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Blue Cross pauses anesthesia policy after doctors raise concerns
01-29-2024 7:00 AM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Less than a month after it began enforcing a longstanding policy restricting the use of anesthesia during colonoscopies and other procedures, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is pausing that action after physicians statewide lobbied the insurer...

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CDC considers dropping 5-day COVID isolation rule as local hospitals bring back mask requirements
02-20-2024 5:52 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering loosening isolation requirements for people who test positive for COVID-19, meaning they would no longer have to stay at home for at least five days when infected with the virus.Under the...


Ayers joins Greenfield Board of Health, nominated as chairman
02-16-2024 3:28 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

GREENFIELD — With the recent swearing in of Glen Ayers, the Board of Health is back to its full three-member capacity, as its newest face looks to help “put the public back in public health.” Ayers, 66, was appointed to the board in January and...


GCC nursing students talk single-payer health care, workplace safety concerns with legislators
02-12-2024 6:36 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Four women representing western Massachusetts in the state Legislature visited Greenfield Community College on Monday for a panel discussion about health care with second-year nursing students.State Sen. Jo Comerford was joined by state...


Baystate Health offers snow shoveling safety tips
02-12-2024 12:56 PM

With 1 to 3 inches of snow expected to blanket Greenfield on Tuesday morning, shovels will once again be put to use to clear sidewalks and driveways. Baystate Health officials have some tips for residents to ensure safe shoveling.According to the...


Young kids aren’t immune: Mental health issues at crisis point amid lack of specialized therapists
02-11-2024 12:10 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Child therapist Alice Barber says that she could discharge all 45 of her clients — children as young as 2 or 3 years old — and her practice would fill back up within a couple of weeks, “no questions asked.” Barber has colleagues who get 10 calls a...


Plan looks to ‘make a lasting impact on health’ in next five years
02-09-2024 2:40 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Representatives from organizations and towns across the region gathered at the John W. Olver Transit Center on Thursday afternoon to kick off a new five-year Community Health Improvement Plan, or CHIP.The Franklin County/North Quabbin...


Health network launching new five-year plan
02-06-2024 12:36 PM

GREENFIELD — Representatives from organizations and towns across the region will gather Thursday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the John W. Olver Transit Center to kick off a new five-year Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The Franklin County/North...


After FRCOG inspection, trustees work to sanitize, declutter Cushman Library
02-05-2024 3:58 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

BERNARDSTON — Cushman Library’s board of trustees is working to sanitize and declutter the library so that its doors can be open to the public again. The library has been closed since Jan. 9 after a building inspection was conducted by Regional Health...


COVID risk dips to ‘moderate’ for first time since early December
02-05-2024 11:59 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

For the first time since the beginning of December, the COVID-19 transmission risk for the four communities in the Contact Tracing Collaborative — Greenfield, Deerfield, Montague and Sunderland — has decreased from “high” to “moderate.” Wastewater...


COVID-19 transmission risk remains ‘high’
01-30-2024 1:44 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

As it has been for all of January, the COVID-19 transmission risk for the four communities in the Contact Tracing Collaborative — Greenfield, Deerfield, Montague and Sunderland — remains “high.” Last week’s wastewater testing results showed there were...


‘A huge relief’: Swift River School reports filters, bottled water no longer needed
01-28-2024 9:47 AM

By DOMENIC POLI

NEW SALEM — Swift River School’s new PFAS6 filtration system seems to be working perfectly, and 190 students and staff members will drink to that.A little more than three years after tests of the school’s tap water revealed elevated levels of the...


McGovern legislation would ease access to medically necessary foods
01-27-2024 9:16 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

The Democrat representing the 2nd Congressional District of Massachusetts has teamed up with a Republican colleague from Florida to sponsor a bill aimed at making it easier for Americans to get medically necessary foods.Jim McGovern and John...


Flu cases down at Baystate, up at Cooley Dickinson
01-23-2024 1:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

The slight uptick of influenza B cases countering a decrease in influenza A infections across Baystate Health’s facilities, including at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, is no cause for alarm, according to the health system’s chief of...


Focus on Your Health: Where and how to donate blood: Baystate to host monthly blood drives in Greenfield
01-19-2024 11:36 AM

By ANITA FRITZ

January is National Blood Donor Month, and beginning Jan. 17, the Baystate Blood Donor Program at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield will be hosting monthly blood drives. Throughout the year, Baystate Franklin invites and encourages people...


Franklin County’s YMCA contributing to study while opening satellite site in Buckland
01-14-2024 10:00 AM

By MARY BYRNE

BUCKLAND — In partnering with the University of Washington, Franklin County’s YMCA plans to contribute to a study on the effectiveness of delivering a particular group exercise program remotely versus in person. The program, EnhanceFitness, is an...


Aging with Adventure with Eric Weld: You are getting very sleepy: Why sleep matters so much more than we realize
01-12-2024 11:30 AM

By ERIC WELD

Raise your hand if you get enough sleep.If you raised your hand, well done. Because in America, a large percentage of us do not sleep or rest enough, and the resultant detriments to our health are too numerous to count.More than one-third of adults do...


State issues alert after canine parvovirus found in Orange
12-22-2023 5:48 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — The state’s Division of Animal Health is warning about an outbreak in Franklin County of a highly contagious, potentially fatal disease that spreads between dogs.Symptoms of canine parvovirus, commonly known as parvo, usually develop after a...


Focus on Your Health: Take charge of your diabetes
12-15-2023 10:26 PM

By ANITA FRITZ

Diabetes patients are now seeing better outcomes because of newer drugs, easier glucose monitoring, focusing on a healthy lifestyle, and coordinated approaches working with their health care teams.According to Dr. Cecilia Lozier, chief of the Division...


Health care coalition demands hospitals bring back masks, take precautions amid fears of COVID surge
11-20-2023 6:03 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Before the pandemic, Dr. David Alpern, like many health care workers at the time, didn’t think twice about going to work with a runny nose or cough.But since symptoms of COVID-19 are indistinguishable from the common cold, the retired Cooley Dickinson...


With slew of specialties, rural health care providers serve as ‘a reliable resource’
11-15-2023 7:08 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Some people choose to live in rural areas for the slower pace of life. Some enjoy being closer to nature and farther away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Still others are capitalizing on the more affordable real estate. Whatever the reason...

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