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Turning the Tide Against COVID-19 During Thanksgiving

What we all need to think of before the holiday

COVID-19 is spreading faster and wider in our region than we have seen before. And, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, this opportunistic virus is ready to take a stronger grip on our community if we are not careful. Many of us are thinking about spending time with family and friends we have not seen in person for a long time due to the pandemic. Thanksgiving traditionally brings our loved ones together to watch football, catch up with each other and share a meal. It seems harmless [...]

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The Diabetes Guessing Game

Expanding Our Knowledge About Types and Treatments

Written by: Ashley Williams, PA in Endocrinology It sounds like a bad joke, “Three people walk into a clinic. One pulls out an insulin pump, the second a bottle of pills and the third a carrot. When the front desk staff asks what they are there for they all respond, 'Diabetes.'” This depicts the great variation in types of diabetes and treatments for the disease.  Treatment is not quite as simple as it used to be. Since the discovery of insulin in 1922, w [...]

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Patient Touts Safety Undergoing Surgery at CVPH

It’s natural to get nervous about having to go through a major surgery. Getting the procedure done in the middle of a pandemic is sure to add to those nerves for many people. But, for Plattsburgh resident Richard Boulrice, COVID-19 was hardly a concern. “I could not have asked for a better situation than I had right here at CVPH,” Boulrice said just a couple weeks after undergoing a complicated gall bladder surgery at the hospital this summer. Richard Boulrice The [...]

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Expanding Our Understanding: Do Masks Work?

There is growing evidence that some people who got infected with COVID-19 despite wearing a mask are still alive today because of that mask. And that gives us a new way of thinking about the protection face coverings provide. From early on in the pandemic, you’ve heard from me, my colleagues here at CVPH and public health officials across the country bang the drum on the importance of wearing masks and how they can help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The initial selling point [...]

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Emergency Department Receives National Certification Champion Award

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), the benchmark for board certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, today recognized our ED as one of their 2020 National Certification Champion Award winners for our commitment to emergency nursing excellence through specialty nursing certification. “We are very proud of this award because CVPH has a long history of supporting nursing staff in pursuit of professional specialty certification. Objectively speaking, having boa [...]

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CVPH Meets Retired Nurse's Lofty Expectations

Patient Received Urgent Care She Needed

Plattsburgh resident Barbara Thompson knows a thing or two about providing excellent care. The 96-year-old guided countless patients to better outcomes as a public health nurse in the city for more than a decade. But in the early morning hours of June 1, Thompson suddenly found herself on the receiving end of care. She woke up in the middle of the night with significant pain in the area of her left shoulder and immediately began worrying about a potential heart attack. A short time later, [...]

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I’m At–Risk for COVID-19. How Do Older Adults Get Care, and Stay Safe?

While we all wish there was a solution to put an end to COVID-19, we are best served to begin adjusting our behaviors, expectations and lifestyle to acknowledge this pandemic will take time to manage and resolve. As we shift to a longer-term acceptance of our new reality, many patients in our older adult population have been asking great questions about their health, their risk of contracting COVID-19, and how to live a h [...]

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Bouncing and Playing in the Backyard, Safely

The school year is ending and many summer camps and childcare programs remain closed prompting families to get creative in the way they entertain their children. Home playsets, trampolines, bounce houses, and public playgrounds are popular ways to keep kids moving. As I see more and more of these popping up in backyards, now seems like a good time to talk about safety.   Trampolines and bounce houses are fun and present a great way for kids to expe [...]

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Welcome Back: We’ve Got You Covered

Thank you. As members of the community, you’ve done a remarkable job evolving with the many swift changes across our homes, businesses, schools and health care facilities. This collective action – your sacrifice – has allowed our communities to flatten the curve and avoid a devastating surge to our health care system. For that, we thank you. But as we look back at what we’ve accomplished these past few months, it’s time to look forward and s [...]

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With Stroke, Seconds Count

Fear and worry. These feelings have gripped us all in one way or another during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Some fear is good, it helps guide us to make safe choices to ensure our health, but sometimes that same fear can disrupt healthy behaviors. As medical professionals, we are concerned our patients may be distancing themselves from hospitals and the important, preventive and urgent health care that they need.   In fact, a [...]

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Taking Advantage of Telehealth

Imagine being able to get out of bed, do your normal morning routine, and then head to your doctor appointment – without having to leave home. There’s no need to find a babysitter for the kids, spend money on gas or lose more time from work. That’s what thousands of people have experienced thanks to CVPH’s telehealth services. The program, which has already been operational for years, was expanded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as an additional option to help pat [...]

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Going stir-crazy? Ideas for low-risk outdoor activities

Our bodies, young or old, need to move. It’s tempting during this time of important social isolation and government-issued stay at home orders to sit on the couch and watch a screen. It’s also important to keep our bodies active, even while remaining safely six feet apart. Under the current stay at home orders, you are allowed outside to exercise and do tasks around the house and yard. The National Fitness Activity Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per w [...]

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Soap vs. Sanitizer?

The run on sanitizer makes it clear that people think alcohol cleansers are better than simple soap and water. In the case of COVID-19 this is wrong. Why? 1. Washing with soap and water actually washes dirt or particles away – alcohol based sanitizers just spread things around and relies on alcohol to kill organisms. Therefore, unless hands are otherwise clean, but contaminated with an organism, alcohol based sanitizers are NOT as good. 2. In the case of Coronavirus soap is partic [...]

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What's Your Plan?

Dr. Wouter Rietsema talks about having a plan should COVID-19 come to your house.

Especially during times like these, it’s easy to adopt a “this-won’t-happen-to-me” mindset. But what if “it” does happen and either you or someone you live with becomes ill with COVID-19?  What’s your plan?  My years of experience as a physician, hospital administrator and father of 3 has taught me that hoping for the best while planning for the worst is usually the right path to take. Should COVID-19 come to your house, what will you do? Se [...]

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Advice from an Infectious Disease Physician on COVID-19: Act Like You Have It

By: Wouter Rietsema, MD - VP of Population Health & Information Services, Infectious Disease Specialist

As an Infectious Disease Physician and Hospital Administrator, over the past several weeks I have been touting the many ways people can help protect themselves from COVID-19 – hand-washing, avoid touching your face, social distancing. And then it hit me. A better way to look at stopping the spread of the virus is to act like you have it. So what would I do if I knew I was infected with COVID-19? I would go home, lock myself in a room and tell everyone else in the house to stay away. I [...]

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Talking to Your Children About COVID-19

It feels like the COVID-19 virus has turned our world upside down. Schools are closed, leaving teachers across our region teaching their lessons in front of a computer or smartphone instead of a classroom. Restaurants are only offering take-out or delivery. There are even digital signs on the highway telling us to stay home. As a region, we’ve fought through natural disasters like the Ice Storm and Tropical Storm Irene. We’ve come back from national tragedies like the 9/11 terrori [...]

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Everyone Plays a Part in Keeping Health System Strong

I was on the phone recently with my 28 year-old daughter who lives in the Boston area. I asked her what she was feeling down there related to novel coronavirus or COVID-19.  She said she thought that it seemed like people were going “over the top” with responses. They had just closed the schools in her town after a single confirmed case.  “Isn’t this not much more than a bad flu?,” she asked.  But I realized that many people are thinking and feeling t [...]

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4 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy – Beyond Heart Month

It’s American Heart Month! We want to share four ways to keep you heart, mind, and body happy and healthy. The combination of eating right, working out, relieving stress and educating yourself– can help keep your heart pumping for years to come. Make sure to visit the American Heart Association for more tools and facts on heart health. Eat Healthy Does this sound like you? Your day is jam-packed and feeding your body isn’t on the schedule. When life gets busy, we may forg [...]

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Building a Foundation for Less Stress and Good Health

In our society when we think about stress we think of the big stuff—the large, life-altering incidents that turn our lives upside down. But stress can come at us from every angle during even the most routine parts of our daily lives. Of course, a house fire, a car accident or a devastating medical diagnosis for ourselves or a family member are all stressful situations that must be navigated, but trying to get mittens on your toddler, getting milk in your coffee when you ordered cream or hi [...]

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Mediterranean Diet: A Heart-Healthy Eating Plan

The Mediterranean diet was named the Best Diet Overall for 2019 by U.S. News. While this diet has landed at the top of the charts, it certainly isn’t anything new — it’s been around since the 1960s and is best known for its health benefits: longevity, weight loss, and disease prevention. Here’s everything you need to know about the Mediterranean diet. What is the Mediterranean diet? Leading nutrition scientists have studied the eating habits of Mediterranean peop [...]

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Home Remedies That May Help You Feel Better When You Have the Flu

An article from the UVM Health Network 2020 Flu Education series

With Sarah Spengler, RN, UVM Health Network - Home Health & Hospice There are many traditional and non-traditional home remedies people use to feel better when they’re sick. Home remedies won’t shorten the duration of flu, but can make you more comfortable as the illness runs its course. See below for a few you can try at home, but note it’s important to check with your primary health care provider before starting any new medication or supplement, even if it’s over [...]

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Flu Season Has Arrived!

An article from the UVM Health Network 2020 Flu Education series

With Cindy Dion Noyes, MD, University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group UVM Medical Center Infectious Disease Influenza has arrived in our region and is considered to be widespread at this time. This means that at least half of the regions in the state of VT and NY are reporting laboratory confirmed influenza (usually with a nasal swab). Current Regional Strains The current strains we are seeing locally include two strains of influenza A (H3N2 and H1N1) as well as one strain of [...]

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Pro tips to avoid the flu

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Meredith King, RN, BSN and infection prevention coordinator at University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital Health care workers are on the front lines during flu season. But we don’t follow any secret formula to avoid getting sick. In fact, our go-to ways of avoiding the flu can be adopted by anyone looking to stay healthy or slow the spread of the influenza virus: Get vaccinated, clean your hands frequently, adopt healthy behaviors and stay home [...]

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12 Flu Facts: How Flu Matters to You

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

This flu season is just beginning in our region. It’s annoying. It’s inconvenient. And it should be taken seriously.  This contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses can make you feel miserable, keep you from work and holiday gatherings or, worse, send you to the hospital. According to the CDC, flu resulted in up to 61,200 deaths last year, October 2018 - May 2019. So here are a twelve useful facts to help put the flu in perspective. Join the flu fight and hel [...]

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What to Know About the Flu if Your Immunity is Compromised

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

Another flu season is right around the corner. A seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against it and any potentially serious complications. Immunity can take up to two weeks to develop after getting the vaccine, so getting your flu shot and helping to protect your friends, family and loved ones from seasonal influenza is everyone’s responsibility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine [...]

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What to Know About the Flu if You Have Asthma

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

Another flu season is right around the corner. A seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against it and any potentially serious complications. Immunity can take up to two weeks to develop after getting the vaccine, so getting your flu shot and helping to protect your friends, family and loved ones from seasonal influenza is everyone’s responsibility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine [...]

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Why You and Your Family Need to Get the Flu Shot

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is easily spread and can result in severe illness, hospitalization or even death. If you are still not convinced, consider these facts. Is the flu really that bad? Flu kills. A total of 143 pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the 2018-2019 season. During the 2017-2018 season, 180 pediatric deaths were reported and approximately 80% of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination tha [...]

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Pregnant or a New Mom? The Flu Matters

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Brianne Jeror, NP, University of Vermont Health Network Alice Hyde Medical Center, Primary Care Another flu season is right around the corner. A seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against it and any potentially serious complications. Immunity can take up to two weeks to develop after getting the vaccine, so getting your flu shot and helping to protect your friends, family and loved ones from seasonal influenza is everyone’s responsibility. According to the Cente [...]

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Tips for Keeping Your Holidays Flu-free

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Julia Harris, BSN, RN, University of Vermont Health Network Porter Medical Center For many, the holiday season is a perfect combination of shopping, travel and celebratory gatherings with family and friends. But those are also perfect opportunities to spread the influenza virus at a time when flu season is nearing its peak. The added stress, fatigue or overindulgence that sometimes accompanies the holidays can exacerbate the risk of getting sick. The challenge is staying healthy e [...]

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Quitter?

Every year thousands of Americans make the decision to cut back on their smoking or – even better – quit smoking entirely. Today is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, when we celebrate the people who have put in the time, effort and shown the willpower that it takes to be a quitter. Between 1965 and 2017, the number of adult Americans who smoke has decreased from 45 percent to 14 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That&r [...]

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What to Know About the Flu if You Have Heart Disease or Have Had a Stroke

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Brianne Jeror, NP University of Vermont Health Network Alice Hyde Medical Center, Primary Care Another flu season is right around the corner. A seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against it and any potentially serious complications. Immunity can take up to two weeks to develop after getting the vaccine, so getting your flu shot and helping to protect your friends, family and loved ones from seasonal influenza is everyone’s responsibility. According to the Cente [...]

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5 Most Common Myths about the Flu

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With the health care experts from Central Vermont Medical Center, University of Vermont Health Network Every flu season, people decide not to get the flu shot for reasons based on misconceptions about flu and flu vaccines. To help you make an informed decision, we put five of the most common myths under the microscope to see how well they fare in light of the latest scientific evidence. Here we go! Myth #1: Influenza is kind of like the common cold…it's not a big deal. Inf [...]

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What to Know About the Flu if You Have Diabetes

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Brianne Jeror, NP, University of Vermont Health Network Alice Hyde Medical Center, Primary Care   Another flu season is right around the corner. A seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against it and any potentially serious complications. Immunity can take up to two weeks to develop after getting the vaccine, so getting your flu shot and helping to protect your friends, family and loved ones from seasonal influenza is everyone’s responsibility. According to t [...]

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Improving Your Health Care Connections Across Our Network

Epic, our new electronic health record, will begin to seamlessly link four network affiliate hospitals

When we formed the University of Vermont Health Network in 2014, we brought together a collaborative approach to quality health care in our region and forged strong network connections between our affiliates in Vermont and northern New York. The November 9 launch of our Epic electronic health record (EHR) is a significant representation of our Network’s collaboration thus far and will positively impact our patients and communities. Unified communication between our providers &ldquo [...]

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Winter Is Coming… And So Is the Flu

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Lewis First, MD, University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group Chief of Pediatrics, University of Vermont Children’s Hospital   If you haven’t noticed, fall is underway. Parents often comment to me that time simply flew by. And speaking of flu, what better time to remind parents about flu shots for their children and what the flu is and is “snot.” After all, “‘tis the sneezin’.” There are more than 200 viruses that cause th [...]

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Flu: Adults 65+ at Greatest Risk for Serious Complications

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Brianne Jeror, NP, University of Vermont Health Network Alice Hyde Medical Center, Primary Care   Another flu season is right around the corner. A seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against it and any potentially serious complications. Immunity can take up to two weeks to develop after getting the vaccine, so getting your flu shot and helping to protect your friends, family and loved ones from seasonal influenza is everyone’s responsibility. According to [...]

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What is the Flu and What Can be Done to Prevent It

An article from the UVM Health Network 2019 Flu Education series

With Kathy Mariani, MD, University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group UVM Medical Center Family Medicine, South Burlington   Influenza, or the flu, is a viral infection that affects 5 percent to 20 percent of the US population every year. That’s up to 60 million people. With this many people affected each year, it’s good to know how to reduce your chances of getting the flu, such as making sure you get your annual flu vaccine. To tell us more about what happens w [...]

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Chelsey Bushey Understands that Great Patient Care Comes In Many Forms

Chelsey makes a difference every day.

Cancer Peer Educator Chelsey Bushey knows that there are truly many ways to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people we serve. She’s been part of the CVPH team for a little over 5 years working first as a Transporter and later, as a Clinical Assistant. Both positions allowed her to share her compassion and kindness and gave her the opportunity to assist patients when they needed it most.  “I love patient care – helping people,” Chelsey said. So t [...]

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All About Sunscreen

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  The first lines of defense are avoidance of UV radiation, finding shade, and using sun protective clothing. Whatever skin is exposed after these measures should get sunscreen.   Why do I need sunscreen? Ultraviolet (UV) rays corrupt and mutate DNA in skin cells. In addition, the sun’s radiation impairs the ability of cells to repair DNA. This adds up over a lifetime and eventually leads to skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, [...]

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9 Ways to Reduce Your Stroke Risk

When it comes to stroke, there are many risk factors that are beyond your control, including:   • Being over age 55; • Being a female (each year, women have more strokes than men, and stroke kills more women than men. Use of birth control pills, pregnancy, history of preeclampsia/eclampsia or gestational diabetes, oral contraceptive use, and smoking, and post-menopausal hormone therapy may pose special stroke risks for women. Be sure to discuss your specific risks with [...]

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