Are you at risk for osteoarthritis?

Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints. It affects approximately 27 million Americans, mostly middle-aged and older adults. It can occur in any joint, but it most often affects the hands, knees, hips, or spine.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis? How it is diagnosed and treated? Join us at 7 pm on Thursday, Aug. 9 for “What is Osteoarthritis?,” a free health educational lecture presented by YNHH rheumatologist Gordon Hutchinson, MD, at Old Saybrook Medical Center, 633 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook. Registration is required by calling 1-888-700-6543 or through our online events calendar.

For more information about osteoarthritis including risk factors, key points and prevention, visit our health library.

Come for a Ride and help us get closer to free!

The 8th annual Closer to Free Ride will roll off the starting line on Sept. 8. Every dollar raised directly supports patient care and advanced research at Smilow Cancer Hospital Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. Each rider commits to raising at least $500 (or $250 for students and youth) — but don’t worry, we give you lots of help.

Closer to Free offers cyclists of all abilities the opportunity to participate. Riders choose from among four routes: 100 miles, 62.5 miles, 25 miles and 10 miles. All routes start and end at the Yale Bowl. Ride Day begins with an Opening Ceremony at 6:45 am with the Ride starting at 7 am. Friends, family members and supporters are encouraged to gather at the Yale Bowl for the Finish Line Festival following the Ride. The festival is open to all and includes live music, a complimentary post-Ride massage, a beer garden (must be 21 or older), Food Truck Village (complimentary tickets for all riders and volunteers), children’s activities and more.

Register, get ride details or download a donation form at the Closer to Free Ride website.

Not a cyclist? We have many volunteer opportunities available. Put your energy and enthusiasm into making the Closer to Free Ride a success. Find out more about becoming a Closer to Free Ride volunteer.

Does your child have a urinary problem?

Join us at 7 pm on Thursday, August 23 for a discussion on common pediatric urological issues. YNHH pediatric urologist Angela Arlen, MD, will talk about causes and treatments for children who experience urinary problems. The free educational lecture will be held at Old Saybrook Medical Center, 633 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook. Registration is required. Call 1-888-700-6543 or register on our online events calendar.

Free blood pressure screenings

More than half of all Americans over 60 have high blood pressure — and many more are at risk of developing it, according to statistics from the American Heart Association. YNHH offers free blood pressure screenings at many community sites. Call 203-789-3275 for a list of locations and times or for more information.

Are you at risk? Visit our health library to learn more about high blood pressure.

We want you — and your dog!

Yale New Haven Hospital’s Volunteer Services Department welcomes energetic volunteers of all ages on the York Street and Saint Raphael campuses as well as satellite locations.

There are volunteer roles to fit individual time schedules, abilities and interests. Volunteers may work directly with patients or behind the scenes and impact nearly every area of the hospital. Here are just a few of the programs that need volunteers:

  • Our Pet Therapy Program offers patients staying on inpatient floors the opportunity to bond with certified, fully trained therapy dogs. Every therapy dog is accompanied by his or her owner/trainer at all times throughout the visit. Dogs and handlers can have an AKC Good Citizen certificate as a first step but must hold Pet Partners (previously Delta Society) or Therapy Dogs International certificate for acceptance to the program.
  • Smilow Cancer Hospital at YNHH has a number of outpatient Smilow Cancer Care Centers located throughout Connecticut, where teams of clinicians care for patients with cancer. At all locations, volunteers work alongside staff to enhance and positively impact the patient experience, bringing compassion and service to the patients and families who come to Smilow for care. Smilow Cancer Care Centers are located in Derby, Orange, Waterbury, Fairfield, Guilford, Old Saybrook, Waterford, North Haven, Torrington, Trumbull, Greenwich and Hartford.
  • YNHH’s Foreign Language Visitation Program supports patients who speak languages other than English during their hospitalizations, helping to relieve feelings of stress and isolation that result from the language barrier. The program offers friendly, supportive visits provided by volunteers who speak the patients’ native language. Volunteers do not interpret; rather, they provide companionship and activities for patients and families.
  • Volunteer opportunities at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital range from reading to children in our busy Primary Care Center to interacting and playing games with the brothers and sisters of pediatric patients as part of our Sibling Program.
  • Additional positions are available in guest relations, the Emergency Department, the Heart Center, Arts of Healing, music visitation and more.

For more information or to download a volunteer application, visit the volunteer web page or call 203-688-2297.

Free yoga in Old Saybrook for Smilow patients

Smilow Cancer Hospital patients can relax, renew and rejuvenate in a safe, soothing, supportive space with a specially designed yoga class held from 1 - 2 pm on Wednesdays throughout August in the conference room, Old Saybrook Medical Center, Old Saybrook. The free class offers gentle poses and modifications, stretching and strengthening exercises, mindful breathing practices and systematic relaxation at the end of every class. No previous yoga experience is necessary. Free parking is available. Smilow patients should check with their treatment team before registering to determine if yoga is appropriate at this time. Register online for the yoga class or call 1-888-700-6543.

Thrift Shop seeks donations

The Thrift Shop at Yale New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus needs donations of household items, jewelry, and small appliances as inventory is running low.

The Thrift Shop is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers of the YNHH Auxiliary. Donations may be brought to the shop at 1386 Chapel Street (corner of Orchard and Chapel Streets) on weekdays during the shop's regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 10 am - 3 pm. All proceeds help the Auxiliary support patients, families and the community in many different ways. Merchandise for sale in the Thrift Shop includes books, clothing, jewelry, games and toys, collectibles, small appliances and housewares and more.

Please contact Billye Bradley at [email protected] or 203-688-5717 to make arrangements for donations. All merchandise donations are tax deductible.

Walk and talk with YNHH doctors

Enjoy a morning walk with local doctors as part of Yale New Haven Health's Walk ‘n Talk in New Haven. Walks are each Saturday in August from 9 - 10:30 am at the Farmington Canal Greenway Trail. The two-mile walks begin at the entrance at 280 Starr St., continue north towards Hamden and return along the same route. Parking is available at New Freedom Missionary Baptist Church, 280 Starr St., New Haven. Register online or by calling 888-700-6543. Please arrive by 8:45 am on each walk day. For more information, call Andy Orefice at 203-688-5671 or email [email protected].

Looking for support? We can help.

Yale New Haven Hospital offers free support groups for patients and their caregivers or loved ones who are coping with illnesses. Many individuals who share a common medical diagnosis meet regularly to educate and encourage each other. These groups are always evolving. Meeting times and locations are subject to change, so contact the groups ahead of time to get the most current information.

Support groups include:

  • Amputee support group: A monthly support group for amputees, their caregivers, family and friends. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month from 5 - 6 pm at YNHH Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at Milford Hospital, 2nd Floor - Auditorium C, 300 Seaside Ave. Contact [email protected]
  • Bariatric/Weight-loss surgery support group: A free bariatric patient support group meets monthly and welcomes individuals considering, preparing for and working to stay on track after weight-loss surgery.
  • Bereavement support group: Bereavement services and support to families and friends after the loss of a loved one. For information on the bereavement support group schedule, call 203-415-8940.

New parents: Tell us about your experience

Did you or your significant other give birth recently at Yale New Haven Hospital? We want to hear from you. Come share your experiences — positive and negative — during our “New Parent Feedback Sessions” conducted in the fourth-floor annex, YNHH Saint Raphael Campus, 1450 Chapel St., New Haven. Any parent who has recently delivered a child at either the York Street or Saint Raphael campuses is welcome to attend.

To register, call 1-888-700-6543 or sign up online for one of the following dates and times:

Need blood work? We’re in your neighborhood

When your physician orders blood work or you need to schedule a blood test, Yale New Haven Health makes it easy with blood draw stations conveniently located in your community. No appointment is necessary and all major insurance plans are accepted.

Please note: A requisition form is required. Our blood draw stations honor requisitions from other labs. Visit this list of the blood draw stations in your area.

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 the 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.

YNHHS patients: Do you have MyChart?

MyChart gives Yale New Haven Health patients secure, online, 24/7 access to portions of their 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, see your billing and insurance information and send and receive secure, confidential electronic messages with your doctor’s office. Ask your healthcare provider for a MyChart brochure or your MyChart Activation Code. Then go to the MyChart website and follow the link to Sign Up Now.

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 available. For your convenience, the hospital schedules evening sessions once a month — the next two are Monday, Monday, Aug. 20 and Monday, Sept. 17 from 5 to 7 pm. To make an appointment with a financial counselor, call 203-688-2046.