Health Matters Blog

WHY IMMUNIZE?

Published October 11, 2011

Jane Katz Field, MD By Jane Katz-Field, MD [caption id="attachment_516" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Jane Katz Field, MD"][/caption] MEASLES?? In Vermont? Didn’t they wipe that out? Actually, because of effective vaccination programs starting in the 1960s, measles was basically eliminated in this country by the late 1990s. Today we are seeing some of these vaccine-preventable diseases again because of people’s choices not to vaccinate their children. What are parents asking? “Are vaccines safe?” No vaccine is 100% safe. Vaccines can cause redness or tenderness at the injection site and, in very rare cases, more severe reactions. B...

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Nurse Navigators Steer Cancer Patients in Right Direction

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By Kelly McCue, RN, MSN, CNS, OCN, CHPN [caption id="attachment_685" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Kelly McCue"][/caption] When the National Breast Cancer Foundation awarded a grant to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital earlier this summer, one of their major considerations was the fact that we have a Nurse Navigator program. The role played by the nurse navigator is critical in an area like Windham County, where people have had difficulty accessing and affording a mammography and other breast care services. The sub-specialty of nurse navigation has its origins in the early 1990s when the American Cancer Society published a repo...

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Laid Back Breastfeeding

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by Dawn Kersula, RN [caption id="attachment_2240" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Dawn Kersula"][/caption] This week (August 1-7) is World Breastfeeding Week in over 170 countries, including the United States. It commemorates the 1990 declaration by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy that breastfeeding is part of an infant’s right to nutritious food. That declaration was quickly endorsed by the World Health Organization and adopted by 70 countries, and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action was formed to protect, promote and support breastfeeding worldwide. We know that mothers have been breastfeed...

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HIV/AIDS at 30: Cared for but not Cured

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By Deborah Jones, APRN [caption id="attachment_273" align="alignright" width="100" caption="Deborah Jones, APRN"][/caption] Many media outlets marked June 5, 2011 as the “thirtieth anniversary of AIDS.” While that choice of words may sound too celebratory for observing the day when five gay men in Los Angeles were given the first official diagnosis of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which has since killed nearly 30 million people worldwide, we can be grateful for the progress made in understanding the HIV virus that causes AIDS and the available treatments that enable infected patients to live a relatively normal life. There...

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Is There A Doctor In The House?

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Carolyn L. Taylor-Olson, MD By Dr. Carolyn Taylor-Olson [caption id="attachment_548" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Carolyn L. Taylor-Olson, MD"][/caption] When I trained in internal medicine, the concept was that my profession was my vocation. An internist takes care of a patient from age 18 to his or her passing whether it’s an ingrown toenail or septic shock. You went the distance with the patient and their family. Medical advances have helped us take care of certain conditions better and has created a new cohort of older patients taking a lot of medications and living a quality of life their organs could not have sustained twenty years ago.  My ...

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Osteopaths Filling the Gap in Primary Care

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Prudence MacKinney by Prudence MacKinney, VP Physician & Business Development [caption id="attachment_2228" align="alignright" width="160" caption="Prudence MacKinney"][/caption] The primary care landscape has undergone a significant change over the past two decades, with more and more physicians entering the field with a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree than the more traditionally recognized M.D. designation. This rise is spurred by the growing awareness of the connection between a patient's mind, body and spirit and the belief that each depends on the other for good overall health. More than 60,000 physicians currently practicing medicine in th...

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BMH Says in Treating a Heart Attack – Time Matters

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by Christopher Schmidt, MD, and  John Starkey, RN. When President Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack in 1955, doctors had limited tools for dealing with it. Eisenhower survived with treatment that consisted mainly of morphine to kill the pain and bed rest that continued for nearly a month before he was able to sit in a chair for a few hours each day. Thirty years ago, if you were having a heart attack you were put on pain medication and sent to the ICU to treat the pain and monitor the heart. In the mid-1980s, clot-dissolving medicines officially called thrombolytics (but commonly known as ‘clot busters’), starting with Strept...

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The Importance of Foot Health

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David S. Liebow, DPM by Dr. David Liebow, DMP [caption id="attachment_520" align="alignright" width="200" caption="David S. Liebow, DPM"][/caption] When everything is fine, it is often easy not to even think about our feet. But if a foot condition develops that causes pain and deformity, it is hard to be able to think of anything else. Our feet are our vehicle; they take us where we need to go; they carry all our weight. So when something goes wrong with them, it can disrupt how we live our day-to-day lives. There are many things we can do to prevent a variety of maladies to our feet. Wearing shoes with good support and adequate toe room is one of the ma...

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What is Angina?

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By Jeff Harr, RCEP, Coordinator of BMH Cardiac Rehab and Burton Tepfer, MD Angina is defined as acute pain in the chest resulting from decreased blood supply to the heart muscle. This is most often the result of a blockage to one or more of the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood, nutrients, and oxygen. Risk factors for the development of these blockages are: increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight or obese, inactivity, tobacco use, chronic stress, positive family history, and increasing age. Symptoms include chest pain, pressure, tightness, and heaviness. The symptoms may radi...

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Top Questions About Colon Cancer Screenings & Colonoscopy

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Jeffry Potash, MD [caption id="attachment_538" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Jeffry Potash, MD"][/caption] by Jeffry Potash, MD Why is there so much talk about colon cancer? Colon cancer is the third most common cancer. In Vermont, there are about 330 new cases per year and 24 of them are from Windham County. Many people know someone affected by this disease. Can colon cancer be prevented? Yes, to a certain degree. All major health authorities recommend colon cancer screening for people beginning at age 50. Screening is testing people for the disease, even if they have no symptoms. Individuals should not wait for a symptom, such as r...

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