Health News Roundup

Week of January 22, 2018

health care access

‘Pharmacy deserts’ a growing health concern in Chicago, experts, residents say
Ese Olumhense and Nausheen Husain, Chicago Tribune, January 22
Growing portions of more than a dozen poor Chicago neighborhoods, mostly on the city’s South and West sides, are becoming “pharmacy deserts” — communities with limited access to a pharmacy, whether retail or independent. This forces many people to forgo their necessary medications or travel quite a distance to fill their prescriptions. Experts argue, given the widening scope of services many pharmacies are providing, pharmacies are increasingly important pieces of the national conversation around health care, especially where health inequity already exists.

Video: If poor neighborhood = poor health, relocation is one solution
Sarah Varney, Kaiser Health News, January 17
Research confirms that moving families into less segregated neighborhoods improves overall health, and some communities are giving families vouchers to relocate.

federal health reform

Congress funds children’s health program, but not health centers
Ana Radelat, The Connecticut Mirror, January 23

Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, was renewed for six years. HUSKY B, as it is known in Connecticut, is a joint federal-state program, with the federal government picking up 88 percent of the cost. HUSKY B covers more than 17,000 children whose families earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, providing health care for children in families of four earning up to $79,458 a year.


In impoverished North Hartford, Wheeler’s groundbreaking health clinic meets a critical need
 Kovner, Hartford Courant, January 25
Wheeler Clinic has just opened a new five-story, flagship healthcare facility on Woodland Street in Hartford to meet an overwhelming need for primary care in the north end of the city. The clinic will also provide behavioral, dental and women’s health care along with addiction treatment.

Prescription program helping displaced Puerto Rican residents in New Haven renewed 
Esteban L. Hernandez, New Haven Register, January 19
Displaced Puerto Rican residents seeking medical services will be eligible to receive free temporary medication coverage after the federally funded program was reactivated last week. Local clinics like Fair Haven Community Health Care, which has seen more than 300 patients from Puerto Rico displaced by hurricanes last fall, will now be able to start filling prescriptions for necessary treatment of chronic diseases like diabetes.