Health

New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor covers workplace issues from the demanding culture of Amazon to challenges low income women face in pumping milk at work to how new scheduling apps are keeping workers from a steady income.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As the state continues to confront the widespread water contamination near the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington, the first PFOA blood clinic was held Friday at the Vermont Department of Health's office in Bennington.

Melody Bodette / VPR

The Turning Point Center of Addison County is looking for a new home. The peer-to-peer recovery center's lease at its current location is not being renewed and the center can't find a new location that fits with Middlebury's zoning regulations.

Melody Bodette / VPR

For 40 years, the Women, Infant and Children supplemental nutrition program, better known as WIC, has delivered food to the homes of Vermont participants — pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies and young children. Now, thanks to the federal WIC Modernization Act, all states are switching to a smart card that participants can use in grocery stores. 

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Children with autism often have trouble reading emotions. It’s difficult for them to tell a happy face from a sad one.

New research from the University of Vermont has uncovered part of the reason: Using eye-tracking technology, the researchers found that children with autism fixate longer on a speaker’s mouth — rather than the eyes — when the conversation turns emotional.   

Environmental officials suspect the Chemfab plant in North Bennington has been emitting the chemical PFOA through its smokestacks for years

Yet since the 1960s, the chemical manufacturer DuPont had information that PFOA may be linked to heightened cancer risks. It wasn't until a lawsuit in the mid-2000s that the company shared this information with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The company that's been working closely with the state on the water contamination crisis in North Bennington is now questioning Vermont's low safety standard for the chemical PFOA.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As the state zeroes in on the extent of the PFOA contamination in North Bennington, there are short and long term challenges to making sure people have clean water to drink.

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The state health department Friday reported Vermont's first case of the Zika virus. The department says a Vermonter contracted Zika after traveling to an area affected by the virus.

Last year, Canada's Supreme Court overturned the country's ban on doctor-assisted suicide. Advocates for a patient's right to choose to end their own lives with a physician's help applauded the ruling. But they have been waiting since then for the federal government to issue a new law that spells out the conditions for which seriously ill or dying Canadians can ask for a doctor's help to end their lives.

Nina Keck / VPR

Despite the introduction of electronic medical records, pharmacists say they are often out of the loop when it comes to knowing if their patients' medications have been changed. Partly that’s a technology glitch. But many pharmacists complain that despite their expertise they’re not considered providers so most hospitals don’t allow them access to patients' electronic records. 

But at Beauchamp and O’Rourke, a family owned pharmacy in Rutland, managing pharmacist Marty Irons wants to change that.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR file

Vermont Commissioner of Health Harry Chen is urging federal officials to alter medical guidelines that might be contributing to the state’s opiate abuse problem.

New England lawmakers are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to issue an updated health advisory level for the chemical PFOA.

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State officials in Vermont and New York have been testing water and people in areas where water wells are contaminated by the suspected carcinogen PFOA — and now professors and college students are joining the response team.  

Nina Keck / VPR

Nearly 60 percent of Americans are taking prescription drugs – the highest percentage ever – and more than half of those 65 and older are taking five to nine medications. With all those pills in our medicine cabinets, it's no surprise that medication mix-ups are on the rise.

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On Monday night, Burlington’s City Council approved the creation of an Opiate Policy Manager to coordinate the city’s approach to the opiate crisis.

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Official say Vermont has made real progress in reducing the number of children with lead in their blood. But as the number of children being tested levels off, the health department is working on strategies to encourage more parents to get the blood tests for their children.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The discovery of high levels of a suspected carcinogen in private water supplies in Bennington and beyond has lawmakers questioning the adequacy of regulations that are supposed to protect Vermonters from toxic substances.

Toby Talbot / AP

Gov. Peter Shumlin has announced that the state will test additional manufacturing sites around Vermont for PFOA, a suspected carcinogen that's been found in North Bennington and Pownal.

Last week, anti-abortion rhetoric escalated in the Republican primary with the suggestion that women who obtain abortions should receive “some kind of punishment.”

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