Health

A nurse's hand holds a flu shot and prepares it with a vaccine vial.
David Goldman / Associated Press

This flu season has been a tough one for Vermont and the rest of the country, in part, due to the predominant presence of the strain influenza A H3N2. But even though it's April, the flu is still on state health officials' radar.

Vermont's psychiatrist shortage is making it hard for people to get the care that they need.
vadimguzhva / iStock

Vermont's shortage of psychiatrists means it can be incredibly difficult for people to get the mental health care they need. We're talking about the problem, the impact and possible solutions.

AbleStock.com / Thinkstock

The percentage of one-and two-year-olds who had their blood tested for lead is down since 2014. And that’s caught the attention of doctors and public health officials.

Dr. Wendy Davis of Chittenden County has been working with the state to figure out why more doctors aren’t testing every one-and two-year old.

Between two historic monitor barns in Richmond lies a working farm run by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The farm is home to the Health Care Share, a CSA that's free to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity and diet-related illness.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This time of year, many Vermonters are thinking about signing up for a CSA share at their local farm. Meanwhile, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is getting ready to supply a different type of Community Supported Agriculture – one you pick up at a doctor's office.

A chrome kitchen sink that is turned off.
rodho / iStock

The state of Vermont issued a "Do Not Drink" order to tenants of the Rutland Airport Business Park in Clarendon, following the detection of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the water.

As opioid-related deaths have continued to climb, naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses, has become an important part of the public health response.

When people overdosing struggle to breathe, naloxone can restore normal breathing and save their lives. But the drug has to be given quickly.

On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory that encouraged more people to routinely carry naloxone.

Members of Congress have said they want to loosen rules for health savings accounts. Did they do it in the latest spending bill? Do people who were uncovered for one month in 2017 owe a tax penalty? And how can immigrants who move to the U.S. to retire get insurance? These are the questions I'm tackling for readers this week:

I heard that health savings account rules would be loosened under the new spending bill passed by Congress last month. Did that happen?

No. In fact, the standards have become slightly tighter this year.

An empty school hallway with a row of lockers and a door at the end.
Halbergman / iStock

In light of recent school shootings, there’s been a renewed push for more gun control and more mental health care. And while Vermont lawmakers have passed gun control measures, mental health experts say the problem is more complex than simply more resources.

Rhode Island has become the first state to sign on to a new drug recovery initiative that Governor Chris Sununu is promoting on the national scale.

A Drug Free School Zone sign on a chain link fence with a playground in the background.
duckycards / iStock

As the state continues to battle the opioid abuse crisis, ways of fighting it have taken many different forms — including focusing on drug prevention strategies in our schools.

On this Vermont Edition, we look around the state to learn what's being done to deliver that anti-drug message to our kids and also look at the effectiveness of these efforts.

Three silhouettes of pregnant women, each with a different hairstyle.
Ekaterina Bedoeva / iStock

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has released an online "toolkit" to help doctors and nurses better serve mothers with substance abuse disorders and their babies.

Walk through the front door at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica and the first thing you notice is security.

“Everyone who visits the building, when they come into this secure foyer, has to scan a driver’s license or another state-issued ID,” explains Superintendent Tim Broadrick. “It does kind of a high-level national background check.”

President Trump's speech at Manchester Community College today about the national opioid epidemic included plenty of New Hampshire references.

Trump took time to thank Governor Chris Sununu and Manchester Fire Chief Daniel Goonan for attending.

The speech ranged widely on topics including sanctuary cities, DACA and the border wall with Mexico, but the President did not make any specific announcement of new funding measures to fight the opioid epidemic.

Trump did make it clear that he wants to see tougher penalties for those convicted of drug trafficking.

A PRO-NOX machine at Copley Hospital in Morrisville.
Jessica Ticktin / For VPR

Most of us associate nitrous oxide with dental work, but it can also be used to relieve the pain of childbirth. While four hospitals in Vermont offer nitrous oxide in their birthing center, and others are contemplating it, the University of Vermont Medical Center is not on board.

Rutland Regional Medical Center Names New CEO

Mar 2, 2018
provided

Rutland Regional Medical Center, the largest employer in Rutland County, has named a new president and CEO.

Vermont's attendant services program, or ASP, is up for elimination in Governor Scott's budget.
Katarzyna Bialasiewicz / iStock

Vermont's attendant services program — or ASP — directs $1.38 million in state funds to help Vermonters with permanent and severe disabilities. It’s been targeted for elimination by Gov. Scott’s latest budget.

A graph from the Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Fatalities Report released Thursday shows accidental deaths involving heroin and fetanyl in Vermont. The report notes that 2016 and 2017 data are preliminary. Find the report here: http://bit.ly/2CQH9Pm
Vermont Department of Health, Courtesy

The number of accidental overdose deaths in Vermont involving the synthetic drug fentanyl increased significantly last year, according to a new report.

Marijuana clones grow behind glass in Milton, Vt., at the headquarters of Champlain Valley Dispensary/Southern Vermont Wellness, run by Shayne Lynn.
Emily Corwin / VPR File

Right now, the Vermont government is running — in small part — on medical marijuana patients' registration fees. This fact has some medical marijuana patients up in arms.

A sign at Southern Vermont Medical Center explaining the visitor policy in light of the flu outbreak.
Ashley Jowett / SVMC

Hospitals are working to limit the spread of the flu as more cases are reported across Vermont.

A complaint filed by Ismina Francois in 2016 has put a magnifying glass on working conditions for employees of color at the state-run psychiatric hospital in Berlin.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

After allegations of racial harassment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin, Gov. Phil Scott says his administration is reviewing workplace conditions at the state-run facility.

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