On the surface, Connecticut is a great place to raise children. Our schools, on average, perform well. Families have access to incredible learning opportunities in our history, science and creative arts. But what do you call a crisis in waiting? A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranked Connecticut sixth in the nation for things such as economics, education and health among our younger residents.
A state initiative that would have required drug companies and device manufacturers to start reporting their payments to advance practice registered nurses (APRNs) this year has been delayed to 2017. The original APRN legislation, passed in 2014, called for quarterly reporting beginning in July 2015. That law was amended this spring to push back the start date and require only annual reporting, after urging from the pharmaceutical industry, state officials said. The delay comes as an APRN at a pain clinic in Derby, Heather Alfonso, awaits sentencing on charges that she received kickbacks from the drug company Insys Therapeutics in exchange for prescribing a potent painkiller intended for cancer patients. The payments to Alfonso for promoting the drug were not reported publicly under federal rules because APRNs are not included in the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which requires public reporting of drug company payments only to physicians and teaching hospitals.
Connecticut Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz was nominated this week by President Barack Obama to serve as assistant secretary for policy and planning in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Schwartz’s nomination needs U.S. Senate approval. Schwartz has served as state commissioner since 2003. Gov. Dannel Malloy, in a press release, said, “For more than ten years, Commissioner Schwartz has been a strong and important voice for veterans in Connecticut, and she is an excellent choice to serve veterans on a national level. Her appointment is also a great loss for Connecticut.’’
Malloy, who reappointed Schwartz in 2011, added, “The commissioner’s integrity and her work on behalf of Connecticut’s veterans and women veterans, and on the Governor’s Veterans Cabinet, has a critical impact on improving how the state delivers programs and services to our veterans and military service members.