Health News Roundup

Week of September 25, 2017


‘This Is Like in War’: A scramble to care for Puerto Rico’s sick and injured
Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Frances Robles, Lizette Alvarez, The New York Times, September 26
The hospitals have been crippled by floods, damage and shortages of diesel. The governor said that 20 of the island’s hospitals are in working order. The rest are not operational, and health officials are now trying to determine whether it is because they lack generators, fuel or have suffered structural damage. All five of the hospitals in Arecibo, Puerto Rico’s largest city in terms of size, not population, are closed. Making matters worse, 911 still does not work, officials said.


Nowhere to go: Young people with severe autism languish in hospitals
Christina Jewett, Kaiser Health News, September 26
Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals, sometimes sedated, restrained or confined to mesh-tented beds, a Kaiser Health News investigation shows. In Connecticut, the head of the state’s Office of the Child Advocate told lawmakers during a hearing on disability issues in May that the problem had reached a “crisis” level.

Photo caption: Debbie Cordone embraces her son, James, who she said benefited tremendously from intensive behavioral therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. (Nancy J. Parisi for KHN)

Group therapy is saving lives in Chicago
Erick Trickey, Politico Magazine, September 21
Can teaching teens to think reduce violence in Chicago? That’s the premise behind the Becoming A Man and Working on Womanhood programs, school-based group counseling programs that teach kids in grades 6-12 social cognitive skills and impulse control. The need is high in Chicago, where 784 people were murdered in 2016.


As an early intervention, pediatricians must talk to their patients about racism
Stephanie L. White, STAT, September 15
As an African-American physician who has experienced the effects of racism, I should be comfortable talking about it. I’m not — but I need to be.


Column: Community health workers are worth the money
Patricia Baker, Hartford Business Journal, September 24
While the Connecticut Health Foundation has provided more than $1 million in grants for CHW programs over the past 17 years, what’s been missing is a way to ensure that this critical role can be funded in a sustainable way. We are eager to partner with healthcare organizations interested in pilot projects to test sustainable models.