Health

Runderdogs 2014 Boston Marathon Run for HOPE

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The 2014 Boston Marathon will be about resiliency, strength, love, pride and overcoming adversity. For these reasons, our Runderdogs team -- Ginny Pitcher, Julia McGovern & Kel Kelly -- will run for the House of Possibilities (HOPe). HOPe is the organization that discovers and celebrates the special in special needs. Special needs children and adults are the true underdogs in our world and overcome adversity every single day. HOPe believes the possibilities for developmentally disabled people are limitless and they are a remarkable gift to the rest of the world.

Crohn's and Colitis Explained

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When illness strikes, one of the questions we often ask is “How did I get this?” It’s a normal reaction, because it’s important to know what caused the sickness and what we might do in the future to avoid it.

Medicine, unfortunately, isn’t always sure about cause and effect, and the origins of some diseases just defy precise explanation. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic conditions of the digestive system known as inflammatory bowel diseases – are examples.

50 years later....

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January 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon General’s first comprehensive report on the dangers of tobacco. That landmark document signaled the start of the nation's public health campaign against tobacco and its health consequences.

After five decades of anti-tobacco efforts, it’s fair to ask “How far have we come?”

“We’re fifty years down the line,” says Alan Woodward, M.D., chairman of Tobacco Free Mass, “and still these products are the number one cause of preventable death and chronic illness in this country.”

Violence and Mental Illness: Connected?

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Violent incidents such as the mass killings in Newtown, Connecticut and at the Washington Navy Yard – two of the most recent on a long list of horrific acts – capture the nation’s attention and continue to raise alarms about the link between violence and mental illness.

A recent Gallup poll found that nearly half of Americans - 48 percent - blame the mental health system “a great deal” for mass shootings and for failing to identify individuals who are a danger to others.

Physician Focus: Hepatitis: Silent Disease

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It takes different forms, has multiple causes, and many people who have it don’t know they have it. It is hepatitis, a major cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and a leading cause of death by infection, claiming some 15,000 lives every year. It’s the topic of discussion for the November episode of Physician Focus with the Massachusetts Medical Society.

The 7th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

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On October 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Hopkinton Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its seventh opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Hopkinton Police Department at 74 Main Street. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

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New CPR Equipment Now in Use by Hopkinton's Fire Department

Watch the HCAM News video with Hopkinton Fire Department Paramedic Tim Healy as he explains the benefits of the department's new CPR equipment.

In a time where a matter of a few seconds could mean the difference between saving a person's life or not, the Hopkinton Fire Department now has access to state-of-the-art equipment that will help paramedics administer care quicker and more effectively during cardiac emergencies. The LUCAS chest compression system, which is also being used in a handful of neighboring communities, allows for a machine to perform chest compressions on a victim during CPR, which increases circulation to the brain.

LUCAS was developed in Sweden in the early 2000s and first came to the US about eight years later. The inspiration for the device came from a seemingly unlikely source, a toilet plunger. To operate LUCAS, the emergency provider essentially needs to just setup up the machine and turn it on. Because the machine does the majority of the work, this frees up the paramedic to provide the patient with additional medical care. It also allows for the patient to receive care in places that performing CPR manually would be too difficult, as well as assures that the paramedic stays safe. With new equipment available to fire departments such as LUCAS, Hopkinton Fire Department Paramedic Tim Healy says that an ambulance is no longer simply a vehicle to transport patients to the hospital.

Currently the Fire Department has two machines, one for each ambulance. The machines, which cost around $15,000 each, were purchased a few months ago with money donated by community members in honor of former Hopkinton resident Marjorie Peloquin, who passed away in 2009. According to Healy, cardiac arrest is one of the leading killers of adults and is a emergency that the department often attends to.

Healy also believes that it is important for community members to be knowledgeable in case of an emergency. And therefore, the department offers a CPR training class on the last Tuesday of every month.

Senator Spilka Hosts 2013 Senior Health & Wellness Fair

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Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) will host her annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, October 26th at the Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham. All MetroWest seniors are invited to learn more about ways to continue to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Throughout the course of the day, seniors will participate in a variety of workshops and presentations about senior health programs, benefits and wellness activities. The Fair will also include a continental breakfast, a hot lunch and health screenings for attendees.

Seasonal Flu Clinic This Thursday at Town Hall

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2013 Seasonal Flu Clinics by the Hopkinton Board of Health through Century Health Systems will be held on October 10, 2013 at the Town Hall (lower level), 18 Main Street and on November 4, 2013 at the Senior Center which is located at 28 Mayhew Street, Hopkinton, MA. These will be the only clinics the Board of Health holds this season. These Clinics are for Hopkinton Residents 19 years of age or older.

Flu Clinics
Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. @ Town Hall
Monday, November 4, 2013 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. @ Senior Center

Inside the ER

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From left, Bruce Karlin, M.D., Nathan MacDonald, M.D., Jeffrey Hopkins, M.D. during October on Physician Focus

We never know when a medical emergency will occur, but when it does, it’s good to know there’s a place to go that’s open for care 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The ER, celebrated by such television programs as NBC-TV’s long-running show of the same name, has become a critical component of American health care: An estimated one of every five Americans now visits a hospital emergency department each year, for a total of nearly 130 million visits annually.

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