Health Matters Blog

Stopping Diabetes Before it Starts

Published December 20, 2013

By Hoty Smith Two years ago, the American Diabetes Association launched “A Day in the Life of Diabetes.” This ongoing initiative combines online and offline programs with the goal of making people aware that diabetes doesn’t stop. Not for the 26 million children and adults in the United States who live with type 2 diabetes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and not for their families and the communities in which they live. You may already be aware of the tremendous strain diabetes puts on a person’s health, even beyond the symptoms of the disease. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart failure or stroke. It is the l...

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The Community Health Team

Published December 13, 2013

Wendy Cornwell By Wendy Cornwell, RN Over three years ago, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital joined the Vermont Blueprint for Health, a state-wide initiative designed to transform health care delivery and empower patients. The effort began with the recognition that improving patient health required a team-orientated approach, improved management of chronic conditions, and increased access to care. Crucial to these efforts are Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) and the Community Health Team (CHT). Patient-Centered Medical Homes are primary care practices certified by the National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA). This certification means that these...

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PMS/PMDD- It’s No Laughing Matter

Published December 6, 2013

Barbara Evans, MN, WHNP-BC By Barbara W. Evans, NP I’ve heard the jokes, seen the cards……and also met the women for whom it’s no laughing matter. I’m referring to PMS and PMDD, Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. While it is thought that up to 90% of women experience mild physical and/or emotional symptoms in the days preceding menstruation, there are some for whom the symptoms are severe enough to adversely impact quality of life. PMS, which is estimated to impact up to 30% of women of child-bearing age, is characterized by a combination of physical and emotional symptoms. This may include (but is not limited to) bloating, headac...

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Checking in on the Male Check-Up

Published November 29, 2013

Tony Blofson, MD [caption id="attachment_9619" align="alignright" width="199"] Tony Blofson, MD[/caption] By Tony Blofson, MD You may have heard about men’s health initiatives that are happening in our community right now. From Movember to the BEARDS for BMH campaign, there is increased focus on getting men to see their healthcare practitioner on a regular basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, men are half as likely as women to schedule physicals or preventive services. One explanation is that routine screening tests for women—such as pap smears and mammograms—are clearly connected to particular age brackets. As a result, women are ...

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A Surgical Road Map for Treating AAA

Published November 22, 2013

Daniel Walsh, MD By Daniel Walsh, MD An aneurysm of an artery is one of the most common blood vessel diseases causing disability and death. Aneurysms are defined as a permanent and focal widening of an artery at least 50 percent greater in width than the normal size of the vessel. More than 70 percent of all aneurysms involve the aorta (the largest artery in the body) located in the abdomen. In the United States, ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms, or AAA, are the tenth leading cause of death in men older than age 55 and the fifteenth leading cause of death overall. The median age for a rupture to occur is 76 years old for men and 81 for women. The overal...

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Does Your Diet Really Help Prevent Prostate Cancer?

Published November 15, 2013

Craig Rinder, MD By Craig Rinder, MD Links between diet and preventing prostate cancer seem to get a lot of media attention. Newspapers frequently run articles about new studies claiming that specific foods, beverages or supplements prevent or slow the advance of prostate cancer. When visiting websites of very reputable institutions like Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic, you’ll find long lists of certain foods you should eat or avoid in the name of better prostate health. [caption id="attachment_542" align="alignright" width="200"] Craig Rinder, MD[/caption] The excitement is understandable. Prostate cancer is the most common, non-skin, solid cance...

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Beards Don’t Hide The Need To Talk About Men’s Health

Published November 1, 2013

Chris Lenois By Chris Lenois When Brattleboro Memorial Hospital launched their first “BEARDS for BMH” campaign to raise awareness about men’s health issues last year, I was somewhat reluctant to participate. I had been a bearded-American for many years and enjoyed all the rights and privileges this status afforded: the assumption of masculinity, an illusion of wisdom, and leftovers for days. [caption id="attachment_9702" align="alignright" width="302"] Chris Lenois[/caption] My wife was even more opposed to the idea. While I’d like to think her dissent was based on admiration for the salt-and-pepper coloring of my facial hair, it’s prob...

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October – the PINK RIBBON MONTH

Published October 25, 2013

By Ellen M. Wapner, R.T. Here we are again, October with all its shades of yellow, reds, fading greens and pink. Any breast care provider, imager and most especially survivors of breast cancer and their supporters know what I’m talking about. Our awareness of breast cancer is with us all year long, but takes on a strong presence in October. This is a good opportunity to talk about breast self-examination. Most of us recognize the importance of well health and balance in our lives; we do things every day that contribute to our healthy lives: floss-brush-rinse, bathe our bodies, clean our homes, and take care of our families and neighbo...

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Surviving Cancer: Phyllis’s Story, Part Two

Published October 18, 2013

Phyllis Benay At a Brattleboro Memorial Hospital event last spring, Phyllis Benay spoke about her experience receiving treatment and rehabilitation at the hospital following lung cancer surgery. The following is the second and final part of an interview she later gave to help BMH celebrate 25 years of providing Oncology Services. My surgery for lung cancer took place at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on January 18, 2011. Chemotherapy was scheduled to start at BMH on March 1st. What scared me the most about getting treatment was my ultra-sensitivity to medication. I had just gone through several weeks of craziness from the pain medication they gave m...

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Surviving Cancer: Phyllis’s Story, Part One

Published October 11, 2013

Phyllis Benay At a Brattleboro Memorial Hospital event last spring, Phyllis Benay spoke about her experience receiving treatment and rehabilitation at the hospital following lung cancer surgery. The following is the first part of an interview she later gave to help BMH celebrate 25 years of providing Oncology Services. My journey through cancer began nine years ago when my husband was accidentally killed. I found him in the woods behind our house on February 3rd, after coming home early from work. While he was taking down a tree in the woods behind our house, a limb broke off and struck him in the back. I later learned these tree limbs are called “wid...

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