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Advancing Care - 2023 Issue 4


How to tell if you have a concussion

A blow or a jolt to the head can cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury that keeps the brain from working normally. Children, young adults, and older adults are at especially high risk for concussions. They also may take longer to recover after a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion may last less than a day or may linger for months – or longer.

What are the symptoms of concussion? How is it treated? Should you worry if your child has one?

Continue reading about the signs of concussion

Spring clean your medicine cabinet

Wondering what to do with a medicine cabinet chock-full of expired or unneeded medications? Is there a better way to throw them out without endangering your family or harming the environment? 

The first step is to check the expiration dates on all of your medications, according to Kris Venables, RPh, manager of Yale New Haven Health Pharmacy at North Haven Medical Center. Each medication has an expiration date printed on the label. If your medication is past the expiration date, follow the disposal instructions that came with it. 

If there are no disposal instructions, Venables recommends disposing of drugs in your household trash by doing the following:

  • Keep the medication in its original container. Remove the label or use a permanent marker or duct tape to cross out your personal information.
  • Make medication less appealing to pets or children. Mix your drugs (liquid or pills) with hot water to dissolve them. Increase the yuckiness factor by adding salt, ashes, saw dust, used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
  • Contain and seal. Place the medication inside a container such as an empty yogurt or margarine tub to ensure that the contents cannot be seen and tape it shut.
  • Throw out the container in your trash can. Don’t put the container in your recycling bin! Don't flush medication down the sink or toilet. Why? Because flushed medications can get into our lakes, rivers and streams. 

Check to see if your town or city has medication drop boxes. These boxes are secured in the lobby of the police department and are accessible anytime the department is open. You can drop the unwanted medications into the box and they will be safely and securely destroyed. Find a disposal drop box site near you.  

Remember to store your current medications safely. Follow these three steps: 

  • Keep medications in their original container. Never mix or combine different medications into one bottle.
  • Don’t store medications in areas that are hot and humid, such as the bathroom medicine cabinet. 
  • If a medication needs to be stored in the refrigerator, be careful not to store it in the freezer or expose it to a lot of moisture.

Tips for getting the most out of MyChart

MyChart is an easy-to-use online health management tool that allows you to connect with your doctor's office, schedule appointments, request prescription renewals, review your health history, pay bills, ask non-urgent questions – and so much more. Discover how to make the most out of MyChart’s features so you can stay on top of your health care. 

Here are some tips on how to connect with your provider via MyChart.

YNHHS COVID-19 collection sites closing

After more than three years and nearly three million tests, Yale New Haven Health is closing its six dedicated COVID-19 collection sites and moving all COVID-19 specimen collections to existing blood draw locations. These dedicated sites were created as part of the Public Health Emergency to allow for high-volume, drive-through COVID-19 specimen collections. Beginning May 1, YNHHS will no longer require pre-procedure testing in most instances. This change is being made with careful consideration of the decreasing level of COVID-19 transmission in the community,  increasing level of immunity across the population and the availability of effective treatment. With the end of the public health emergency, regulatory changes require the health system to change how testing for COVID-19 is ordered and scheduled. Community members need an order from their medical provider for testing, or YNHHS’ call center can clinically assess people for testing.

Find a blood draw location near you

Help for those living with Parkinson's Disease

Join our beneficial exercise program for those living with Parkinson's disease. This class is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 am - 12 pm via Zoom and in-person in the Wellness Center at Home Care Plus Community Healthcare & Hospice, 753 Boston Post Road, Guilford. The cost is $6 per class.  A free support group is held on the first Tuesday of each month immediately following class. Please call Bobbi Dunne at 866-474-5230 for more information and to register. A virtual Parkinson’s Caregiver Support group is also available. Call 866-474-5230 for a link. No registration is required.  

Know before you go: How long is the wait in the ED?

In a life-threatening emergency, you should always call 911. But if you need urgent care and you’re headed to the Emergency Department, our wait time clocks can help make sure you get the care you need as quickly as possible. While emergency departments provide care for life-threatening injuries or illnesses, walk-in/urgent care centers offer convenient, professional medical attention for non-life-threatening conditions including the flu and common cold to broken bones, sprains, cuts, allergic reactions, and minor burns, and hundreds of other conditions. If you have a non-life-threatening condition, avoid long wait times at the emergency department and get the care you need at one of our walk-in or urgent care centers located throughout Connecticut, including North Haven, Shelton, Milford, Hamden, Derby, Stratford and Fairfield.  

For minor medical concerns, you can receive care online using Video Care OnDemand

Not sure where to go? Explore your care options

Find a Provider at YNHH

Are you looking for a physician? Call 888-700-6543 or visit our Find a Doctor feature for information on physician specialties, office hours and locations as well as insurance plans accepted. Many of our physician practices offer telehealth video visits for your convenience. 

Billing questions? 

Yale New Haven Health offers financial counseling to patients and families. Spanish-speaking counselors are also available. To make an appointment with a financial counselor, call 855-547-4584.