Health

The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Best Of 2014 - Stressed Out: Who, Why, And How

Credit Marsmettnn Tallahassee / Flickr/CC

This week, The Exchange will play the five best shows of 2014, as voted by you. Here's a July program on stress: From major challenges like chronic illness or financial problems to minor annoyances like traffic jams or inconsiderate neighbors, stress affects us all.  For some, it can be overwhelming, while others find ways to cope and even use it to their advantage. In connection with the NPR series on this topic, we’re exploring the latest thinking on stress.

This program was originally broadcast on July 17, 2014.

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Word of Mouth
1:04 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

12.17.14: An Icky But Effective Way Of Treating Diseases, A Conversation About Santa, & Good Gig

Credit Amy via flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes considering radical medical treatments require getting over the ick factor. On today’s show, how transplanting fecal matter from one person to another has saved lives, especially for those with antibiotic resistant digestive disorders, such as clostridium difficile, or C-Diff.

Then, Christmas is next week, a festival of lights, decorated trees, parties, and for some parents, the Santa conundrum…from to elf on a shelf to carrots for Rudolph, we’ll navigate the magical world of Santa.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
11:01 am
Thu December 11, 2014

12.11.14: The First Skiers, How To Talk To Strangers, & This Is Crohn's Disease

A ski trail at Mount Sunapee
Credit Kelsey Ohman via flickr Creative Commons

In New Hampshire, skiing is one of winter’s biggest perks and the best cure for cabin fever. The first skiers put two planks on their feet and slid down a mountain, not as a past time but as a way to hunt. On today’s show, a National Geographic reporter sets out on the trail of the earliest skiers in human history and finds himself elk hunting in the far reaches of western China where he witnesses a skiing tradition thousands of years old.

Also, a couple embarks on a medical odyssey to find relief from a devastating illness. And talking to strangers may be good for your health. The psychology behind interacting with people you don't know.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Ebola Response In N.H.: Facts, Fears, And Policy

Ebola training response
Credit Army Medicine / Flickr/CC

Since a handful of Ebola cases have made their way to the U.S., officials have mobilized to deal with the threat, sometimes seeming to add to confusion around this illness. And while the risk of contracting Ebola in New Hampshire remains extremely low, the state has issued a set of guidelines, ranging from symptom monitoring, to, more controversially, quarantine. We’re sorting out the facts, fears, and policies.

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NH News
2:44 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Hassan Says State Will Take Action To Enforce 21-Day Ebola Quarantine

Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

With a Maine nurse threatening not to comply with a state-mandated quarantine, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan says officials here are prepared to take action should a similar situation occur.

Related: listen to NHPR's full interview with Dr. Jose Montero on quarantine enforcement here. See CDC Guidance for states here.

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Health
5:00 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Dramatic Drop In Childhood Obesity, Tooth Decay Rates

Credit Nicole McCracken

State health officials say a survey shows there’s progress being made in the battle against childhood obesity in New Hampshire.

A statewide survey that tracked the actual weights of third-graders finds obesity rates have dropped by a whopping 30 percent since 2008.

Director of Public Health José Montero says when he saw the numbers, he recalculated them all himself to make sure there wasn’t a mistake.

He says they’re correct, and mark a tremendous step forward in childhood health.

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Health
5:41 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Medicare Penalizes Nine N.H. Hospitals For Too Many Readmissions

Credit St. Joseph Hosptial, Nashua

One in five Medicare patients treated for a list of common conditions - like pneumonia and heart failure -  are readmitted to the hospitals that treated them within a month.

One way the federal government is trying to improve that is by penalizing hospitals based on their readmission rates. It’s a provision of the Affordable Care Act that will hit 2,610 hospitals across the country next year, including nine in New Hampshire.

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Word of Mouth
12:01 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

10.1.14: Is Kindness A Virtue In Surgeons & The Evolution Of The House Key

Credit Phalinn Ooi via flickr Creative Commons

Surgery requires years of education, steady hands, extreme confidence, and…kindness? On today's show we ask: when it comes to being a good surgeon, does bedside manner matter? We'll also look into the growing digital house key market and the complicated math behind queue design.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Health
6:04 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Urgent Care Clinics Poised to Compete In Keene

Max Puyanic, CEO of ConvenientMD, shows off an urgent care clinic in Concord.
Credit Jack Rodolico

The number of urgent care clinics in New Hampshire has almost doubled since 2012. And in the next year, three such clinics will open their doors in the City of Keene. That will mean more choices for patients in the Monadnock Region - and stiff competition for the clinics.

Urgent care clinics are often called retail healthcare. You’ll see the clinics in strip malls. The idea is you can walk in without an appointment, be treated by a doctor for anything from a bad cut to a broken finger to a sore throat, and get out -- quickly.

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Health
3:34 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Immigrants Growing N.H.'s Food Economy By Changing What's Grown And Sold Locally

Wesley Tiku shows off some mustard greens, one of his store's most popular items, in the produce aisle of Kathmandu Baazar in Concord.
Credit Jack Rodolico

New immigrants often face an unexpected challenge: how to navigate away from an American diet that takes a toll on your health? That’s becoming easier in New Hampshire due to a network of markets and farms that carry familiar foods for the state’s foreign residents.

New Hampshire is home to a small but growing immigrant population; about one in 20 Granite Staters are foreign born. And there’s an experience that unites many of them: that bewildering first visit to an American grocery store.

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Word of Mouth
1:07 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

8.20.14: NASCAR's Concussion Problem, Artificial Wombs & The History And Future Of Clowns

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

NASCAR drivers can reach speeds of 200 plus miles per hour. Remarkably, when wrecks occur, drivers overwhelmingly survive the accidents, but they don’t always walk away unscathed. On today’s show: concussions in NASCAR, and the challenges drivers face after the smoke clears. We'll also talk to a futurist about ectogenesis, or artificial wombs. Often referenced in science fiction, the idea of children being grown outside of a mother's body is inching closer to reality. Plus, earlier this year, the New York Daily News reported that the U.S. is in grave danger of a clown shortage. We head to a clown convention to find out why membership is down, but why clowns are unlikely to completely disappear. 

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

More Ticks Means More Concern About Lyme Disease

Credit beeldmark / Flickr/CC

Lyme disease: caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, and transmitted by the tiny black-legged tick, it’s an infection that first causes fever, chills and flu-like symptoms.

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Word of Mouth
4:18 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

A Truly Natural Resource: What To Do With The Placenta

Credit Nico Nelson via Flickr CC

What do you really know about placentas? If you’re like the majority of people, the "tree of life" is probably pretty mysterious. Despite being vital to both maternal and fetal health, the National Institute of Child Health and Development says that the placenta is the “least understood human organ.” That’s starting to change as more scientists study the invasive organ, a pattern Denise Grady wrote about for the New York Times, but outside the laboratories people are taking the placenta into their own hands. Literally. So we asked: what are some of the most popular and strange things people are doing with their placenta?

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Word of Mouth
1:57 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

8.4.14: Ethnic Plastic Surgery, The Mysterious Placenta & The Audio Orchard

Credit Internet Archive Book Images via flickr Creative Commons

In the last decade, cosmetic procedures performed on Asian-Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans have far outpaced those among the white population. The goal? Westernizing ethnic features.  Today we put ethnic plastic surgery on the examination table. Then, scientists are demystifying what may be the least understood human organ: the placenta. Plus, we share some personal stories from the delivery room.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

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Granite Geek
5:42 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Granite Geek: Get Paid For Buying Healthy? An Insurer Tests The Idea

Credit Ale Viyie via Flickr Creative Commons

The rewards card is everywhere these days. It usually works like this: the more consumers buy, the more incentives and discounts stores hand out.

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Word of Mouth
1:33 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

7.16.14: Kinder Surgeons, Infection Detecting Dogs, And The Coming Out Simulation

Credit phalinn via Flickr Creative Commons

Surgery requires years of education, steady hands, extreme confidence, and…kindness? Today we ask: when it comes to being a good surgeon, does bedside manner matter? Then, we head into the OR to find out what some surgeons listen to while their patients are under the knife. Plus, how some European hospitals are harnessing beagles’ sense of smell to detect superbugs. And, one game designer has come up with a simulator which allows players to experience what it’s like coming out to your parents.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


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Word of Mouth
2:52 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

7.06.14: TV Openers, Lost Histories, And The Truth About Bug Spray

Credit Joel Christian Gill

Whether it’s a catchy theme song, or a single image - think Mary Tyler Moore tossing her cap into the air – some TV credit sequences are etched in our minds. Today we listen for the greatest TV opening sequences of all time. Plus, a look at a graphic novel that reveals the untold stories of African-American history…including that of Richard Potter, for whom the New Hampshire town of Potter Place is named. Then, tis the season for mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks. How are you preventing pesky bites? We sample the rainbow of bug repellant…from witch hazel to DEET.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


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Health
3:56 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Data Shows N.H. Has Upped Spending On Disabled Home Care

New Hampshire has increased the amount of Medicaid funding it devotes to home-based care for the disabled since a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court ruling gave people a choice to live outside institutions.

By 2012, according to data provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the state was providing 50.3 percent of Medicaid long-term care money for disabled people living in home- or community-based settings. That compares to 40.3 percent in 2002.

Word of Mouth
1:12 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

When I Walk: Talking with filmmaker Jason DaSilva

Credit zeevveez via Flickr Creative Commons

On today’s show we talked to documentary filmmaker Jason DaSilva. In 2005 Jason was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He was only twenty five years old, but had more films and praise under his belt than most twice his age. Two years later, when he was on a beach vacation with his family, his brother caught a moment on tape which changed the course of his life. He fell, and for the first time since his diagnosis, was unable to get up by himself. It was from this painful and significant moment that his most recent film, When I Walk, was born. 

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Word of Mouth
1:07 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

6.21.14: The Germ Show

Credit Alexis Chapin

Today on Word of Mouth we're exploring the macro influences of the micro world. First, a conversation with John Timmer about the recently discovered pithovirus which has been sealed in the Siberian permafrost for more than 30 thousand years. Then, a look at a new approach to cleanliness: bacteria-rich body sprays. Plus, Jason DaSilva talks to us about his most recent film about his journey with multiple sclerosis. 

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Battling Diabetes, The "Chronic Epidemic Of The Millenium"

Credit Melissa Wiese / Flickr/CC

Diabetes has been called “the chronic epidemic of the millennium.” Our panel looks at why this is so, changes in management of this disease, and promising research in the field.

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Health
4:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Report: Frisbie Hospital Ranks 5th In Psychiatric Unit Restraints Nationally

In its latest release of statistics aimed at shedding more light on the quality of the nation’s health care system, the Obama Administration targets the use of physical restraints on psychiatric patients.

It collected data from more than 1,500 facilities nationally. The results show Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester with the fifth highest rate of restraint use in the country.

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NH News
7:12 am
Mon June 9, 2014

N.H. Convenes Sessions To Explain Medicaid Expansion

Credit Hobvias via Flickr CC

New Hampshire residents who may be eligible for Medicaid when the state expands its program are being encouraged to attend one of a dozen public information sessions.

The state is seeking federal approval to expand its program to an estimated 50,000 poor adults by using federal Medicaid funds to buy private health care coverage for adults making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty limit.

The first informational session will be held Monday night in Concord. Others will be held around the state, with the last one scheduled for July 1 in Portsmouth.

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NH News
12:35 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

House, Senate Sign Off On Medicaid Enhancement Tax Deal

Sen. Bob Odell (R-Lempster) speaking in support of a bill to change the Medicaid enhancement tax. The measure passed on a voice vote.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on a Medicaid Enhancement Tax deal.

Lawmakers voted 278-72 in favor of the deal that settles a lawsuit with 25 New Hampshire hospitals.

The Senate later passed it on a voice vote, and it now heads to Governor Maggie Hassan’s desk.

Hassan and legislative leaders announced the settlement last week, with St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua the lone holdout.

Republican Representative David Hess of Hooksett says he may not be completely happy with the result, but the deal is better than nothing.

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Newscast
5:19 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Former LGC Insurance Program To Return $17.1M In Illegal Subsidies

Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

Former Local Government Center insurance pool Property-Liability Trust will return $17 million in illegal subsidies.  This despite earlier protests that it didn’t have the money on hand.  The money will go to another former LGC insurance pool--HealthTrust—and then be refunded to member communities. 

For years, Property-Liability Trust struggled, and was supported by the Health Trust program, which raised funds by over-charging member communities. 

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New England Snapshot
9:14 am
Thu May 15, 2014

From Cheek Swab To Operating Room: What’s It Really Like To Donate Bone Marrow?

Credit Gift of Life via Facebook

This story was produced by WBUR in Boston. 

It all started one spring afternoon about 10 years ago. David Cavell, then a student at Tufts University, strolled past what looked like a campus blood drive. He saw a friend, stopped, agreed to run a Q-tip across the inside of his cheek, and moved on.

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All Things Considered
5:49 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Telemedicine Opening New Avenues For New Hampshire Patients And Providers

Proponents say telemedicine consults will allow doctors to treat patients who are in faraway or underserved areas, while limiting costs.
Credit Intel Free Press via Flickr/CC - https://flic.kr/p/bA3eBS

A growing number of Americans are doing their jobs outside the usual confines of the office. And that includes doctors – the multi-billion dollar telemedicine industry is opening up new avenues for patients and for providers in New Hampshire.

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Health
4:21 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Loophole Means Many Child Restraints Go Unreported In New Hampshire

Melissa Hunter says she wasn't immediately notified of the school's use of seclusion on her son.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Like many kids with autism, Hunter Picknell has trouble expressing himself.

“His primary form of communication is sign language, but there’s certain things he can’t do with his hands and fingers because of his motor-planning issues,” says Melissa Hilton, Hunter’s mother.

“He makes kind of his own sign language, which is very idiosyncratic. We often joke around and say it is sign language with an accent.”

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NH News
4:13 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Report: Rockingham County N.H.'s Healthiest; Coos At Bottom Of List

A new report once again ranks Rockingham County as New Hampshire's healthiest, while Coos County remains at the bottom of the list.

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Inside NHPR
12:51 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

NHPR's Todd Bookman Wins Journalism Award For Advance Directive Series

Todd Bookman is NHPR's Health reporter

NHPR's Health Reporter Todd Bookman was awarded second place in the 2013 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism by the Association of Health Care Journalists. The organization recognized Todd's series Planning For The End: A Look At Advance Directives in the small market Consumer/Feature category.

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