Health and health care news

Tom Porter / MPBN

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Conditions like cancer, Parkinson's disease, PTSD and depression are no laughing matter. But an increasingly popular form of group therapy uses laughter to help people overcome these same health challenges.

Patty Wight / MPBN

Cancer patients and their families have a new resource in the state: the Maine Cancer Resource Connection. The statewide hotline provides extra support to anyone affected by cancer, particularly those in rural areas. The hotline helps with issues that range from financial and transportation, to just needing someone to talk to.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine has reached targets in some health indicators, but continues to lag in others. That's according to MaineHealth's fifth annual Health Index Report.

Deborah Deatrick, the organization's senior vice president of community health, says Maine hit goals in four areas: "That would include things like tobacco use, obesity, preventable hospitalizations, and cancer deaths."

AUGUSTA, Maine — Advocates gathered at the State House today in support of a measure that would require GMO labeling.

In 2013, Maine lawmakers passed a law that requires labeling of food distributed in Maine that is produced using genetically modified organisms, but only if five contiguous states, including Maine, pass a similar requirement. Advocates are seeking a repeal of that trigger.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says tests came back inconclusive on a pickled beet salad served at a Portland school where more than 20 students became sick.

The Portland Press-Herald reports the tests were part of an investigation into whether the salad sickened 22 students at Reiche Elementary School on March 10. The salad was not served at any other school in the city on that day.