Walmart repackages health

WW_WalMartTomorrow is Walmart Wellness Day (if you didn’t know) and from noon to 4 p.m., all of the 4,600-plus retail giants across the U.S. will provide free health check-ups and low-cost immunizations during what the Miami Herald reported was the nation’s largest one-day health event. Health pros will provide free blood glucose screenings, blood pressure screenings and vision screenings at select locations, and low-cost immunizations also will be provided. Last year’s event proved to be successful, as nearly 3,000 customers were found to have a glucose count that required medical attention and 7,000 people had high blood pressure for the first time. 

Rapunzel, hairballs and a fairy-tale ending

WW_HairBallRapunzel, Rapunzel, don’t eat all your hair. That’s the reason a 38-year old woman showed up at a hospital in Pakistan, after complaining of weight loss, nausea and an enlarged abdomen, Vox reports. The problem was Rapunzel syndrome, a disorder in which people have the uncontrollable desire to eat hair they’ve pulled from their bodies. This particular case involved a woman who had a mass of hair about twice the size of a tennis ball in her stomach, with a tail stretching into her small intestine. The obstruction was removed easily rduring surgery, and she was released from the hospital six days later — a fairy-tale ending.

Former addicts get a second chance

More often than not, a history of drug and alcohol abuse disqualify you from a job. But at Massachusetts General, it’s a requirement for one particular role. The Boston-based hospital recently hired seven former drug users to work at its facility as “recovery coaches,” The Boston Globe reports. Mass. General is one of the first such hospitals to embed these recovery coaches in its care team, part of its efforts to address the epidemic of opioid abuse that’s killing tens of thousands of Americans a year. Each coach’s job is to form relationships with those on the path to sobriety, and provide practical assistance through the recovery process. Patients tend to put more trust in those who have been through the journey, the newspaper reports. Ironically, former heroin user and current recovery coach Nicole Bourgeois was once banned from the hospital during the worst point of her addiction. “The first day here I felt completely out of place.” But, “they have been very supportive of me,” she tells the Globe.

And the healthiest city is ...

WW_Healthy_BostonGallup and Healthways teamed up to rate and rank communities based on how their infrastructure supports an active lifestyle, and the results were a little bit surprising. Looking at four factors that can influence health positively — walkability, bike-friendliness, public transit and parks — the old-school Boston region was the clear winner, beating out in order: San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Some of the more likely suspects, though, were ranked farther back than would be expected:  Seattle (7), Portland, Ore. (8) and Madison, Wis. (11). Denver, also did not make the top 10 at 13th. Looking at the bottom of the list, you can find Indianapolis (46), Oklahoma City (47) and Fort Wayne, Ind. (48).