Health

The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

VPR reporters Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel cover health issues from the Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Follow them on Twitter for the latest health and Vermont health industry news.

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below

Aging Well | Homelessness & Housing | Opioid Addiction | UVM Medical Center

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Series & Specials

$900 For A Flu Swab?

Help VPR's investigative desk create a database of medical costs in Vermont by sharing your medical bills with us using our secure file upload form. Your submissions will remain confidential. Whether you've been shocked by an unexpected bill, or simply want to create more price transparency in the state, we hope you will participate. Read more here.

Outside view of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Vermont has the highest rate of opioid use among pregnant women, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that studied delivery hospitalizations in 28 states.

Outside view of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Ken Gallager / WikiCommons

Researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have made a breakthrough that may help doctors identify patients who are at greater risk of contracting sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection complication.

Jessica Keene stands on the Quechee Gorge Bridge in front of a sign she made that reads, "Step back. You're worth it." The card also has the phone number for the national suicide prevention hotline.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two local women are putting up index cards, with messages of support and hope, in an attempt to reach anyone who might be contemplating suicide on the Quechee Gorge Bridge.

Mary McCallum

One recent pristine summer afternoon, two people drowned on a popular southern Vermont lake. From a festive plastic float, they’d waved hello to others passing by on kayaks, paddle boards and canoes, including me.

Hogan: The Fisher Ruling

Aug 1, 2018

I was a member of the original Green Mountain Care Board, put in place in 2011, where I served the maximum term of six years.

Take a water sample in a sink.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When perfluorinated chemicals were first found in southwestern Vermont, very few people in the state had even heard of the dangerous compound. But now scientists here, and across the country, are finding more and more of it in the environment.

Evangelina Holvino

My friend Carla is stressed out because she’s moving. In addition to asking for boxes my husband and I saved from our own downsizing move three years ago, she’s asked for advice.

Was it hard to concentrate during that long meeting? Does the crossword seem a little tougher? You could be mildly dehydrated.

A growing body of evidence finds that being just a little dehydrated is tied to a range of subtle effects — from mood changes to muddled thinking.

How The Brain Helps You Sing Or Say What You Mean

Jul 27, 2018

Read these sentences aloud:

I never said she stole my money.

I never said she stole my money.

I never said she stole my money.

Emphasizing any one of the words over the others makes the string of words mean something completely different. "Pitch change" — the vocal quality we use to emphasize words — is a crucial part of human communication, whether spoken or sung.

Exterior of the Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad building.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s first responders can face life-and-death situations any time they show up at a scene. But this week the Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad dealt with five fatalities, and now support is being provided to these volunteers that serve this community.

Dr. Paul Seward has written a new book about his long career as an emergency room physician.
jazzIRT / iStock

Doctors have been providing emergency care for patients for as long as there have been doctors. But emergency medicine as a specialty is a relatively new development. On this Vermont Edition, we're talking to Dr. Paul Seward, one of the first physicians to specialize in emergency medicine.

When Dorothy Paugh was 9, her father bought a pistol and started talking openly about ending his life. Her mother was terrified but didn't know what to do.

"She called our priest and called his best friend," Paugh recalled. "They came and talked to him, and they didn't ask to take his gun away."

Her father was 51 when he shot himself to death.

At a meeting in Hartford, a roomful of people listen to VTrans project manager JB McCarthy talk about plans to install a temporary fence on the Quechee Gorge bridge.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Vermont Agency of Transportation says it wants to have a temporary fence up on the Quechee Gorge Bridge before the middle of September to try to cut down on any more suicides at the popular tourist attraction.

Editor's note: This story was updated on July 25 to include additional information about the length of time a tick must be attached to transmit Lyme disease bacteria.

So you've found a tick, and it's sucking your blood.

After an initial wave of revulsion, you carefully remove it with a pair of tweezers. Now you're probably wondering: What's the chance I have Lyme disease?

Bess O’Brien

“I don’t know if I’m supposed to be here,” I said. I was in a meeting room at the Turning Point, a peer-run addiction recovery center in White River Junction, and I was there to learn about the center’s Writers for Recovery program.

The Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. In a report to the federal government, Vermont disclosed that 17 inmates were sexually victimized in state-run prisons last year.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Joint Fiscal Office will do a complete evaluation of the state’s prison health care system.

Nurses from the Brattleboro Retreat stand outside the hospital to bring attention to recent changes made to their schedules.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Nurses at the Brattleboro Retreat have been holding informational pickets in front of the southern Vermont psychiatric hospital to bring attention to what they say are radical schedule changes enacted by the administration that violate their union contract.

Elmore State Park, seen here in 2015.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR/file

The Vermont Department of Health is teaming up with Vermont State Parks and skin cancer prevention organization IMPACT Melanoma to install free sunscreen dispensers at state parks.

Attorney General Donovan calls for opposition to Title X change.
Corwin / VPR

Attorney General T.J. Donovan held a press conference today with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England to rally voices against changes to Title X that would deal a blow to abortion rights across the country.

UVM nurses holding signs outside the UVM Medical Center.
Ari Snider / VPR

Union nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center went on strike for two days last week after their contract expired and no new agreement could be reached. Now that the strike is over, both sides are coming back to the bargaining table, but difficult issues remain.

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