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What Is CHIPS?

The CHIPS (Confidential Help and Information for Professional Students) Program is a resource available to all students to provide the following:

  • Education and increased awareness of substance abuse.

  • Evaluation and treatment of persons having problems with alcohol or other drugs.

  • On-going support and follow-up.

  • Opportunity for continuing professional education without stigma or penalty.


Why the CHIPS Program?

Impairment among healthcare professionals can be a significant problem. While we all have problems of a personal nature from time to time, sometimes outside help may be needed. For example, unhealthy coping responses could show themselves in impaired performance, failing grades, or interpersonal conflicts, to mention a few.


A Few Words About Impairment

Sometimes students use alcohol or drugs to cope with the stresses of professional school. The impaired student is one whose drinking or drug use interferes with his or her ability to function according to accepted academic, professional or social standards.


How to You Use CHIPS?

Self referrals are encouraged. Usually, the impaired student will not voluntarily seek help but the impairment may be observed by a classmate, faculty member and or a friend. The reporting individual will relate the details of the situation to a CHIPS council member. This CHIPS council representative will review the situation and bring it to the entire council to determine the best plan of action. The identity of the student will remain anonymous within the council.


What Is the Cost of CHIPS?

There is no cost for the CHIPS program. If you are referred for additional services, such as individual therapy or a treatment program, the cost may be covered by your student health insurance plan.


How Does CHIPS Work?

The early intervention process of CHIPS begins with a meeting with a representative of the council to assess, in a helpful and supportive way, the concern of possible impairment. The meeting will be conducted with one student representative and one faculty representative from the CHIPS Council. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the concern that a problem may exist, to express a commitment to help and to explain the evaluation and treatment resources available.


The CHIPS Program Is Confidential

The success of the CHIPS Program is based on student trust and the belief that confidentiality is of the utmost importance. CHIPS is designed to protect both the impaired student and students who report an impaired colleague. Typically, only two CHIPS council representatives will know the identity of the person who enters the program. All efforts will be made to assure that a student in the program will not have their education and career opportunities adversely affected. When studies have been interrupted, the CHIPS program will assist the student in making arrangements for resuming and completing his or her education.

Through the CHIPS Program we can fulfill our duty to protect patients and others, while still compassionately caring for the well-being of our colleagues.


Failure of Treatment

The council will inform the appropriate dean of Student Affairs regarding the student’s situation only if the student refuses treatment, has demonstrated poor compliance, or if full recovery is doubtful. In those instances, evaluation and final disposition is a judgment determined by dean of the respective school, and is made in accordance with the existing policies and procedures.


Treatment Options and Centers

Treatment Programs
  • Wheeler Clinic  
    91 Northwest Drive
    Plainville, CT 06062
  • Institute of Living
    200 Retreat Avenue
    Hartford, CT 06106
    860-545-7000 (main number)
  • The Hospital of Central Connecticut
    100 Grand Street
    New Britain, CT 06052
  • Bristol Hospital
    41 Brewster Road
    Bristol, CT 06010
  • Rushford Center
    (Part of Hartford HealthCare)
    Facilities in Middletown, Meriden, Durham, Portland, and Glastonbury
  • St. Francis Care Behavioral Health
    P.O. Box 151
    Portland, CT 06480

    500 Blue Hills Avenue
    MOB 301
    Hartford, CT 06112
    860-714-9331 or 860-714-4000
  • Silver Hill Hospital
    208 Valley Road
    New Canaan, CT 06840

Psychiatrists and Psychologists
  • Linda Berger, L.C.S.W.
    1031 Farmington Avenue
    Farmington, CT 06032
  • Laura Ginther, Psy.D.
    1007 Farmington Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06107
  • Allan Jacobs, M.D. 
    61 South Main Street, #305
    West Hartford, CT 06107
  • Murray Kuperminc, Ph.D.
    2446 Albany Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06117
  • Natalie Lurie, Ph.D.
    1031 Farmington Avenue
    Farmington, CT 06032
  • John Matuszewski, Ph.D.
    363 Park Road
    West Hartford, CT 06119
  • Christopher Penta, Psy.D.
    32 Maple Avenue
    Windsor, CT 06095
  • Psychological Health Associates
    343 North Main Street, #302
    West Hartford, CT 06117
  • Leslie A. Silverman, Ph.D.
    2446 Albany Avenue, #3
    West Hartford, CT 06117
    860-233-0222 or 860-523-8830
  • Samuel Silverman, M.D.
    2446 Albany Avenue, #3
    West Hartford, CT 06117
    860-523-8830 or 860-233-0222
  • Anne R. Vickery, Ph.D.
    2446 Albany Avenue, #3
    West Hartford, CT 06117
    860-523-8830 or 860-233-0222
  • Jeff Zimmerman, Ph.D.
    391 Highland Avenue
    Cheshire, CT 06410
    Email: drz@jzphd.com

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Gamblers Anonymous

  • Infoline: accessible statewide by dialing 211


Council Members

  • Thomas Lawlor, M.D., Chair
    860-679-4485 or operator, 860-679-2000
  • John Carson, Ph.D.
  • Mark A. Greenstein, M.D.
  • Ronald Kadden, Ph.D.
  • Deborah Redford-Badwal, D.D.S., Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Robinson, M.S., CEAP
  • Julie Wagner, Ph.D.


Student Members
  • Medical, dental and graduate student members may be contacted by calling Dr. Thomas Lawlor  860-679-4485 or  via the operator at 860-679-2000.

Warning Signs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Mood swings
  • Inadequate preparation, repeated errors, incompetence
  • Missing appointments, rounds, seminars, etc.
  • Social isolation, alienation
  • Anxiety
  • Heavy substance use after workday or on weekends
  • Poor rapport with patients
  • Unreliability, poor judgment
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impulsivity or rigidity
  • Inappropriate appearance, inadequate grooming
  • Inability to work collaboratively
  • Complaints (from patients, families, staff)
  • Failing performance
  • Inability to plan course of assessment
  • Inability to implement and guide management plan
  • Low self esteem
  • Defensiveness, irritability, agitation, marked increase in energy
  • Fatigue, weight loss
  • Changes in behavior (especially if unconcerned about them)
  • Family problems (e.g., divorce, marriage, children, loss)
  • Medical problems
  • Apathy or ambivalence
  • Financial, and/or legal problems
UConn School of Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030

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