Childhood immunizations make many diseases rare today

There are many severe illnesses that are preventable with routine childhood vaccines. RiverStone Health communicable disease prevention program manager Kelly Gardner reminds us that childhood vaccines are safe, affordable and prevent deadly diseases that once killed thousands of infants and children.
Not only do they save lives, but they can prevent paralysis, brain damage and other long-term effects from serious illnesses that can be costly, painful and disabling. To schedule your child’s vaccines, call the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic at 406-247-3382.

Test your home for radon this winter

Radon is an odorless and tasteless gas that is estimated to cause thousands of deaths a year and is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Recent RiverStone Health Environmental Health Services intern Manhattan Bach explains why winter is the best time to test your home, and how to get a free radon test kit.

Adult-use marijuana raises health risks for kids

The risk of a person developing a marijuana use disorder increases the younger someone starts using. Sarah Music, RiverStone Health’s program manager for Population Health, explains in this column that the human brain is not fully developed until age 25, which means that children, teens and young adults are at higher risk of addiction from the high-potency marijuana now sold for adult use. Sarah can be reached at 406-247-3273.

Advance care plans can comfort your loved ones

Mary Abrahams, outreach coordinator for RiverStone Health Home Care and Hospice, explains how creating an advance directive gives you control over your healthcare decisions. It provides information to your healthcare team if you are unable to communicate and guides decisions about your healthcare. An advance healthcare directive provides comfort to your family, preventing them from guessing what it is you would want. To learn more, please attend our free presentation at 2 p.m. on Jan. 24 in the Billings Public Library Community Room or call Mary at 406-651-6500.

Resolve to get preventive cancer screenings in 2023

If you have put off getting recommended cancer screenings, make 2023 the year you take better care of your health, says Sheri Pope, RiverStone Health cancer prevention specialist.

Sheri’s column offers reminders of the screenings recommended for men and women. For women who don’t have health insurance to cover breast and cervical cancer screening, RiverStone Health may be able to help.

Please call 406.247.3215 or email

Home workouts don’t require special equipment

You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to get a great home workout, says Ryan Braley, manager of the Live Well Center at RiverStone Health Clinic. By using the tools and technology available in your home, you can always find something that will get you moving. The Live Well Center is available to RiverStone Health Clinic patients. Call 406.247.3350 to learn more.

How to reduce risks of childhood obesity

Healthy family habits will help your children avoid overweight and obesity and the serious health consequences of those conditions. Dr. Grace Rose of RiverStone Health offers suggestions for healthy kids in this Billings Gazette column. RiverStone Health Clinic cares for children of all ages. To schedule an appointment, please call 406.247.3350.

What happens to your pets if you smoke or vape?

Secondhand smoke from cigarettes and vapor from e-cigarettes puts our pets’ health at risk. Dogs exposed to secondhand smoke have more eye infections, allergies, and respiratory issues like lung cancer. Alli Kieckbusch, a prevention health specialist at RiverStone Health, reminds us the best way to keep our pets safe from these dangers is quitting tobacco usage. If you need help quitting smoking or vaping, visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) for free counseling.

Give yourself healthier holiday habits

End-of-year holidays can bring a lot of stress as well as opportunities to start healthy habits. Dr. Douglas Burns of RiverStone Health Clinics offers some tips on stress relief and self-care in this Billings Gazette column. For an appointment at RiverStone Health Clinics, call 406.247.3350.

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