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FILE - In this Sunday Oct. 19, 2014 file photo, Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses the media in Gammarth, northeastern Tunisia. The World Health Organization is considering reforms that could overhaul its structure in what may be a last-ditch effort to salvage its credibility after botching the response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak. WHO has been repeatedly slammed for its sluggish, clumsy efforts in battling the epidemic in West Africa. On Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015,  WHO’s executive board, which advises the agency, will discuss proposals that could radically transform the U.N. health agency. (AP Photo/Adel Ben Salah, File)

WHO adopts reforms after bungling Ebola

Sunday, January 25, 2015

GENEVA — The World Health Organization has proposed reforms that could overhaul its structure after botching the response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives. On Sunday, several dozen of WHO’s member countries approved a resolution aimed at strengthening the U.N. health agency’s ability to respond to emergencies, though many of the …

California measles outbreak expands to 78 cases; more likely

Friday, January 23, 2015

SANTA ANA, Calif. — The measles outbreak centered in California continues to expand, with officials now confirming 78 cases of the illness in seven states and Mexico. The California Department of Public Health said there are now 68 cases in the state — 48 that have been directly linked to being at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure last month. Some people also visited …

Heart surgeon killed at Boston hospital is laid to rest

Friday, January 23, 2015

WELLESLEY — The widow of a cardiac surgeon gunned down at a Boston hospital told hundreds at his funeral Friday he was well liked by patients and it was difficult to believe his death came at the hands of a patient’s son. The service for Dr. Michael Davidson was held at Temple Beth Elohim in suburban Wellesley, where he lived with his wife …

Wellness coaching: Providing the little nudge so many need

Monday, January 19, 2015

When Lori Friedman decided to exercise more and improve her diet she had a sense of the kinds of changes she wanted to make in her life. She also knew that figuring out a road map for how …

And then there are ‘fatbikes’ for hitting the trails

Monday, January 19, 2015

There’s a new mode of winter recreation, and it’s coming to a trail near you. “Fat bikes” or “fatbikes” are so-named for their extra wide, extra stable, thickly treaded tires. They are designed for winter trail riding, but …

Squeeze play: How hugs may figure into health

Monday, January 19, 2015

You’ll get no argument from most people — especially on a cold winter’s night — that hugs make you feel warm inside. But can that good feeling protect your health? Over the past decade or so, researchers have …

As predicted, flu vaccine not working for most

Thursday, January 15, 2015

NEW YORK — This year’s flu vaccine is doing a pretty crummy job. It’s only 23 percent effective, which is one of the worst performances in the last decade, according to a government study released Thursday. The poor …

State grant to increase services available for victims of drunken driving accidents in region

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

GREENFIELD — Leaders of a program that helps victims of drunken driving accidents and other crimes say a new affiliation with a Northampton-based behavioral health agency will strengthen services for the roughly 400 people they try to help each year. Since its start in 1997, the Community Crisis …

Northampton wins $550,000 state grant to fight opiate abuse in Hampshire County

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Hampshire County has landed a $550,000 grant for a new coalition to combat the epidemic of painkiller addiction that in recent years has taken a tragic toll in western Massachusetts. Northampton announced Wednesday that it had …

Amherst pediatrician Emlen Jones’ sudden death leaves huge void, patients and colleagues say

Monday, January 12, 2015

AMHERST — Growing up in Amherst, Lisa Gallant fondly remembers visits to the family’s pediatrician, Dr. Emlen Jones. “He always just listened to everything, he would pay attention and he would appreciate what you were saying,” Gallant said. …

Check it out: Area health briefs

Monday, January 12, 2015

Compiled by Debra Scherban dscherban@gazettenet.com KEEPING HEALTH APPOINTMENTS Decreasing the no-show rate at health care centers, in part through group medical appointments, is an approach being tested at Springfield’s Caring Health Center by researchers there and from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University …

When less Pap is more: Understanding new guidelines

Monday, January 12, 2015

Many women came of age understanding that the yearly annual with Pap test was both a rite of passage and an essential practice of self-care, the gynecological equivalent of a tooth cleaning. So you may be surprised to hear your provider say you’re not due for a Pap …

Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton to provide heated tub for women in labor

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton aims to have a heated tub available soon in its Childbirth Center so that women can have access to warm water immersion — a form of hydrotherapy — during labor. Hydrotherapy can ease a patient’s nerves and help with pain management before an …