Health

courtesy of Vermont Department of Health

The number of people getting diseases from ticks and mosquitoes in the United States has more than tripled from 2004 to 2016 according to the latest report from The Centers for Disease Control.

PIlls on a tabletop.
Tomas Nevesely / i-stock

Several dozen Vermont towns are taking part Saturday in a national project to collect unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. 

Exterior of Community Health Centers of Burlington building.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Community Health Centers of Burlington announced it has reached a landmark in the number of patients served by its program that uses medication to treat opiate addiction.

As more states legalize marijuana, there's growing interest in a cannabis extract — cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

It's marketed as a compound that can help relieve anxiety — and, perhaps, help ease aches and pains, too.

Part of the appeal, at least for people who don't want to get high, is that CBD doesn't have the same mind-altering effects as marijuana, since it does not contain THC, the psychoactive component of the plant.

What details would you include in your obituary? A Brattleboro-area hospice is using the question to encourage thinking about living and aging well.
Matthew Smith / VPR

What do you want your obituary to say? What details beyond birth, death and the basics are essential to the story of your life? The Brattleboro Area Hospice is holding a workshop encouraging people to think about their life - and to to engage people about aging well, dying well and making plans now for how to spend one's final days.

What can state agencies like DAIL, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, do to help Vermonters age well?
AleksandarNakic / iStock

The coming decades will bring pivotal demographic changes to Vermont as baby boomers retire in greater numbers and continue to get older. We're talking with DAIL—the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living—about their plans to help Vermonters "age well."

ansonsaw / iStock

In his 2014 State of the State address, Gov. Peter Shumlin highlighted the severity and far-reaching impact of Vermont's opioid crisis. Four years later, the state is still struggling with the deadly effects of that crisis. We're talking to Vermonters who have lived with addiction and are now in recovery, to hear their thoughts on the topic.

When the poet T. S. Eliot wrote “April is the cruelest month,” I imagine he could have been thinking about death and taxes - because right after we finish filing our taxes, Americans have now set aside a day for planning our Advance Directives – known as National Healthcare Decision Day.

Claudia Marshall holds a bundle of 'Giving Garden' seed packets from High Mowing Organic Seeds, at the Gardener's Supply store in Burlington.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Two Vermont companies have joined forces to encourage gardeners across the country to help fill their local food shelves.

A nurse's hand holds a flu shot and prepares it with a vaccine vial.
David Goldman / Associated Press

This flu season has been a tough one for Vermont and the rest of the country, in part, due to the predominant presence of the strain influenza A H3N2. But even though it's April, the flu is still on state health officials' radar.

Vermont's psychiatrist shortage is making it hard for people to get the care that they need.
vadimguzhva / iStock

Vermont's shortage of psychiatrists means it can be incredibly difficult for people to get the mental health care they need. We're talking about the problem, the impact and possible solutions.

AbleStock.com / Thinkstock

The percentage of one-and two-year-olds who had their blood tested for lead is down since 2014. And that’s caught the attention of doctors and public health officials.

Dr. Wendy Davis of Chittenden County has been working with the state to figure out why more doctors aren’t testing every one-and two-year old.

Between two historic monitor barns in Richmond lies a working farm run by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The farm is home to the Health Care Share, a CSA that's free to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity and diet-related illness.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This time of year, many Vermonters are thinking about signing up for a CSA share at their local farm. Meanwhile, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is getting ready to supply a different type of Community Supported Agriculture – one you pick up at a doctor's office.

A chrome kitchen sink that is turned off.
rodho / iStock

The state of Vermont issued a "Do Not Drink" order to tenants of the Rutland Airport Business Park in Clarendon, following the detection of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the water.

As opioid-related deaths have continued to climb, naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses, has become an important part of the public health response.

When people overdosing struggle to breathe, naloxone can restore normal breathing and save their lives. But the drug has to be given quickly.

On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that encouraged more people to routinely carry naloxone.

vpr

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Members of Congress have said they want to loosen rules for health savings accounts. Did they do it in the latest spending bill? Do people who were uncovered for one month in 2017 owe a tax penalty? And how can immigrants who move to the U.S. to retire get insurance? These are the questions I'm tackling for readers this week:

I heard that health savings account rules would be loosened under the new spending bill passed by Congress last month. Did that happen?

No. In fact, the standards have become slightly tighter this year.

An empty school hallway with a row of lockers and a door at the end.
Halbergman / iStock

In light of recent school shootings, there’s been a renewed push for more gun control and more mental health care. And while Vermont lawmakers have passed gun control measures, mental health experts say the problem is more complex than simply more resources.

Rhode Island has become the first state to sign on to a new drug recovery initiative that Governor Chris Sununu is promoting on the national scale.

A Drug Free School Zone sign on a chain link fence with a playground in the background.
duckycards / iStock

As the state continues to battle the opioid abuse crisis, ways of fighting it have taken many different forms — including focusing on drug prevention strategies in our schools.

On this Vermont Edition, we look around the state to learn what's being done to deliver that anti-drug message to our kids and also look at the effectiveness of these efforts.

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