. The 53-year-old has seen her primary care physician, a neurologist, ophthalmologist, retinal specialist, infectious disease expert, and rheumatologist. After a host of scans, blood tests and “an abnormal spinal tap,” Dingwell—a member of the COVID long-hauler support group Survivor Corps—said physicians had no answers to help explain her malady. Adding to her woes, she racked up nearly $10,000 in medical debt.

Birth Control: Lots Of Options, But Scant Guidance

When University of Connecticut student Natalie Plebanek was 16 years old, she suffered heavy menstrual periods and subsequent fainting spells. But when she asked her pediatrician about a prescription for birth control pills, proven to reduce menstrual bleeding significantly, the doctor balked, citing a common myth. “She thought I would become extremely sexually active,” Plebanek said. Now 21, Plebanek is considering a more convenient method of birth control. Seeking advice from a gynecologist about her options, she was handed a brochure.

Ranking Of Connecticut Medical Board’s ‘Serious Disciplinary Actions’ Echoes Members’ Concerns

The state Medical Examining Board ranked 37th in the nation in the annual rate of serious disciplinary actions the board took against physicians accused of wrongdoing from 2017 to 2019, according to a Public Citizen report issued earlier this year. Connecticut’s board averaged about 13 serious disciplinary actions a year in 2017, 2018 and 2019, according to Public Citizen. The rankings are based on the number of serious disciplinary actions taken by states per 1,000 physicians. Connecticut’s rate was .65 per 1,000 physicians compared to Kentucky, which had the highest rate of serious disciplinary actions at 2.29 per 1,000 physicians, the report said. Public Citizen defines a “serious disciplinary action” as one that has a clear impact on a physician’s ability to practice.

Wet Summer Raises Risk Of Mosquito-Borne Illnesses In October

With mosquito levels at the highest in 20 years, three mosquito-borne illnesses are most dangerous to humans in October after being passed from birds to mosquitoes over the summer months. This year, the first report of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) occurred Sept. 23 in mosquitoes trapped in Voluntown, in southeastern Connecticut, as part of the state’s surveillance program. EEE is rare but kills one-third of those who catch it, according to the state Department of Public Health. Two years ago, three out of four people who caught EEE in Stonington died.

Data Show Decrease In Prison Sex Abuse Reports, But Survivor Advocates Say Fear And Ambivalence Persist

For eight months in 1995, LaResse Harvey says, she was held as a sex slave by her cellmate at York Correctional Institution in Niantic. In the 26 years since Harvey’s assault, the landmark Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into federal law. The legislation gave prisoners several avenues to report sexual misconduct; required changes to buildings for added safety, such as adding doors with windows and installing more cameras; and mandated regular audits of each facility. But people incarcerated in Connecticut say they still face sexual abuse from other prisoners and guards and that reporting the crimes isn’t always worth the consequences. “It does not work,” said Harvey, who pushed for PREA in Connecticut after her release from prison and later co-founded the advocacy agency Once Incarcerated.

Children And Adolescents Struggling With Pandemic’s Mental Health Fallout

One day in early March 2020, just as the pandemic was gaining momentum, sixth-grader Carolina Martinez-Nava was heading to the school cafeteria when she saw her sister coming down the stairs, looking for her. Arlene, an eighth grader, was crying. “She came and hugged me,” Carolina said. Students had been peering out windows all morning at the black smoke rising a few blocks from the school, in Bridgeport. But that still couldn’t prepare Carolina for her sister’s news that it was their family’s house that was burning.