Health Matters Blog

A Year In Review

Published February 26, 2014

Kathleen McGraw, MD By Dr. Kathleen McGraw, CMO 2014 is whirling by as if it is attached to some of the snowflakes we continue to have swirling around us. Like the snowfall, some of it is steady, some a flurry of activity, and some of it is fresh and new. But as this happens I’m also looking back to see where I’ve been. It’s just past the one year mark since I arrived in the position of Chief Medical Officer here at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. It’s been a busy year of new faces and challenges. Looking back, here is some of what I’ve seen happen at BMH. [caption id="attachment_8101" align="alignright" width="226"] Kathleen McGraw, MD[/caption] ...

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The Center for Cardiovascular Health: Heart Failure Clinic

Published February 21, 2014

Phaedra McDonough, APRN By Phaedra McDonough, APRN The Center for Cardiovascular Health at BMH launched a new program last August specifically supporting patients in our community who have been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Congestive Heart Failure is a condition where your heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of those struggling with this disease, prevent those who have CHF from further compromise and decrease the overall cost of caring for this very disease. [caption id="attachment_8560" align="alignright" width="199"] Phaedra McDonough, APRN[/caption] Heart failure is the most expens...

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Go Red! Women and Heart Disease

Published February 14, 2014

Phaedra McDonough, APRN By Phaedra McDonough, APRN February is for Valentines and, appropriately, for Heart Health Month and Go Red! Heart disease kills a half million American women each year. That figure exceeds the next seven causes of death combined, including breast cancer. Five times as many women die from heart disease as from breast cancer. In recognition of the importance of heart health for women, the American Heart Association has designated February as Heart Health Month and has rolled out its Go Red campaign to increase awareness of women’s risks for heart disease. [caption id="attachment_8560" align="alignright" width="199"] Phaedra McDonough, ...

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BMH Successfully Completes Second Phase of New Emergency Department

Published January 31, 2014

Steven R. Gordon, CEO By Steven R. Gordon, President and CEO It has been a busy and productive 14 months since we took our first steps in the major renovation and expansion of our Emergency Department at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Our new Main Entrance and new ambulatory entrance for the Emergency Department officially opened last August and we added 2,500 square feet of new space to the ED. This marked the completion of Phase One of our $7.5 million renovation project. [caption id="attachment_5529" align="alignright" width="199"] Steven R. Gordon, CEO[/caption] Now, I am pleased to report we have not only completed our Doorway to Exceptional Care cap...

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Upper Respiratory Issues Part 2: Chest Colds

Published January 24, 2014

By John Todd, APRN, FPN In this second article, I’ll try to answer some questions about chest colds: What is a cough? When is it okay to suppress a cough? What can help get rid of a chest cold? A cough often comes after “the sniffles” and the post-nasal drip that settles onto the chest. Don’t sniffle; by doing so, some tiny droplets of phlegm are pulled deep into your lungs. Avoid using your lungs to pull that sinus phlegm back to your throat. Instead, regularly blow your nose so you’ll not invite a chest cold. What is a cough? The 3 basic reasons to cough are to clear out thick mucus, to open airways (like with asthma...

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Upper Respiratory Issues Part 1: Head Colds

Published January 17, 2014

John Todd, APRN By John Todd, APRN, FNP We’re deep in the season for head colds, chest colds, and flu and if you haven’t gotten a flu-shot, it’s not too late. Getting a flu shot reduces a person's likelihood of needing to visit an Emergency Department by 50% during that flu season. As a Family Nurse Practitioner, I note the weather changing from autumn to winter by the respiratory conditions that patients bring to the office. There's that moment in the fall that we feel in our sinuses and lungs as the trees shed their leaves. Some of us barely feel it; some develop a sore throat with post-nasal drip; others develop a seasonally predictable sinusi...

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Airborne Allergies Don’t Fly South for the Winter

Published January 10, 2014

By William Wood, MD This time of year can be tough on allergy sufferers, believe it or not. Some people experience the same hay fever symptoms during the winter that others might feel during warmer months, and sometimes these symptoms are just as severe. Hay fever symptoms occur when the immune system mistakes an airborne allergen for bacteria trying to infect the body. The sneezing, itchy eyes and clear runny nose are a side effect of the body releasing a chemical called histamine in response to that attack. What’s different in the winter is the type of airborne allergen that triggers the response. [caption id="attachment_5560" al...

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Resolve to Have a Happy and Healthy 2014

Published January 2, 2014

Another year has begun and with it comes a chance to make a fresh start. A lot of people make health-related resolutions after spending the holiday season eating, drinking and being merry, but not everyone follows through on these promises. Here are a few simple strategies that can help you set -- and keep -- the resolutions you make to improve yourself in 2014.

Make a List. Write down every aspect of your life where you might make a change or an improvement that leads to a healthier lifestyle. Don’t worry if the list starts getting too long. Once everything is down on paper, choose three to five items ...

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The Gift of Giving

Published December 27, 2013

By Gail Murray, LICSW During the holidays there is a sad reality for many people who, for the most part, remain invisible to many of us. They are the less fortunate among us who have fallen on hard times or live with difficult situations for much of their lives. With the significant stress of managing our own lives in these hard times, it is easy for us to overlook those who truly need our help, especially during the winter months when needing to find warmth can be a matter of life or death. The holidays can be the very best of times as children lie tucked in their beds and moms and dads look for the perfect bow for the perfect present....

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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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