Task Force Proposed To Study ‘Custody For Care’ Concerns

The legislature’s Committee on Children has proposed creating a task force to study the state’s so-called “custody for care” controversy, in place of a bill that would have barred the Department of Children and Families (DCF) from pushing parents to relinquish custody when seeking inpatient mental health treatment for their children. If approved, the task force would study the issue of why DCF takes over custody of children in some cases in which parents cannot meet their children’s severe behavioral health needs in a home setting. C-HIT has reported that the state uses “uncared for/specialized needs” petitions to take children into DCF custody in cases where parents argue for inpatient treatment or refuse to take their children home from hospital emergency rooms, for fear they will harm themselves, siblings or others. While DCF officials have said that custody relinquishment is used rarely, judicial department data show the state has used the petitions to take custody of more than 860 children over five years – or an average of three children a week. A bill drafted by state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, prompted by an October C-HIT story, would have prohibited DCF from “requesting or requiring” that parents relinquish their custodial rights when seeking specialized mental health treatment for their children.

Join Us for A Free Community Forum, Thursday, April 6

Working Women: “The New Face Of Addiction”
Hosted by the Conn. Health I-Team, in collaboration with Wheeler Clinic

Women are becoming addicted to opioids at an alarming rate, in Connecticut and the rest of the nation. A new CDC report highlights findings from a 2015 survey that found 1.2 million women – 3,300 per day – initiated opioid use, a rate 25 percent higher than among men. The forum will bring together a panel of leading experts to discuss the reasons for this trend and the efforts underway in Connecticut to prevent, identify and treat opioid addiction in women. All are welcome; light refreshments will be served.

Protein Sciences Struggles For Market Share Of Flu Vaccine

Almost four years after Protein Sciences began selling its innovative flu vaccine, the Meriden company still struggles to gain a foothold in a marketplace dominated by pharmaceutical powerhouses. Orders for Flublok – the only flu vaccine not derived from eggs – remain well below company goals, and officials haven’t been able to get it into some major pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens. “We’re doing better than last year, but we’re still not doing as well as I would like to do,” said CEO Manon Cox. The company aims to sell 900,000 doses of Flublok by the end of the current flu season in late March, she said. So far, it has sold just 250,000, even as widespread flu outbreaks spread across several parts of the country.

C-HIT Chosen For Knight News Match

In a move intended to underscore the growing importance of independent, in-depth journalism, the Knight Foundation has launched an end-of-year program that will match donations to C-HIT and select other nonprofit news organizations. Dubbed the Knight News Match, the program will match donations from individual donors to C-HIT and 56 other news groups nationwide, up to a total of $1.5 million, through Jan.19. Individual organizations are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in matching funds. “News Match is a call to action for everyone who believes in quality, trustworthy, in-depth journalism and the role nonprofit news organizations play in building strong communities,” the Knight Foundation said in announcing the program. “Successful journalism organizations need a passionate, dedicated community of supporters.

Join Us For A Free Community Forum September 29

Recipes for Healthy Living: Defeating Diabetes
The Conn. Health I-Team, in collaboration with ConnectiCare and the Hispanic Health Council, invites the public to a forum on diabetes, with a focus on healthy eating. Becky Stevens-McGuigan, an executive chef at Billings Forge, will offer a sampling of diabetes-friendly food choices and a cooking demonstration, including recipes. That will be followed by a discussion and question-and-answer session with a panel of experts on the latest developments in preventing and managing diabetes. Thursday, Sept.