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Connecticut Health Investigative Team

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After Years Of Fighting For Benefits, PACT Act Offers Hope To Veterans Exposed To Burn Pits And Other Toxins

For the last six years, Idervan DaCosta has endured shortness of breath and pain in his lungs that feels like they are on fire. This happens every couple of months and lasts a few weeks at a time. DaCosta attributes it to inhaling toxins while sleeping yards away from burn pits in Afghanistan. But the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied his application for disability benefits for the condition.
BROOKFIELD, CT

Trevor Survey: LGBTQ Youth Report Difficulty Securing Mental Health Care, As Rate Of Suicide Risk Rises

Sixty percent of LGBTQ youth wanted mental health care in the past year but were unable to get it, the Trevor’s Project 2022 national survey reported. The survey found that the top three reasons for not receiving mental health care were fear of discussing mental health concerns, afraid to obtain parental permission or fear of not being taken seriously. The Trevor Project conducted a national survey among 34,000 participants, ages 13 to 24, who identified as part of the LGBTQ community.
MENTAL HEALTH

It Takes A Village To Address The Youth Mental Health Crisis

Carolina Serna’s job as a care coordinator for the Clifford Beers, a behavioral health care provider based in New Haven, puts her in the middle of today’s mental health crisis for kids, teenagers and their families. When Clifford Beers gets referrals for cases, Serna and other care coordinators become the face of the organization, helping children and families get the clinical care they need. But Serna and her colleagues do much more than that. In a sense, they’re the bridge between troubled families and the rest of society.
HARTFORD, CT

Connecticut Abortion Providers Prepare For Influx Of Patients Seeking Safe Haven For Services

Certified nurse-midwife Jennifer Love remembers a scene from a training rotation she did many years ago in Cartagena, Colombia, where abortion was illegal at the time. If women came in with complications after a miscarriage or a self-induced abortion, they had to wear a marked shirt and sit in a special area of the obstetric emergency department, where Love worked.
CONNECTICUT STATE

Looking To Bolster The Environment And The Economy, Farmers And Scientists Cultivate A Viable Kelp Industry

On a gray morning in late April, Suzie Flores, 40, the owner of Stonington Kelp Co., hustled out of her hybrid Highlander in a Westport parking lot. She grabbed a couple of coolers of freshly harvested Connecticut sugar kelp from her SUV, then dashed to the rear entrance of a posh restaurant to deposit 60 pounds or so of seaweed. Because the weather was breaking—for the better, for once—she hoped to hightail it back to Stonington to help her husband, Jay Douglas, work his barge on the Pawcatuck River before their weather window closed.
CONNECTICUT STATE

Med Board Fines Doc $10,000

The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday fined an Oxford doctor $10,000 for fraudulently using another doctor’s name and Drug Enforcement Agency registration number to prescribe controlled substances to a family member. In addition to the fine, board also voted unanimously to reprimand the medical license of the doctor,...
OXFORD, CT

Interpreter Shortage Challenges Appropriate Medical Care For Deaf Patients

Deaf residents report frequent issues with sign language interpretation at Connecticut hospitals and health care facilities, hindering their ability to understand medical care fully. And though video remote interpreting (VRI) services are widely available at Connecticut hospitals, patients have reported mixed experiences with the technology. The issues persist more than...
CONNECTICUT STATE

Activists Say Climate Change Policies Fail To Factor In Risks To LGBTQ+ Community

When it comes to environmental vulnerability, one group of people society often marginalizes has started to act up in Connecticut. Activists say one major category is missing when policymakers look at climate change preparation: the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community. An environmental activist movement for LGBTQ+ people has been building in the New Haven area for a few years. Those involved in the movement say evidence is beginning to accumulate that makes a clear connection between environmental threats, sexual orientation and gender identity.
NEW HAVEN, CT