advancing care

COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy  

If you’re thinking about having a baby, you may have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Medical experts say that increasing evidence suggests the vaccines are safe and beneficial for mothers and their children.
 
“Some women may be worried the vaccine could impact fertility, especially for those women who are trying to get pregnant right now. But the research shows that the vaccine did not negatively impact pregnancy outcomes for those involved in the trial,” said Christian Pettker, MD, chief of Obstetrics at Yale New Haven Hospital. 

Preliminary findings recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology indicate that if a pregnant woman gets the vaccine, she may pass COVID-19 antibodies to her newborn as well. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been tracking vaccine side effects through its V-safe program. To date, more than 30,000 pregnant people have reported to the program, with no adverse side effects. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine agree the vaccine should be offered to pregnant patients.

When weighing the risks and benefits, it’s important to understand that the increased risks if a woman contracts COVID-19 while pregnant, according to Romelle Maloney, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist with Northeast Medical Group. 

“A pregnant woman who contracts COVID-19 is three times more likely to need ICU care. They are also more likely to require advanced life support and breathing machines,” said Dr. Maloney. She also noted that if they get the virus, they could face complications such as pre-term birth.

Women should discuss options with their obstetrician or midwife. “Every patient has different needs. Anytime you have a question about your care, talk with your doctor or midwife and have a discussion about what makes sense for you,” said Dr. Pettker. 

Same-day and walk-in COVID-19 vaccines available

Walk-in appointments for COVID-19 vaccines are now available at our vaccination sites, and same-day scheduling is possible through our Call Center and scheduling portal. View the calendar and find a location and time that best suits your schedule.

YNHH opens Center for Lung Disease in North Haven

The Winchester Center for Lung Disease recently opened the doors to its new home at 6 Devine St. in North Haven. The expanded center offers programs to diagnose and treat patients with respiratory conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sarcoidosis, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis and post-COVID-19 pulmonary disorder. 

With 20 exam rooms, ample consultation and procedure rooms and extensive pulmonary function testing and research labs, the new center triples lung patients’ access to care and to our nationally renowned lung experts. A special Post-COVID-19 Recovery Program offers evaluation of patients with persistent shortness of breath and exercise intolerance more than 6 - 8 weeks after initial infection. Its location at YNHH’s North Haven Medical Center allows for easy access to radiology, immunology and laboratory services available in the same building. 

The Winchester Center for Lung Disease is a joint partnership with YNHH, Yale Medicine and Yale School of Medicine’s Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (Yale-PCCSM).

Visit the Winchester Center for Lung Disease for more information or call 203-495-2410.

Free workshop: How to use humor as a coping skill

Medical science tells us that laughter produces stress-relieving chemicals that enhance physical and mental health. And what better time than a pandemic to infuse laughter into your life?  “Comic Relief:  Humor as an Essential Coping Skill,” an online Smilow Wellness Workshop on Thursday, May 13 at 4 pm, addresses the role of humor as an essential life-coping skill – especially during challenging and stressful times.

In the workshop, Brian Luke Seaward, a health psychologist and author, will discuss the four reasons why we laugh and smile, explain the different types of humor and show you several ways to make comic relief part of your “toolbox” for stress management.

The free event is sponsored by Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. Although registration is not required, it is recommended as the easiest way to receive the Zoom link for the webinar. Register online and you will receive a confirmation email with the link to the webinar. Information is also available by calling 1-888-700-6543.

The truth about organ donation

Did you know that nearly 112,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ transplant? It’s true – 20 people die every day waiting for a transplant that never becomes available. It’s also a fact that one single organ and tissue donor can save or improve the lives of more than eight people, helping to restore eyesight, damaged tissues or vital functions. 

Did you also know that you can help save a life right now while you are still alive? More than 85 percent of the patients who are waiting are in need of a kidney, while 11 percent are waiting for a liver. A living donor is an option for these patients, who otherwise may face a lengthy wait for an organ from a deceased donor.

YNHH’s Center for Living Organ Donors is a program that arranges for kidney and liver transplants from living donors. In 2019, more than 7,000 kidney and liver transplants were made possible by living donors. 

Learn more about living organ donation and get answers to common organ transplant myths and concerns.

To register online to be an organ donor, visit Donate Life New England. You can also express your wish to become a donor when you receive or renew your driver's license at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Remember to share your decision with your family so they understand your wish to be an organ donor.

For more information on how you can help raise organ donation awareness, contact Yale New Haven Transplantation Center at 203-785-2565.  

Spring clean your medicine cabinet

If your medicine cabinet is chock-full of expired or unneeded medications, what’s the best way to dispose of them without endangering your family or harming the environment? 

The first step is to follow any disposal instructions that came with your meds. What should you do if there aren’t any directions? Dispose of drugs in your household trash:

  • Keep the medication in its original container. Use a permanent marker or duct tape to cross out your personal information or remove the label.
  • Make medication less appealing to pets or children. Mix your drugs (liquid or pills) with hot water to dissolve them. Add an undesirable substance, such as 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. Do not 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. 

You can also search here for a list of prescription drug drop box collection sites near you.  

Schedule your mammogram online

An annual mammogram is an important, proactive way women can take care of their health. Mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early — sometimes up to three years before a lump can be felt.

Mammography is a type of imaging that uses low-dose X-ray to examine breast tissue. There are two types of mammograms: 

  • Screening mammography is recommended each year to examine breast tissue and check for breast abnormalities. 
  • Diagnostic mammography may be recommended to further examine an area of concern, lump, cyst or follow-up after a screening mammography. 

A new technology, called breast tomosynthesis or 3-D mammography, may also be used in a screening or diagnostic mammography. This allows the radiologist to view the breast in thin "slices" rather than as a whole, which improves the detection of lesions and reduces the need for additional views of the breast.

Yale New Haven Health offers screening mammography at 15 locations across Connecticut and one location in Rhode Island. No prescription is needed at most locations if you are 40 years and older and have not had a mammogram in the last year.

Schedule your mammogram appointment online now 

Smilow Survivorship Clinic: Support for cancer survivors

Today's cancer survivors require new resources and healthcare specialists to care for their special concerns, including medical, social and emotional issues. For the last 15 years, the Smilow Cancer Hospital Survivorship Clinic provides patients and their families with vital information on cancer prevention, wellness, supportive services and the latest health research related to cancer survivorship. This clinic is for you – whether you recently completed treatment, are decades past original diagnosis or are living with cancer as a chronic condition. For more information about the clinic’s services, call 203-785-2273.

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven also offers support groups for patients and their families. View the complete list and call the contact number listed for more information about a specific group. 

Laboratory services are open

Did your doctor order a test? We’re open for services. When your physician orders blood work, we make it easy with blood draw stations conveniently located in your community. A physician requisition form is required. All major insurance plans are accepted. Our blood draw stations honor requisitions from other labs. Please call 1-800-305-3278 for locations and hours of operation.

MyChart: Your medical information in one place

MyChart gives Yale New Haven Health System patients secure, online, 24/7 access to portions of your electronic medical record (EMR). There you can see your medical history, most laboratory and test results, appointment information, medications, allergies, immunizations and other health information. You can schedule appointments with your doctor, request or renew prescriptions, pay your bill, and send and receive secure, confidential electronic messages with your doctor’s office. Sign up by using the activation code on the after-visit summary from your doctor, request a MyChart Activation Code at your next appointment or request an activation code online.

Referrals for physicians and surgeons

YNHH provides free information about and referrals to more than 2,600 affiliated physicians 24 hours a day. Call 888-700-6543 or visit our Find a Doctor feature on the hospital website for information on physician specialties, office hours and locations as well as insurance plans accepted. YNHH physicians represent more than 70 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties, including internal medicine/family practice, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics and psychiatry.  

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Make a lasting impact at YNHH

Help support the mission of Yale New Haven Hospital with a donation! Your contributions support vital programs, services and facilities within the hospital and help keep Yale New Haven at the forefront of innovative treatment. When you make a gift to YNHH, you are part of the advanced medicine and compassionate commitment that touch so many lives in our community.

Billing questions?

Yale New Haven Hospital 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.