Elevating Health is a series of 1-minute informational segments about health topics that matter to you and your family. Tune in to Connecticut Public Radio weekday afternoons to learn about important medical advances, new procedures, and ground-breaking treatments to help you get well and stay well. Elevating Health is funded by Hartford HealthCare.
Hartford HealthCare offers a wide array of FREE, virtual classes, webinars and support groups that you can join from the convenience and privacy of your home. For more information: HartfordHealthCare.org/VirtualClasses
Dr. Tom McDonald: Bunions
Bunions can not only be painful but can also interfere with our day-to-day lives. Dr. McDonald explains that there are minimally invasive surgical options can have very positive results when simple non-surgical solutions aren’t working.
Dr. Geoffrey Emerick: Glaucoma
While glaucoma includes several types of eye conditions, they all result damage to the optic nerve, possible blindness if untreated. Dr. Geoffrey Emerick is an ophthalmologist with the Hartford Hospital Eye Surgery center.
Emerick says those over 60, Black and Hispanic patients, and those with a family history are at a higher risk for glaucoma. If you do have that family history you should start getting eye exams in your 40s as opposed to your 60s.
Related article: Eight Signs You Might Need An Eye Exam
Dr. Tonya Ruggieri: Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy or TMS
Millions of Americans struggle with depression, but many of them are finding magnetic pulses are helping to restore their mental equilibrium and happiness. Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, or TMS, uses an MRI strength magnetic pulse to stimulate the area of the brain thought to cause depression.
Dr. Tonya Ruggieri is a psychiatrist at Hartford HealthCare’s Institute of Living, one of the first medical facilities in the state to offer the therapy. She says TMS is for patients with major depressive orders that are not responding to medication trials. A typical course is six weeks long and up to two-thirds of patients respond very well to treatment and experience relief from their symptoms of depression.
Type 2 Diabetes
Dr. Eglis Bogdanovics, a Hartford Healthcare Medical Group endocrinologist with the Diabetes Center at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, discusses the different paths taken with managing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as some of the alarming risks of not treating diabetes in the latest episode of Hartford HealthCare’s More Life podcast.
What’s the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
“I like to use the analogy of a lock and a key,” says Dr. Bogdanovics. “Both types of diabetes are pretty much an inability to use glucose or sugar as fuel, so they don’t have any of the keys for that lock.
”And while we typically see Type 2 diabetes later in life, these days, with our children being more overweight than in the past, we’re starting to see Type 2 diabetes in younger kids.”
Sometimes medication and therapy cannot help with treatment-resistant depression. It might be time to try a different, more innovative approach.
Esketamine is a nasal spray approved in March 2019, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use with an oral antidepressant for people with “treatment-resistant depression” or MDD that does not respond over time to different medications or treatment.
- Esketamine Treatment: Sometimes medication and therapy cannot help with treatment-resistant depression. It might be time to try a different, more innovative approach.
Edoscopic Technology with Dr. Stefan Kachala
Dr. Stefan Kachala is the first person at Hartford HealthCare trained to use the Monarch Platform. The Monarch Platform allows a physician to use a device, similar to a gaming controller, to navigate the flexible, robotic endoscope with an attached camera all the way to the edge of the lung. It combines traditional endoscopic views into the lung with computer-generated navigation based on 3D models of the patient’s lung anatomy and provides continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure.
“I have more precision in my movements,” said Dr. Kachala. “We are able to diagnose early lung cancers using a safer and highly precise and accurate method.”
For more information on the The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, click here.
- Call our 24-hour hotline at (860) 972-8100 or toll free (833) 621-0600.
Elevating Health_IOL Medical Track Program
Young adults often have trouble navigating the transition to adult roles, especially if they are also dealing with significant medical conditions which can be difficult to manage.
The Young Adult Services Medical Track at Hartford HealthCare’s Institute of Living is an intensive outpatient program that helps support patients, with a focus on the intrinsic connection between mental and physical health.
Dr. David Bendor is the program’s clinical coordinator. In this episode of Hartford HealthCare’s More Life podcast, he shares some compelling stories of the challenges faced by younger people with a dual diagnosis of behavioral and physical health conditions.
Dr. Stephanie Alessi-LaRosa - Baseball Batters at Risk
With baseball pitchers at all levels hurling balls dangerously fast, more batters are being hit and injured than ever before.
Some coaches and fans might see that as peak performance, but it has led to more serious injuries for batters, catchers fielding scorching hurls and even fans in the stands when a pitch goes wild.
“I have seen patients from various levels of baseball participation who were hit by a pitch. These fast pitches most commonly affect catchers when they hit their mask or the batter tips one that hits the catcher. They often cause concussions based on the significant impact from this biomechanical force to the brain,” said Dr. Stephanie Alessi-LaRosa, associate director of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute Sports Neurology Program and program director of its new sports neurology fellowship.
- Safe At Home? Baseball Batters At Risk Every Time They Step to the Plate
- For information about care for sports-related injuries like concussion, go to Hartford HealthCare.
Dr. Ryan Dorin, Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute: Prostate Cancer-Virtual Visits
Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute and Cancer Institute have collaborated to offer virtual visits that bring your urologist, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist together for a single, two-hour session that you can join from the privacy and convenience of home. Learn more
The Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute is part of an extensive preferred provider network offering the highest standard of care at every level of treatment – beginning in the hospital and extending to their continuing care at home. With excellent and comprehensive communication throughout the network, every healthcare provider involved in your care uses the very best practices to care for you post-surgically.
Hartford HealthCare and the Tallwood Urology & Kindney Institute offer a wide array of FREE online classes that you can take at your convenience.
Dr. Alan Solinsky, Hartford Hospital’s Eye Surgery Center
If you don’t have a cataract, chances are you know someone who does. Cataracts — a clouding of the eye’s lens that results in decreased vision — are fairly common, with most people developing them with age. Fortunately, surgery to remove the cataract can usually return vision to normal.
Dr. Alan Solinsky is an ophthalmologist with Hartford Hospital’s Eye Surgery Center. Founded in 1998, the Eye Surgery Center provides surgical care for cataracts, glaucoma, corneal disease and select retinal diseases. The Center performs more than 10,000 procedures a year, the vast majority of them cataracts.
Elevating Health: MMA Dr. Narapareddy
Dr. Narapareddy is part of a collaborative research team who recently published a study on brain changes in professional fighters based on weight class. He helps us better understand the effect repeated blows to the head have on brain structure and function over time.
Listen to Dr. Narapareddy on Hartford HealthCare’s More Life podcast
MMA Guidance from a Black Belt Physician
Elevating Health: Robotic Surgery Dr. Wagner
Dr. Joseph Wagner is Chief of Urology and Director of Robotic Surgery at Hartford Hospital. This month marks the 20th anniversary of FDA approval for robotic prostatectomy and Dr. Wagner was one of the first in the nation to perform this groundbreaking procedure. He’ll take us back to what that was like for him and for the patient – and he’ll also describe how this technology has changed over the past two decades.
Learn more about Robotic Surgery at Hartford HealthCare's Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute.
Listen to Dr. Wagner on Hartford HealthCare’s More Life podcast
A Robotic Evolution
Atherosclerosis, better known as clogged arteries, is the thickening of the arteries caused by a buildup of cholesterol or other fatty substances
Dr. Swales says the most common symptom is chest discomfort, but there can be more subtle symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, or indigestion.
Atherosclerosis can happen in all arteries. If you have atherosclerosis in one of your arteries, there is a good chance that you have atherosclerosis in other blood vessels throughout your body.
Learn more about the risks, diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis.
Increased COVID Risk for Parkinson’s Patients
A study by the Hartford HealthCare Chase Family Movement Disorder Center shows the possible long term effect of COVID-19 on patients with Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Toni de Marcaida is the Center’s Medical Director.
The results of the study indicate that patients with movement disorders, with or without dementia, are at increased risk of severe bouts of COVID-19, are more likely to require hospitalization and may have a higher risk of death. In fact, they suggested tailoring screening questions for this group to determine if symptoms of their movement disorder – diminished cognition, confusion and/or lethargy – had worsened.
Am I eligible to receive the COVID vaccine?
As of April 1, if you’re 16 and older, and live or work in Connecticut, YES! There are no other qualifications. Live here? Work here? Get your shot here!
Hartford HealthCare patients age 16 and older who have not been vaccinated will be notified by text or email when vaccine appointments are available. These patients WILL NOT NEED to schedule using MyChartPLUS, but will be able to click a special link that will take them right to the page showing available appointments.
Learn more at hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/covid-vaccine.
COVID Recovery Center
Hartford HealthCare treated thousands of COVID patients. We know many continue to face lingering side effects, and we will help patients get the care they need to better recover from the illness.
Connecticut was one of the hardest-hit states early in the pandemic. And as the number of recovered COVID-19 patients continues to grow, we see many patients looking for guidance and help as they continue to have symptoms such as fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, confusion, depression and memory issues, among others. These symptoms can be debilitating, often preventing people from returning back to their pre-COVID work and physical activity routines. Hartford HealthCare is here to help you live your healthiest life.
Cancer and the COVID Vaccine
Are you eligible for the COVID vaccine?
If you’re 45 and older, and live or work in Connecticut, YES! There are no other qualifications.
If you are eligible for the vaccine - you can schedule and appointment, request a call or browse more resources and information at Hartford HealthCare’s VacciNation page.
Cancer screenings and COVID
Hartford HealthCare screened 25 percent fewer women for breast cancer in 2020, another likely consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts with the National Cancer Institute predict there will be about 10,000 more deaths in the United States from breast and colorectal cancer alone in the next decade, directly stemming from pandemic-related delays in cancer screening and treatment.
“Cancer screenings save lives by diagnosing the disease at its earliest stages when it is more easily and effectively treated,” said Dr. Pallvi Popli, a medical oncologist with the Cancer Institute. “Delay in diagnosis will likely lead to cancer presentations at more advanced stages, from curable to becoming non-curable, which will result in poorer clinical outcomes and decreased life expectancy.”
Keith Grant, Senior System Director of Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare, talks about some positive trends we are seeing right now in the state of Connecticut, which include lower COVID and flu numbers overall and fewer cases of cluster spreading. He also provides some encouraging data about vaccine efficacy against new COVID variants, and vaccine brand options we should all consider.
Listen to the full Hartford HealthCare podcast episode: Which shot is the best shot?
More resources and links:
- For those who are eligible for the COVID vaccine
- View current COVID stats and resources
- Subscribe to the Hartford HealthCare podcast
"Hartford HealthCare’s Vaccine News & Resources"
The arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut is a historic scientific breakthrough. It promises to help control the pandemic, minimize loss of life and restore a sense of normalcy to our daily lives.
- Learn more at: HartfordHealthCare.org/Vaccine
- Listen to the full podcast episode: The Science Behind the Vaccine with Dr. Sam Pope
"Hartford HealthCare’s COVID Recovery Center Is Organized Around YOU"
Hartford HealthCare treated thousands of COVID patients. We know many continue to face lingering side effects, and we will help patients get the care they need to better recover from the illness. Hartford HealthCare’s COVID Recovery Center is organized around YOU. If you are experiencing side effects such as lung, heart and behavioral health complications, we can help.
If you or a loved one needs help after recovering from COVID-19, call 860.827.3200 to schedule a virtual or in-person appointment.
"Alternatives to Opioids for Pain"
No pain pills post-surgery? It's possible with a revolutionary pain management program which utilizes nerve blocking to mitigate pain and reduce the need for opioids and other pain medications. In this episode, you'll meet the surgeon, Dr. Girard Girasole, the anesthesiologist, Dr. Theresa Bowling, and the patient, Vince, who recently underwent spine surgery using nerve blocking and got his life back - pain free.
Learn more about Spine Care at Hartford HealthCare or listen to the full podcast episode Blocking Pain: A game-changer for spine surgery patients.
"Better Than Normal Healthcare After COVID-19"
Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeff Flaks discusses lessons learned over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. He’ll explain how new safety precautions and other initiatives are taking us beyond a new normal – to a “better than normal” future in healthcare. Listen to the full podcast episode here. This episode was recorded in June, 2020.
Hartford HealthCare has treated thousands of COVID-19 patients, many of whom are still struggling with lingering side effects. If you or a loved one needs help after recovering from COVID-19, Hartford HealthCare’s COVID Recovery Center can help. Call 860.827.3200 to schedule a virtual or in person appointment.
- Learn more about Hartford HealthCare's COVID Recovery Center