Health

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Vermont Edition
3:13 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

'Tis The Season... For Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease

Last week, students on the soccer and football teams at North Country Union High School were stopped in their tracks by a mysterious rash on their feet and hands. Hand, foot and mouth disease is actually more common among children under five years old, but it can affect adults too … and it is more common this time of year.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Clean Time: One Addict's Year Of Recovery

In July, Meghan reached a milestone in her 12-step program: one year clean.
Angela Evancie VPR

“It’s hard for me to acknowledge progress I’ve made sometimes,” Meghan said, “but when I look back and think of who I was and where I was at and what my life was like on a day-to-day basis 301 days ago, it’s like a 180.”

It was early May, and Meghan was sitting in a food court in a mall in Burlington. Stale pop music played through the overhead speakers, and groups of teenagers occasionally wandered by. A routine mid-week scene, but Meghan was celebrating; 300 days earlier, she woke up and, for the first time in a long time, didn’t go straight for the heroin.

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VPR News
5:01 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Vermont Sees Case Of Unusual Hantavirus

The deer mouse helps spread Hantavirus to humans.
John Good National Park Service

The State Health Department is reporting that someone contracted Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome while visiting Vermont last month.

The out-of-state resident who became ill was most likely exposed to mice droppings while cleaning up a seasonal home. The person, who was not named, has since recovered.

Hantavirus is a serious respiratory disease that causes fatigue, fever, headaches, muscle aches, coughing and shortness of breath. Roughly one third of people who get the virus die from it.

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Commentary
10:45 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Spencer Rendahl: Ice Bucket Challenge

I've had decidedly mixed feelings about the countless on line video clips I’ve seen of people dumping buckets of ice water on each other to help raise money to cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.

About 30,000 Americans have this degenerative neurological disease at any time, making it an “orphan disease” which means research funding to find a cure is scarce, compared to more common diseases like cancer. So at first I was pleased to see anyone even talking about ALS – especially since it usually gets little public attention.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

What Can Hospitals Do To Control Costs?

Rutland Regional CEO Tom Huebner
Toby Talbot AP

A visit to the hospital can be terrifying…and then you get the bill. Right now, hospitals receive money by billing for each patient visit, but sometimes those charges can seem out of synch with the services received.

We’ll talk to Tom Huebner, President and CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center, about whether it would be possible to bring costs down by changing the way they budget.

We’ll also hear from Richard Slusky, Director of Payment Reform for the Green Mountain Care Board, and Joe Woodin, CEO and President of Gifford Medical Center.

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Vermont Edition
12:10 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Homeless Find Health Care And Housing Help At Safe Harbor

(From left to right: Erin Ahearn, Homeless Healthcare program manager; Alison Calderara, Community Relations and Development director; Stefanie Comstock and Katelyn Hanson, outreach case workers at Safe Harbor Health Center.
Jane Lindholm VPR

For homeless Vermonters, getting quality health care is a big challenge. Close to 1,000 people come through the doors of the Safe Harbor Health Center in Burlington each year for medical treatment, dental care and counseling services. Plus, they can work on finding housing.

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Vermont Edition
3:51 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Vermonter Builds Health Centers In Liberia

A man reads a warning on the door of a vehicle regarding the deadly Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.
Abbas Dulleh AP

The Ebola outbreak has affected the African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Death tolls continue to climb each day.

As of Friday, there were almost 400 confirmed cases in Liberia, but adding in probable and suspected cases of Ebola took the total to over 1,600.

Joe Moyer is a resident of Putney. His career has combined commercial construction and international development and that is why he has been working in Liberia for the past for years, where he is the Infrastructure Project Manager for a project called Rebuilding Basic Health Services.

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Vermont Edition
3:01 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Vermont Mosquito Season Update

All the rain we’ve had this summer has been great for gardeners, but it’s also been good news for the species of mosquitoes that like to breed in artificial containers: the little pools created in your drain spouts, bird baths, and garbage can lids. Those are the mosquitoes that carry some of the diseases we all worry about, like West Nile, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE.

Alan Graham is the Vermont State Entomologist, and he joins us again today to tell us about this year’s mosquito season.

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VPR News
5:30 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Health Coaches Help Patients Battle Chronic Illness

Jennifer McFarlin has been working with a health coach from Dartmouth Hitchock Medical Center to lower her weight as she manages her diabetes.
Charlotte Albright vpr

More than 25 million Americans suffer from diabetes, and one in every 10 health care dollars is spent to treat it. But what if those patients were coached to live healthier lives?

One hospital experimenting with this new strategy is Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

That’s where 39-year-old Jennifer McFarlin spends a lot of time. Like approximately 500 other patients getting treated at Dartmouth Hitchcock, she has diabetes.

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VPR News
11:00 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Brattleboro Retreat Warned By Medicare

The Brattleboro Retreat must correct problems found in a recent Medicare inspection.
Susan Keese VPR

The Brattleboro Retreat has until September 2 to file plans for correcting problems found during a recent inspection. The hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid contracts could be terminated if it fails to comply.

The retreat’s latest problems surfaced in an inspection that was prompted by an altercation on the hospital’s adolescent unit, which sent four employees to the hospital. Regulators say the retreat followed proper protocol in that incident, but they found new problems that were deemed potential threats to

patient safety.

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