Health News Roundup

Providers push for less restrictive requirements for trans patients, and more in this week’s roundup

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Mental health providers say DSS has imposed restrictive requirements on transgender patients
Kate Farrish, Connecticut Health I-Team, Dec. 9
For transgender people with HUSKY health insurance, getting approved for gender-affirming surgery has gotten more difficult in recent months. The Department of Social Services (DSS) has imposed restrictions such as requiring proof of being transgender for at least a year and requiring letters from multiple mental health providers. A coalition of providers is calling on DSS to ease the requirements so that more people can access care.

Parents, advocates urge Connecticut lawmakers to pass a permanent child tax credit
John Craven, News 12 Connecticut, Dec. 12
For parents like Krystal Williams of New Haven, the one-time child tax credit earlier this year helped pay for things like groceries and school supplies. Williams was joined by other parents and advocates at an informational forum held by the legislature’s finance committee urging lawmakers to create a permanent child tax credit. As financial stability remains out of reach for many working families, data shows when families receive infusions of money from tax refunds, they spend it on basic needs, including health care.

Evictions are surging, and children often pay the price
Ginny Monk, The Connecticut Mirror, Dec. 11
When Dexter Menyfield’s mother was evicted from their West Haven apartment, he lived in hotels, got separated from his mother, and put garbage bags of his belongings in a storage unit. They are far from the only Connecticut family struggling with the loss of their home: More than 20,000 evictions have been filed this year, disproportionately affecting Black and Latino women and families. The rise in evictions has had an outsized impact on children, particularly on their health, education, and mental health.

Violence intervention specialists hired at Hartford area hospitals hope to break cycles of violence
Sujata Srinivasan, CT Public Radio, Dec. 9
Three hospitals in Hartford have hired violence intervention specialists with funding through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The specialists often have lived experience that help families who have experienced gun violence begin to heal from the trauma. In addition to collaborating with other hospital teams, the violence intervention teams connect with local nonprofits to assure that people can connect to other supports.

For patients with sickle cell disease, fertility care is about reproductive justice
Farah Yousry, Kaiser Health News, Dec. 8
Sickle cell disease affects an estimated 100,000 people in the U.S., and the vast majority of them are Black. Physicians and researchers say the disease is a stark example of the health inequities that pervade the U.S. health system. A poignant expression of this, patient advocates said, is the silence around the impact that the disease has on fertility and the lack of reproductive and sexual health care for the young people living with the complex disease.