The American Hospital Association and Association for Community Health Improvement is celebrating Community Health Improvement Week June 1-5, 2020. This observance is very timely as community health improvement work is now more impactful than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, we are facing life in way never been done before. The creature comforts we have come to rely on are not as available, and at times, completely out of reach. We are socially isolated, which can lead to loneliness, anxiety and depression. The fear and uncertainty around the future m…

Once, when I was little, I was so thrilled to come across a gorgeous, dark-red trillium that I picked it and placed it in a vase in the house. I was disappointed when it quickly wilted. Not only that, but it smelled bad. Such is the dual nature of this spring wildflower: stunningly beautiful…

With more people staying closer to home this summer, resulting from concerns about COVID-19, interest in gardening has surged. But with this, comes questions about personal safety, especially for gardeners sharing space with neighbors and friends and through community gardens.

I spend a lot in plant nurseries. At $10 or more a pop, it is easy to spend $100 quick as a blink. But I’m also a firm believer in dividing my perennials so that I don’t have to spend so much. Once you have established a good plant palette, you can increase numbers by dividing plants. Don’t …

“Think globally, act locally.” Sometimes seen on bumper stickers and T-shirts, It is the old adage that asks us to take action in our own communities as we strive to make improvements for the well-being of society and the planet. The sentiment is being brought to life at Sterling College in …

On my way home after a morning of turkey hunting the other day, traveling along a road in Hubbardton, I spotted a small, shiny object approaching the middle of the pavement.

The late Wade Hemsworth is to Canada roughly what Willie Nelson is to the United States. In the summer of 1949, then a 33-year-old Canadian World War II veteran, he traveled north into the Ontario bush between Lake Nipigon and James Bay to work as a surveyor. From that experience came what i…

As spring arrives, so do … bats? Like many other naturalists, I spend lots of time during this season looking for migrating salamanders and blossoming bloodroot. I’ve never thought much about what bats are doing this time of year. It turns out these flying mammals, who retreated into hiberna…

One of the first spring wildflowers you’ll see — perhaps even before the last shaded patches of snow disappear — is the violet. This common flower, which blooms from April through June, is widely known and easily identified.

Despite the widely publicized observations/opinions that common disinfectant(s) might be used as medicines to treat patients with COVID-19, it is important to remember that household and institutional cleaning products all contain products that are potentially very dangerous.

I love wildflowers. Right now, several species are blooming in my woods, and others are on their way. They are a demure smile before the serious romance of summer blossoms in the main gardens. But after winter, they are loved as much as the bodacious peonies and brilliant poppies that will c…

Victory gardens are again having their day in the sun. In America’s war-time histories of the late-1800s and early-1900s, Americans were called to grow their own food in backyard plots, at parks and schools, and on sunny patios, fire escapes and porches.

My kid called the other morning from Arkansas. Like many of his fellow citizens, he’s spending more time than usual at home in front of his desk. Thus, like many of us, he’s spending more time than usual reminiscing about the good old days — not just the ones so recently displaced by governm…

While no one is immune from the devastation of a natural disaster, preparing before a storm hits is key to keeping everyone in your family — including your pets — safe. It’s even more important now — in an era of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic — that pet parents have a plan t…

Did you run out of time to cut back your perennial garden in the fall? You are not alone. In the past, I have also neglected to cut my perennials back but this year, I left them in place on purpose.

This May, while we thank the human moms around us, I’ve been thinking about the many dedicated moms throughout nature, too. Nurturing mothers come in many unexpected shapes and sizes, including a few diminutive examples — like spider moms.

It was 38 degrees when I left home, in darkness, on the fifth day of the spring tom turkey season in Vermont. In Pawlet, with the temperature probably around 35 and 20 to 25 mph winds rumbling across two fields, perhaps 500 yards, it felt like a December morning during the muzzleloader deer season.

Most are familiar with the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” the same holds true when a community is asked by the State of Vermont to construct, as quickly as possible, a 120-bed, nontraditional hospital, aka, the Rutland Alternate Care Site (ACS).

Anyone who has shared a home with a dog or a cat has learned something about the silent language of tails. Wild and domesticated animals may use tails for everything from communication to courtship, balance to locomotion, and defense to swatting flies. Tails can range from short to long and …

Vermont cartoonist Tim Newcomb provides a bit of levity to his answers about self-isolation and how he is coping.

As we endure the current coronavirus pandemic, precautions need to be taken in all activities outside our homes. But during such a difficult time, we also should be aware of the singularly profound health benefits of gardening.

Self-care is an important aspect of daily life. Self-care allows us to manage our stress, pursue our interests and improve our overall health. When it comes to infectious disease, self-care is a foundational aspect of disease prevention, as well as a necessary adjunct in treatment of illness.

Sunday morning, right in the middle of a quiet wrestling match with one of my daily crossword puzzles, there was suddenly bloody murder at the back door. Somebody had driven into the yard without my knowing it, but my little perimeter guard was loudly on the job. It’s never mayhem or mutilat…

Summer is coming, and in Vermont, there is no shortage of outdoor activities for you to enjoy. Unfortunately, ticks are here and not going away. As an infectious disease specialist, I see many patients with infections from ticks. You have probably heard about Lyme disease, but other tick inf…

As we move from dreaming to planting, we all want to offer our plants the perfect soil. This leads some gardeners to buy a big bag of 10-10-10 and sprinkle it heavily on everything. For others, manure or compost is the answer to increasing soil productivity and plant health. And then there a…

For those who find they have a little more time around the house due to the cancellation of other obligations, this can be a great time to examine how you are taking care of your body. Be gentle with yourself, start with what feels most manageable and focus on the basics.

Are you pregnant and still using tobacco products? The new coronavirus attacks the lungs, making it harder for people who smoke or vape to fight off the virus. There has never been a better time to quit. One of the best changes you can make for you and your baby’s health is to quit smoking now.

For those who find they have a little more time around the house due to the cancellation of other obligations, this can be a great time to examine how you are taking care of your body. Be gentle with yourself, start with what feels most manageable and focus on the basics.

I’ve never had much trouble with deer eating my vegetables or flowers. I know gardeners who have wept when they saw that their lovely tulips had been munched by deer just when they were achieving perfection. But I’ve always had dogs, and dogs leave scents that are scary to deer. My little co…

Right after breakfast most days, Kiki and I have what I call Chair Time. She’s already been outside, clearing the premises of vicious robins and mourning doves, and I’ve washed the breakfast dishes and wiped down the counters with Lysol on a paper towel. Now, I put the telephone and still-ha…

I love that time in spring when the hills around my house change from gray and brown to shades of yellow, green and red. The trees have not yet leafed out, so what’s painting the forests these wonderful colors? The answer: most of our northern hardwood trees are flowering.

So the big day is finally here. A cold morning with the temperature at 27 degrees, no clouds and the sun breaking over the big mountain to the east. It’s opening day.

Earlier this month, Teresa Voci, vice chairwoman of Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s board of directors, wrote a letter to CVHHH’s staff on behalf of the full board. In it, she wrote, “You were true heroes before this virus and even more so now.” There couldn’t be a truer statemen…

Earlier this month, Teresa Voci, vice chairwoman of Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s board of directors, wrote a letter to CVHHH’s staff on behalf of the full board. In it, she wrote, “You were true heroes before this virus and even more so now.” There couldn’t be a truer statemen…

Quitting during this pandemic may not only save your life, it is the best thing you can do to improve your health, and you might also protect someone else’s life. Tobacco smoke and vaping damages lungs where this virus does its harm.