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
5:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Public Has Its Say On Medicaid Expansion Bill

Rep. Bill O'Brien speaks to a legislative committee about Medicaid expansion.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    

New Hampshire’s Medicaid program currently insures poor children, the disabled and low income pregnant women.

But after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the state must decide if it wants to expand the program to adults that earn less than $15,000 a year: roughly 58,000 people in New Hampshire.

According to Representative Bill O’Brien, the state just can’t afford to cover those extra people.

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Health
5:07 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

N.H. Health Exchange Remains In Limbo

With a February 15th deadline looming, a group of lawmakers met today to discuss the direction of the state’s health insurance exchange. But the committee meeting produced more questions than answers.

The state needs to decide, and soon, if it will partner with the Federal government to run a new insurance exchange. For his part, Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny told a legislative oversight committee that he supports the partnership option.

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Health
5:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The Battle Against 'Chemical Restraints' Inside Nursing Homes

Dr. Sandeep Sobti is working to lower the reliance on antipsychotic medications in New Hampshire nursing homes.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Nursing homes around the country are under pressure from the Federal government to reduce their use of antipsychotics. 

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NH News
6:00 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Hiker Rescue Bill Gets Hearing

Supporters and opponents packed a committee room for the first hearing on a bill that would charge a fee to anyone needing a backcountry rescue.The proposed law would be the first of its kind in the nation.

New Hampshire Fish and Game performs more than 150 rescues each year at a cost of $300,000. Right now, that’s funded by hunting and fishing licenses, and snowmobile registrations. But a new bill would make those needing assistance pay a portion of the cost.

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NH News
4:56 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Program For Troubled Kids Gets Hearing In Statehouse

State lawmakers heard testimony today on a bill to restore money to the CHINS program, or Children in Need of Services. The program puts troubled kids under the supervision of the courts, and provides counseling and placement in a group home, if needed.

Roughly 1,000 New Hampshire youth each year received services before budget cuts effectively ended the program in 2011.

Representative Laura Pantelakos urged House budget writers to restore funding.

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NH News
6:52 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Friends Gather To Remember Senator Warren Rudman

Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter remembers his friend Warren Rudman inside the Federal Courthouse in Concord that bears his name.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

The two-term Republican was a budget hawk, a centrist… and to the crowd inside the Federal Courthouse that bears his name, a statesman. 

Among his many accomplishments was the successful nomination of Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who served under Rudman in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.

Souter: “As we watched him and we listened to him, he brought out the best instincts that were in us. Whatever they were, including the instinct to laugh at yourself every once in a while.”

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NH News
5:35 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Counting The Homeless In The Cold

A team of outreach volunteers searches for the homeless in Manchester.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

On any given evening in Manchester, roughly 50 people sleep in hidden camps, under bridges, in cars and inside abandoned buildings. Despite the extreme cold, last night was no exception.

It was also the night a group of volunteers fanned out to count homeless people as part of an annual census. 

They gathered at Families in Transition, a homeless services agency.There’s coffee, donuts, and also detailed maps of Manchester, with yellow Post-its marking places where homeless people often sleep.

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Health
6:31 am
Wed January 16, 2013

State Gets Failing Marks On Tobacco Report Card

Credit Justin Shearer / Flick/Creative Commons

A new report out from the American Lung Association gives New Hampshire a failing grade on smoking prevention efforts. 

The state received a 'D' on smoke-free zones in public spaces, an 'F' on tobacco prevention spending, and a 'C' on cessation efforts.

Lee Gilman, Senior Director with the Association, says the state also needs to rethink its low tobacco tax.

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Health
12:19 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Mental Health Advocates Push For $37M In Funding

Advocates for the state’s mental health centers say the state hasn’t lived up to its own plan to improve services in the state. And this week, they’re calling for more than $37 million in increased funding to support a stretched system.

The state’s 10-year plan, called ‘A Strategy For Restoration,’ came out in 2008. It called for major investments in the state’s mental health system, and was hailed as a great step forward. But 5 years into the initiative, advocates say the state has actually slid backwards.

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Health
4:24 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Impasse in Washington Has N.H. Domestic Violence Advocates Worried

Credit Lawrence Jackson / whitehouse.gov via Wikimedia COmmons

Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) like to point out that since its passage in 1994, incidents of domestic violence are down by more than 50% nationwide.

But they also say this isn’t about stats, this is about people like Carrie Ann, who requested that her last name not be used.

"The abuse that I encountered was physical, mental, and sexual," she says. "It was constant, day-in-day out. By the end, I was virtually a prisoner. I wasn’t allowed to control my own finances. I couldn’t leave without fear that something truly horrific was going to happen."

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Health
5:29 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

To Expand (Medicaid) Or Not To Expand

Lawmakers will decide this spring whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program to include childless adults making less than roughly $15,000. To make sure they have all the information they need, the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a study to look at the effects.

We poured over the 61-page report, and boiled it down to these 5 takeaways.

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Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

The Alzheimer's Café: Unforgettable Therapy

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can strip away memory, sometimes even dignity, and can isolate even the most outgoing individual. There’s no cure for the brain disorder, but now, patients and those who care for them are finding relief at something called the Alzheimer’s Café.


Health
4:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal Means No Health Insurance Co-op In N.H.

Credit istock photo

A last minute deal to avert the fiscal cliff contained bad news for the future of health co-ops.

The Affordable Care Act set aside $6 billion to be used as loans for new non-profit, customer-owned insurance plans. The idea was that each state would have a health co-op that could compete with traditional insurers, in theory, driving down prices.

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Health
4:51 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Mental Health Advocates Say State Is Offering Band-Aids, Not Solutions

Mental health advocates gather for a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Concord.

Advocates for mental health services say the state’s plan to re-open 12 beds at New Hampshire Hospital doesn’t go far enough to improve care. Representatives from more than a dozen organizations gathered today in Concord, and described a system stretched beyond its limits.

And they want New Hampshire lawmakers to know that no other medical condition gets treated this way.

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Health
5:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

The Alzheimer's Café: Unforgettable Therapy

John and Rhea Pereira attend the Alzheimer's Cafe in Dover each month.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Once a month, it’s a decidedly older demographic meeting here at the Children’s Museum in Dover.

A dozen or so seniors gather inside a brightly painted conference room. There’s coffee, cake and, this month, some live entertainment from 'The Sea Reeds,' a quartet of local clarinetists.

For Rhea Pereira, the music is a chance to sing along with friends. She and her husband John moved here from Florida three years ago, when Rhea began experiencing memory problems. 

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