Category - Department of Health in Morrisville

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When Is 13 Not a Lucky Number?
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WIC & Gluten-Free Living
3
What Is a Safe Sleep Environment for Your Baby?
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3-4-50 Vermont
5
Are You Prepared?
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The Global Big Latch On — Saturday August 5th, 2017
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Sound Advice and Sun Safety
8
What to Do About the Flu?
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Create a Winter Safety Plan
10
Is It That Time of Year Again?!

When Is 13 Not a Lucky Number?

By: Wendy Hubbard RN, BSN, Vermont Department of Health

Many of us have heard the saying “Lucky Number 13.” When is 13 not a lucky number? Thirteen is no longer a lucky number when it is associated with the increased rates of 13 cancers. These cancers have been associated with being overweight or obese. The “Cancer and Obesity” report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on October 3rd can be found on their website.

The CDC infographic discusses what communities are doing to encourage their neighbors to increase their physical activity and get healthy foods into their daily meal plan. I would like us to take a moment and look at the resources in the Lamoille Valley. There are many activities going on and simple, no cost ways we can encourage each other to have improved health.

Families, for example, can get out and walk or bike on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.Find a walking buddy to encourage each other and get out there and enjoy the fall air.

Local schools encourage breakfast and offer healthy meal choices for breakfast and lunch. There are summer meal programs for children in many areas. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program offers food benefits, nutrition education, recipes and breastfeeding supports to families that meet the eligibility requirements. You can call 888-7447 for more information on WIC services.

The 3-4-50 website has Vermont specific data along with tips and strategies to reduce obesity.

The 3 represents the 3 behaviors that are the leading causes of cancer:

  1. Tobacco use
  2. Poor diet
  3. Lack of physical exercise and obesity

These 3 behaviors contribute to 4 chronic diseases:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart disease & stroke
  3. Type 2 diabetes
  4. Lung disease

These behaviors and chronic diseases are the cause of more than 50% of deaths in Vermont.

WIC & Gluten-Free Living

By: Nancy Segreto, BS, Nutritionist, Vermont Department of Health, Morrisville

WIC in Morrisville office recently offered a class on Gluten-Free Living in partnership with the Morrisville Co-op. WIC  provides nutrition education as well as healthcare referrals and supplemental foods for income-eligible pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five. WIC offers wellness classes and activities that are often open to the public, free of charge.

The class focused on simplifying the process of planning, shopping and cooking gluten-free, as well as sharing basic facts that could clear up common misconceptions. Participants played a ‘Fact or Fiction’ sorting game, sampled delicious healthy gluten-free foods and went home with mini binders filled with tips, recipes, planners and a free gluten-free cookbook for busy people on a budget.

What’s all the craze about eating gluten-free?

Why are so many people choosing to be gluten-free? Are gluten-free foods healthy? Is there a roadmap for navigating the myriad of gluten-free foods on the market? What is the difference between food allergies, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity? How do we sort gluten-free fact from fiction?

Gluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, barley, and rye. It is also used as a filler to improve texture and is found in many processed foods. People who have been diagnosed with celiac disease or with non-celiac gluten sensitivity must follow a gluten-free diet. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a gluten-free diet. Fortunately, a gluten-free diet will improve symptoms, according to a 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association (now Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) article.

How do you plan a gluten-free meal?

MyPlate is the latest USDA nutrition guide, a pie chart (plate) depicting a place setting divided into five food groups:  

  • 50% vegetables and fruits (mostly vegetables)
  • 20% protein
  • 30% whole grains, with additional healthy fats and dairy. 

To become gluten-free only the whole grains section needs to be adjusted, choosing grains such as quinoa, rice, millet, teff, and gluten-free oats instead of wheat, barley, and rye. WIC offers brown rice, corn tortillas, and gluten-free breakfast cereals as alternatives to whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and breakfast cereals made with gluten.

 

Traditional Diet Whole Grains Gluten Free Whole Grains
Wheat, barley, rye
Rice, quinoa, millet, teff, oats, corn Rice, quinoa, millet, teff, GF oats, corn
Baked goods- all (use sparingly) Baked goods with GF flour only (use sparingly)

 

Myths and Misconceptions

Avoid the gluten-free processed food traps! That chocolate cupcake is not good for you. Gluten-free processed baked goods usually have more sugars, carbohydrates, and additives than their wheat counterparts. These items should be used sparingly as a treat or when everyone else is eating the pizza or party cake, and the gluten intolerant person wants to join in.

If you suspect you have celiac or NCGS, experts recommend being screened by a healthcare provider. If you try a gluten-free diet, stick with whole foods and grains and use baked goods sparingly. The Celiac Foundation website has a wealth of resources. You can also check out the Morrisville Department of Health Facebook page for upcoming scheduled classes and events.

What Is a Safe Sleep Environment for Your Baby?

By: Valerie Valcour

 

According to the CDC, in 2016 there were 4.5 infant deaths in Vermont. (CDC, 2017) This is the number of infant deaths (before age one year) per 1,000 live births.

The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) would like to help families not to have this experience. VDH has a web page where you will find 10 tips for making a Safe Sleep Environment for your baby.

VDH is having a discussion group about infant safe sleep. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts with JSI Research and Training Institute (JSI). JSI will be developing a well-researched infant safe sleep education campaign for our Vermont families, professionals and community organizations.

Please join us for a 1.5-hour conversation and snacks! 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 – 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Copley Hospital, Stephen’s Conference Room. To thank you for your time, each person will be provided with $50 in cash. Please let us know if you plan on attending. For more information, contact Lauren at 603-573-3352, lauren_smith@jsi.com.

 

References

CDC, National Vital Statistics System Retrieved from https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/2015-annual-report/measure/IMR/state/VT

PHOTOS BY: Aurimas Mikalauskas/CC BY-SA 2.0, Alick Sung/ CC BY 2.0, Sami Nurmi/ CC BY-NC 2.0, Sharon Mollerus/ CC BY 2.0, Derek Alfonso/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Kate Williams/CC BY 2.0


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. Recently Valerie has volunteered as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.

3-4-50 Vermont

By: Valerie Valcour

Have you heard about 3-4-50 yet? If you haven’t, you will. 3-4-50 represents 3 behaviors (tobacco use, lack of physical activity and poor diet) that can lead to 4 chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and lung disease) that can lead to more than 50 percent of all deaths in Vermont.

The good news about the 3-4-50 message is that good health is contagious and the Vermont Department of Health is spreading this good news along with tips and recognition for positive behaviors.

On the 3-4-50 website, we show how communities can support bike paths, sidewalks, smoke-free public spaces, farmers markets and community gardens. Employers can make it easier for employees to take physical activity breaks, support tobacco cessation efforts and add healthy options in vending machines. Schools and child-care centers can provide drinking water all day and activity breaks throughout each day. Your organization can complete a “Sign-On” form and be recognized for your efforts to make your environment healthy.

Over the next few months, I hope to see several schools, businesses and communities get recognized for their efforts because when the environment around us supports positive behavior, it’s easier for all of us to make healthy choices.


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. Recently Valerie has volunteered as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.

Are You Prepared?

By: Valerie Valcour

September is National Emergency Preparedness month. Now is a good time to dust off or create that emergency plan and checklist. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers four weeks of activities to help you be prepared.

Week 1: READY… Build a kit. Make a plan. Be informed.

Many emergencies happen without warning, so it is important that you take steps ahead of time to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. One important way you can prepare is by having a kit ready in case you do not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days after a disaster. In addition to building a kit, talk to your loved ones to develop an emergency plan with the steps you all will take in different types of emergencies and how you will contact one another. Finally, stay informed to make sure you get the information you need when an emergency happens.

Week 2: STEADY…Review your plans and update your kit.

Preparing does not stop after you have your kit ready and your emergency plan in place. In a real emergency, you may become overwhelmed or confused, so it is important to practice your emergency plan. Review the plans and hold practice drills with your whole family. Review and replace the contents of your emergency kit every six months. Be sure to check expiration dates on food, water, medicine, and batteries and add any personal items that are unique to your needs.

Week 3: SHOW… Inspire others to prepare.

Research shows that talking about preparedness increases the likelihood of others taking steps to get prepared. Talk to your family and friends about the important steps they can take to be prepared. Be a preparedness role model – volunteer in your community, take a first aid and CPR class, or share a photo of your emergency kit or share a selfie  of you and your family at your emergency meeting place.

Week 4: GO! Take immediate action to save lives.

It is vital that people take not only immediate but also the appropriate protective action when an emergency happens. Local officials will ask you to shelter in place (take shelter in a basement or windowless interior room) in some situations and to evacuate your home, workplace or community in response in others. Know when to go (or stay), where to go, how to get there and what to do BEFORE an emergency. The most important thing is to take immediate and decisive action.


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. Recently Valerie has volunteered as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.

The Global Big Latch On — Saturday August 5th, 2017

We’re on the map! During International World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7 (this week!) the Lamoille Family Center and the Vermont Department of Health are partnering to host the 2017 Global Big Latch On. During this event, women and their children will gather together to breastfeed and offer peer-to-peer support. Friends, family, and community members are encouraged to join in this celebration to show their support for breastfeeding.

This free event will be held on Saturday, August 5th from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Lamoille Family Center (480 Cady’s Falls Road, Morrisville, VT). Light refreshments and prizes will be provided. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to 888-5229 ext. 141.

The Global Big Latch On events aim to protect, promote and support breastfeeding families by:

  • Providing support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide on-going breastfeeding support and promotion in local communities.
  • Raising awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available locally and globally.
  • Helping communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
  • Making breastfeeding a normal part of day-to-day life at a local community level.
  • Increasing support for women who breastfeed.

The Big Latch On has grown from two countries participating in 2010 to 28 countries participating in 2016. There could be over 18,000 participating breastfeeding women and children this year!

Please consider attending this community event. If you have questions, you can reach out to Carol Lang-Godin at the Lamoille Family Center 888-5229 x141. We hope to see you there!

Sound Advice and Sun Safety

By: Valerie Valcour

How often do you think about your ears? Do you protect your ears from the sun and loud noises? If you do, good for you! I’ve become increasingly aware of my ears after attending a local Farm Health and Safety training sponsored by the Vermont Farm & Safety Task Force.

Regarding hearing loss, the Farm Health and Safety training emphasized that hearing loss is preventable. I did not realize that being exposed to noises above 85 decibels such as noise from a lawnmower, shop tools or a chain saw for more than 2 minutes can cause permanent hearing loss. Check out these fact sheets for more information about protecting your ears:

Sun safety is another way to protect your ears. I am getting better at putting on sunscreen before going outside, but I still have to remind myself to apply it to my earlobes! According to the Vermont Department of Health Cancer Control Program, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and Vermont. Melanoma is the least common, but most serious, form of skin cancer. Vermont has one of the highest rates of melanoma incidence in the United States. Most cases of skin cancer are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Sunburns, especially during childhood, significantly increases an individual’s melanoma risk. It’s important to use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, even in the winter – and don’t forget your earlobes. Here are more Sun Safety Tips to keep you and your family safe from sunburns.

For more information about health promotion and disease prevention visit the Office of Local Health, Morrisville District website.


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.

What to Do About the Flu?

By: Valerie Valcour

Live Well Lamoille - flu shot

Sometimes I wait until the last minute to get things done. I hate to admit it but I was late getting my flu shot this year, but thankfully not too late! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), typical flu activity, or influenza season, peaks between December and March. It would have been best if I got my vaccine before the end of December, but one can still get the vaccine throughout the influenza season, while supplies last of course. It is best, however, for individuals who have a compromised immune system, older adults, or children to get the vaccine as soon as it is available. To learn more about the flu vaccine and other vaccinations, check out the Health Department’s immunization website.

What else can I do to prevent the flu? Washing my hands frequently with mild soap and warm water is the best defense. Using an antibacterial hand sanitizer is helpful, in a pinch. It’s important to keep my hands moisturized to prevent cracks and dry skin is also helpful. Keeping surfaces clean and avoiding touching my eyes, nose and mouth, are all ways to try and limit my exposure to the influenza or cold virus. The CDC has a tip sheet on Everyday Ways to Prevent the Flu. Here you can learn how to prevent the spread of flu and cold viruses at home and at work, and there are tips specific for kids too.

Fortunately, I have not had a cold or the flu (yet) and I hope not to get the flu! I will do my best to drink plenty of water, get my servings of fruits and vegetables every day and try to get in my 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Now if I do get sick, I will plan to stay home and away from public places to prevent further spreading of the influenza virus.

The Vermont Department of Health has several posters and fact sheets to help you understand more about the flu and cold. Check them out!

For more information, you can always call your doctor or the Vermont Department of Health at 802-888-7447. Stay healthy!


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.

Create a Winter Safety Plan

By: Valerie Valcour

winer preparednessWe have had our first reality check of the coming winter season. With the first snow of the season, I am reminded of the importance of creating my winter safety plan for this year.

What always comes to my mind first is getting my car ready for the winter. When will I put on my snow tires? Do I have a blanket, water, granola bars, window scraper and shovel in the trunk?

What about my house? What will I do if I lose power for an extended amount of time? What if I get snowed in? Are my older family members set up for an extended power outage?

These are all things we need to plan for now and communicate with our family and friends. The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has a website with helpful tips to creating your Winter Safety plan. Check it out here.

Planning is the key to being prepared. Creating a plan with your family and workplace is the first step. This plan can include:

  • what to do in various situations, such as an extended power outage or deep snow or ice,
  • what you will do about your pets,
  • which important documents should be protected from floodwaters,
  • what medications you should have with you, and
  • where you will store non-perishable foods and water.

You can find a checklist for your planning here.

Communicating your plan is the next step. Be sure all the people who need to know your plan have a copy of it and know how to reach in you in an emergency.

Vermont Emergency Management has many ways to help us stay informed about all hazard or emergency events:

Don’t let this winter take you by surprise. Be prepared. You can always contact your local Vermont Department of Health, 802-888-7447 for more information.


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.

Is It That Time of Year Again?!

By: Valerie Valcour

back-to-school

Recently I received, in the mail, a 15 X 12 colorful back-to-school flyer advertising a wireless internet offer. The flyer tells me how I can save money and help my student get more homework done, all by just signing up for this online offer.

This made me think about other back-to-school strategies that should be promoted, for example, getting your tween or teen in to see their doctor for a regular comprehensive physical exam once a year. This annual exam is an opportunity for your child to talk to another trusted adult and build a relationship that will last throughout their school years and beyond. We also know when students are healthy they learn better.

Your son or daughter’s physician welcomes being part of the back-to-school routine. They will take the time to talk with your child about things that matter to them such as relationships, peer pressures, and sports. Your doctor will also talk about other issues such as healthy weight, substance use and smoking, among other things. To see what to expect during a routine visit, read through the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures pre-visit questionnaires.

Even after all the required school entrance vaccines have been met, and even if your child doesn’t play sports, they will benefit from seeing their doctor once a year. Read more about why visits with your child’s doctor are important here.

Your school nurse is another member of your child’s healthcare team. School nurses help ensure kids have health insurance and access to health care, and they work with parents and other school officials to help keep children and youth as healthy as possible. For more resources, see Vermont School Health’s website.

So consider this your back-to-school reminder to make a doctor’s appointment for your tween or teen. If you would like more information about talking with your child about making healthy choices check out the Vermont Department of Health’s Parent-Up website.


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.