A Maine student’s homework, brought to you by Oreo

A Maine student's homework sheet. Source: Maine Public Health Association

Ladies and gentlemen, a Maine student’s opinions about snow — brought to you by Oreo. You don’t often see a child’s schoolwork sponsored by a multinational cookie brand. But food marketers regularly advertise to students in Maine schools using less overt tactics, according to Tina Pettingill of the Maine Public Health Association. She used the Oreo worksheet, passed […]

Is prostate cancer screening worth the risk? The heated medical debate behind King’s announcement

One line in particular from Sen. Angus King’s announcement that he’ll undergo prostate cancer surgery caught my attention. In a statement, his office said the senator has experienced no symptoms of the disease, “but a routine medical exam in April revealed some abnormalities in his bloodwork indicating possible prostate cancer.” While the announcement doesn’t specify which blood test turned […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Watchdog finds Maine VA mishandled mental health care

Almost exactly a year has passed since scandal first rocked the nation’s VA health system. Sparked by reports that multiple patients in Phoenix died after long waits for care, the government initiated sweeping investigations that cast a skeptical eye on VA facilities across the country. Now, a government watchdog has tied some of the VA’s “systemic problems” to Maine, […]

New Englanders, here’s the body part we ask plastic surgeons to fix the most

Source: Metro Creative

If you could change any part of your body with plastic surgery, what would it be? New Englanders answer that question differently than people going under the knife throughout the rest of the country, according to data released by a medical society for plastic surgeons. (The data doesn’t reflect those who answer, “None thanks, get that scalpel away from me.”) Breast augmentations reigned supreme for […]

Maine seeing record cases of chickenpox among children

A child with characteristic chickenpox lesions. Source: U.S. CDC

A record number of Maine schoolchildren have been infected with chickenpox this school year, according to state health officials. From September 2014 through mid-May 2015, 84 cases of the highly contagious virus were reported in children, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s nearly double the 44 cases reported during the same period of the 2013-14 school […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Mercy to close addiction recovery clinic

Mercy Hospital announced Wednesday it will close its addiction recovery center in Westbrook and transfer services to its State Street location. The move will affect about 250 patients and 90 employees at the Westbrook clinic, which provides Suboxone treatment and counseling for patients recovering from heroin, prescription painkiller and alcohol addiction. While Mercy patients will […]