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
Rushford Center
(Part of Hartford HealthCare)
Facilities in Middletown, Meriden, Durham, Portland, and Glastonbury
Institute of Living
200 Retreat Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
860-545-7000 (main number)
St. Francis Care Behavioral Health
P.O. Box 151
Portland, CT 06480
The Hospital of Central Connecticut
100 Grand Street
New Britain, CT 06052
500 Blue Hills Avenue
MOB 301
Hartford, CT 06112
860-714-9331 or 860-714-4000
Bristol Hospital
41 Brewster Road
Bristol, CT 06010
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
Christopher Penta, Psy.D.
32 Maple Avenue
Windsor, CT 06095
Laura Ginther, Psy.D.
1007 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06107
Psychological Health Associates
343 North Main Street, #302
West Hartford, CT 06117
Allan Jacobs, M.D.
61 South Main Street, #305
West Hartford, CT 06107
Leslie A. Silverman, Ph.D.
2446 Albany Avenue, #3
West Hartford, CT 06117
860-233-0222 or 860-523-8830
Murray Kuperminc, Ph.D.
2446 Albany Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
Samuel Silverman, M.D.
2446 Albany Avenue, #3
West Hartford, CT 06117
860-523-8830 or 860-233-0222
Natalie Lurie, Ph.D.
1031 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032
Anne R. Vickery, Ph.D.
2446 Albany Avenue, #3
West Hartford, CT 06117
860-523-8830 or 860-233-0222
John Matuszewski, Ph.D.
363 Park Road
West Hartford, CT 06119
Jeff Zimmerman, Ph.D.
391 Highland Avenue
Cheshire, CT 06410

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
Deborah Redford-Badwal, D.D.S., Ph.D.
John Carson, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Robinson, M.S., CEAP
Mark A. Greenstein, M.D.
Julie Wagner, Ph.D.
Ronald Kadden, Ph.D.
Student Members
Medical, dental and graduate student members may be contacted by calling Dr. Thomas Lawlor at 860-679-4485 or via the operator at 860-679-2000.
Contact with CHIPS may also be made via email,

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