Yale-Led Study Seeks To Transform Heart Disease Diagnoses In Women

Karen Lombardi, a school instructional coach, had just taken an unruly child out of a classroom when she felt severe chest pains. She drove to Yale New Haven Hospital, sweating profusely and hyperventilating, and was diagnosed with a heart attack. Five weeks later, she was back in the hospital with more chest pains. It was another four months before Lombardi, 61, learned the cause of her pain, received effective treatment and returned to active exercise. She considers herself lucky because many women with heart disease never get an accurate diagnosis.

Connecticut Is Only State That Prohibits Vending-Machine Sales Of OTC Meds, Including Morning-After Pill

In Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and other states, students on some college campuses can purchase the “morning-after” pill from vending machines. But students in Connecticut don’t have that option because Connecticut is the only state that prohibits the sale of any over-the-counter medications in vending machines, according to the American Society for Emergency Contraceptives. The emergency contraceptive, commonly called Plan B, has been approved for purchase for those 15 and older without a prescription since 2013. Before that, a prescription was required for teenagers 17 and younger. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, there’s been a flurry of activity across the country to protect reproductive rights.

Connecticut Is An abortion “Safe Harbor,” But Oregon Has The Most Protection

In Connecticut, abortion remains legal after Roe v. Wade was overturned, but there are states that still provide more protection for access to abortion. One of those states is Oregon which is deemed the “Most Protective” state, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Oregon offers abortion without any restrictions based on the gestational age, which is not the same for certain states such as Idaho, Arizona and Utah. In states such as Connecticut, the cutoff for obtaining an abortion is the gestational age of 24 to 26 weeks where there is fetal viability. This means that the fetus can live on its own without help from the womb.

“Hidden, Underground”: Lingering Concerns After Viral UConn Protest

Protests, brought about by the campus’s rates of sexual assault, have swirled around the University of Connecticut since Alexandra Docken’s viral protest in February of her rape investigation. UConn’s subsequent investigation has raised questions and prompted distrust among some prospective students. In the most recent Clery crime report from the university, taken in 2020, there were seven reported cases of rape on the main Storrs campus and five cases of sexual harassment on the UConn Health campus in Farmington. Docken, from Cockeysville, Maryland, told Hearst Connecticut Media that she filed a Title IX complaint with UConn after she was sexually assaulted by a male student at an off-campus party in August 2021. She said she was discouraged by the school’s investigation of her claim and said there should be “major changes” in how these cases are handled.

Strong Reaction To Overturning Roe v. Wade

The U.S Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to come up with their own laws has created a firestorm of opinions. In interviews with Connecticut teens and young adults, attitudes vary greatly on what happened and what needs to be done. Queen, a 20-year-old who goes to the University of Connecticut, believes in personal choice. “I think women should have the right to have abortions cause it’s our body,’’ she said. “Who’s the government to tell me what to do with my body?

More Women Than Men Put Off Medical Appointments Due To Pandemic, Survey Finds

Like many women throughout Connecticut, Isabella Vasquez of New Britain has missed or postponed health care appointments due to the pandemic. For the 23-year-old house cleaner, postponing medical appointments became necessary when the COVID-19 crisis affected childcare for her 2-year-old son. “I would have to not go to my appointments sometimes because I didn’t have childcare,” she said. “When COVID struck, that’s when daycare became less reliable.” If her son sneezed or had a runny nose, daycare would not accept him, Vasquez explained. More women than men have either missed medical appointments or postponed the care they thought they needed during the height of the pandemic, according to a recent DataHaven survey released in October of more than 5,000 randomly selected state residents.

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.

Women Of Color Overrepresented In Domestic Violence Arrests, Data Show

Black and Hispanic women make up about 25% of the state’s female population but represent about 53% of domestic violence arrest cases for adult females in 2020, Judicial Branch data show. It’s a disparity that is playing out in courtrooms across the state, according to public defenders who contend that Black and brown women often face harsher penalties and longer court proceedings to gain a favorable outcome. “This is real, it is very real,” said Jassette Henry, a senior assistant public defender in New Britain and a tri-chair of the Racial Justice and Cultural Competency Committee within the state’s Division of Public Defender Services. “The question is, what are we going to do about it?”

“Black people are overrepresented in arrests,” Henry said. “It’s not surprising that Black women are getting arrested in a domestic violence incident at a higher rate.

Yale Study Combining Opioid Use Disorder Treatment With OB-GYN Care Offers Hope To Pregnant Women Struggling With Addiction

When Amanda, 28, found out that she was pregnant with her second child, she was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling with opioid use disorder. “I was pretty heavy into my drug use,” said Amanda, whose last name is being withheld due to patient confidentiality. “I had given up hope and was figuring out a way to use drugs and get away with the consequences. But it doesn’t work like that.”

Now, however, Amanda is feeling “really good.” That’s because she is in a clinical trial for pregnant women run by the Yale School of Medicine, through which she receives medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for her opioid use disorder (OUD). Amanda’s OB-GYN is among a group of physicians at 12 clinics in Connecticut and Massachusetts who are training with Yale to offer OB-GYN care and treatment for substance use disorder under one roof to pregnant patients.

As Pandemic Grinds On, Domestic Violence Shelters Grapple With Budget Gaps And Growing Needs

Katherine Verano is wrestling with an 830% increase in costs compared with last year for hoteling victims of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic. After a quiet period during the first months of the pandemic, when much of the state was locked down, domestic violence shelters started running at about 150% capacity during the summer months. When providers ran out of room for social distancing, clients had to be placed in hotels and fed. It’s been a complex time, said Verano, the executive director of Safe Futures, a New London-based nonprofit dedicated to providing counseling, services and shelter to victims of domestic violence in 21 southeastern towns. Safe Futures’ budget for hoteling clients has increased steadily this year.