Jack Rodolico

Health & Science Reporter

As NHPR's Health and Science Reporter, Jack covers a far-ranging beat: public health, private insurance, hospitals, scientific research, drug addiction, the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare, mental illness and developmental disabilities. Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance  reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

Jack comes from a rowdy family of Italians who wave their hands in the air while talking, and he competed for attention as a child by telling the loudest story. 

Follow Jack tweets about health and science news, and everything else he's tracking.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

The state's top health official wants to know if layoffs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock will affect care at the state psychiatric hospital.

In a letter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO Dr. James Weinstein, Health Commissioner Jeff Meyers asks if psychiatric staff will be among the 84 layoffs from across the healthcare system. The letter comes as Dartmouth-Hitchcock's relationship with the state is under a lot of scrutiny. 

Jack Rodolico

Twenty years ago, Martin Delgadillo found himself in his hometown, Mexico City, looking to learn English. He moved to Los Angeles – where he found himself "surrounded by Mexicans."

Delgadillo wanted to go someplace where almost no one spoke Spanish. So, New Hampshire it was. Once he was here, he met his wife, and together with his brother they opened a traditional Mexican taqueria. They called it Consuelo’s.

Diloz via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9LzeHd

 A report on the state's Division of Children, Youth and Families points to an immediate need to add more staff.

Jack Rodolico

Just as the school year began, the Manchester School District announced there was lead in the drinking water at some of its schools.

That contamination is now cleaned up. But in the aftermath of Flint, Michigan’s massive drinking water crisis, this small scare in Manchester highlights a concern among New Hampshire’s public health officials: there is no comprehensive lead testing done on drinking water in schools across the state.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is responding to a firestorm of criticism over its announcement to lay off between 270 and 460 employees by the end of this year.

The hospital broke the news just two days after accepting a $35.5 million contract from the state. Some say Dartmouth-Hitchcock should have disclosed the layoffs before accepting the contract. 


The Executive Council voted unanimously today to allow Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital to mange care at the state psychiatric hospital for the next three years.


The Executive Council is slated to vote Wednesday on a contract between the state hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. The vote comes as an independent investigation gets underway about a former patient's suicide. 

Community Health Options

One of the state's newest health insurance companies, Community Health Options, is pulling out of New Hampshire.

Community Health Options is the exact type of business that was supposed to make the individual insurance market more competitive under the Affordable Care Act. In 2014, the first year it was in operation, Community Health Options dominated the individual market in Maine. In 2015, it expanded into New Hampshire with a federal loan. 

And that's when things got complicated. 


A judge in Nashua has found the mother of three-year-old Brielle Gage guilty of second-degree murder.

Brielle Gage died of blunt-force injuries in 2014 shortly after the state placed the child in the care of her mother, who was facing child abuse charges at the time. Gage's death has become a rallying point for those seeking to reform the state's troubled foster care system.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Jack Rodolico

The Environmental Protection Agency is accusing one of New Hampshire’s most prominent real estate developers of breaking two federal lead paint laws. It’s the latest in a string of public health complaints against Brady Sullivan Properties. 

The EPA wants Brady Sullivan Properties to pay close to $140,000 in fines. 

Jack Rodolico, NHPR

This week, NHPR has been looking at what homelessness means in New Hampshire. As part of our series No Place to Go: Homeless in New Hampshire,  we visited the PK Motel in Effingham, and heard about how having a roof over your head isn’t the same as having a home.

So where is that line so many families are straddling, between financial insecurity and having no place to live?

Dean Christon is Executive Director of New Hampshire’s Housing Finance Authority and he joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to talk through some of these issues.

Jack Rodolico

It’s nearly impossible to say how many homeless people there are in New Hampshire. And the biggest reason is that most people without a home in this state aren’t on the street or in shelters—they actually have a roof over their heads.

Some sleep on couches, and some rent rooms by the week at a place like the P.K. Motel in Effingham.

This story is the last installment in a special series on homelessness. Click here to see and listen to all the stories

Jack Rodolico

It’s no secret drugs like OxyContin and hydromorphone are highly addictive.

The real question is this: do drug companies downplay how addictive they are while marketing the medicine to doctors?

New Hampshire’s Attorney General Joe Foster suspects false marketing of legal pills has led to abuse of illicit drugs like heroin. That’s why he subpoenaed the nation’s largest manufacturers of prescription painkillers.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

The state supreme court has cleared the way for hundreds of low-income families to receive more financial assistance from the state.

Natasha Haverty

Drive the highway between Manchester and Concord, and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the tarps and tents lining sections of the Merrimack River and the train tracks. When winter shelters close, homeless people find refuge outdoors, in public—but that’s an act that’s often against the law.


And with no unified policy to work with, New Hampshire’s city officials and homeless residents tend it to make it up as they go.

This past winter a car struck and killed a homeless man in Concord. His name was Gene Parker - he lived on the streets for five years and in that time his friends and advocates fought hard to get him into an apartment. But he died before that could happen.


Parker’s story is brutal, but it also says a lot about why it’s so hard to pull someone like him out of homelessness.

NHPR Staff

In a week where violence by and against police has dominated the news, from Louisiana to Minnesota to Texas, we thought we’d take a look at recent police shootings in New Hampshire.

Since the beginning of 2015, four people have died at the hands of police officers in the state, and two police officers have been been shot, both surviving those incidents.

Thomas Fearon

Here is the scathing conclusion from a report about New Hampshire’s struggling mental health system: “The time for patience…is over.”

Thomas Fearon

Despite some controversy over a contract, today Dartmouth-Hitchcock officially takes over operations at New Hampshire Hospital, the state’s only psychiatric hospital.

Dartmouth has come under heavy criticism from some of the outgoing psychiatric staff at New Hampshire Hospital; they say Dartmouth wasn’t willing to have a fair conversation with them about salary and compensation, and they’re skeptical Dartmouth is ready to care for the patients currently at the state hospital.

Health Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers disagrees. He approves of Dartmouth’s bid to run NH Hospital.



The Executive Council has voted 5-0 to allow Dartmouth-Hitchcock to take over managing the state psychiatric hospital in Concord, June 30. But a core group of psychiatrist staff refuse to work with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. 

Thomas Fearon

An ongoing staffing skirmish at New Hampshire Hospital threatens to create a backlog in the state’s already fragile mental health system.

The conflict pits one of New Hampshire's most esteemed medical institutions – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital – against one of the most specialized psychiatric teams.

Jack Rodolico

The Department of Environmental Services has referred an illegal dumping case involving Brady Sullivan Properties to the New Hampshire Attorney General's office for review. 

In 2013, Brady Sullivan Properties was responsible for moving more than 600 tons of contaminated soil from a Manchester mill yard to a gravel pit in Londonderry.  Groundwater below the dumping site is contaminated with PCE, a chemical linked to cancer.

Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

Drinking water from private wells in northern New England may increase the risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study from the National Cancer Institute, Dartmouth and the state health departments in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A proposed rule change to the state’s circuit court system aims to end so-called debtors’ prison in New Hampshire.

The change comes six months after a report from the New Hampshire ACLU found judges across the state routinely engaged in an illegal practice – sending defendants to jail who couldn’t afford to pay fines, often without an attorney present.

Jack Rodolico

Working on a tip from a confidential source, federal and state regulators investigated how piles of asbestos-laden debris ended up in Lawrence, Mass. outside a building owned by Brady Sullivan Properties, one of New Hampshire’s largest real estate developers.

Jack Rodolico

When Jen Howe woke up on Monday, she wasn’t planning on being back in the surgeon’s office. She’s laid out on a table, and the nurse reminds her to relax, and breathe.

Howe had an abdominal surgery two weeks ago. The incision is just below her waistline. Dr Krzysztof Plociennik is probing two inches into the wound, poking at a hard spot until blood squirts out of the wound.

Jack Rodolico

Odds are at some point, you've paid good money for a really bad cup of coffee. But a cup of coffee is really just ground up beans plus water plus time. And in cold brewing, you just add a lot more time.

"It’s this movement away from your classic World-War-II Folgers," says Connor Roelke, owner of Nobl Coffee.

Jack Rodolico

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s investigation into marketing practices by large pharmaceutical companies hit a roadblock this week. The Attorney General wants to know if those companies have been deceptively marketing opioids - drugs that have been diverted in mass quantities to fuel addictions and overdoses. But a court order now slows down that process.

Tomas K via Flickr / https://flic.kr/p/6qrVrt

State officials have confirmed the first case of Zika virus in New Hampshire.

A New Hampshire woman got Zika from having sex with a partner who had traveled to a country where the virus is being transmitted by mosquitos. The state says she's now in good health.

Still, officials are reminding people of Zika's potential danger to pregnant women because the virus is feared to cause birth defects.