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Seasonal allergies or the common cold? A message from the Carpenters Care team Posted by on

Summer brings beautiful blossoming flowers and trees but it also brings pollen and dreaded seasonal allergies. Allergies are caused by our immune system mistaking an otherwise harmless substance as an invader and triggering the production of antibodies. This response causes symptoms in our nose, throat, lungs, sinuses and eyes that can be hard to differentiate from a common cold. The first step when you have symptoms is to speak with your doctor and determine if you have a cold or allergy.

There are a number of things you can do to relieve seasonal allergies:

• Minimizing exposure is important. Stay indoors on dry, windy days or days when the pollen count is high. The best time to venture outside is after a good rain when the pollen has been washed out of the air.
• Make sure to remove and wash clothes that have been worn outside and take a shower to clean pollen off of your skin and hair.
• Keep pollen out of your home by keeping doors and windows closed especially when pollen counts are high. There are a number of websites that display pollen counts including
• Speak with your doctor about taking medication to manage your allergy symptoms, there are many over the counter options and your doctor can help determine what might be the most helpful for you.

Seasonal allergies can be unpleasant but with the right combination of avoidance and possible medication your allergy symptoms can be minimized or kept under control. Please feel free to call the Carpenters Care team at 781-222-0930 if you are struggling with a cold or allergy.

Eat smart for a healthy heart...Even when you eat out! Posted by on

On average, Americans eat over 200 meals away from home each year. Let’s face it; dining out is a big part of life. The good news is you do not have to put your nutrition on hold when you go to a restaurant. It does not have to be difficult to eat what you like and maintain, or even continue to lose weight. Just keep these tips in mind when you dine out:

  • Do not skip meals earlier in the day to “save up” for the evening. It is way too easy to overeat when you are hungry.
  • Look for key words on the menu: “roasted”, “grilled”, “poached”, and “steamed”. These terms usually mean they were prepared without extra fat or a large amount of calories. It is still always helpful to ask your server exa
  • ctly how the food is prepared. Do not be afraid to make substitutions.
  • On that same note, stay away from items that are “fried”, “smothered”, “sautéed”, “covered”, etc. These are less healthy items that can easily have twice the calories as the steamed versions.
  • Enjoy the dining experience. Take your time, eat slowly, and enjoy the social side of eating. It takes about twenty minutes for the brain to register that you are full. We consume fewer calories when we eat slower. It is also easier on the digestive system.
  • Remember to choose a blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats at each meal. One large bowl of pasta with cream sauce is not the best way to go. Add chicken and veggies, switch to a red sauce, scale back the amount of pasta and you have a great meal.
  • Ask for dressings and sauces to be put on the side. That way, you can decide how much to use. Remember, a little goes a long way!
  • Take at least half of your meal home. Most restaurant portions are enough for three meals, so there is no need to clean your plate! You can even ask for the takeout box when the food arrives and put half of your meal in the box right away. Portion control is the single most important thing to practice in a restaurant. It will save you more calories than you know.

Remember these tips when dining out. By making small changes over time, you can enjoy restaurant food without sacrificing good nutrition!

If you have a question or are interested in learning more about Carpenters Care please call 1-781-222-0930 or email

In Health,
Your Carpenters Care Team

Carpenters Care getting noticed Posted by on

What is the future of health care? Union carpenters may be finding out through "Carpenters Care by Iora Health," a practice that serves members and is creating talk among health care policy experts. The practice was solicited by the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund to open two practice offices, one in the Carpenters Center in Dorchester and the other at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Massachusetts. It aims to focus more patient care on individual attention and preventative care with tremendous flexibility to meet the needs and schedules of patients.

The practice was included in a "CommonWealth" magazine article about ways practice innovators are helping to "Heal Health Care." Local 1121 millwright Jerome Foureau is included in the article, describing his experience of losing 32 pounds, changing his diet and looking forward to doctors visits since he started visiting Carpenters Care last summer. The story is posted online and can be read free of charge.


Carpenters Care - FAQs Posted by on

What is Carpenters Care?

Carpenters Care is a new primary care doctor’s office designed specifically for Carpenters and their families. The practice is conveniently located, features evening hours so that you do not have to miss work, consists of a team that knows who you are, focuses on preventive care that keeps you healthy, requires no co-pays, and excludes all of the hassle of going to traditional doctor’s offices.

Carpenters Care is a completely voluntary primary care doctor option, open to members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and their dependents age 18 and over who currently have healthcare coverage from the New England Carpenters Benefits Fund.

Learn more at


Carpenters Care available in Eastern Mass. Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Benefit Funds & Iora Health have partnered to offer new primary care doctor's office for members and other adults covered by the Health Fund. The doctor's office convenient after-work hours and has locations in Burlington, MA & Dorchester, MA. Carpenters Care patients, have no co-pays and enjoy free access to fitness & other group classes. Fund participants can join at any time with no commitment and no changes to their benefits. Joining is completely free and voluntary. To become a Carpenters Care patient, call 1-781-222-0930 or go online to to learn more.


Contractor: Being union is beneficial to all Posted by on

David Rampone, President of Hart Engineering, a signatory contractor based in Cumberland, Rhode Island isn't shy about being a union contractor. Last year he volunteered to be one of the latest union contractors to do a radio ad on behalf of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Now, he's published an opinion piece in the Providence Journal explaining why his business is better with a union partnership. Click through to read it.

The following opinion piece appeared in the January 10 print edition of the Providence Journal-Bulletin.

The benefits of employing unionists


Regarding Charles Chieppo’s Dec. 20 column, “Unions are 1 percenters in Mass.,” in which he portrayed the construction industry inaccurately:

As the chief executive of a major Rhode lsland construction firm that does work all over New England, I’ll set the record straight. I am the president of Hart Engineering Corp., a general and process mechanical contractor founded over 70 years ago and based in Cumberland.

While I have read several opinion pieces by “public-relations experts” articulating the “evils” of the unionized construction industry, it needs to be pointed out that these experts have no actual experience in the construction industry and draw their conclusions based purely on anecdotal information provided by those who wish to see the unionized construction industry fail.

For the record, the National Labor Relations Act lets construction companies decide for themselves whether to be affiliated with the industry’s trade unions. It is the only industry that has such a provision. Since its inception, our firm has made the business-driven decision to be affiliated with several trade unions — a decision that has been beneficial to both our company and employees.

Currently we employ more than100 union tradesmen and women on dozens of jobs, large and small, throughout New England. These employees receive a fair wage, full health-care benefits and pension contributions — a package that lets them provide their families with a respectable standard of living. And in light of the negative attention cast on public-sector unions in these times, note that unionized construction workers are not guaranteed employment. In fact, Rhode Island unionized construction workers average about 1,500 hours worked a year. They do not receive vacation time, sick days or holiday pay, nor do they receive any benefits if they do not work the required number of hours a year — usually between 1,200 and 1,400, depending on the trade union involved.

Beyond my own company, the performance of Rhode Island’s trade unions and union contractors speaks for itself. There are more than 200 local contractors with union agreements in the Rhode Island area, and there have been more than 50 all-union project labor agreements (PLAs) worth billions of dollars completed in this area, including most of the state’s highest-profile projects. Most of these PLAs have been in the private sector.

These agreements symbolize the marketplace at work. Owners, construction managers and contractors enter into these agreements for one reason only: It is in their best interest to do so. And why? The trade unions in partnership with their contractors invest millions of dollars annually recruiting, training and retraining their workers to provide the safest, most skilled workforce in our industry. In today’s world, owners want their projects completed safely, on time, under budget and to the highest level of quality possible. That is why owners from small firms to Fortune 500 companies enter into project labor agreements.

While there are far fewer PLAs in the public sector than in the private sector, they are becoming more prevalent. However, before any public entity in Rhode Island can implement a PLA, it must complete an independent “objective and reasoned” study that recommends their use.

The trade unions’ record of providing contractors and owners with a safe and productive workforce is unmatched in our industry. Those who oppose them assert that using nonunionized workers would provide the owner with great savings. Unfortunately, those savings are usually the result of substandard wages, failure to provide health-care benefits to employees, or misclassifying employees to pay them a lower wage.

For 70 years we have provided our clients with the safest, most capable and productive work force in the industry, and our employees with a fair wage and benefits for them and their families. We are proud of what we have been able to achieve with our union partners.

David Rampone is president of Hart Engineering Corp., in Cumberland.  

First Boston-area primary care practice to open at Carpenters Center Posted by on

Iora Health, a Cambridge startup aiming to "reinvent primary care,” plans to open its first Boston area primary care practice at the start of 2013. The practice will include two sites, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington and at the Carpenters Center. NERCC is initially sponsoring the new practice for use by a portion of its members.

The Iora Health model focuses on spending more on primary care, with the goal of drastically reducing overall health care costs and improving health outcomes down the line.

Instead of going through a health insurer and paying for each employee's visit to a primary care doctor, employers pay a flat monthly fee for each employee who joins an Iora practice. The practices pair each patient with a health coach, who stays in close contact between doctor visits and is available in-person and by email, text and video chat. The practices typically employ two primary care physicians and eight health coaches along with other staff.

Unlike other Iora practices, the Massachusetts sites will start by serving patients will serious health problems, as identified by the insurance providers.

Read more about this unique primary care practice at the Boston Business Journal or in PDF format here



Unions in the middle of health care debate Posted by on

From the Hill...

Organized labor is flexing its muscle in Senate negotiations over healthcare reform and winning important concessions from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Reid has not given labor unions everything. But he has done enough to keep them from turning completely against the bill: including a version of the government-run health insurance program; raising the taxable level on high-cost insurance plans; and increasing the penalty for those companies that fail to provide health insurance to employees.

Keeping labor unions, a reliable Democratic-base group, on his side is an important accomplishment for Reid as he heads into a multi-week floor debate on the party??s biggest legislative priority. If unions were provoked to oppose the bill??s central provisions, it could tear apart the Senate Democratic Conference, pitting liberals against centrists.

Labor unions have put heavy pressure on Reid and other Senate Democrats to move away from the more centrist Senate Finance Committee bill and move closer to legislation approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Read the rest of the story here.