To-Do List For Governor’s Council On Women Is Long

Last month, newly elected Gov. Ned Lamont created the Council on Women and Girls, modeled after a similar council started under President Obama, which has been allowed to lie fallow under President Trump. The council will be chaired by Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, and will include state agency commissioners, as well as the state’s constitutional officers and a handful of legislators. The council’s charge is to plan legislation and policies that work to end gender discrimination. Though Connecticut can be a wonderful place for women, the challenges are marked. • A Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut study says that in the eastern part of the state, women between the ages of 18 and 34 have a higher poverty rate—18 percent—than any other group in the area.

Filling The Primary Care Gap: Nurse Practitioners

Alison McGrory-Watson, a private cook who lives in Deep River, had serious medical problems, including Hepatitis C and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), when she was assigned Nichole Mitchell as her primary care provider at Community Health Center Inc. (CHC) in Middletown. McCrory-Watson was uninsured, and Mitchell went to great lengths to get financial assistance for two new drugs aimed at addressing her medical problems. As a result, McGrory-Watson is now Hep C-free, and she hopes a drug she’s taking for PTSD will quell the lingering effects of being gang-raped as a teenager and witnessing a brutal stabbing as an adult.

There’s something about Mitchell that might surprise you. She’s not a doctor; she’s a nurse. A nurse practitioner (NP), to be precise. But McGrory-Watson insists that the care Mitchell provides is every bit as good as she would get from a physician.

Nursing Homes Fined For Improper Cleaning Of Equipment, Lapses In Care

Five Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations, including several instances in which equipment wasn’t properly cleaned. In one citation, Apple Rehab Saybrook was fined $10,000 for two violations. On Sept. 4, 2018, two licensed practical nurses (LPNs) failed to properly clean and sterilize glucometers after drawing blood from multiple diabetic residents. One LPN who took blood from two residents and another who drew blood from four residents cleaned glucometers with alcohol wipes instead of germicidal wipes, the citation said.

Immigrants Are Wary Of Using Assistance Programs As Feds Weigh Policy Change

When immigrant families bring their children to the Yale Children’s Hispanic Clinic, it’s just not about check-ups and vaccinations. Clinicians help them deal with everything from teething to nutrition to finding a place to live. But these days when front-line clinicians encourage families to use the many services offered through federal public programs, parents have questions—and misgivings. “They are hesitant because they are afraid,” said Patricia Nogelo, a clinical social worker at the Yale Children’s Hispanic Clinic. A proposed change in immigration law is making immigrants in Connecticut and nationally wary of utilizing federal programs that cover health, food and housing assistance.

DPH Fines Nursing Homes For Lapses In Care; Two Cases Involved Deaths

Six nursing homes have been cited by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for lapses in care, including two cases in which residents died. DPH fined Hancock Hall in Danbury $10,000 in August in connection with three incidents, including the case of a resident who died in June from complications due to a head injury caused by a fall out of a lift, the state citation said. Four days before the death, the resident was kicking and punching two nurse’s aides who were moving the person in the lift, the citation said. A clip on the lift pad came undone and the resident slipped out of the sling and onto the floor and sustained a head injury. A review found that the aides should have stopped the lift and notified a nurse when the person became combative.

State Suspends Two Nurses’ Licenses For Alcohol Abuse

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on today suspended the licenses of two registered nurses, saying their abuse of alcohol poses a danger to the public. The first nurse, Laura Kisatsky of Cornwall, abused alcohol in December, in violation of a consent order she agreed to in 2014. In July, state Department of Public Health (DPH) officials had told the board that Kisatsky’s use of morphine endangered the public. Those charges are pending. In 2005, Kisatsky had voluntarily surrendered her license after admitting stealing controlled substances while working as a nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital, records show.

Med Board Fines Greenwich Doctor For Prescribing High Doses Of Opioids

The state Medical Examining Board fined a Greenwich doctor $3,000 on Tuesday for failing to justify prescribing high doses of opioids for patients in 2015 and 2016. The board also reprimanded the license of Dr. Francis X. Walsh, placed his license on probation for six months and ordered him to take courses in medical documentation and controlled substance prescribing, a consent order he agreed to said. In prescribing the drugs in his office practice, Walsh failed to properly document that he had examined the patients and failed to justify “potentially dangerous dosing and combinations of medications,” the order said. During the probation, Walsh must hire a doctor to review his office practice. Walsh has surrendered his state registration to prescribe controlled substances in that practice, state records show.

State Fines Nursing Homes For Lapses In Care, Resident Death

Five Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) following lapses in care, including one incident after which a resident died. Jewish Senior Services of Bridgeport was fined $3,060 after a resident with multiple sclerosis died after falling from a bed onto the floor. On June 12, 2018, a registered nurse was applying protective dressings to the resident’s coccyx, turned away to dispose of the dressing wrappers and, when she turned back toward the resident, saw the resident was starting to fall, according to the citation. The RN tried to stop the fall but couldn’t. The RN had moved the patient without help, even though the resident’s care plan called for two-staff assistance with mobility, according to the citation.

Hospital Errors Decline, But Reports Of Pressure Ulcers, Falls And Burns Climb

Connecticut hospitals reported increases in patients suffering from pressure ulcers, as well as serious injuries or deaths associated with falls and burns in 2017, compared to 2016, according to a new state report. Overall, the total number of “adverse events” reported by hospitals dropped from 431 in 2016 to 351 in 2017, a 19 percent decline, the Department of Public Health (DPH) said. But most of the decline was due to the elimination of two categories in 2017: serious injuries or death resulting from perforations during open, laparoscopic or endoscopic procedures; and those resulting from surgeries. Together those categories accounted for 72 adverse events in 2016. The reporting requirement for the two categories was eliminated after a work group of the Quality in Health Care Advisory Committee concluded that the vast majority of perforations that occur during some procedures aren’t preventable, and that serious injuries or death resulting from surgery are already better captured by other categories, the DPH report said.

Violence Against Women Act Needs A Permanent Funding Solution

Much has been made of the #MeToo movement—and rightfully so—but an important discussion central to the movement has been sidelined. Again. This time, the safety of women has been subsumed in a strange debate about security at our country’s southern border. Amid unpaid furloughs, federal employees who are working without pay, and shuttered federal departments sits the expired Violence Against Women Act, also known as VAWA. VAWA funding supports a variety of initiatives in Connecticut, said Liza Andrews, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence director of public policy and communications.