Health

EEE Threat Raised to "High" in Westborough

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the detection of mammal-biting mosquitoes infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in New Bedford and Westborough. As a result, health officials have raised the EEE threat level to “High” in these two communities and recommend that outdoor evening events are curtailed there for the remainder of the summer. Ground-based spraying by mosquito control projects is ongoing in both New Bedford and Westborough and will be enhanced.

Skeeters and Ticks Aplenty. And a Thank You

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From left: Bruce Karlin, M.D., and Mass. public health officials Catherine Brown, D.V.M. and Alfred DeMaria, M.D.

It’s been a bad year for mosquitoes, with growing populations of those pesky creatures carrying West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. And don’t forget those ticks with that nasty Lyme disease. Time for a health alert.

Because of the increased threats of these mosquito and tick-borne illnesses across the state, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and HCAM-TV have collaborated in producing a program to raise awareness and understanding of these infectious diseases.

Legislatur​e Sends Prescripti​on Drug Monitoring Bill to Governor

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The Legislature today enacted final legislation that will reduce the number of people abusing or selling prescription pain killers, while also increasing opportunities for those battling addiction to receive treatment, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced.

The bill requires doctors, dentists and other practitioners to conduct drug history screens for new patients, creates a professional working group to recommend new prescribing standards for painkillers, and requires all prescriptions for painkillers, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, to be written on tamper-resistant pads.

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A Look Back at the 2012 Timlin Race

Over $35,000 was raised at this year's Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K Race. In its 9th year, the race has raised over $1 million dollars for the Angel Fund, a nonprofit organization aiming to find a cure for ALS.

Watch the HCAM News video as Event Director and Founder Abbie Rosenberg and this year's winner, Patrick Levenson, talk about their personal connection to ALS. Rosenberg believes that events like this are instrumental in helping raise awareness for, and ultimately finding a cure, for ALS.

Adults: Get Your Shots

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From left: Lynda Young, M.D., Margaret Sandin, M.D., Elisa Choi, M.D., this month on Physician Focus.

Memo to all adults: Are you up-to-date on your vaccinations? Do you know which ones you should have? Which ones are recommended?

If you’re weak on the answers to those questions, you’re not alone. While most children get their recommended immunizations due to attentive, caring parents, adult vaccination rates remain low, with unfortunate results: more than 50,000 adults in the U.S. die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Governor Signs Dementia Care Unit Protection Legislation

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Bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Representative Carolyn Dykema providing increased protection for residents in dementia care units was signed into law on July 16 by Governor Patrick.

“This law closes a loophole in Massachusetts law that allowed nursing homes to advertise specialized dementia care units, even though their workers may have had no training in caring for such patients,” said Rep. Dykema. “Massachusetts consumers deserve to know that when their relative is in a “special dementia care unit” they will be receiving care that meets the highest level of standards.”

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Anna Gammal: A Member of the Medical Team for Sports Massage at Summer Olympics

In a little over a week, the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics will take place, but Hopkinton resident and massage therapist Anna Gammal is already in London. Gammal is headed to the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games as a member of the medical team for sports massage and will be working with athletes across all Olympic events at the Athlete's Village from July 27 through August 12.

It's not just the athletes who have to qualify. Gammal awent through an extensive interview process before being selected and is one of 800 massage therapists selected.

Partrick-Murray Administration Celebrates First Year of Municipal Health Care Reform

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BOSTON - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 – On the one-year anniversary of the landmark municipal health care reform law, Governor Deval Patrick announced today that more than 127 communities and school districts across the Commonwealth have collectively saved an estimated $175 million in health insurance premiums.

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June "To Your Health": Primer on Health Care Reform

Hello and welcome to To Your Health. I’m Dr. Jim Kenealy.

In Massachusetts we are justifiably proud of the advances we’ve made on providing health care coverage for all of the citizens of our Commonwealth in 2008. Now that we’ve attained almost universal coverage, we are grappling with what may be the more difficult problem – how to reign in ever rising health care costs. While all stakeholders concur that maintaining the status quo in the long run is unsustainable, not everyone can agree upon the best solution.

Youth and Substance Abuse

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Mavis Jaworski, M.D. and John Knight, M.D., on July's Physician Focus with the Massachusetts Medical Society

There’s no getting around it: Substance abuse by adolescents is a serious problem, one that too often ends in tragedy. Such behavior accounts for almost 60 percent of accidental deaths among teens and poses significant risks to physical and mental health, as well as success in school and later life.

One of the nation’s foremost experts on this issue is John R. Knight, M.D., Director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

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