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
5:29 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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NH News
9:21 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Making It Yourself Just Got Easier

12-year old Sebastian Logue works on his 'tank robot thing' at the Port City Makerspace.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

‘Do it yourself-ers’ can do only so much without the right tools. Drills, torches, saws and soldering equipment can take up precious  room in the basement, and there are limits to what you can accomplish with duct tape.

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NH News
11:36 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Who Knew? Fireworks Better In Winter

Fireworks will light up the night sky tonight around New Hampshire.
Credit SJ Photography / Flick/Creative Commons

Many New Hampshire towns and cities usher in the new year tonight with fireworks displays. Turns out, winter is actually a great time of year for shows.

"The fireworks burn much cleaner. The colors are a bit brighter, because you don’t have the humid air," says Stephen Pelkey, CEO of Atlas Pyro Vision. "And it just makes for a wonderful backdrop."

The Jaffrey-based company is putting on 35 shows across New England tonight. Check local listings for events in your area.

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Health
1:16 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Whooping Cough Hits N.H.

According to the CDC, there have been around 40,000 cases nationwide of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) this year.
Credit CDC

Pertussis starts like a cold, but after a week or so, it leads to severe coughing fits that can take weeks to shake.  It’s also called ‘whooping cough’ because patients make a high-pitched whoop sound as they suck in air.

There are 222 confirmed cases in the state this year, the highest levels since 2006.

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NH News
4:55 am
Mon December 24, 2012

All Options On The Table For N.H. Health Exchange

The President’s health law wasn’t all that popular with New Hampshire House Republicans.  Among other actions last session, they passed a law prohibiting the state from managing its own health insurance exchange.

And for now, the state is moving forward with a marketplace run by the Federal government.

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Health
5:00 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Can Penalties Help Keep Patients Healthy?

Nearly 1 in 5 Medicare patients ends up back in a hospital bed less than 30 days after being discharged.
Credit Studio Tempura / Flick/Creative Commons

If you’ve just gotten released from Concord hospital, Carriane Wood may be giving you a call.

“Do you have any questions or anything?” she asks a patient.

“It’s at 9:30 on Thursday.”

Wood is a medical assistant, and she’s working her way through a list of recently discharged patients, calling each one to confirm follow-up appointments, and making sure they understand any new prescriptions.

These phone calls are part of a larger movement at hospitals throughout the state and country to reduce hospital readmissions.

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NH News
3:17 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Unemployment In N.H. Ticks Down To 5.6%

In November, the state’s unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point to 5.6 percent. But that wasn’t due to strong job growth…instead, fewer New Hampshire residents are looking for jobs.

Data from the New Hampshire Employment Security office show that the state’s retail and hospitality industries continue to show strength.

But despite resilience through the Great Recession, the state is starting to shed jobs in the health care and education sector.

Health
5:20 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Compounding Pharmacists In New Hampshire Brace For Change

Ron Petrin owns Bedford Pharmacy. He's been compounding for 30 years, and calls the work gratifying.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

About 20 years ago, Bob Vecchiotti developed something called foot neuropathy. It’s a neurological condition that left his feet numb. Sometimes they would tingle or burn.

“But then the pain was getting to the point that I was losing concentration and sleep, and I decided we need to do more,” says Vecchiotti. “That’s when my primary care physician, working with a compound pharmacist, was able to come up with something that worked.”

Vecchiotti is a business consultant in Peterborough. He was somewhat skeptical of compounding.

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Health
4:56 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

N.H. Ranks Third In Overall Health

A new report from the Minnesota-based United Health Foundation ranks New Hampshire the third healthiest state in the nation.  That’s down a spot from last year. The report weights a variety of factors, including infant mortality, obesity, high school graduation rate and levels of violent crime.  Vermont ranked first in the nation for the sixth straight year.

Health
5:11 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Report: State Ranks Last In Anti-Smoking Efforts

Credit Justin Shearer / Flick/Creative Commons

A new report ranks New Hampshire last in the nation when it comes to funding anti-smoking programs.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids annual release says that New Hampshire allocated zero state funds for tobacco prevention efforts this fiscal year.

That’s despite the fact that the state collected more than $250 million dollars in tobacco tax revenue combined with the state’s portion of a 1998 settlement agreement.

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Health
4:50 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Telemedicine In New Hampshire Gets Boost

Credit Mercy Health / Flick/Creative Commons

Let’s say you are one of the 904 or so residents of Warren, New Hampshire. Let’s say you get sick.  Maybe you just started on a new prescription and are having unwanted side effects.

“Today, they have one of two options,” says Shawn Tester, who runs the day-to-day operations at Ammonousuc Community Health Services, which has five primary care clinics in Grafton and Coos County.

“They either do without. Or they have to travel, oh, I don’t know, 45 miles to our Littleton office to receive that consultative service.”

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