Health

Dr. Hannah Rabin, left, talks with Danny Ciccariello, right, a phlebotomist, at Richmond Family Medicine.
Emily Corwin / VPR

High costs for routine medical labs at the University of Vermont Medical Center are pushing a growing number of medical providers in Chittenden County to look for alternatives out of state.

Paper bag lunches lined up on a table and plastic bags of cucumber slices.
Melody Bodette / VPR

The nonprofit Hunger Free Vermont is working with school districts around the state to kick off this year’s statewide free summer meals program.

This is a stock photo of chocolate malt ball candy similar to the ones police say employee of the Inn at Shelburne Farms mistakenly ate Wednesday. Instead of being candy, the food left behind by a guest were edibles.
Ilya_Starikov / iStock

Two employees of the Inn at Shelburne Farms became ill Wednesday morning after they ate marijuana edible candies left in a room by departing guests.

The sign outside of the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Union nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington have voted to authorize a two-day strike if necessary.

The union and the hospital have been in contract negotiations since March, and the nurses' contract expires July 9.

A Trump administration effort to shift family planning funding away from organizations that offer comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion, could cripple federal efforts to stop a dramatic increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S., some public health officials fear.

"This is the perfect storm, and it comes at absolutely the worst time," says Daniel Daltry, program chief of the HIV/AIDS, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program at the Vermont Department of Health.

Suicide rates have increased both nationally and in Vermont over the past decades.
CDC

New data show a sharp rise in the nationwide suicide rate, and Vermont's rate is significantly above the national average.

There's also a growing national awareness of the scope of suicide as a serious widespread public health problem.

The new vaccine for shingles is significantly more effective and long-lasting.
Esben-H / iStock

There's a new vaccine available for shingles, a disease caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. It's significantly more effective, and for a longer length of time, than the old vaccine. And if you're an adult between the ages of 50 and 64, the state will pay for you to get it.

Lately, the critters in and around my house remind me of an old movie title about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Mariah Riggs

Rowan Riggs, my grandson, was born 13 years ago. As a baby, Ro was well behaved, mellow, and affectionate, but he could not speak.

A UMass Amherst nursing professor has been named to a national panel of inventors -- the first nurse to be honored alongside engineers and computer scientists from companies like Microsoft and IBM.

The sign outside of the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Union nurses at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington are meeting Wednesday to consider the latest contract offer from the hospital. The union and the hospital have been in contract negotiations since March.

It was Bea Duncan who reached for the phone at 2 a.m. on a January morning nine years ago. Her son Jeff had been caught using drugs in a New Hampshire sober home and was being kicked out.

Bea and her husband Doug Duncan drove north. On the ride back home, to Natick, Massachusetts, the parents delivered an ultimatum: Jeff had to go back to rehab, or leave home.

A bike rider on Stowe's 5.3-mile recreation path along the West Branch of Little River.
kevinmwalsh / iStock

Summer is prime biking time in Vermont, from riding the roads and rail trails to tackling tougher terrain like dirt paths and mountain biking. We're looking at the best Vermont has to offer for those on two wheels, plus biking basics and riding safely no matter where the trail takes you.

E-cigarettes like the Juul have caught on with teens in a big way, and schools have been struggling to keep up. We'll talk about vaping's new popularity, and the health issues involved.
Steven Senne / AP

The popularity of vaping among young people is sounding alarm bells for educators and health professionals, as trendy e-cigarettes like the Juul are becoming a more common sight in middle and high schools. We're talking about where the rise in this behavior is coming from, the health issues at stake and what schools and the state are doing in response.

Vermont's domestic violence intervention programs see about 300 men each year in programs designed to stop intimate partner violence. The programs seek to change attitudes and behavior to end a cycle of abuse.
Benjavisa / iStock

More than one thousand people were charged with domestic violence in Vermont last year. In just the last month, the state has seen several shocking murders involving what investigators have described as long histories of domestic violence.

The plight of the victims rightfully gets most of the attention. But for every victim of abuse, there is an abuser. We're looking at what help is available to stop abusers from continuing the pattern of violence. 

Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport.
Nina Keck / VPR

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will continue testing drinking water near the Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport in Clarendon.

I didn't know that the current opiate crisis is actually the third such epidemic in our nation’s history. Nor did I know that genetic factors account for between 40 to 60 percent of a person’s vulnerability to addiction - or that Fentanyl and Carfentanyl are making heroin use more dangerous.

A simple question at the pharmacy could unlock savings for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Under a little-known Medicare rule, they can pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using their insurance and doling out the amount the policy requires. But only if they ask.

That is because pharmacists say their contracts with drug plans often contain "gag orders" forbidding them from volunteering this information.

Vermont lawmakers are creating a way to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. But how will the system ultimately work?
eyegelb / iStock

Vermont is embarking on an ambitious experiment to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs by importing cheaper medications from Canada. State lawmakers and the governor passed the proposal into law in mid-May, but the details - and federal approval - still need to be worked out. How will the plan actually work?

One out of five Americans say they personally know someone who has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers, according to a new report about the economic well-being of U.S. households.

The Federal Reserve report, based on a national survey, also found that exposure to opioid addiction was twice as likely among whites, regardless of education level, as among African-Americans.

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