Health

Taps like this one at Academy School in Brattleboro were replaced after state tests discovered lead was leaching into the water.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In November, the Department of Health announced that it was going to test 16 of the older schools around Vermont that get water from municipal sources to see if the pipes and fixtures in those buildings were leaching lead into the water. So far, they have detected unsafe levels of lead in some of the school buildings' water.

Senate Health and Welfare chairwoman Sen. Claire Ayer is backing a plan to allow Vermont to purchase some prescription drugs from Canada at much lower costs
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare has given its unanimous approval to legislation designed to save Vermont consumers and state government programs millions of dollars in prescription drug costs.

For dairy farms in New England, the outlook for milk prices is not good this year. The stress has been tied to suicides among dairy farmers.

Food scientists at UMass Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

Balfour Studios

The chief medical officer of Vermont Medicaid says more research is needed before the state would be able to cover acupuncture in the insurance program for low-income Vermonters.

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

A new investigation paints a disturbing picture of workplace harassment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin, where some African American staff members say they've been subjected to "offensive and racist comments" by co-workers.

The report from Vermont's Opioid Coordination Council highlights some successes in the state's response to the opioid crisis, but stresses the need to increase prevention and do more for Vermonters in recovery.
Moussa81 / iStock

Thousands of Vermonters have been treated for opioid addiction, and prescriptions for addictive painkillers are down. Vermont's Opioid Coordination Council says that these are signs of progress, but more still needs to be done to create a "firewall of resilience" to the deadly opioid crisis in Vermont. 

ThomasVogel / iStock

In the wake of the passage of Vermont's recreational marijuana law, Vermont Edition looked at the health impact of smoking cannabis.

Dr. Garth Garrison, a pulmonary disease specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, spoke about what is currently known about smoking, smoking marijuana specifically, and cancer.

The American Red Cross has raised the alert on its blood supply to "critical" -- the last step before "emergency."

A meeting of the CommunityStat group at city hall in Burlington. The monthly meeting brings together police, public health, social services and city and state officials to coordinate their response to opioid addicition.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The city of Burlington is implementing a team to reach out to people who overdose on opioids within 60 hours of the incident.

A new report finds enforcement of health and safety standards lacking in Vermont's rental homes.
Creative Commons / Pixabay

A third of Vermonters rent their homes, but a new report on substandard housing shows Vermont's aging rental stock and tight rental market can lead to poor health and few options for those facing health or safety violations in their rentals.

Vermont Edition looks at what happens when a rental problem becomes a health hazard, and why it can be so difficult to get it fixed.

Northwest State Correctional Facility, shown in this 2008 file photo, would be closed as part of the new proposal.
Toby Talbot / AP File

The Agency of Human Services has released a plan for a massive new “campus-style” facility in northwestern Vermont that could reshape the state’s mental health and corrections systems. We’re talking about the proposal and how it would work.

 Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George is arguing for the creation of supervised safe injection facilities, saying the effort would save lives.
zlisjak / iStock

It may sound counterintuitive, but a Committee headed by Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George recently came to the conclusion that a safe injection facility for drug users in Chittenden County would be an effective tool in addressing Vermont's opioid crisis.

Toby Talbot / AP/File

The administration of Gov. Phil Scott is proposing the construction of a campus-like corrections facility in Franklin County that would include 925 beds.

Vermont Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille, pictured here in Sept. 2017
Bob Kinzel / VPR File

This week, the Trump administration authorized states to require some people to work in order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits. But Vermont Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille says the Scott administration has no immediate plans to institute the employment mandate.

Dr. Kyle Hagstrom, left, a psychiatrist at the Brattleboro Retreat, talks via computer with Dr. Jarred Zucker, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Zucker is the one of the Retreat's newest telepsychiatrists.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Rural communities across the country face a shortage of doctors of all kinds, and Vermont is no different.

But as technology advances, and patients get more comfortable with video conferencing, health care officials say telemedicine might be one way to address the shortage.

Senate Judiciary chairman Dick Sears is looking to modify Vermont's domestic terrorism laws as a way to deal with future cases of violence
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Legislation that would have enabled safe injection sites for opioid users looked like it might be gaining momentum in Montpelier this year, but a key Senate committee is now backing away from the plan.

Recent scientific reviews have found substantial evidence that marijuana can be useful in easing at least some types of chronic pain. Yet even for the majority of Americans who live in states that have legalized medical marijuana, choosing opioids can be much cheaper.

Sara Teachout, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, told legislators this week that the state can offset the loss of $12 million in federal revenues by changing the premium structure for certain health insurance plans.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont insurance companies say they’ve found a way to offset the effects of an executive order issued last year that would otherwise cost the state $12 million annually in lost revenue.

a paper chain cutout of a family held up by two hands with a sunset in the background.
BrianAJackson / iStock

The 2017 "How are Vermont’s Young Children and Families?" report paints a mixed picture in terms of economic well-being, access to services and a range of health indicators.

The report also underscores the impact of parental substance abuse in reported instances of child abuse and neglect and in the number of children in state custody.

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