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.

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.

THOMAS FEARON

  

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.

Flickr/Rachel Calamusa

About one in three Granite Staters aren't getting enough sleep. That's according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jack Rodolico

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is trying to figure out if the state's largest insurance companies are covering opioid treatment the way the law requires.

The preliminary findings of the department's ongoing investigation are inconclusive.

Jack Rodolico

Lexi Gerkin is 14 years old. She has a number of complex disabilities and medical conditions, and she’s been without nursing for four months. And Lexi’s mother, Audrey Gerkin, is hopeful that higher pay rates for pediatric nurses will make it easier to find in-home care for her daughter.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

You can only buy Canterbury Aleworks beer in one place – at the brewery in the woods.

"I like the little saying, a little out of the way, a lot out of the ordinary. But you could swap those off one way or the other. Some people say, 'Oh it’s a lot out of the way.'"

That’s Steve Allman, brewer and owner of Canterbury Aleworks. He’s behind the bar in his taproom. And he doesn’t look like a bartender – no crisp white shirt and pressed black pants. He looks like a carpenter. Which he is.

Casey McDermott

The morning after Primary Day, I stopped by Ben Carson’s campaign headquarters in Manchester to see if anything was going on.

There wasn’t. The lights were out, and the doors were locked. Carson was also long gone. At a neighboring hair salon, stylist Kettia Fenestor said the Carson camp made for good neighbors. But she’s happy to put it all in the rearview.

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush campaigned in Nashua on Monday, and criticized the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling. 

Bush spoke at an invitation-only Rotary lunch at the Nashua Country Club, where he was asked about what he would do to counter the influence of money in politics.

In a break from other Republicans in the race, Bush expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United v. FEC ruling and said he would support changing it.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

Gary Mountford of New London is exasperated. He likes former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. But there’s a central challenge Bush has faced since he announced his candidacy for president.

"I wish more people were listening," says Mountford.

Jack Rodolico

Around 6 am last Friday, the Mt. Pisgah Diner in Winchester was packed with regulars: people who come to share good food at a small counter. The diner's owner, Joni Otto, says no presidential candidate has ever graced her doorway.

But that doesn't mean politics is missing from the menu.

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