Health

I learned a new term recently that dates back to 1982 when the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku — which translates roughly as forest bathing - and introduced it into the Japanese national health program.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a proposal for a taxpayer-financed, universal healthcare program. It's called "Medicare for all" and basically would expand Medicare to include all Americans.

Gov. Phil Scott says he is confident Democratic leaders will drop their plan to raise the statewide property tax rate to avoid a government shutdown on July first
Bob Kinzel / VPR

As Congress considers changes to the Affordable Care Act, a bipartisan group of governors is hoping to play an important role in the debate over a new health care bill. Gov. Phil Scott says the only way to tackle the issue is for Republicans and Democrats to work together.

When I was young, Morrisville had three doctors, two dentists and the wood-framed, four-story, Copley Hospital, which had the town’s first elevator. Theoretically, there was competition, but price wasn’t the criteria by which we chose our providers, it was familiarity and trust.

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland Regional Medical Center says it wants to build a new $21.7 million expansion to accommodate its growing orthopedic services, physiatry department and ear, nose and throat department.

Sheriff Keith Clark underwent therapy at the Brattleboro Retreat for depression and suicidal thoughts. He's going public with the hope that it will help others.
Toby Talbot / AP File

One of Vermont's most well-known law enforcement officers is speaking out about his battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, in the hopes that it might help others seek help.

Rutland Regional Medical Center CEO Tom Huebner speaks at the podium in June at a celebration of the completion of the hospital's emergency department expansion. Huebner recently announced he will retire in March 2018.
Nina Keck / VPR File

Rutland Regional Medical Center CEO Tom Huebner, who has led the hospital since 1997, says he will step down in March to travel and spend more time with family.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board says he wants to see “meaningful changes” in “staff and operations” at the private organization creating electronic medical records for the Vermont health care system.

Ticks move like zombies; one speed, one direction, a stiff, endless, methodical forward plod… best described as creepy.

A fight in Burlington's City Hall Park led to a man being stabbed in the neck in August. We're talking about whether criminal penalties for repeated civil violations could stem this type of violence.
Nicholas Erwin / flickr

Incidents of violence in downtown Burlington - including two recent stabbings - have led the police chief and others to call for criminal penalties for racking up too many civil violations, like public drunkenness. On Monday, the city council passed a resolution taking a step in that direction.

Critics say it's a step along the path to criminalizing poverty and homelessness. We're hearing the debate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he will announce his re-election plans on Monday
Charlie Neibergall / AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders says his plan to implement a taxpayer financed, universal coverage health care system in this country is based on a relatively simple concept - expand the federal Medicare program to include all Americans.

Montpelier Pharmacy will be turned into a Kinney Drugs location on October 15, and the Waterbury Pharmacy is closing, the owners announced.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Two independent pharmacies in central Vermont have been sold to the Kinney Drugs chain, the former owners announced. Montpelier Pharmacy will become a Kinney Drugs location on Oct. 15, and Waterbury Pharmacy will close its doors for good later that day, the three co-owners announced in a letter to customers.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Green Mountain Care Board recently released detailed financial information for hospital administrators and top-paid physicians throughout the state. The report shows that the average pay for hospital CEOs was roughly $600,000, and in some cases, large bonuses were also paid out.

The National Cancer Institute released this image of melanoma cells. The State Cancer Profiles website - a collaborative effort by the NCI and the CDC - shows Vermont had the second-highest rate of new melanoma cases in the country from 2010 through 2014.
Julio C. Valencia / NCI Center for Cancer Research

A Gifford Medical Center doctor is spending his summer giving free skin cancer screenings around the state in an effort to detect and treat potential skin cancers early.

The Senate Health and Welfare committee plans to take a detailed look at a bill creating a publicly financed primary care system for all Vermonters
Chitose Suzuki / Associated Press

A plan to create a publicly financed primary health care system for all Vermonters will be a top priority for the Senate Health and Welfare committee during the 2018 session.

St. Michael's College graduates Danny Divis, left, and Justin McKenzie, right, throw out first pitches at the Boston Red Sox's "Vermont Night" at Fenway Park on Aug. 5. The two hockey players were awarded the Hockey Humanitarian Award last spring.
Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography

Danny Divis and Justin McKenzie, recent St. Michael's College graduates who played on the hockey team, started the mental health awareness campaign Hope Happens Here while they were students. This past spring they were recognized with the Hockey Humanitarian Award, a national honor for collegiate athletes who give back to their community.

According to the New York Times, New Hampshire, where I live, is second only to West Virginia for the highest per capita rate of deaths from opioid addiction.

Vermont's shortage of primary care doctors will soon get worse because a number of them will retire in the next few years.
shironosov / iStock

Many states across the country have a need to attract more primary care physicians, but Vermont's situation has an additional twist - a sizeable number of the state's primary care doctors are expected to retire in the next few years.

James Ehlers, seen here at a Statehouse rally earlier this year, says Vermont voters will appreciate a progressive agenda that includes a $15 minimum wage and tax increases on the wealthy.
Brenda Patoine, courtesy

The next gubernatorial election is still more than a year away, and it's been more than 50 years since an incumbent governor lost a reelection bid in Vermont. But the leading Democratic challenger to Gov. Phil Scott says he thinks the Republican incumbent is vulnerable.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce a bill next month to create a government-run, single-payer health care system. And he knows it's going to fail.

"Look, I have no illusions that under a Republican Senate and a very right-wing House and an extremely right-wing president of the United States, that suddenly we're going to see a Medicare-for-all, single-payer passed," he said recently, sitting in his Senate office. "You're not going to see it. That's obvious."

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