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.

New Hampshire is one of 49 states reporting “widespread” flu activity, meaning the virus is rearing its head in more than half of the state. And according to the latest data from the Department of Health and Human Services, at least 10 adults have died from the virus in New Hampshire since September.

State Senator Andy Sanborn at a political event at The Draft, the bar and restaurant he owns in Concord

A top State House leader said this week that an incident involving a sitting senator prompted him to seek the advice of an outside law firm, a process that spurred a larger overhaul of the New Hampshire Legislature’s anti-harassment policy several years ago.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Over the last few weeks, a coalition of community groups and city leaders in Rochester set up an impromptu warming center as a last-ditch effort to give homeless residents a safe place to go during the recent cold snap. With this week’s warmer weather, the center’s set to close at noon Thursday. But for many, the need for stable housing isn't going away.

Laura Greenberg knows firsthand how important housing supports can be for someone experiencing a mental health crisis. The Nashua resident said being involved in the Bridge Program at Harbor Homes helped her to avert homelessness during her own crisis several years ago. Today, she's “back on track” and working as a licensed nurse assistant.

LRGHealthcare on Facebook

Citing financial challenges, LRGHealthcare says it’s reviewing whether it will need to cut or change some of its programs – including its maternity unit.

Dank Depot via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9c93J6

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program has more than doubled in size since 2016, according to the latest available data from the Department of Health and Human Services. About 4,700 patients were enrolled as of Dec. 20, up from just over 2,000 patients the same time last year. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

All State House lobbyists got a first-of-its-kind letter from leaders of the New Hampshire House and Senate last week, detailing the Legislature’s sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures. Its message was simple: Lobbyists should know they’re covered by those policies, too, and should feel comfortable speaking up if they experience harassment.

Keren Fenton / thebirthphotographer.com

The New Hampshire House is expected to vote this week on a bipartisan bill to create a family medical leave insurance program in the state. The bill was originally on the docket for last week but is among a slew of votes that had to be rescheduled because of the winter storm.

The bill would allow workers to pay into a family medical leave fund that could cover up to 12 weeks of paid time off for things like serious medical conditions or the birth of a new child.

Department of Human Health and Services

An outside review firm says New Hampshire needs to prioritize its backlog of more than 2,200 overdue assessments that remained open as of November. 

White House Livestream

Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he was "surprised" and disappointed to find out that the presidential advisory commission he was tapped to serve on last May had been abruptly dissolved. While the announcement was made Wednesday night, Gardner said he didn’t learn of the news until Thursday morning.

Garrett Vonk

To appreciate the severity of the backlog facing New Hampshire hospitals right now, consider that John Eddy, the pharmacy manager at Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, recently underwent his own surgical procedure and came back with this story.

“You know, they knock you out before you go in, and all the way down the hallway all I talked about was the drug shortage. [The doctors] got quite a kick out of that,” Eddy said. “It’s weighing heavily on me.”

Logan Shannon / NHPR

A bill that redefines the state’s residency standards passed the Senate with Republican support —  despite opposition from Gov. Chris Sununu — and is heading back to the House for further review.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When the New Hampshire Senate returns to the State House Wednesday, it’s expected to take up a Republican bill held over from last session that could tighten voter eligibility requirements by changing the definition of residency.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Questions about who should be allowed to vote in New Hampshire - and how - are likely to be front and center again at the State House this year.

One bill would bring ranked-choice voting to New Hampshire — where people would rank candidates in order of preference, instead of voting for just one at a time.

Another Republican bill would mandate that poll workers provide information on New Hampshire drivers license laws to anyone registering with an out-of-state license.

As temperatures hover in the single digits or lower across New Hampshire, communities are opening up public buildings as warming shelters for anyone who needs a place to go during the cold.

The question of whether to continue New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program is shaping up to be one of the biggest policy debates on deck.

There are three broad paths on the table.

A cohort of mostly Republicans has opposed the program all along and are likely to continue fighting for repeal. One bill with largely Democratic support would extend the program permanently.

Valerie Everett, Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been 100 days since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, knocking out power for much of the island — including to major suppliers of IV solutions and other medical products.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Since taking office in February, Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut has drawn criticism that he’s politicizing what’s supposed to be a nonpartisan office — by speaking at Republican party meetings, for example, or using his official Twitter account to take a jab at Democratic executive councilor Chris Pappas.

Flickr | frankieleon

Nashua is now the second New Hampshire city to sue pharmaceutical giants over their alleged role fueling the community’s opioid crisis. The city’s complaint is almost identical to one filed on behalf of the city of Manchester in September.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Thursday night was the longest night of the year – and also a cold one, with temperatures dipping well below freezing. With this in mind, Catholic Medical Center's Health Care for the Homeless convened a vigil in Manchester's Veterans Park to remember the more than 50 people who died in the past year because they had no place to go on nights like this.

Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire will get about $144,000 as part of a nationwide, multimillion-dollar settlement against a company accused of off-label marketing for four of its drugs.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

This story was updated upon publication of the council's first report.

Remember the Millennial Advisory Council the governor’s office rolled out back in September? The governor's office released a 22-page report with the council's initial recommendations Wednesday afternoon — encouraging policymakers to review the state's housing policies, consider tax credits that incentivize hiring recent graduates and more.

A new report from UNH's Carsey School of Public Policy is sounding alarm over the growing number of New Hampshire infants born dependent on opioids.

A Republican-backed bill tightening definitions for voting eligibility in New Hampshire could run up against resistance from Gov. Chris Sununu, if he maintains the position articulated in a video clip that’s being circulated by a progressive group that advocates for voting rights.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican State Senator and 1st District Congressional Candidate Andy Sanborn has acknowledged his use of “crass language” in early 2013 prompted an internal review involving the Senate’s legal counsel and then-Senate President.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A new report from a federal housing agency singled out New Hampshire as one of the states that saw the largest increase in homelessness among families with children. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For Linda Saunders Paquette and her staff at New Futures, a nearly all-female lobbying team, learning to navigate uncomfortable interactions with legislators in a regular workday at the New Hampshire State House has become almost second nature.

“If we're having a meeting with a particular legislator or even going to a particular event, we use the buddy system,” Saunders Paquette said. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Twelve years ago, a sexual harassment scandal at the New Hampshire State House ended with the institution being forced to pay $85,000 in public funds toward a settlement. It also prompted a broader reckoning about how the Legislature handled misconduct within its ranks.

Related Story: Women Lobbyists, Legislators Describe Coping With Harassment At N.H. State House

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Southern New Hampshire University and the YWCA of New Hampshire celebrated the opening of a Center for New Americans in Manchester on Friday.

The goal of the new center, located in the heart of downtown Manchester, is to connect immigrants and refugees with a range of supports — English language tutoring, financial aid counseling, mentorship and more.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

NHPR reporter Lauren Chooljian contributed to this report.

An additional three dozen lawmakers have signed and returned paperwork acknowledging that they’ve read the Statehouse sexual harassment policy in the week since NHPR first published a list of legislators’ signatures on file. 

That brings the total in compliance to a little more than three-quarters of the 400-member House.

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