Health

Mark Tenally / AP

In 11 years of reporting for CNN, I did my share of stories on abortion. And when the day-after abortion pill became available, I remember thinking that because early stage pregnancies could be ended with just a pill, the dynamics of the abortion debate would change. And they did – just not in the way I expected.

Even a generic, blank form is considered confidential by Vermont’s Agency of Human Services.

When VPR requested a blank “Critical Incident Review Form” from the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, or DAIL earlier this month, we received the blank form — redacted.   

A room in the Miller building at UVM Medical Center, with a bed and a dummy patient laying in it.
Emily Corwin / VPR

The University of Vermont Medical Center unveiled its new Robert E. and Holly D. Miller Building to reporters on Friday. The building has 128 rooms, serving specialty surgery, cardiology, oncology and orthopedic patients.

We're talking about the Dr. Dynasaur health care program and how it has evolved over the years.
Julianna Funk / iStock

The "Dr. Dynasaur" program has been providing healthcare for children and pregnant women for thirty years, and it's gone through a number of expansions and iterations. We're talking about how Dr. Dynasaur works, who is covered, how the program has changed since its introduction and how it might evolve going forward.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has a skin condition called rosacea, and he says he takes the antibiotic doxycycline once a day for it.

In 2013, the average market price of doxycycline rose from $20 to $1,829 a year later. That's an increase of over 8,000%.

5G networks would require new antennas on existing telecommunication towers.
Emanuele D'Amico / iStock

A bill designed to boost broadband internet in Vermont has raised concerns that it will also speed the expansion of allegedly hazardous wireless technology.

A pink illustration of the human brain on a blue background
Jolygon / iStock

A new study has revealed some interesting findings about how kids' involvement in team sports can impact the development of the adolescent brain in positive ways.

Three bills have been moving through the Vermont Legislature that aim to reduce youth smoking rates in Vermont.
Stephen Hocking / Unsplash

The Vermont Legislature has taken aim at reducing youth smoking rates with a trio of bills. Rep. George Till of Jericho joined Vermont Edition to update us on the content, goals and current status of the legislation.

A woman gets a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in Pomona, N.Y. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly two-thirds of more than 700 measles cases in the U.S. this year are in New York state.
Seth Wenig / AP

There are now more than 760 cases of measles across the U.S., in the worst outbreak in decades. Vermont public health officials have been working for years to raise vaccination rates for measles and other communicable diseases. We're talking with doctors and state health officials about Vermont's vaccination statistics and how they're preparing for a potential measles outbreak.

Potency and frequency of use of marijuana can have long-lasting negative effects on developing brains, pediatric psychiatrists say.
Feodora Chiosea / iStock

Doctors, psychiatrists and other health professionals say marijuana can be very damaging to young and developing brains and that they're seeing young people with increasingly negative effects from consuming the drug. 

Americans could be forgiven for not knowing that much about measles. After all, it's been 51 years since an effective vaccine was introduced, quickly turning the disease from a common childhood experience to a rarity, and nearly two decades since the disease was declared eliminated from the U.S.

But outbreaks have surfaced throughout the country over the past few months, affecting more than 700 people.

finwal / iStock

Decades ago, my kindergarten class memorized Robert Frost's Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. I recall that we performed it several times, gap-toothed, cheerfully yelling the verses to general audience approval. The interesting thing is that the poem has stayed with me all these years, popping up at odd moments to warm my imagination.

As baby boomers age and the workforce shrinks, there may not be enough people or money to care for all our elders, especially those with medical needs. In many ways, that reality has already arrived in Vermont.

A small but growing number of Vermont families are easing the burden by opening their homes to elderly strangers who need a lot of care.

The kind of blood a deer tick feasts on can significantly alter the makeup of its microbiome.
Courtesy Vermont Department of Health

New research show that a deer tick's diet - what kind of animal it drinks blood from - can significantly alter the tick's microbiome. That, in turn can impact whether the tick is likely to pass on pathogens like the ones that cause Lyme disease.

Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux stands before stacks of cardboard boxes
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Saturday is the semiannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, when people are encouraged to bring their unwanted medications to "take back" locations set up by local law enforcement agencies.

A new poll by NPR and Ipsos finds a third of Americans have been touched directly by the deadly opioid epidemic that still kills more than 100 people every day. "One in three have been personally affected in some way, either by knowing someone who has overdosed or by knowing someone with an opioid addiction," said Mallory Newall, lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.

A method of substance abuse prevention adopted in Iceland has resulted in a substantial drop in drug and alcohol use in that country's youth.
Evelyn Paris / Unsplash

Vermont, like the rest of the country, is dealing with an opioid abuse crisis. And all ideas are on the table for ways to help people who are struggling with addiction and prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place. An approach known as the Icelandic method targets the environment that young people are growing up in.

Faced with a flood of addicted inmates and challenged by lawsuits, America's county jails are struggling to adjust to an opioid health crisis that has turned many of the jails into their area's largest drug treatment centers.

In an effort to get a handle on the problem, more jails are adding some form of medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, to help inmates safely detox from opioids and stay clean behind bars and after release.

Emily Corwin / Vermont Public Radio

As baby boomers age and the workforce shrinks, experts fear there will not be enough people or money to care for all our elders. In many ways, that reality has already arrived in Vermont. 

In recent years, dozens of Vermont seniors have ended up waiting in hospitals after being turned away from nursing homes. According to officials at hospitals across the state, many Vermonters wait months for placement in a nursing home. Some wait a year or more. 

Scientists are ramping up research on the possible health effects of a large group of common but little-understood chemicals used in water-resistant clothing, stain-resistant furniture, nonstick cookware and many other consumer products.

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