UConn Health Pulse
COVID and Older Adults‘ Resiliency

COVID and Older Adults‘ Resiliency

September 16, 2021

Perhaps the pandemic hasn't been as hard -- from a mental health perspective -- on older adults has we first feared it might? In fact, we have reason to believe older adults have coped as well as any other age group, or perhaps more so. Dr. David Steffens, UConn Health chair of psychiatry and geriatric psychiatrist, and second-year UConn medical student Tia Kozar have been studying this, and what they're seeing may surprise you.

(Dr. David Steffens, Tia Kozar, Carolyn Pennington, Chris DeFrancesco, September 2021)

UConn Health Department of Psychiatry

UConn School of Medicine

Back to School ‘21 With COVID-19

Back to School ‘21 With COVID-19

August 12, 2021

Kids and parents alike are sure to have questions as they prepare for a new school year that figures to have the characteristics of pandemic learning at least to start. Dr. Erica Waddington at UConn Health's family medicine practice in Canton offers her perspective on back-to-school time as a physician who sees both parents and kids — sometimes from the same family. 

(Dr. Erica Waddington, Chris DeFrancesco, August 2021)

UConn Health Family Medicine:


Play Without Pain, Perform at Peak

Play Without Pain, Perform at Peak

July 8, 2021

This month we're on location at the Horsebarn Hill Sciences Complex in Storrs, talking with the co-directors of the UConn Institute for Sports Medicine. Laurie Devaney, UConn physical therapist and athletic trainer, and Dr. Matt Hall, UConn Health sports medicine physician, explain what they and their colleagues can do for athletes to prevent/reduce injury risk, treat injuries and help them recover, and even use innovative ways to analyze movement to enhance performance.

(July 2021, Laurie Devaney, Dr. Matt Hall, Chris DeFrancesco)


Promoting Interprofessional Learning

Promoting Interprofessional Learning

June 2, 2021

Within the Connecticut Area Health Education Center (CT AHEC), housed at UConn Health, students in the Urban Service Track/AHEC Scholars Program not only are learning an interprofessional method of delivering care. These Urban Health/AHEC Scholars also are spreading awareness of this evolving approach to health professions training and patient care. UConn dental student Basant Sallam, UConn nursing student Donice "Nicey" Brooks, and UConn graduate public health and social work program alum Michal Klau-Stevens discuss the Urban Service Track/AHEC Scholars Program's objectives and their role in promoting it with the student-run podcast series "Urban Service Talks," which just debuted.

(Nicey Brooks, Michal Klau-Stevens, Basant Sallam, Chris DeFrancesco, June 2021)

Listen and subscribe to "Urban Service Talks": https://health.uconn.edu/connecticut-area-health-education-center-network/urban-services-track-and-ahec-scholars/urban-service-talks/

Urban Service Track/AHEC Scholars Program: https://health.uconn.edu/connecticut-area-health-education-center-network/urban-services-track-and-ahec-scholars/

CT Area Health Education Center: https://health.uconn.edu/connecticut-area-health-education-center-network/

Connect with "Urban Service Talks":


Teens, Screens, and Anxiety/Depression

Teens, Screens, and Anxiety/Depression

May 5, 2021

Smartphone use is a big part of our lives, and the pandemic has magnified that, particularly for teens and adolescents. What effect could all that screen time have on these younger, still developing brains? Dr. Jayesh Kamath from UConn Health's mood and anxiety disorders program joins Carolyn and Chris to discuss his research in the area, including how some preliminary findings could help inform the evolution of the approach treating anxiety and depression.

(Dr. Jayesh Kamath, Carolyn Pennington, Chris DeFrancesco, May 2021)



UConn Health 2021 World Voice Day Special

UConn Health 2021 World Voice Day Special

April 16, 2021

World Voice Day carries on virtually this year, with Dr. Denis Lafreniere and Starr Cookman from the UConn Health Voice and Speech Clinic and a live performance from special guest Javier Colon!

(Dr. Denis Lafreniere, Starr Cookman, Javier Colon, Chris DeFrancesco, April 16, 2021)

11 tips for safer choral singing:

  1. Maximize ventilation; sing outside when possible
  2. Wear masks when singing
  3. Maintain at least 6 ft of physical distancing
  4. Rehearse in small groups; perhaps in shifts
  5. Shorten rehearsal time
  6. Limit socializing and sharing food
  7. Wipe down all shared items (music stands, chairs, etc)
  8. Screen for symptoms
  9. Avoid physical contact
  10. Hand washing/disinfection before, during and after rehearsals
  11. Stay away if you are sick


Javier Colon: http://javiercolon.com/
("Walking Blind," written and performed by Javier Colon)

Artist Job Bank: https://we-ha.com/artist-job-bank-a-new-initiative-of-west-hartford-commission-on-the-arts/

UConn Health Voice and Speech Clinic: https://health.uconn.edu/otolaryngology/services/voice-and-speech-clinic/

World Voice Day: https://www.entnet.org/WorldVoiceDay
(American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery)

UConn Health Pulse podcast April 2021, featuring the Voice and Speech Clinic: https://uconnhealthpulse.podbean.com/e/a-clear-voice-on-vocal-health/

UConn Health Pulse podcast archive: https://health.uconn.edu/archives/uconn-health-podcast


A Clear Voice on Vocal Health

A Clear Voice on Vocal Health

April 1, 2021

This month we talk about something we often take for granted -- talking (or singing). Dr. Denis Lafreniere and Starr Cookman from the UConn Health Voice and Speech Clinic discuss voice disorders and the importance of maintaining good vocal health as they prepare to celebrate World Voice Day April 16.

(Dr. Denis Lafreniere, Starr Cookman, Carolyn Pennington, Chris DeFrancesco, April 2021)

Changing MS Patients’ Trajectory

Changing MS Patients’ Trajectory

February 28, 2021

Multiple sclerosis can strike at a relatively young age and can lead to disability later in life. While not curable, it is treatable, and with the right combination of early diagnosis, expert intervention, and patient empowerment, people with MS can minimize their disease progression and delay the onset of disability. This month, MS Awareness Month, we hear from two members of the UConn Health Multiple Sclerosis Center, Dr. Jaime Imitola, director of the Division of Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology, and Karen Nelson, a nurse who serves as clinical patient navigator, describing how the MS Center at UConn Health coordinates elite care to change the trajectory of a patient's life.

(Dr. Jaime Imitola, Karen Nelson, Carolyn Pennington, Chris DeFrancesco, March 2021)

UConn Health Multiple Sclerosis Center: 860-679-4888

Cranial Nerve and Brain Stem Disorders

Cranial Nerve and Brain Stem Disorders

January 28, 2021

Neurological disorders are wide-ranging and include many that are rare and therefore difficult to recognize and treat. Once diagnosed, the individual care plan often requires specialists from across several disciplines. It's why Dr. Ketan Bulsara, chief of UConn Health's Division of Neurosurgery, and Dr. Daniel Roberts, ear, nose and throat surgeon, started the Cranial Nerve and Brain Stem Disorder Program at UConn Health. They explain to Carolyn and Chris how the program harnesses UConn Health's elite combination of experts across multiple specialties, making it a leader in the treatment of these complicated conditions.

(Dr. Ketan Bulsara, Dr. Daniel Roberts, Carolyn Pennington, Chris DeFrancesco, February 2021)

The COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives

The COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives

December 16, 2020

As UConn Health administers the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to health care providers and other front-line staff, Dr. David Banach, UConn Health's hospital epidemiologist, and Dr. Kim Metcalf, UConn Health's primary vaccine coordinator, join Carolyn and Chris to discuss how UConn Health is serving as a leader in the fight against the pandemic and to explain the significance of the vaccine in that effort.

(Dr. David Banach, Dr. Kim Metcalf, Carolyn Pennington, Chris DeFrancesco, December 2020)

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