Health

The report from Vermont's Opioid Coordination Council highlights some successes in the state's response to the opioid crisis, but stresses the need to increase prevention and do more for Vermonters in recovery.
Moussa81 / iStock

Thousands of Vermonters have been treated for opioid addiction, and prescriptions for addictive painkillers are down. Vermont's Opioid Coordination Council says that these are signs of progress, but more still needs to be done to create a "firewall of resilience" to the deadly opioid crisis in Vermont. 

ThomasVogel / iStock

In the wake of the passage of Vermont's recreational marijuana law, Vermont Edition looked at the health impact of smoking cannabis.

Dr. Garth Garrison, a pulmonary disease specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, spoke about what is currently known about smoking, smoking marijuana specifically, and cancer.

The American Red Cross has raised the alert on its blood supply to "critical" -- the last step before "emergency."

A meeting of the CommunityStat group at city hall in Burlington. The monthly meeting brings together police, public health, social services and city and state officials to coordinate their response to opioid addicition.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The city of Burlington is implementing a team to reach out to people who overdose on opioids within 60 hours of the incident.

A new report finds enforcement of health and safety standards lacking in Vermont's rental homes.
Creative Commons / Pixabay

A third of Vermonters rent their homes, but a new report on substandard housing shows Vermont's aging rental stock and tight rental market can lead to poor health and few options for those facing health or safety violations in their rentals.

Vermont Edition looks at what happens when a rental problem becomes a health hazard, and why it can be so difficult to get it fixed.

Northwest State Correctional Facility, shown in this 2008 file photo, would be closed as part of the new proposal.
Toby Talbot / AP File

The Agency of Human Services has released a plan for a massive new “campus-style” facility in northwestern Vermont that could reshape the state’s mental health and corrections systems. We’re talking about the proposal and how it would work.

 Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George is arguing for the creation of supervised safe injection facilities, saying the effort would save lives.
zlisjak / iStock

It may sound counterintuitive, but a Committee headed by Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George recently came to the conclusion that a safe injection facility for drug users in Chittenden County would be an effective tool in addressing Vermont's opioid crisis.

Toby Talbot / AP/File

The administration of Gov. Phil Scott is proposing the construction of a campus-like corrections facility in Franklin County that would include 925 beds.

For four years, terminally ill patients in Vermont have been able to seek a doctor's help in hastening their death. In that time, 29 Vermonters have taken the patient choice prescription.
Pamela Moore / iStock

It's been four years since Vermont started allowing terminally ill patients to seek the help of a doctor to end their own lives. We're looking at how patient choice at the end of life is working in our state, and how Vermonters have used the program since it began in 2013.

Vermont Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille, pictured here in Sept. 2017
Bob Kinzel / VPR File

This week, the Trump administration authorized states to require some people to work in order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits. But Vermont Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille says the Scott administration has no immediate plans to institute the employment mandate.

Dr. Kyle Hagstrom, left, a psychiatrist at the Brattleboro Retreat, talks via computer with Dr. Jarred Zucker, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Zucker is the one of the Retreat's newest telepsychiatrists.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Rural communities across the country face a shortage of doctors of all kinds, and Vermont is no different.

But as technology advances, and patients get more comfortable with video conferencing, health care officials say telemedicine might be one way to address the shortage.

Senate Judiciary chairman Dick Sears is looking to modify Vermont's domestic terrorism laws as a way to deal with future cases of violence
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Legislation that would have enabled safe injection sites for opioid users looked like it might be gaining momentum in Montpelier this year, but a key Senate committee is now backing away from the plan.

Recent scientific reviews have found substantial evidence that marijuana can be useful in easing at least some types of chronic pain. Yet even for the majority of Americans who live in states that have legalized medical marijuana, choosing opioids can be much cheaper.

Sara Teachout, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, told legislators this week that the state can offset the loss of $12 million in federal revenues by changing the premium structure for certain health insurance plans.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont insurance companies say they’ve found a way to offset the effects of an executive order issued last year that would otherwise cost the state $12 million annually in lost revenue.

a paper chain cutout of a family held up by two hands with a sunset in the background.
BrianAJackson / iStock

The 2017 "How are Vermont’s Young Children and Families?" report paints a mixed picture in terms of economic well-being, access to services and a range of health indicators.

The report also underscores the impact of parental substance abuse in reported instances of child abuse and neglect and in the number of children in state custody.

President Trump’s nominee for the director of Health and Human Services is Alex Azar, formerly head of Eli Lily Company, one of America’s largest producers of pharmaceuticals.

Vermont has a very high rate of special education students categorized as having an "emotional disturbance."
GlenJ / iStock

Vermont has the highest rate in the country of students identified as having an "emotional disturbance." We're talking about what is actually covered by that term, and what's being done inside and out of the state's special education system to help the kids who need it most.

Bone-chilling cold across the state will be back this weekend.
Nicholas Erwin / Flickr

The state is getting a very slight reprieve from the bitter cold snap we've been fighting, but we'll sink back into the intense deep freeze this weekend. We're talking about this dangerous spell of cold weather and how Vermonters are coping.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe says finding ways to reduce the cost of prescription drugs is a top priority for him in the new session
Angela Evancie / VPR FILE

Lawmakers return to Montpelier on Wednesday to tackle a number of key issues during the 2018 session. One bill that will receive close scrutiny could significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs for all Vermonters.

Lauretta Sheridan with her doctor in August 2017. Sheridan reached out two years ago to share her experience recovering opioid addiction. Over the course of the last two years, we've kept in touch as she recovers.
Lynne McCrea / VPR

So often when discussing addiction, people wonder why addicts can't just stop using. Recover.

And so to better understand what it really takes to kick addiction, we followed one woman's multi-year journey.

Pages