1
Stroke Awareness
2
Protecting Your Smile
3
DULCE – An Innovation in Health Care Delivery
4
Stress and Your Health
5
Pain Management from a Physician’s Perspective
6
Get Outside and Get Moving!
7
Join Lamoille County Planning Commission By Becoming a 3-4-50 Vermont Partner
8
Try Out These Heart-Healthy Recipes
9
Homelessness in the Lamoille Valley 
10
Improving Health, One Organization at a Time

Stroke Awareness

By: Nancy Wagner

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people per year. Approximately 800,000 strokes will occur this year, one every 40 seconds, and taking a life approximately every 4 minutes.

Copley Hospital will be holding a 2-part Stroke Awareness class the first week of May. Class one will be held on May 1st from 6-7pm and again on May 2nd from 12-1pm.  Class two will be held on May 8th from 6-7pm and again on May 9th from 12-1pm. To register, call Copley Wellness Center at 888-8369. There is no cost for the class but please pre-register so that we have enough handouts available. Classes will be held in the Stevens Conference Room at the hospital.

Take a moment to learn about risk factors for having a stroke, as well as preventative steps you can take.

Types of strokes:

  • Ischemic stroke: caused by a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel or artery in the brain. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: caused by a blood vessel in the brain that breaks and bleeds into the brain. About 13% of all strokes are hemorrhagic but more than 30% of all stroke deaths happen with hemorrhagic strokes.

Risk factors for having a stroke?

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, previous stroke or TIA (mini-stroke), atrial fibrillation, carotid artery disease, obesity, physical inactivity, drinking too much alcohol and smoking.

Preventing a stroke:

Some of these risk factors you can’t control, but many you can. If you smoke, work on quitting. If you drink too much alcohol, cut back or quit. If you are overweight or obese, get more active and seek out a registered dietitian for help with eating. Healthy eating, increased activity and smoking cessation will help to improve your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, which will further decrease your risk of a stroke.

Signs of a stroke?

  1. Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  2. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  3. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  4. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  5. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech

What to do if you or someone with you is having a stroke:

Many people don’t realize they are having a stroke. It is often more obvious to those around them. Time is important as quick treatment helps to prevent serious long-term effects of the stroke. Remember the word FAST which stands for:

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately!

 

Have questions? Want more information? Visit:

Protecting Your Smile

By: Wendy S. Hubbard, RN, MCHC and Linda Greaves, Dental Hygienist, Vermont Department of Health, Morrisville Office

Pregnancy is a busy time for a woman. Remembering to take time for yourself is important. One item that is easy to overlook during the excitement is maintaining your oral health. Going to the dentist during your pregnancy is safe and one of the first things you can do to provide for the health of your baby.

In a recent Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) report, only 63% of women had their teeth cleaned in the year prior to their pregnancy and only 62% of women had their teeth cleaned during pregnancy.

Dental care is so important during pregnancy that in Vermont if you are insured by Medicaid there is an expanded dental benefit through pregnancy and continues for 60 days after the baby is born. The PRAMS report stated 28% of women with Medicaid that had a dental problem did not think they could afford to go to the dentist. The Medicaid expanded dental coverage has no required co-pay or cap on services. You are fully covered!

Twenty-eight percent of women enrolled in Medicaid that needed a dentist according to the PRAMS report could not find a dentist who accepted Medicaid. Women can call the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) at 800-464-4343 for assistance in finding a local dental provider.

This website http://www.healthvermont.gov/local/morrisville has links to the twelve local health offices for the phone number to the office closest to you.

For further information on oral health resources for the whole family please visit the VDH website: http://www.healthvermont.gov/wellness/oral-health/resources-health-professionals.

DULCE – An Innovation in Health Care Delivery

By: Scott Johnson

The healthcare sector is experiencing rapid changes. Vermont is on the cutting edge of reform – leading the country in exploring alternative payment systems and finding better ways to measure success for patients and quality of care.

These reform efforts are also impacted by the fast-growing science related to how adversity in childhood impacts health care. Research at Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child reveals the significant impact of early life experiences on the growing brain and other biological, physiological, and neurological systems. According to the Center, in the first few years of life, more than one million new neural connections form every second. This critical developmental stage creates the architectural foundation for the rest of the infant’s life. Chronic stressors on the developing brain impact the quality and quantity of those neural connections.

Activation of the stress response produces a wide range of physiological reactions that prepare the body to deal with threat. However, when these responses remain activated at high levels for significant periods of time, without supportive relationships to help calm them, toxic stress results. This can impair the development of neural connections, especially in the areas of the brain dedicated to higher-order skills. (https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/brain-architecture/)

Our earliest life experiences can impact how we respond to circumstances and challenges for the rest of our lives. In our region there is an innovative program to assure infants and their families have what they need to get off to a strong start. Appleseed Pediatrics, the Lamoille Family Center, and Vermont Legal Aid are working as a team to support Lamoille area families with newborns. The program is called DULCE (Developmental Understanding and Legal Collaborations for Everyone) and is about to enter its third year of operation.

The DULCE model embeds a family specialist from the Lamoille Family Center into the pediatric practice. The family specialist works with every family who wants her support to assure children in Lamoille get off to the best start possible; reducing the likelihood infants’ fast-growing brains and bodies are exposed to toxic stress and its lingering impact on the child.

Carol Lang Godin – LFC Program Director
and supervisor to DULCE family specialist –
with two DULCE graduates

Lamoille’s DULCE site is the only Vermont site and the only rural model in this national research project (six other sites are in Florida and California). While it’s a free and voluntary program, 98% of families have accepted the offer for support, and since inception in March 2016, DULCE has worked with almost 240 Lamoille families. A detailed and comprehensive evaluation process will begin in the coming months, and early indicators from family surveys tell us that families are benefiting from the support and information they receive from the program. The team, including the family specialist and the attorney help families with a range of issues parents of newborns may face that can impact the family’s health and well-being, including: child development, landlord-tenant challenges, child custody, family court issues, mental health, substance use, housing, economic well-being, safety, food security, and transportation.

The Lamoille Family Center is working with its local and state partners to expand DULCE in other practices in Vermont. This promising innovation that links health care, community services, and legal supports started here in Lamoille and could be a core component of all pediatric practices in Vermont within a few years. Giving children their best chance for a healthy and prosperous future starts with a family-centered approach like DULCE.For more information, contact Scott Johnson at sjohnson@lamoillefamilycenter.org, or Carol Lang-Godin at clang-godin@lamoillefamilycenter.org.


Scott Johnson is Executive Director of the Lamoille Family Center and has worked in Lamoille Valley in human services and education for nearly his entire career. The Family Center has served our community by encouraging, educating and celebrating children, youth and families for forty years.

Scott writes about early care and education, adolescent development and strengthening families that improve conditions of well-being.

Stress and Your Health

By: Rorie Dunphey

I’m sure you have heard how chronic stress can be bad for your health and maybe you have thought to yourself, “I really need to reduce my stress, but how?”

There is solid evidence that chronic stress has a detrimental effect on both our physical and mental health, making stress management a vital to good health. With the frantic pace of our hyper-connected lives and the steady flow of information barraging us, it is easy to feel swept along as if someone else is in charge of your life. In addition, our culture feeds us messages that encourage constant stimulation and busyness, with leisure and relaxation judged as ‘lazy’. It may just seem easier to keep tumbling forward, never really taking the time to slow down and de-stress. We adapt by simply resetting to this low level of anxiety, which becomes our ‘new normal’.

Here are some examples of how stress affects the body;

  • Brain: Difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, irritability, mood, mind fog.
  • Heart and lungs: Higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Joints and muscles: Increased inflammation, tension, aches and pains, muscle tightness.
  • Immune system: Decreased immune function, lowered immune defenses, increased risk of becoming ill, increase in recovery time.
  • Skin: Hair loss, dull or brittle hair, brittle nails, dry skin, acne, delayed tissue repair.
  • Stomach: Decreased nutrient absorption, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, bloating, pain and discomfort.
  • Reproductive system: Decreased libido, increase in PMS symptoms.

This is certainly not a very pleasant list of symptoms. Managing stress does not mean eliminating all the causes of the stress in our lives, which is usually impossible. What it does mean is that we can learn to better respond to stress and establish healthy practices to better manage our day to day responsibilities.

Here are some simple practices that you can try:

  • Get moving: Get some exercise and fresh air daily. Take a walk, swim, dance, do yoga…Regular exercise helps us manage our mood, weight & energy level. Even a 10-minute stroll can help us feel less stressed and more grounded.
  • Spend quiet time in nature: Go to a park, the beach or into the woods; or if you can’t get there put some pictures of nature where you will see them daily.
  • Plan a weekly ‘fun’ activity: Invite a friend or family member to share in the fun and find free fun things to do around town. Host a game night!
  • Practice gratitude: Think of 3 things that you feel grateful for every day upon waking or before bed. Notice how you feel when you appreciate the good things you already have.
  • Body care: Try massage, acupuncture or a warm bath for relaxation.
  • Pray: When you feel tempted to worry about a person or situation in your life, prayer may be helpful. This does not need to be ‘religious’ prayer, but rather a way of letting go and accepting what we cannot change. Focus on having compassion for the person or problem that is the focus of our stress, rather than building up difficult emotions like anger or fear.
  • Help someone else: Volunteer, help a friend, show kindness to a stranger. Often the simple act of recognizing what we have to offer can help us feel more appreciative of what we do have.
  • Ask for help and graciously receive it: This takes courage! We all sometimes have a hard time accepting help or recognizing when we need it.  Give someone the gift of being able to help you. It usually feels good to the other person, gives us a boost and brings us a closer personal connection.
  • Do something you love that makes you happy every day: It could be something different and simple every day; read a book, talk with a good friend, cook a meal you enjoy, buy a fancy coffee, work in your garden, play a game, listen to favorite music, take a nap.
  • Honor yourself: We all have limitations and strengths. Notice what you are good at and what you like about yourself and focus on it a few minutes daily. Smile at yourself in the mirror!
  • Express yourself: Write in a journal, draw, paint, sing, or do something creative to express your feelings and get the yucky stuff out of your system.
  • Build community: Consider participating in a group that is meaningful to you, such as a church, support group, or a sports team. Spending time with people you enjoy and with whom you share values and interests helps us feel more connected and supported as we face life stressors.

While we often cannot change the cause of our stress, we can always change our reaction to it.  Managing our stress is a commitment and a choice, and is central to good health.


Rorie Dunphey works under Vermont’s Blueprint for Health as the RN Chronic Care Coordinator at Family Practice Associates in Cambridge. She works one-on-one with people and also leads classes to promote health and help people better manage their chronic diseases. She also assists patients in accessing community and state resources to better coordinate their health and wellness needs. Rorie has a particular passion for promoting a healthy diet and exercise routine to inspire people to live their best life.

Pain Management from a Physician’s Perspective

Nicholas Antell, MD, one of Copley Hospital’s orthopaedic specialists, recently testified in front of the Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Dr. Antell was invited as part of the Committee’s request for feedback from providers on legislation that went into effect last year. The Vermont legislation limited prescribing and increased required education and communication in a statewide effort to address opioid addiction. Below is a transcription of Dr. Antell’s testimony. 

Over the past several days I’ve talked to most of the prescribers in our practice, Mansfield Orthopaedics, including physicians, but more importantly our Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) who do most of the prescribing and fielding of patient phone calls. The overwhelming consensus is that we are able to control our patient’s pain under these rules and that we were likely prescribing more opioids than necessary prior to their implementation. My subspecialty training is in orthopaedic trauma, taking care of patients that have complex fractures. I started with Mansfield Orthopaedics in August of 2016, and the NP I work with and I adopted these rules well ahead of the go-live date to see how it went. There were, of course, a few exceptions, but we were pleasantly surprised with how few patients were calling back requesting more pain medications. Now, I had the benefit of a developing practice, with a little more time to talk to our patients and manage expectations, which I feel was a huge benefit.

There are certainly times where I prescribe less, but most of my fracture patients are prescribed an amount of opioid that falls into the “severe” pain category in addition to recommending other medications such as Tylenol and Advil. My colleagues that perform joint replacement surgeries, such as total hip and total knee replacements, prescribe an amount of opioid that falls into the “extreme” category, and this was a significant cut from what they were used to. The PAs that work closely on that service tell me less than half of patients call back asking for more pain medications, but some still do. My colleagues that specialize in hand surgery, shoulder surgery, and foot and ankle surgery also feel they are able to control their patient’s pain under the current rules.

A point that was brought up by many was that we can use these regulations to help us limit the amount of opioids given to patients we do not feel really need them but are requesting them. In essence, we can blame the rules and the burden does not fall on the provider.

There are concerns amongst physicians in my group about legislation directing medical practice.  We must be allowed to use our clinical judgment when determining how many opioids are prescribed on an individual basis. We do not feel that it is up to lawmakers to decide if our patients fall into the minor, moderate, severe, or extreme pain categories. Although good as guidelines, we should be allowed to place our patients into which category we feel will adequately, and safely, control our patient’s pain so they can successfully recover from their orthopaedic procedure.

The most common complaint I received from our practice was with the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System (VPMS). We all appreciate the need to know if other prescribers are providing our patients with regulated medications, but the prescribers and delegates that use it most find it cumbersome and time-consuming to use. One provider suggested being provided with a reference number for each query that can be placed in the patient’s chart to confirm on our end that a query had been done. Another has found the customer service hours inconvenient while trying to get a password reset. We have also talked about a requirement to check VPMS before the first prescription is given, but then the system notifies us, for example by email, when another provider prescribes a controlled substance to this patient outside of our practice. Then instead of having to spend time rechecking VPMS in the rare circumstance a patient needs a refill, we can either quickly provide a refill knowing we are the only provider prescribing for them, or be able to have a conversation with that patient about the other prescription we are aware has been filled under their name. Most of us think there is certainly room for improvement with VPMS.

The consent form does add time to our preoperative routine, but the majority of the providers in our group don’t find it to be a nuisance, and with a few exceptions, we feel patients appreciate the discussion. A few patients have even taken this opportunity to tell us they don’t want a narcotic prescription following their procedure.

In our group, we have decided to prescribe Narcan to all patients that receive a narcotic prescription. This saves the hassle of having to figure out who needs one and who doesn’t. To save time we had a stamp made for our Narcan prescriptions, which lives in our perioperative area. However, we have noticed that the majority of our patients do not fill this Narcan prescription.

Initially, the morphine milligram equivalent requirement was confusing. We worked with our pharmacy department who put together a table to help guide how much of each specific narcotic medication could be prescribed to comply with these rules. This was extremely helpful in determining our new prescribing habits. I encourage the other providers here today to do the same if they haven’t already.

In conclusion, I want to thank this committee on behalf of Mansfield Orthopaedics for being given the chance to testify today, and for your continued interest in making these rules as operational and functional as possible, while not inhibiting our ability to practice medicine in a thorough and efficient manner.


Dr. Nicholas Antell of Mansfield Orthopaedics at Copley Hospital specializes in treating acute musculoskeletal injuries and total joint replacement.

Get Outside and Get Moving!

By: Tricia Follert

Outdoor recreational activities are the talk of our town. Did you know there was a fabulous MoVolley Ball Tournament at Oxbow Park last Sunday?  It was a gorgeous sunny day and about 25 people came out to play instead of sitting around their woodstove.  The competition was fierce, fun was had by all and the A team won gift certificates to 10 Railroad Street.

Speaking of recreational activities, there are 2 sets of horseshoe pits, a volleyball net and a tetherball pole at Oxbow Park, all free for the community to use. Now that spring is just around the corner, the bike share bikes will soon be available.  Gather your friends and family and get out and enjoy the many outdoor activities this community has to offer.

Did you know there are soccer, basketball, baseball and a summer recreation program for the kids here in town?  We want to get the word out about all the great outdoor opportunities available.

Do you want more recreation in the community or just want to know what is available?  An ad hoc group of Morristown community members are interested in re-establishing a year-round recreation committee.

If you are interested in joining us, have a topic you want us to discuss, or are interested in attending future meetings, let me know.

Tricia Follert, Community Development Coordinator, Town of Morristown

tfollert@morristownvt.org

802.888.6669  x231

In the comments section below, please share 3 ideas you would like to see a recreation committee work on for our community!

 


Tricia Follert is the Community Development Coordinator for the Town of Morristown, where she coordinates and implements activities for the town. She currently sits on three local boards, River Arts, Morristown Alliance for Culture & Commerce, and the Morrisville Co-Op,  and works closely with many local nonprofits on community projects. She is also actively involved in the community gardens, the rail trail and the arts.

Join Lamoille County Planning Commission By Becoming a 3-4-50 Vermont Partner

By: Lea Kilvádyová

The Lamoille County Planning Commission was recently recognized by the Vermont Department of Health for their commitment to supporting healthy worksites and healthy communities.  The Lamoille County Planning Commission received a 3-4-50 certificate from the Health Department for being proud partners of the wellness initiative.

Caleb Magoon, Chair of the Lamoille County Planning Commission Board accepts the 3-4-50 Certificate of Partnership from Valerie Valcour of the Vermont Department of Health.

 

3-4-50 signifies 3 behaviors – lack of physical activity, poor diet, and tobacco use – that lead to 4 chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease – resulting in more than 50 percent of all deaths. 3-4-50 is a statewide effort to create an epiphany about the behaviors that lead to chronic disease in our state and to engage partners from all sectors in strategies to improve health across our state.

Caleb Magoon, Chair of the Lamoille County Planning Commission Board stated, “The Board worked hard to weave together relevant subjects, trends, and livability principles, such as health, wellness, and economic opportunity, into each chapter of the Regional Plan. “

The Regional Plan is a planning document for all of Lamoille County, which is prepared with extensive public input. The Lamoille County Planning Commission Board reviewed the 3-4-50 principles and unanimously agreed that these wellness principles align with the Regional Plan.

Valerie Valcour of the Vermont Department of Health said,” 3-4-50 Vermont partners, like the Lamoille County Planning Commission and Lamoille County Mental Health help to create healthy and thriving Vermont schools, businesses, communities and individuals. Our Partners understand the importance of community-based efforts to help create a healthy and thriving Vermont, and we are pleased to be working with them.”

Additional information on wellness in your community and becoming a 3-4-50 Vermont Partner is available at https://healthvermont.gov/3-4-50.

Try Out These Heart-Healthy Recipes

By: Alexandra Duquette

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American adults of all backgrounds. Many of these deaths are largely preventable through lifestyle modification. Along with exercise, diet can play a role in maintaining your heart health. Following a diet that is low in saturated fats and sodium, and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your ticker ticking for many years to come.

To celebrate American Heart Month, here are a couple great recipes that your heart will appreciate!

 

Hearty Vegetable and Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 small bell pepper, the color of your choice, chopped
  • ¼ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup tomato paste

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1.5 hours or until lentils and rice are tender.
  3. Add the tomato paste and still until blended. Cook for 10-15 minutes more. Discard bay leaf.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories: 206, Fat: 1.4 grams, Saturated Fat: 0 grams, Cholesterol: 0 grams, Carbohydrate: 36 grams, Dietary Fiber: 12.6 grams, Protein 12.9 grams

 

Salmon Burger with Bok Choy, Ginger, and Lemongrass

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Salmon Filet or Canned Salmon (packed in water)
  • 3 cups Bok Choy (or any dark leafy green) chopped finely
  • 3 Scallions, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Ginger, finely grated
  • 1 Large Egg White
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp. Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

Directions:

  1. Cut salmon into ¼ inch dice (or use canned salmon), stir into mixture of bok choy, scallions, ginger, and lemongrass until combined.
  2. Beat together egg white and soy sauce in a small bowl and stir into salmon mixture.
  3. Form into four patties that are ½ inch thick.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to cover bottom of skillet. Add salmon patties, cooking for approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Serve hot. These burgers can be served over a bed of salad greens for a low carb option!

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories: 399(285 without burger bun), Fat: 21.9 grams, Saturated Fat: 3.1 grams, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrate 39.9g (19 grams without bun), Dietary Fiber: 4.1 grams, Protein: 12.1 grams

 


Alexandra Duquette is the Clinical Dietician for Copley Hospital, where she sees inpatients and outpatients daily. As a former pastry chef, she has realigned her career to aid people in enjoy food while keeping their bodies healthy and strong.

Homelessness in the Lamoille Valley 

By: Will Eberle, Agency of Human Services Field Director, Barre and Morrisville Districts

In a rural community, homelessness can feel invisible. You don’t walk down the street and step over homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk to get to the coffee shop. You don’t see people flying signs at every underpass and median. Homelessness in the Lamoille Valley may feel invisible but it is as real as you and me.

Over 150 people came together in Morrisville in early February for a Homelessness Awareness Walk to raise the point that any one of the people walking that day could find themselves homeless from circumstances that swing out of their control.

We called this event “We are the 64” because last year’s “Point in Time count,” which counts the nation-wide homeless population once a year, made it clear that on any given day in Lamoille there are at least 64 people experiencing homelessness. Nearly half—27 individuals— are children.

Every week our Housing Solutions Team pours over a 6-8 page list of individuals and families who are homeless or about to be, to help them secure safe and stable housing.

If you stand up after reading this and remember one thing I say, let it be this: anyone can become homeless at any time. It is not a moral lapse, or a shortcoming of character, but a crisis, a state of emergency – that has more causes then we could list.

If we’re honest, every one of us who has achieved a modicum of success must admit that it is due not just to our own efforts, but the support of friends and family, and the communities we hold so dear.

Together, let us draw a line in the sand and say we don’t want homelessness to be a part of our community anymore. Let us embrace the ethic that we are no longer interested in focusing on blame and judgment but the goodness, and value, and potential, of every person in our communities. Let each of us who stepped out on that cold day, and every other ally we can muster, roll up our sleeves and do our own small part to ensure all of our neighbors have a warm bed to sleep in every night.

Causes of homelessness are complicated, and the solutions are too — but we Vermonters are crafty and resilient and willing to work as hard as we need to get the job done. The faith community, law enforcement, a host of non-profits, state entities, and private citizens have stepped up to begin to weave a safety net for our most vulnerable Vermonters. What we have accomplished together is inspiring but there is much hard work left to do. Together we must build the world that we want to live in.

When you look in the mirror tomorrow morning, ask yourself: “Did I take a step to make the world a better place?”

Make the answer, “Yes.”

To get involved, contact me at Will.Eberle@Vermont.gov.

Improving Health, One Organization at a Time

By: Valerie Valcour

Did you know that where you live, your zip code, is important to your health? Do you think that where you work, play and learn are also important to your health? How about when you stop in that corner market for a quick snack or when you meet for church service, do you think these places impact your health too? The Vermont Department of Health says yes.

The Vermont Department of Health has added two new organizations to the list of 3-4-50 partners. There are new Tip Sheets and Sign-On forms for retailers and faith-communities. Haven’t heard of 3-4-50?

3-4-50 is a simple but powerful way to understand and communicate the overwhelming impact of chronic disease in Vermont. 3-4-50 represents 3 behaviors – lack of physical activity, poor nutrition and tobacco use – that lead to 4 chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease/stroke, type 2 diabetes and lung disease – resulting in more than 50 percent of all deaths in Vermont.

Retail establishments, like the corner markets, can help you meet your goals for good health by displaying healthy snack options like fruit and nuts and they can keep tobacco products out of eye-sight, especially from children.

Faith-communities can set guidelines that make sure healthy foods are made available during coffee hours, potlucks and meetings. They can also create property-wide tobacco-free spaces. Having bike racks or offering physical activity options for gatherings can also help the overall health of the community.

Join the Lamoille Valley 3-4-50 Partners and sign your organization on to good health and wellness today! http://www.healthvermont.gov/3-4-50


Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.