Todd Bookman

Health Reporter

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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Health
12:14 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Medicaid Overhaul Plan Hits A Road Block

It’s been three years since state lawmakers began touting managed care as the salvation of Medicaid.

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Health
4:41 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

State Hospitals Making Gains In Fight Against Infection

The number of dangerous infections acquired at hospitals in New Hampshire is falling. A new report shows that there were 110 acquired infections in 2011. That’s a 20% decrease from 2009 levels.

State law mandates that hospitals report infections following certain procedures, including heart, colon and knee surgeries.

Beth Daly, Chief of Infectious Disease Surveillance at the state Health Department, says these are important numbers to track.

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Health
6:11 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Public Calls For Easy, Affordable Health Exchange Experience

A day after the Federal government approved the state’s application for a partnership health exchange, the public had its chance to weigh in on the new insurance marketplaces.

Small business owners, parents and advocates lined up in Concord at an event organized by AARP and NH Voices for Health. Speakers expressed concerns about affordability.

Many called for more transparency.

Another fear is the sheer complexity of shopping for health insurance. Lisa Kaplan Howe with NH Voices hopes the new marketplaces will streamline the process.

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Health
5:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

New Hampshire Gets Okay From Feds For Health Exchange Partnership

The Federal government announced today that New Hampshire’s application for a partnership health care exchange has been approved. Exchanges are the new marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will shop for health insurance starting in October of this year. 

The partnership means the N.H. Insurance Department will continue to regulate plans sold in the state. The Federal government will pay for and control the new marketplace website and the '1-800 call center'.

Health
4:59 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Supporters Of Medicaid Expansion Make Their Case To Lawmakers

Due to the large crowd, lawmakers gathered in Representatives Hall to hear from the public .
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    The public had its chance today to weigh in on the state’s decision regarding Medicaid expansion.

Nearly two dozen people, all in favor of expansion, testified in front of a committee of state lawmakers.

That included Susan Bruce, who lost her husband, and then her health insurance in 2009. Her part-time job offers no coverage.  

Bruce: "It is an odd position to be in. I don’t make enough money to afford to live, really, but I make too much money to qualify for Medicaid as it currently exists."

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Health
2:35 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Public Health Advocates Say State Can't Grow Complacent

The HEAL NH event featured pastry, but also plenty of fruit.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

 Earlier today, public health advocates gathered inside the State House cafeteria--as good a place as any--to update lawmakers on initiatives aimed at combating obesity.

Healthy Eating Active Living, or HEAL NH, organized the forum. Community projects set up displays touting successes like playground gardens and improved sidewalks.

New Hampshire consistently ranks as one of the healthiest state in the nation, but Jeanie Holt with the NH Public Health Association says more investment is necessary.

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NH News
1:17 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

House Votes To Restore Lawyers In Child Abuse Cases

Parents accused of abuse or neglect of a child could again be appointed attorneys. At the State House Wednesday, a bill to restore legal representation passed the House unanimously.

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NH News
2:50 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Unemployment In N.H. Ticks Up To 5.8%

The unemployment rate in New Hampshire rose a tenth of a point to 5.8% in January. More than 43,000 Granite Staters remain out of work.

But Annette Nielsen, an economist with NH Employment Security, says the trend for the state is heading in the right direction.

Nielsen: “The economy is growing...we are adding jobs, so people are not discouraged. They are actually encouraged by that activity so that they are joining in bigger numbers, and attempting to find employment.”

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Health
1:28 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Kindergarteners Learn ABCs, Adjust To MS

Pam Sumner calls living and teaching with MS her 'new normal'.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Pam Sumner, blonde with a quick smile, was diagnosed ten years ago with multiple sclerosis. She’s reliant on a cane and easily fatigued. 

The 46-years old sends her husband to the grocery store, and when her son toured military colleges last spring, she found herself falling behind the group of parents and teenagers. But inside her kindergarten classroom at Rindge Memorial School, Sumner has no trouble keeping up with the 5 and 6 year olds.  

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Health
4:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Commission Pushes For Money To Combat Alcohol And Drug Abuse

Attorney General Michael Delaney, surrounded by members of the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire consistently ranks as one of the healthiest states in the nation. But advocates say that masks an alarming rate of substance abuse, specifically among young adults.

And so, the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse is launching a new campaign to highlight the need for more resources.

Specifically, they want to see a greater percent of sales from state-owned liquor stores be allocated for counseling services.

For the past decade, lawmakers have instead used those funds to help balance the budget.

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Health
5:44 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Hepatitis C Outbreak Prompts Legislation

State lawmakers are working on a measure to create a Registry Board for Medical Technicians. The action comes in the wake of last summer’s outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital that left 32 patients infected.

David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician, allegedly injected himself with painkillers before reusing syringes on patients, transmitting the Hepatitis C virus.

Representative Tim Copeland is proposing a bill to create an oversight board for all med techs in the state.

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NH News
5:35 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Report: State Failing To Meet Legal Needs Of The Poor

Dr. Jim Squires, along with members of the state's legal community, held a press conference in Concord today.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

A new report titled 'The Justice Gap' finds that low income New Hampshire residents lack access to even basic legal services.

The report estimates that more than 60% of civil cases in the state involve people representing themselves. And they do so because they don’t have access to lawyers and paralegals.

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Health
12:19 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Mental Health Math Doesn't Add Up For Hospitals

Louis Josephson inside a safe-room at Concord Hospital.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

In the 1950s, the state psychiatric hospital in Concord was home to about 2,500 adults. The manicured campus had it all, including a golf course, barber shop, skating rink.

“For some folks, they talk about those days like some of us talk about going to college," says Ken Norton, Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness in New Hampshire (NAMI-NH).

“There was bowling and movie theaters and different events at night. They had their friends there and they were very used to the way that the hospital functioned.”

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Health
4:59 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

New Hampshire (Again) Mulls Creation of 'Dental Practitioners'

Credit Green MPs / Flick/Creative Commons

The new practitioners would be something between a dentist and hygienist. They’d be certified to clean, do fillings, pull baby teeth and a host of other procedures.

Hygienists would need an extra year of training, and the supervision of a dentist to practice.

Some advocates say the new role is necessary to expand care to rural and poorer populations.

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NH News
6:05 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

In Budget, Hassan Lays Out Priorities

Legislators and audience members bow their heads for the pledge of allegiance, before the Governor’s address.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

The governor’s budget address is the starting point for the months of wrangling and compromises that will eventually determine where the state will spend its money.

In the budget released today Governor Hassan spelled out her priorities in key areas like education, healthcare and infrastructure.

On Education

Restoring cuts to the state’s public universities was a centerpiece of Maggie Hassan’s campaign for governor, and Education was at the center of her speech.

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