December 5, 2018
Healthcare Roundup

UNH healthcare admin program wins top accreditation

Photo | University of New Haven
Photo | University of New Haven
Students from UNH graduate program in healthcare administration.

The University of New Haven's graduate program in health-care administration has earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), becoming the only such program in the state to have attained the credential.

Accreditation allows UNH students access to scholarships, internship programs and post-graduate fellowship programs that are only available only to students in CAHME-accredited programs.

"Earning this accreditation is a testament to our dedicated faculty, who work tirelessly to provide quality, competency-based education for our students," said Summer McGee, dean of the UNH School of Health Sciences and director of its master's in health-care administration program.

More than 140 students are enrolled in UNH's graduate program in health-care administration, mostly early and mid-career professionals as well as international medical graduates. Other CAHME-accredited institutions include Boston University, Cornell University, Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University.

State Sen. Kennedy Honored for mental health advocacy

The Connecticut Psychiatric Society has honored State Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. (D-12) of Branford with its 2018 Distinguished Service Award for his efforts on mental health legislation.

"Senator Kennedy's tireless advocacy in the General Assembly was an example of dedicated leadership," said Melissa Welby, MD, president of the Connecticut Psychiatric Society, which represents 800 practitioners in the state. "During his service in the legislature, Sen. Kennedy raised the consciousness of his fellow legislators about barriers to mental health equality and parity. We believe that his work on behalf of those facing mental health and addiction issues will be a lasting legacy to the citizens of Connecticut."

Kennedy has advocated easing access to opioid overdose medication and changing the law to allow for Medication Assisted Treatment to be provided via telehealth. He has also advocated requiring health plans to disclose claims data and prior authorization requests for mental health and addiction services, seeking parity with other forms of health care.

"The stark and undeniable differences in coverage and reimbursement for mental health versus medical/surgical services is alarming and unacceptable, and it's something I will always fight against," Kennedy said in accepting the award.

Yale breakthrough targets emerging tick-borne disease

A team of Yale-led scientists has developed a new way to study the parasites that cause human babesiosis, a tick-borne ailment that causes debilitating symptoms and even death.

Previous efforts to study the parasite Babesia duncani in mice and hamsters were limited because the infection often led to the animals' deaths. The Yale-led team instead transferred the parasites from hamster red blood cells to human red blood cells cultured in vitro, allowing them to examine the parasite in human red blood cells over time and study its biology.

The Yale breakthrough could lead to more effective diagnosis and better treatments, according to the researchers.

"We believe that this new finding is going to stimulate the research and drive it exponentially," said senior author Choukri Ben Mamoun, associate professor of medicine at Yale.

Connecticut is part of an endemic area for human babesiosis in Southern New England, New York and the central Midwest, according to the National Institutes of Health. The babesiosis parasite is hosted by white-footed mice, who are preyed on by deer ticks that then bite humans, transmitting the infection. Symptoms include fever and chills and infections can lead to severe anemia, as the parasite attacks red blood cells.

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