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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Cutting Medical Costs with Community Paramedicine

This month, I led the unanimous, bipartisan committee passage of SB 317, a bill that will lower medical costs by enabling paramedics to provide the expanded medical care they are trained to administer, rather than being limited to transporting patients to a hospital. Paramedics are capable professionals, and we should be allowing them to take advantage of their knowledge and experience when managing patients. Ambulance rides and emergency room stays are expensive, and create a significant, often unnecessary burden on Connecticut's Medicaid system. Enabling paramedics to do more than drive a patient to the hospital will save the state money by ensuring that a patient is getting the appropriate care.

VIDEO: Paramedicine Bill

Paramedics are more than capable of providing critical care to people who need help but do not need to be hospitalized, but this state is not letting them do that. Right now, Connecticut's paramedics are only paid for a call if they transport a patient to the hospital. This creates a clear disincentive to provide immediate assistance in the home, transport the patient to a more appropriate destination, or do anything other than drive the person to an emergency room. In fact, our current laws punish paramedics who do those things by not paying them for anything other than a hospital transport. This bill fixes that.

Congratulations to Branford's Ancera!

The Hartford Courant recently did a profile on Ancera, a truly incredible technology company headquartered in Branford. Last year I was invited to visit Ancera, and was impressed by what they have developed. Ancera's product is a small machine, about the size of a computer printer, which can detect salmonella in food in less than eight hours. This is an incredible advancement over current technology which takes 30 hours or more to detect salmonella. The slow detection rate makes it incredibly difficult to stop a salmonella outbreak before it starts or to track an outbreak to its source.

Ancera

Ancera is just one of many great companies that make up Branford's growing technology and bioscience hub. A 2015 economic competitiveness diagnostic of Connecticut found that the state has great assets and economic drivers in research and development, bioscience and health data. Our challenge is to combine all those assets in a way that generate more startups like Ancera and the job growth they create.

Last year I supported the passage of legislation creating an organization tasked with creating stronger partnerships and networks amongst the major stakeholders in Connecticut's bioscience, healthcare and education fields. This organization, which includes Yale, UConn, the Jackson Laboratory, representatives from the business community, and others, has already made great progress in laying out a strong foundation for technology and bioscience in Connecticut.

Educational Opportunity for Veterans with Disabilities

The University of Connecticut's School of Business is seeking applicants for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. EBV strives to provide disabled veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars with the abilities, relationships and education to grow their own businesses from the ground up. This fantastic program fosters relationships among veterans, UConn and others to assist participants in EBV with creating and executing a successful plan to start and run their own business.

veterans jobs

This program aids veterans in many other ways, including helping them through physical and psychological challenges and social hindrances. Since its inception at UConn in 2010, EBV has had the privilege of working with over 100 veterans, which has been largely beneficial to them, their families and the surrounding communities. You can apply for the EBV program at http://ebv.business.uconn.edu.