Capitol Updates from Cristin

October 26, 2023

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Dear Neighbor,

Since I wrote to you last a few weeks ago, tragic events abroad as well as yet another mass shooting, this time in Maine, have unsettled all of us.

This morning, we woke to the news that at least 18 people have died in Maine at the hands of a shooter firing into a restaurant and bowling alley. As of this writing, the shooter is still at large. My heart is with the people of Maine and their loved ones.

On October 7th, the world woke up to learn of an atrocious attack on the people of Israel by Hamas, a terrorist organization whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Since then, like so many of you, I have been haunted by the stories and images of that day. I condemn those barbaric acts and support necessary action to protect Israel and seek the return of the hostages - innocents of all ages.

Now we face a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and continued suffering in Israel - a tragic result of this bloodshed. I, like many of you, feel a sense of anxiety and grief as we watch events continue to unfold. I am relieved to see that aid has begun to enter Gaza and pray for the safety of all the innocent civilians in the region who are suffering.

As President Biden has said in recent days, "Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live in safety, dignity, and peace." I join with all who share in this vision and work for peace and justice. And I pray for all who are grieving.

As Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee, I have spent the last few months meeting with providers, hospitals and mental health agencies, as well as continuing to attend community events and meet with constituents. Below is information about some of these events and how you can take care of your own health and the public health of our communities.

Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about anything shared below.

CDC Director Visits CT

I was honored to meet with CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen and multiple state leaders here in Connecticut to remind residents to get both their flu shots and the newest COVD vaccine. For more information and to find a vaccine near you, visit You can get both your flu shot and vaccine at the same time. Now is the time to do it before the winter season begins.

Fairfield's next flu clinic will be held Thursday, November 2nd from 4-7 pm at the Public Health Nursing Office, 100 Mona Terrace. Bring your insurance card. For those without insurance, the cost is $30.

I happened to stop at Black Rock Pharmacy on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield and learned that weekdays 10-4 you can drop in, no appointment needed, to get both your flu shot and COVID shot.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Earlier this month, I joined Governor Lamont, commissioners, and fellow legislators to remind women to make their mammogram appointment. Connecticut has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the United States and thankfully fatality rates below the national average. This is due to early screening and detection. Black women and women of color are at higher risk of fatality, so it is especially important to access early screening.

If you need help accessing a mammogram, you can find information at I am proud that we have passed laws requiring insurance coverage of screening mammograms. The previous link can help you learn if you qualify for assistance if you have a high deductible or are uninsured. We want all women to access early screening. It saves lives.

Hospital Visits Around the State

Over the past weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit St. Vincent's, Waterbury Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, UCONN Health, including the UCONN Dental Clinic (that's me practicing simulated cavity removal), and the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain. At each visit, I have had the opportunity to talk with organizational leaders to learn more about the unique services provided, funding breakdowns, and what services are at risk. These visits allow me to better understand how to shape public health policy for our state.

Behavioral Health needs are great, maternity care services are at risk, and staffing shortages remain a struggle.

It has been a treat to see some of the residents of the 133rd District as I make my way around the state, including Waterbury Hospital CEO Dr. Justin Lundbye and Liz Maselli, PA, Director of the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent's Medical Center. Though I did not see Bridgeport City Council Member Aikeem Boyd, Security Officer, he did see me on the security cameras during my tour of St. V's.

New Hospital Statewide Patient and Family Code of Conduct Policy

Speaking of security, this week the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) announced a new code of conduct. Sadly, we are seeing a rise in harassment and assault of our hospital providers, the very people we rely on to keep us healthy in our most vulnerable moments. According to the CHA release, "In 2022 there were 1,948 reported incidents in Connecticut of violence in hospitals and hospital staff were the victim in 100% of the incidents reported."

This new policy, along with Special Act 23-29 which the Public Health Committee passed this session, are two steps we can take to help protect our hospital workers. It remains up to all of us to make sure these valuable professionals remain safe.

Click this photo to see a News12 report on the new code of conduct
Please share this information with those who might find these resources and events helpful and of interest. You can also sign up for future e-mails. Have a wonderful weekend.


Cristin McCarthy Vahey


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