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.

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Prescription drugs costs are climbing faster than most other categories of health spending in New Hampshire, according to a new report by the state insurance department.

Jack Rodolico

With snow and sub-zero temperatures projected across New Hampshire for the next few nights, the city of Concord is still without a winter shelter for its homeless residents. The shelter is slated to open soon, but not by Thursday night, when the temperature is expected to plummet. 

Allison Quantz for NHPR

The federal government released data today on the impacts of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire.

The big picture is the uninsured rate in New Hampshire is down 43 percent since before the law went into effect. That means 63,000 people have gained coverage in the state through the Affordable Care Act.

About two-thirds of the newly insured bought coverage through Healthcare.gov, and the rest have signed up for the state's expanded Medicaid program, which provides insurance for low-income people.

Vaping360.com

A report from the U.S. Surgeon General is prompting health officials in New Hampshire to warn the public of the dangers of youth using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping.

The U.S. Surgeon General describes e-cigarette use as a major public health concern for youth and young adults. Over five years, e-cig use jumped 900 percent among high school students nationally, surpassing cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

PEXELS

The federal government says more than 10,000 Granite Staters signed up for insurance on Healthcare.gov in the first four weeks of open enrollment.

A total of 10,554 New Hampshire residents signed up for health insurance during open enrollment between November 1 and November 26, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Over that same period, more than 2.1 million across 39 states have bought coverage on the federal website. A quarter of those are new enrollees, while the rest were renewing their coverage. 

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The Senate is scheduled to take up a bill next week that would send $1 billion to states battling the opioid addiction crisis.

The federal dollars would be divvied up among states based on per-capita drug overdoses. By that measure, New Hampshire ranks third nationally.

The funding would help strengthen the state's growing but still inadequate network of services, including prevention, early detox, long-term housing and mental health treatment, says Tym Rourke, Chair of the Governor's Commission on Substance Abuse.

Jack Rodolico

In the Marines, Dan Crim learned how to strap an air-tight respirator over his mouth and nose to protect himself from a biological threat. He was glad to never have to use one in a combat zone during his five deployments overseas.

Now a retired Marine, Crim wears a respirator whenever he sets foot in the house he bought but no longer lives in.

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, last year New Hampshire hospitals had 64 so-called adverse events - preventable accidents that harm patients.

New Hampshire is joining 40 other states in a lawsuit against the maker of Suboxone, a drug widely promoted to help opioid addicts.

Jack Rodolico

Hundreds gathered Friday for an annual ceremony to honor veterans and those who died in combat. 

At the State Veteran’s Cemetery in Boscawen, Senator Jeanne Shaheen spoke in personal terms about her mother, who, before she passed away, loved to visit this cemetery.

"She was very proud of the fact that we had bricks on the walkway to honor my father, a WWI veteran, his brother, who died over the pacific in WWI, and his other brother who served in Korea.," said Senator Shaheen. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

This election has been a long slog, especially here in New Hampshire. Now, it’s over, and NHPR’s Jack Rodolico went out to see how people were feeling.

The federal government has said no to New Hampshire's attempt to make Medicaid recipients prove they're working, or a so-called work requirement.

When the state legislature re-authorized expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2015, there was a catch: Republicans pushed for a rule that would require Medicaid recipients to prove they were employed or looking for work, a measure that needed federal approval.

Allegra Boverman, Jason Moon for NHPR

The candidates for New Hampshire governor spent the weekend crisscrossing the state, getting supporters fired up and making their final pitch to voters.

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. 

THOMAS FEARON

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

THOMAS FEARON

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. 

WWW.GOFUNDME.COM/JUSTICEFORBRIELLE

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.

No Place To Go: Homeless At The P.K. Motel

Aug 4, 2016
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.

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