Healthy Food, Healthy Planet

| Graceful Health

By Danny Ballentine, Grace Cottage Emergency Department Physician Assistant

Food is medicine.

Chronic diseases are currently the leading cause of death in the developed world. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is excellent for decreasing the risk and treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, and is very effective for weight control. Plant-based diets are also anti-inflammatory diets, which have been shown to enhance athletic performance, decrease recovery time after a workout or competition, and foster a strong immune system. There are athletes of all sports, from ultra-running to body building, who have adopted completely plant-based, or vegan, diets and have seen improvement in performance.

Dr. Andrew Weil, a physician and advocate of integrative medicine, has developed a food pyramid that helps folks move towards healthy plant-based eating habits and is easily accessible and simple to follow


‘Small acts’ seen as weapon in fight against hunger

| In The News
Brattleboro Reformer Logo Square

Mike Faher reports on food insecurity in Windham County and on programs run at Grace Cottage to address the issue:
Federal statistics offer some positive news for hunger in Vermont: Over the past several years, the state’s rate of “food insecurity” has been trending slowly but steadily downward. But those numbers don’t mean much in the West River Valley region of Windham County, where community volunteers and school staffers are seeing a growing number of families who don’t have enough to eat. Their responses are diverse: A nurse is starting an in-school food shelf; a community organization is hosting cooking classes and free soup nights, and Grace Cottage Hospital is trying to grow a ton of tomatoes for the local food bank.


Analysis sees 21 percent premium hike with Obamacare repeal

| In The News

Grace Cottage CEO Roger Allbee is quoted in this article about the potential effects of an Obamacare repeal:
Roger Allbee, the CEO of Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, said the Medicaid cuts would also hit his small community hospital, which he said is already losing $2 million a year treating Medicaid patients, because the reimbursements are so low. “It’s absolutely devastating what they’re doing,” Allbee said. “It would be hard for a rural health care center like ours, which serves 14 communities, to even exist in the future under their plan. It’s devastating, absolutely devastating.”


Prostate Cancer Screening? It Depends

| Graceful Health

By Dr. Moss Linder, Grace Cottage Family Health

Sometimes, a doctor can give medical advice that fits everyone, things like stop smoking, get regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Other times, a medical issue can’t be decided with a one-size-fits-all approach. Prostate cancer screening recommendations are one of those topics.

The prostate is a gland in a man’s body that surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine flows. Prostate cancer is a disease that causes the gland to grow abnormally. Most prostate cancers have no symptoms at all, and the cancer grows so slowly that it does not cause any major problems. Some men may have urinary frequency or urgency or waking up at night to urinate.

Prostate cancer is the most common solid organ cancer in men and, behind lung cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death.


Tomatoes Wanted!

| Featured, News

Attention gardeners: we need tomatoes! The “Ton of Tomatoes” project aims to bring local, nutritious food to area residents who are in need by collecting tomatoes during the growing season, processing and freezing them, then distributing them throughout the year via the food shelf. The collection goal is one ton of tomatoes! This effort is […]


Heading Out Into the Sun? Read This First!

| Graceful Health

By Natalie Harding, PA-C, Grace Cottage Family Health

We waited so long for summer, and now it’s time to get outside and go biking, hiking, get work done on the house or garden, or spend time on the beach. Maybe you earn your living working outdoors. Did you pack the sunscreen?

“Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” says Rudyard Kipling in his poem “Gunga Din.” There’s wisdom in that. The welcome, warm light from the summer sun carries a risk — UVA and UVB radiation. The risk is there all year, but in the summer we tend to be outdoors longer, have more skin exposed, and the days are longer, extending the risk. 

Ultimately, UVA and UVB can damage the skin and cause skin cancer. Here’s a mnemonic to help you remember the difference.


How Can I Sleep Better?

| Graceful Health

Tips from the Medical Providers of Grace Cottage Family Health

Do you have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep throughout the night? If so, you are not alone. In Vermont, more than one-third of adults report that they get less than the recommended seven-plus hours of sleep per night.

If you are among that 30 percent, you might benefit from learning about sleep hygiene. No, that doesn’t mean brushing your teeth and washing your face at bedtime. The term “sleep hygiene” actually refers to various lifestyle habits and the environment in which you sleep.

No doubt, some of the principles of sleep hygiene are familiar to you, but it’s worthwhile to review them and to keep them in mind.