Health Aid Gone Wrong

William Monahan

By Bill Monahan, RN, Grace Cottage Community Health Team Outreach Coordinator

E-cigarettes – have you heard of them? Originally created to help adults stop nicotine use and smoking, e-cigarettes have instead become an alarming health story we all need to take seriously.

Electronic-cigarettes, also known as “e-cigarettes,” are devices with a battery inside that heats liquid into an aerosol (vapor). Vaping is the term for use of this device because of the vapor that is inhaled. The user inhales the vapor in an activity similar to smoking.

EVALI Causes Injuries, Deaths

The e-cigarette was first patented in 1963, and the use of e-cigarettes has ballooned since 2007, leading to a lung injury disease that can damage and kill. E-cigarette Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) is the term for this disease.

Statistics for this disease change on a daily basis, but recent reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that more than 1,600 Americans have been affected by EVALI, and at least 34 have died.

The three most common uses of e-cigarettes are for ingesting nicotine, THC (the chemical compound in marijuana that creates the feeling of being “high”), and hash oil or Dabs (illicitly produced products which also contain THC).

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Burnout: Signs and Remedies

By Benjamin Wright, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Grace Cottage Family Health

As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, I am vulnerable to burnout. Provider burnout is increasingly common in the United States and globally. The work of healthcare professionals is often carried out under crisis conditions, the outcomes of their decisions can seriously affect another person, they work long hours, and they may have little time for activities outside of work. All are factors that contribute to the possibility of developing burnout.

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Need Basic Resources? I Can Help!

By Jocelyne Smith, Grace Cottage Patient Resource Advocate

Is it time to choose a new Medicare D plan? Do you need help with paying for your doctor visits or your medicines? Wondering if you might qualify for heating or food assistance? Many people are surprised to find out they do qualify for some help.

My job as Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital’s Patient Resource Advocate is to advocate for you, by talking about your situation and helping you to apply for any programs that can help you stay healthy and that may reduce your financial burden.

Maybe you can’t afford to buy new glasses. Maybe you need a tooth filled and have no dental insurance. Maybe you need a blood test but you’re afraid you can’t afford it. I have information available about programs that can help, and I’m happy to help you fill out any of the application forms.

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With Support, Things Can Get Better

Claire Bemis

By Claire Bemis, RN, Grace Cottage Care Coordinator I read a report recently which stated that social isolation can be as unhealthy for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Hard to believe? I know it’s true because I have seen with my own eyes how peoples’ health and attitudes improve when they attend a […]

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Park pass is right prescription for healthy lifestyle

David McCormack

By David McCormack, Grace Cottage Family Health FNP

Here’s a great deal for you: come to Grace Cottage Family Health for a medical appointment, and you may receive a “prescription” for free entry into any one of Vermont’s great state parks.

The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation sponsor this program, dubbed the “Park Prescription Program,” as a way to encourage you to get outdoors and to be more active.

Vermont has more than 50 state parks, in every corner of the state, so this “prescription pass” can help you explore a new place or visit a well-known favorite.

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What Do You Know About Hernias?

Ronald Vallario

By Dr. Ron Vallario, Grace Cottage Family Health

June is National Hernia Awareness Month, and also Men’s Health Month. How much do you know about hernias? Are they dangerous? Do they happen to women as well as men? For answers to these questions, read on.

Hernia is a general term describing a bulge of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in a body wall that normally contains it.

Although hernias can occur at various places in the body, this column will discuss abdominal wall hernias, named based on their location.

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Healthy Fast Food — Smoothies

Cheryl Shaw

By Cheryl Shaw, Grace Cottage Hospital Health Coach

Who doesn’t love a smoothie? They’re easy to make, so they can give a new, healthy meaning to the words “fast food” – if you choose good ingredients.

You probably already know how to make a smoothie: just chop up the larger ingredients, throw everything into a blender, and turn it on. Super easy.

Here is a list of my top favorite smoothie ingredients to inspire you. Organic options are always best, but do what you can. Mix them up and have fun creating!

Start with a Base: Here are some healthy ideas: Nut or seed milk (almond, hemp, cashew), unsweetened coconut water, unsweetened plain yogurt or kefir (if you tolerate dairy; good for probiotics/cultures!), a little coconut milk mixed with water, cooled green tea, or pure water and ice.

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Running is a Gift for Life

By Amby Burfoot

Question: Why run?

Answer: Walking and running are inherent human abilities–I call them “gifts.” Every physically unchallenged baby is born with the ability to flex the knees forward and back. That is, to walk and then to run. When we move in this way, we stay lean, fit, and healthy. When we sit too much, we grow round and unhealthy. Fifty years ago, science focused on the heart-health benefits of running, which have since been proven in thousands of medical studies. For the last decade, the most exciting research has investigated the mind benefits–low depression rates, and low Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. Healthy body, healthy mind: It’s a good combination.

Q: If running is so healthy, why are runners always getting injured?

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Easy Ways to Eat Your Vegetables!

Liz Harrison

By Elizabeth Harrison, Grace Cottage Health Coach

Eat your veggies! Where have you heard that before? Vegetables are a goldmine for adding vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet, and they can go a long way toward ensuring you a healthy life, important for preventing or lessening the impact of many chronic diseases.

The nutrition experts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have created the perfect visual to help you get enough of these nutrient-rich foods. Picture a round dinner plate, and divide it into fourths. Ideally, one-half of that plate will be covered with equal amounts of fruits and vegetables. On the other half, you will have a mix of grains and protein, with grains taking up more space than the protein.

This illustration is a great starting point. Some nutritionists even suggest that half your plate be covered with vegetables.

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Teaching Kids to Care for Their Teeth

By Dr. Elizabeth Linder, Grace Cottage Hospital Pediatrician

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and this is a good opportunity to share a few tips to help children take good care of their teeth.

The condition of our teeth can affect general health, self-esteem, and even our ability to eat healthy food. That’s why it’s so important that we give our teeth the attention they deserve.

Dental hygiene should begin at birth. Parents can begin by cleaning a baby’s gums with a soft cloth or soft brush at least once a day.

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