Paul Sonnier, Founder of the Story of Digital Health

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Paul Sonnier, social entrepreneur and creator of The Story of Digital Health, a free online resource for digital health professionals. He is also the founder of the Digital Health Group on LinkedIn which has 50 thousand members worldwide, as well as 30 thousand Twitter followers, providing a platform for information sharing among digital health advocates.

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Dr. David Shulkin, Chief Executive of the Veterans Health Administration

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Shulkin was selected to transform the largest health system in the country, serving the health needs of some 9 million veterans in all 50 states.

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Dr. Charles Jaffe, CEO of Health Level Seven, International

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Charles Jaffe, CEO of HL7 International, a global network of volunteer coders working to develop interoperability standards for health information technology. Dr. Jaffe discusses the challenges in achieving interoperability, and the need for more aligned policies that will support and incentive a robust health information exchange.

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Worlds Collide: The legality and psychology of intimate partner violence

A man in Minnesota, Long Vang, has been charged with third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and stalking after his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Haban, committed suicide. These charges are unprecedented both in Minnesota and across the country. As a Clinical Psychologist with a Forensic sub-specialty and Director of Domestic Violence, Research and Education at a FQHC, I will be following this case with a close eye and heavy heart.

This couple was ‘culturally married’ in 2010 and shared two children. One of Mr. Vang’s assaults on Ms. Haban resulted in a traumatic brain injury; on another occasion he physically restrained her. Ms. Haban had obtained a domestic abuse no contact order approximately four months prior to her eventual suicide; Mr. Vang continued to contact her.

Shortly before her death Ms. Haban was hospitalized for mental health treatment; she was released three days before she killed herself.

The worlds of mental health clinicians and domestic violence advocates often collide – and we all strive to provide best practice. This mandates special attention to care coordination, as we must consider all factors affecting the patients and clients we serve. Having not read the supporting documentation in this case, it is unknown whether this was provided for Ms. Haban.

At this juncture the necessary coordination will be between the prosecutor and providers who worked with Ms. Haban, in an effort to provide her justice now that she is gone. What strikes me most about this case is the hopelessness that often plagues victims of domestic violence, and the despondency Ms. Haban must have felt to move forward with her suicide as if she had no other options.

When discussing this case with Dr. Kate Patterson, a colleague and fellow psychologist, she stated “the hopelessness that is too often associated with intimate partner violence further proliferates the unspoken secrecy around this topic.” It is this secrecy that I am trying to combat with raising awareness, coordinating with providers and educating the community.
Part of my work is helping people in the midst of intimate partner violence situations realize that they aren’t alone, that they have someone to talk to, that given the opportunity, we can all work together to prevent tragedies from occurring.

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Dr. John Ioannidis, Co-Director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center, Stanford

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. John Ioannidis, Professor in Disease Prevention at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Co-Director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford, where his team is working on developing improved evidence based research protocols across multiple scientific and medical disciplines.

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Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

Hi everyone- My name is Susan Brule.

Most parents have wondered at one time or another why kids don’t come with an instruction booklet.

As program director for CHC’s Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, I like to say we just might be the next best thing.  I work with new moms or moms-to-be and their significant others in Meriden, Wallingford, Middletown and Waterbury and some small surrounding towns to support the growing family with educational materials, developmental screenings, parent/child activities, community resources, stress management and coping strategies.  All the things moms or mom-to-be and their partners can really use as they greet a new baby in their lives.

I work with four certified parent educators:  Raquel Abbasi, Maria Rosado, Janelly Torres and Dashaun Thomas, and we have worked very hard at becoming a cohesive team. At a recent Parent Connections group, we had eight parents and their little ones.  It was one of our largest groups, and since it was still summer vacation, included several school age children.  We provided lunch and an activity for parents and their kids. The group is a nice way for families to connect and exchange phone numbers to plan play dates. We had some parents who weren’t sure about joining a group, but they did anyway. It takes courage to try something new.


I want to thank the parents and their kids for coming to our group. I’d like to welcome others to join us. I hope you will let me, Raquel, Maria, Janelly and Dashaun help you with the most difficult but most worthwhile job there is—being a parent.

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Dr. Vikas Saini, President of the Lown Institute

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Vikas Saini, cardiologist and President of the Lown Institute, which is dedicated to improving the health care system. They discuss the Institute’s mission of doing “more for patients, by doing less” as well as the Right Care Alliance initiative which seeks to promote the elimination of waste in the health care system.
mutemax volume

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Dr. Martin Makary, Patient Safety Advocate and Surgeon at Johns Hopkins

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Martin Makary, chief of pancreatic surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and internationally recognized patient safety expert. Dr. Makary discusses his recent study indicating medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country, the need for better patient safety metrics, as well as a “transparency revolution” in health care.

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2016 Garden Club Annual Celebration

Each summer the Middletown Garden Club partners with MARC Community Resource, Inc. to plant and maintain the garden beds on the roof of the Community Health Center in Middletown. Tuesday afternoons, a group of 10-15 members gather for a quick meeting and head out to the garden where they plant, water and weed their freshly grown flowers and produce. This year they grew tomatoes, onions, carrots, sunflowers, kale, strawberries and more.

As their plants mature, they weigh and package all of their harvest weekly and donate it to local food shelters. The last meeting of the season is devoted to a dinner they cook for each other, using their weekly harvest. Summer has flown by, and last night marked the final Garden Club meeting. With their harvest in hand, the group headed to CHC’s kitchen and to prepare their meal.

This year they made a delicious salad with homemade dressing, pasta with tomato sauce, blueberry and peach cobbler, and a peanut butter Bundt cake. After setting the table and getting everything ready, the group was able to sit down together and enjoy a meal made using ingredients they had carefully grown, cared for and harvested.

We are already looking forward to next summer!
Click here to look at all of our photos from last night’s dinner!

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Dr. Benjamin Sommers, Harvard School of Public Health

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Benjamin Sommers, health economist, physician and professor at the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Sommers discusses his ongoing research on the impact of increased health coverage under the Affordable Care Act which has fostered improved access to care for 20 million newly insured Americans, as well as the need for modifications to the ACA to expand that access and improve efforts to contain costs of care.

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