Health

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

State regulators have ratcheted down the premium increases sought by the Vermont’s largest private health insurer, but one key official says rate hikes for next year’s plans will still be “ridiculously high.”

From 2011 through 2016, the majority of gun deaths in Vermont were suicides. Public health professionals are working to reduce that number by encoraging people to safely store their firearms using gun locks and safes.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR Photo Illustration

An analysis of gun deaths in Vermont over a six-year period showed that 89 percent of those deaths were suicides. Public health experts say they aren't surprised by that number and are trying to find ways to reduce it.

VPR/Melody Bodette

Middlebury's Porter Medical Center hit a low point in 2016. In the process of instituting cuts to deal with serious financial losses, staff morale suffered. 

Henry Epp / VPR

In Vermont, of all the deaths by gunshot wounds in the last six years, more than a quarter were suicides by current or former members of the armed forces. Even though Veterans Affairs knows that soldiers are at greater risk of taking their own lives, it’s difficult to intervene successfully.

Now, one Vermont mom who lost her son has made it her mission to end veteran suicide.

Gov. Phil Scott says he wants to be sure road safety concerns are dealt with before approving a legal recreational marijuana market in Vermont.
La_Corivo / iStock.com

Gov. Phil Scott says he’s about to convene a “blue ribbon commission” to study issues related to the legalization of marijuana.

Vermont Suicide Prevention Center Director Joelle Tarallo says feelings of connection are very important in preventing suicide.
PeopleImages / iStock

According to the Vermont Department of Mental Health, the suicide rate in Vermont has increased over the past 10 years. In 2014, according to the department’s data, there were more than 17 suicides per 100,000 Vermonters. The New York Times reported that the national average that year was 13 suicides per 100,000 people.

This week nearly half a million pieces of bait about the size of a quarter will be dropped from low-flying airplanes in more than 100 communities in the northern half of Vermont.

In this 2013 photo, an employee of Brown & Brown Insurances uses a treadmill desk
Michael Conroy / AP

The sedentary hours we spend at work at a desk or in front of a computer take a toll on our health. With nearly two-thirds of Vermont adults overweight or obese, businesses are discovering the benefits of giving employees more opportunities to be active and eat better. 

For students starting medical school, the first year can involve a lot of time in a lecture hall. There are hundreds of terms to master and pages upon pages of notes to take.

But when the new class of medical students begins at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine next week, a lot of that learning won't take place with a professor at a lectern.

The school has begun to phase out lectures in favor of what's known as "active learning" and plans to be done with lectures altogether by 2019.

A researcher at St. Michael's College in Colchester has been awarded more than $365,865 by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research into young people and e-cigarettes.

Sarah Launderville, executive director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living, says Medicaid funding is still in jeopardy, even though the Affordable Care Act has survived attempts by Republicans to repeal it.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

For supporters of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, last week’s failed vote to repeal the law was cause for celebration. But the future of federal funding for health care programs in Vermont remains uncertain, and advocates say they are not resting easy.

Following years of scandal surrounding the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in Montreal, donations have dropped sharply.

VPR/Steve Zind

The Vermont State Police has joined other agencies nationwide in responding to numerous reports of exhaust leaks in Ford Explorers. The vehicles are widely used by law enforcement.

Nam Y. Huh / AP/file

Type 1 diabetes is a struggle for the kids who have it, and for their parents who keep a constant watch on them. And while the risks of not precisely managing the disease are enormous, technology is making huge strides in helping patients with the illness.

Emotions ran high at a public forum hosted by the Manchester VA Medical Center Wednesday night. The gathering came on the heels of a Boston Globe report alleging unsanitary conditions and insufficient care at the hospital.

Dozens of veterans showed up at Manchester Community College to hear from VA officials about how they are addressing the allegations detailed in the Globe report. Those in attendance expressed concerns about long wait times, rushed doctor visits, and difficulty navigating layers of bureaucracy at the Manchester VA.

The letter signed by Vt Gov. Phil Scott and nine other bi-partisan governors from around the country, voicing concern about repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Courtesy / Gov. Phil Scott's Office

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott joined nine other governors from around the country in urging the leaders of the U.S. Senate not to go through with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The bipartisan group of governors sent a letter to Senate leaders of both parties on Wednesday.

Ted Levin

Sitting on my desk at home is a small vial of alcohol containing three pickled, blacklegged tick nymphs, each no bigger than the period at the end of a typed sentence… three tiny alarming arachnids.

With funding from the University of Vermont Medical Center, the Champlain Housing Trust purchased and renovated a motel for use as housing for people who are chronically homeless.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

A repurposed motel in Burlington will soon be home to a dozen or more people struggling with chronic homelessness, the Champlain Housing Trust announced Tuesday.

Chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher, center, is urging state regulators to reject the 12.6 percent premium increase being sought by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

State regulators will have to weigh conflicting testimony as they decide whether to approve a proposal that would increase Vermonters’ health insurance premiums by more than $50 million next year.   

We've learned a lot about how devastating opiate addiction is for families and communities but on the next Vermont Edition, we're taking the conversation about addiction to the cellular level.

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