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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: CT women, children’s health care lagging

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023   

Despite Connecticut doing a lot to bolster child health, a new report found plenty more needs to be done.

The state ranked 8th in the latest evaluation by America's Health Rankings. Its Health of Women and Children report said there were improvements, such as children in poverty declining by 10%. However, the number of children in poverty driven by racial disparities dropped only 0.5%, and the number of homeless students remained the same.

Paul Dworkin, executive vice president of community child health for Connecticut Children's Medical Center, said the root causes are linked to financial insecurity.

"The impact of the pandemic, the short-term financial relief, and now a return or even a deterioration to a lower status of financial well-being has clearly taken its toll," Dworkin outlined.

Child advocates in the state have been calling on the General Assembly to create a permanent child tax credit to help keep families afloat. During the pandemic, around 80% of eligible families in the state applied for the Child Tax Rebate between June and July 2022. The United Way of Connecticut finds around 40% of families in the state are struggling to make ends meet due to high rents and low wages.

The report found women in the state faced deficiencies in socioeconomic factors as well as health outcomes. In Connecticut, and across the U.S., maternal mortality has risen in the last year.

Dr. Lisa Saul, national medical director of maternal child health for UnitedHealthcare, describes some reasons for the increase.

"We also are seeing a shift in terms of increases in chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, that play a distinct role in terms of outcomes," Saul pointed out.

Additionally, she noted a lack of access to maternal health clinics contributed to the increases.

The March of Dimes reported every Connecticut county has full access to maternal health care, but almost 9% of women receive inadequate prenatal care, which is below the national average of 15%.

Disclosure: UnitedHealthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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