Athletes and Concussions

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Left to right: Bruce Karlin, M.D., Lauren Smith, M.D., Alan Ashare, M.D.  on Physician Focus during September.

The injury somehow earned its own vocabulary: It was a “ding” or “getting your bell rung,” and it used to be “graded” according its suspected severity. But a concussion is actually a traumatic brain injury, and that brings on a whole new meaning.

“A concussion is a malfunction of the brain caused by a jolt to the head or body,” says Alan Ashare, M.D., a physician at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Boston and Chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Committee on Student Health and Sports Medicine.

HCAM News Top 5 for August 2012

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Only one more day left in August, so it's time for the top five HCAM News videos and stories for the month of August 2012!

Space and Place, an HCA Photography Exhibit by Carolyn Latourelle September 4-24

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The photography of Carolyn Latourelle will be featured in the Space and Place exhibit at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, 98 Hayden Rowe in Hopkinton from September 4 -24. Latourelle was the second place winner of the HCA’s recent On the Edge exhibit, and works at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University as Assistant Program Manager to Academic Affairs. A special reception, open to the public, will be held Friday, September 7 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Gallery hours are weekdays from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Road Closing: Clinton Street

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Starting Thursday August 30,2012, Clinton Street will be closed. The street closing will effect Clinton Street only,during the hours of 8 AM to 2 PM. According to Elissa Russo of Russo Brothers, the intent is to complete the work in one day. Detour signs will be in place and detail police officers will be there to assist motorists around the site.

Cub Scout Pack 26 Family Drive-In Movie Night

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Interested in joining Cub Scouts? Join the families of Cub Scout Pack 26 Hopkinton for a Family Movie Night! We currently have many openings for boys going into Grade 1, as well as limited openings for boys entering grades 2-5 this fall.

Thursday, August 30 at 6:30pm
Mendon Drive-In, 35 Milford Street, Mendon MA 01756

New and prospective scout families are welcome!

RSVP via Punchbowl at

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Rep. Dykema Hosts Annual Senior Picnic

Under bright sunny skies, seniors from Hopkinton, Holliston, Medway, Southborough and Westborough gathered at the Laborer's Training Center for some barbeque and raffle prizes during State Representative Carolyn Dykema's annual senior picnic on August 21st.

The picnic started several years ago in Hopkinton residents Bob and Jackie Lavoies' backyard, and has now grown into an annual tradition. Dykema says that this year's crowd was the largest ever for the event.

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Training A Therapy Dog

From the outside, Gabe looks like an average dog. He knows commands such as sit, lie down, and stay, and likes to play with his toys. But the 1½ year old lab-shepherd mix is in the process of preparing to do something special. Owner, and Milford resident Debbie Slutz, is currently training Gabe to become a therapy dog. Unlike a guide dog, which helps assist those with visual impairments, a therapy dog helps to provide comfort and joy to people in places such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. Slutz, who recently graduated from the University of Denver with her masters in social work and a certificate in animal-assisted social work, hopes to be able to use Gabe in future jobs because of the unique benefits he provides.

Slutz got Gabe this past June from Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton. Initially interested in another dog, as soon as Slutz met Gabe, however, she had a feeling he'd be a great match.

One of the most important aspects of therapy dogs are their temperament since they need to be accustomed to meeting different people and being in different types of environments. So before deciding on Gabe, Slutz had both her older and younger brother interact with him. And Gabe passed that test with flying colors. Currently, Slutz is working on teaching Gabe basic commands such a heel. He is also learning important skills necessary for a therapy dog to have such as sitting in front of an open door and not eating food off the floor.

Gabe is also working on appropriate ways to interact with people, which Slutz says sometimes gets kind of tricky to enforce when meeting strangers who are often eager to pet him.

Slutz plans on using the Pet Partners program, formerly known as the Delta Society, to test Gabe. In order to be certified as a therapy dog, Gabe will need to demonstrate proficiency in the skills he has been busy learning.

Gabe will qualify to take the test in December. And Slutz says that even if he doesn't pass, she knows all the hard training will still be beneficial.

To see Slutz and Gabe in action and to learn more, watch the HCAM News video below.

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Physician Focus Tapes 100th Episode

Monday, August 13th was a memorable night in the HCAM studio as cast and crew prepared for the 100th taping of Physician Focus, a monthly half hour educational talk show that brings important health and medical information from practicing physicians and health care professionals to people and patients of all ages.

A collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide organization of physicians and HCAM TV, Physician Focus first aired in 2004.

Latest Job and Unemployment Estimates in Massachusetts

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On Tuesday, August 21, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that the July 2012 seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were down in the Barnstable, Amherst, Nantucket and Tisbury areas; unchanged in the North Adams area; and up in the other seventeen areas over the month. Over the year, the rates are down in all twenty two labor areas.

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces First in Nation Comprehensive Health Care Option For Dual Eligible Individuals Approved by Obama Administration

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ThePatrick-Murray Administration today announced that Massachusetts is the first state in thenation to receive approval from the Obama Administration to implement a healthcare initiative to improve care and contain cost for 111,000 persons withdisabilities who are dual eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.


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