Topics: Health

HARWICH — Almost every week, Youth Counselor Sheila House has a conversation with a parent who's concerned that their teenager is spending too much time on their phones or computers. A panel of experts will take up the topic following a screening of the film “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age,” next week. The event happens on Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at Monomoy High School. ...

A Time Of Growth For Outer Cape Health Services

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH PORT — Outer Cape Health Services, the region's nonprofit community health center, is on the edge of something big. The health care provider is launching a major expansion in Harwich Port, based at the former Thompson's Farm Market property at 710 Route 28. Two weeks ago, Outer Cape moved its telephone call center to the building's spacious upstairs offices, where a team of workers handled 1,100 requ...

Health Board Proposes Under-21 Tobacco Sales Ban

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — If the health board has its way, people under the age of 21 soon won't be able to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products in Harwich. The board is seeking public comment on draft regulations which would also extend the ban to nicotine-delivery devices like e-cigarettes. Though the draft rules have various provisions, the key section prohibits under-21 sales, Health Director Paula Champagne sa...

Mary Ann Harwood of Chatham, a physician in the emergency room at Cape Cod Hospital, began taking dance lessons about a year ago – but she never dreamed that she would soon be vying for first place in a dance competition in front of a sellout crowd. This Saturday, March 4, Harwood will be one of nine Cape Cod doctors, each paired with a professional dancer, who will compete in a fundraising event for the Cape ...

Health Center Moving To Former Thompson's Farm Market

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Stone Horse Motel property is back on the market. Outer Cape Health Services, which had planned to convert the former motel to new medical offices, will instead move its health care facilities into the former BackOffice building across from Saquatucket Harbor. OCHS purchased the Stone Horse more than two years for $1 million and set its sights on building a 25,000 -to-30,000-square-foot facility ...

Health care professionals agree that, when it comes to feeding baby, the best formula is breast milk. As part of a UNICEF and World Health Organization initiative, more and more hospitals around the world are taking steps to help new mothers breastfeed successfully – and Cape Cod Hospital is among them. Cape Cod Healthcare created a breastfeeding task force last fall to help Cape Cod and Falmouth hospitals ach...

Health: County Health Service Turns 90

By: Alan Pollock

Ninety years ago, Cape Cod became the first region in New England to establish a county health department. It had a variety of goals, including the installation of proper landfills for trash and the testing of all cows for tuberculosis. Ninety years later, the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment has new goals, but its public health mission is alive and well. The department began operatio...

CHATHAM — In a time when intensive tobacco education has fallen by the wayside in many school health programs, town regulations can be an important tool when it comes to curbing teenage smoking. That's the perspective of Bob Collett, the director of the Cape Cod Regional Tobacco Control Program. Collett is working with the Chatham board of health on a more restrictive local tobacco regulation that aims to ke...

CHATHAM – On Jan. 1, single-use plastic bags will be a thing of the past in Chatham. The board of health, which passed the ban a year ago, issued a reminder last week that it will be implemented on the first day of the new year. “We wanted to let the public and the merchants know it's going into effect Jan. 1,” said Health Agent Judy Giorgio. “We want to make sure they're all prepared.” Health department...

Health: The Cold Hard Facts Of Teen Suicide

By: Alan Pollock

In the past few weeks, a high school student from the Lower Cape took his own life, leaving a gaping hole in his family, his circle of friends and his community. Far from a new phenomenon, teen suicide happens with striking regularity – and there are warning signs that, if heeded, can sometimes prevent tragedy. Child psychiatrist Dr. Bart Main of Cape Cod Human Services, a Hyannis-based group practice affiliat...

In “Silent Spring,” her 1962 book that started the environmental movement, Rachel Carson presented the revolutionary idea that tiny levels of common household chemicals could cause disease. More than a half-century later, and long after Carson died of breast cancer, the idea has more scientific traction than ever. The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) and its research partner, the Newton-based Silen...

Health: Back-to-school Tips From A School Nurse

By: Alan Pollock

The new backpacks are packed, pencils are sharpened, and most kids will soon be back at school. But there are steps parents can take now to help make the school year injury- and illness-free for their kids. Kathy Riley, the Harwich Elementary School Nurse and the nurse leader for the district, said the start of school is always a busy time in her office. “A lot of kids have trouble with transitions,” she sa...

There are plenty of good reasons to safeguard against tick bites, which can transmit babesiosis, anaplasmosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and, most commonly, Lyme disease. Researchers have now added another rare but potentially deadly disease to the list of tick-borne illnesses possible on Cape Cod. Deer ticks infected with the Powassan virus were recently found at various sites around Cape Cod...

Hospital ICU Named After Harwich Benefactress

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Recognizing her $3.6 million bequest, Cape Cod Hospital has named its intensive care unit in honor of the late Elizabeth Munroe Arnold Stevens of Harwich. “Libby was such an inspiration, and we are honored that she remembered Cape Cod Healthcare in this way,” President and CEO Michael Lauf said in a news release. Her sister, Judith Palmer of Harwich Port, said Stevens was treated at the hospital o...

First, the bad news. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is being diagnosed at a rate faster than any other cancer, and one person dies from the disease every 50 minutes. Of all the counties in Massachusetts, Barnstable County has the second highest number of melanoma diagnoses. The good news is that, with daily sunscreen protection, melanoma is largely preventable. And thanks to a grant through the ...

With the Zika virus continuing to generate headlines – and threatening to derail the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio – it's not hard to understand why local officials have had inquiries about the risk on Cape Cod. Public health officials and entomologists say they have received calls from Cape Codders concerned about contracting the Zika virus from mosquitoes. While the two species of mosquitoes that carry Zika a...