Health center preparing for new leader, expansion

Lowell Sun, November 17, 2015
LOWELL -- It seems fitting that as Lowell Community Health Center Executive Director Dorcas Grigg-Saito prepares to retire after overseeing 18 years of explosive growth, the health center is busy planning a 100,000-square-foot, $25 million expansion that will broaden the center's medical services and further solidify the key role it plays in the region's heath care delivery system. Read more »

R.I.'s Care New England pursuing affiliation with Mass. hospital chain

Providence Journal, November 16, 2015
PROVIDENCE--After putting out a formal call for potential partners earlier this year, Care New England -- the state's second largest health network, with Women & Infants Hospital in its fold -- has settled on an offer to join forces with Southcoast Health System and its four hospitals in southeastern Massachusetts, the two organizations announced on Monday. Read more »

Many say high deductibles make their health law insurance all but useless

New York Times, November 14, 2015
WASHINGTON - Obama administration officials, urging people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, have trumpeted the low premiums available on the law's new marketplaces. Read more »

Preventable colon cancer deaths cost the economy $6.4 billion

NPR, November 13, 2015
Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening. And those premature deaths take a toll on communities that can least bear it. Read more »

STAT interview: Massachusetts governor aims to hit opioid crisis hard

STAT, November 13, 2015
A bold plan to tackle the opioid crisis in Massachusetts is fueling a debate over how far to go to stop the flow of potent painkillers that bring relief to some ailing patients but pave a path to addiction for others. Read more »

U.S. smoking rate declines, but poor remain at higher risk

New York Times, November 12, 2015
WASHINGTON — Smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, continued to decline last year, federal health authorities reported Thursday, with the share of American adults who smoke dropping to 16.8 percent, down from 17.8 percent in 2013. Read more »

A man learned how to use Narcan and saved a woman's life with it 48 hours later

Boston Globe, November 11, 2015
When a Fitchburg man asked his boss for Narcan training, he probably never imagined he’d save a life with it 48 hours later. Read more »

Massachusetts is looking good in a survey of America’s fattest states

Boston Globe, November 6, 2015
A Boston nonprofit wants to try something new to fight the opiate epidemic in the state. Read more »

Massachusetts is looking good in a survey of America’s fattest states

New York Times, November 5, 2015
Here's the skinny when it comes to Massachusetts and weight: We’re at the bottom of the list when it comes to America’s fattest states. We also have the lowest number of obese adults in the nation, according to a new WalletHub study. Read more »

Tackle the opioid crisis on your own street

Boston Globe editorial, November 3, 2015
FRED BRASON knew there was an opioid crisis in the making long ago, “when nobody was talking about it.” In Wilkes County, N.C., where he lives, the misuse of potent pain-relief drugs like fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone was rampant. It got so bad that in 2007 the rural county recorded the country’s third-highest rate of overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Nobody had any template or practice or solution that we could follow to fix it,” said Brason. “We decided it’s our house and we’re going to have to do it ourselves. Read more »

Boston nonprofit plans to open a room for supervised heroin highs (features Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program)

WBUR's CommonHealth, November 3, 2015
A room with a nurse, some soft chairs and basic life-saving equipment. Together, this is the latest tool a group of local doctors and nurses plans to create to fight the state's opiate epidemic. Read more »

Doctors should work with Baker on opioid plan

Boston Globe editorial, November 2, 2015
There's no simple way to stop opioid addiction and the evident epidemic of deaths associated with it. To that end, Governor Charlie Baker is proposing to limit practitioners to prescribing no more than a 72-hour supply for a first-time opioid prescription. Exemptions would be carved out for patients suffering chronic pain, and for palliative, hospice, and cancer care. Read more »

Unvaccinated babies refused by some doctors

Boston Globe, November 2, 2015
More than 20 percent of pediatricians "always" or "often" turn away families who decline to get their babies vaccinated, according to a survey released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even so, dismissing families from a practice doesn’t happen all that frequently. Most pediatricians said just a small sliver of their patients refused to vaccinate babies. Read more »