Health

Mary-Ellen Lovinsky of East Hardwick.
Emily Corwin / VPR

Farm runoff isn't just polluting Vermont lakes and streams — nitrate from manure and fertilizer is also contaminating private drinking wells.

And although the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has regulatory authority, its response is inconsistent, and often undocumented.

Two people holding hands in comfort.
PeopleImages / iStock

The holidays can be stressful as we juggle work, family, money concerns and travel. But it can be an especially difficult time for those experiencing loss.

A new federal grant received by a family support agency in South Burlington will be used to help families affected by substance use disorders stay together. Lund will use the $3 million grant to develop and implement the Vermont Family Recovery Project.

Chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher, center, says a new "calculator," developed by his office, will spotlight  the financial hardships faced by Vermont families trying to buy health insurance.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

As chief health care advocate for the state of Vermont, Mike Fisher spends a lot of time thinking about rising medical costs. And he’s trying a new way to put the issue of affordability at the forefront of the health care debate.

Whether its limiting the number of pills in a prescription or accessing treatment and therapy, insurance providers play a central role in the opioid crisis.
Fuse / Thinkstock

The stories of America's opioid crisis are sadly familiar: stories of addiction, overdose, and suffering. But what role do insurance companies play in this struggle? 

Jessa Barnard
Erin Mansfield / For VPR

A key medical group says doctors do not have enough representation in health care oversight, and will take its case to the Vermont Legislature.

According to court documents, Betty Miller made ricin out of castor beans she harvested from the grounds of Wake Robin in Shelburne.
saraTM / iStock

The FBI has arrested a resident of the Wake Robin retirement community in Shelburne after she admitted to making ricin and then putting it in the food and beverages of other residents in an attempt to test its effectiveness, according to court documents.

A severe shortage of inpatient care for people with mental illness is amounting to a public health crisis, as the number of individuals struggling with a range of psychiatric problems continues to rise.

Drug prices are too high, and we had better do something about it. That is the nutshell conclusion of a 201-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The University of Vermont Medical Center has committed to strengthening its services for deaf patients, after complaints over the quality of sign language interpretation offerings at the hospital.

Green Mountain Care Board chairman Kevin Mullin is calling on Congress to keep the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act
Bob Kinzel / VPR

In the next few weeks, the U.S. Senate will consider a Republican tax plan and it's very likely that the future of the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate will be a big part of that debate.

 We'll look at how this generation of Vermonters is redefining what it means to grow old.
stockstudioX / iStock

By 2030, the number of Vermonters over 65 will grow by 50 percent. Baby boomers rarely do things the same way their parents did, and retirement is no exception. We're looking at how this generation of Vermonters is redefining what it means to grow old.

Paint chips on a wood surface
XiFotos / iStock

lengthy investigation by Reuters News identified thousands of U.S. communities with lead levels more than twice those found in Flint, Michigan, during that city's notorious water crisis — and several of those communities are in Vermont.

A yoga class at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center. The class' instructor, Sarah Parker-Givens, says the class offers many health benefits for students.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

When it comes to health care, studies show that people over 65 use far more services than younger people, but some new research is pointing at ways to reverse that trend.

Vermont inmate Roger Brown died in prison in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania where he and more than 200 other Vermont inmates are housed because of a lack of in-state prison space.
Marc Levy / Associated Press file

On October 15, Vermont inmate Roger Brown died of metastatic cancer at the prison infirmary in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. He wrote in his diary that prison medical staff provided him with ibuprofen, Tylenol and gel shoe inserts to manage his pain and never told him about the cancer that was causing it.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As the baby boomers head into retirement the decisions they make about where they want to live will have ripple effects throughout the state's housing market.

When my father turned 35, the average life expectancy for a white male in the United States was approximately 66 and a half years. His own father never retired because he worked up until he died.

The 30 members of the Reelin' n Rockin' music class at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center are learning the four-part harmony to the Turtles classic, "Happy Together." They're part of a wave of aging Vermonters viewing retirement differently.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

By 2030, it's projected that the number of people in Vermont over 65 will increase by 50 percent, thanks in part to the baby boom generation. And this generation of Vermonters is redefining what it means to be an older person in today's society.

Janice Hutt / Courtesy

Bobby Hutt died of cancer in October 2014, after suffering for over a year. His sisters say the Vermont Department of Corrections "killed him" by waiting until the cancer got so bad that Bobby's leg broke beneath him.

Penro Specialty Compounding sign outside the building in Colchester.
Henry Epp / VPR

The state suspended the license of a compounding pharmacy in Colchester this week, after an inspection revealed pharmacists at the facility gave their drugs expiration dates far beyond industry standards.

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