Casey McDermott

State of Democracy/Health Reporter

Credit John W. Hession

Casey McDermott is a reporter covering politics, policy and healthcare.

Prior to joining NHPR, Casey worked at The Concord Monitor and held internships at ProPublica, the Student Press Law Center and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

She studied journalism and sociology at Penn State but spent most of her days (and nights) in the newsroom of the independent student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. The Collegian was recognized nationally for its work during Casey's time as its managing editor and editor-in-chief.

One of the companies planning to dispense medical marijuana in New Hampshire is one step closer to offering the substance to patients.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a conditional registration certificate to Sanctuary ATC, which plans to open a dispensary in Plymouth, to start growing medical marijuana at a designated cultivation site in Rochester.

 Less than a week after the legislative session opened, a trio of bills meant to address the state’s heroin crisis is heading for vote before the state Senate this Thursday.

The bills were vetted as part of a special task force that convened at the end of last year to focus specifically on issues related to the state's heroin and opioid crisis.

New Hampshire saw at least 385 drug deaths in 2015, according to the latest tally from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner — but the actual total could be even higher, as some 45 cases are still pending toxicology.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Republican leaders in the New Hampshire House and Senate say they’re willing to consider reauthorizing the state’s Medicaid expansion after its sunset date at the end of 2016 — as long as they can find someone to help foot the costs.

On Monday’s edition of The Exchange, House Speaker Shawn Jasper said it doesn’t seem politically feasible to expect him to pass a plan that requires more public spending.

This isn't the first time Carly Fiorina's had to deliver an "elevator pitch" — though, as far as she can recall, this was the first time she's had to give that pitch in an actual elevator.

NHPR Staff

Dayton Duncan, a veteran of the New Hampshire primary as both a member of the state's press and the political classes, has a friendly reminder to those who’ve been voraciously following the election for the last year or longer: “It’s still early yet.”

Carly Fiorina
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a conversation with NHPR’s The Exchange, Republican presidential candidate and former technology executive Carly Fiorina called for a more aggressive response when other countries wage cyberattacks on the United States.

Courtesy NH House of Representatives

New Hampshire is falling behind on several of the requirements from the landmark mental health settlement it reached in 2014, according to the latest report from an outside reviewer who’s evaluating the state’s progress.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

On Thursday morning, The Exchange will sit down for its latest in a series of conversations with presidential candidates — this time with Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO seeking the Republican nomination. 


When Nick Toumpas steps down from his role as commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services at the end of this week, he’ll leave behind a job leading the largest state agency – and arguably its most complex – at a time when New Hampshire’s population is aging, its health needs are becoming increasingly complicated and budgets are stretched thin.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire’s heroin and opioid epidemic has become a front-and-center issue on the campaign trail – prompting presidential candidates from both parties to answer question after question about what they’d do to fight addiction on a national level.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

As a state task force on heroin and opioid misuse wraps up its official work, lawmakers involved say the real work is just beginning.


 Gov. Maggie Hassan plans to nominate the Department of Health and Human Services Intergovernmental Affairs Director Jeffrey Meyers to replace DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas, who is stepping down after an eight-year tenure at the beginning of 2016.

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Joseph McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, might’ve kicked the proverbial hornet’s nest when he penned a front-page editorial calling Republican frontrunner Donald Trump “a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy.”

But the newspaperman was simply continuing his outlet’s long-running tradition of cutting presidential candidates down to size. 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a political animal as mystifying, misunderstood and over-analyzed as the so-called “independent” voter of New Hampshire.

Wikimedia Commons

When New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana in July 2013, no one expected the program to be up and running overnight.

Two and a half years later, however, none of the dispensaries envisioned under the new law are open, and the only patient who has received medical marijuana had to file a lawsuit for the right to travel out of state to get it.

So what’s taken so long?

On his latest swing through New Hampshire, Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley stopped by NHPR's offices in Concord for a conversation with The Exchange

We caught up with O'Malley — a former mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland — on his way up to the studios to ask for his (literal) elevator pitch pitch on why he should be president.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

The 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary is officially on for Feb. 9, one week after the Iowa caucuses.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who has the final say on the state’s presidential primary schedule, announced the date Thursday morning, for both the Republican and the Democratic races.

Kevin Karns via Flickr CC /

There have been 342 drug deaths in New Hampshire so far this year, and state officials are expecting the total to surpass 400 by the end of 2015.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

 A special task force on heroin and opioid issues okay’ed plans to speed up the review of about 20 different proposals aimed at tackling the drug crisis, culminating nearly three weeks of meetings meant to size up the Legislature’s response before the regular session resumes in January.

National Conference of State Legislatures

New Hampshire’s legislature has the distinction of being the largest in the nation. But according to a new report, it now holds another title: the oldest.

Courtesy the NH House of Representatives

 The idea of expanding drug courts in New Hampshire got an initial stamp of approval from the finance division of the state’s heroin and opioid task force on Tuesday and will now head to the full task force for further approval.

About 13,300 Unitil customers in the Capital area lost electricity Saturday morning after a hawk interfered with a power line near one of the company’s substations in Concord.

The outage — which affected residents in Concord, Bow, Boscawen, Canterbury and several other nearby communities — started around 8:20 a.m., according to Unitil spokesman Alec O’Meara. By 10:45 a.m., the company reported that the issues had been resolved.

Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate, stopped by New Hampshire Public Radio's offices in Concord Friday morning for a conversation with The Exchange

On the way up, Sanders offered a quick "elevator pitch" for why he thinks he should be president — and took a moment to mingle with a (very) young potential constituent.

Getty Images

A New Hampshire drug treatment program wants to give people a way to exchange used needles for clean ones, but the plan could require a change to state laws on the possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

A special task force on the state's opioid crisis has given the initial stamp of approval to a bill that would impose stricter criminal penalties for the distribution of fentanyl.

Sharon Morrow

The manager for New Hampshire’s prescription drug monitoring program told lawmakers Tuesday that more funding would help the system to better handle an expected increase in use that could come with efforts to more closely monitor opioid prescribing.

As part of a special legislative session on heroin and opioid misuse, Gov. Maggie Hassan and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley have each proposed giving the program $100,000 in state money to help with technology upgrades that would encourage more widespread use.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

A group of New Hampshire mayors and mayors-elect rallied around Hillary Clinton’s newly released infrastructure plan Monday, expressing optimism that the Democratic presidential candidate’s proposals will provide a long-awaited boost to local development.

GIF created using footage from Wayland Fire Department

 Each year, Goffstown Fire Chief Richard O’Brien and firefighters around the state find themselves responding to a cornucopia of cooking incidents. Oven fires, stovetop fires, not to mention the occasional turkey fryer that boiled over and quickly became engulfed in flames.

Getty Images

When discussing New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic, the focus is often on the big numbers — the hundreds of drug deaths, the thousands of pain prescriptions, the weeks it can take to get treatment.

But at the first meeting of a new task force looking at the issue in New Hampshire, those who testified brought those statistics to a personal level.