Health

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.

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.

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.


More Ticks Means More Concern About Lyme Disease

Aug 18, 2014
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.

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?

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

When I Walk: Talking with filmmaker Jason DaSilva

Jun 20, 2014
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. 

6.21.14: The Germ Show

Jun 20, 2014
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. 

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.

GUESTS:

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.

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.

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.

HealthTrust, Property-Liability Trust, and NH Municipal Association office
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. 

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.

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.

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.”

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

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.

Public health officials have a problem. They want more parents to get their kids vaccinated, because there's been a resurgence of dangerous diseases as vaccination rates have dropped.

Good News About Childhood Obesity

Mar 11, 2014
Healthnewsnet / Flickr Creative Commons

Starting in the 1980s, public health experts began sounding the alarm: Americans were getting way too heavy.  And of special concern: children, and the particular impact of obesity on them: increased risk for both short and long term ailments such as heart disease, type two diabetes, and a host of social and psychological problems.  Today, it’s been 30 years, and childhood obesity rates have doubled since those first warnings, with doctors saying this problem early in life also closely predicts whether a child will have a healthy weight into adulthood, and a five times greater chance of bei

About a decade ago, Marion Nestle made waves when she published her groundbreaking book “Food Politics,” now considered by many to be one of the founding documents of the movement to reform the American food system.   In it, Nestle criticized the high quality, low quantity eating habits encouraged by the food industry and how many lawmakers in Washington have been influenced by the deep pockets of big agriculture and big food.

About 90 percent of Americans who need long term care get it from unpaid family members. That puts a strain on a lot of relatives who have neither enough time nor the training to care for loved ones with brain disorders such as dementia.

So Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., gives classes to family caregivers, and recruits actors to play the patients.

Any insurance plan sold in the online exchange would first face a public hearing under a bill before State Senators. The measure comes in reaction to Anthem’s decision to cut out 10 of the state's 26 hospitals for plans sold on the new marketplace, a move many lawmakers and consumers say they were blindsided by.

The company defends the decision, saying it helped lower costs by 25%.

A doctor's office
srp6685 via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/tfgOR

Bringing a child into a world means making a lot of decisions – getting the baby’s room ready, taking childbirth classes, and, of course, picking a name.

With so much going on, one very important decision often falls off the radar: finding the right pediatrician.

Reporter Michael Brindley and his wife have been busy making all these decisions, with the birth of their daughter last month.

 A 15-year-old boy is in critical condition at a hospital after he suffered an apparent heart attack during a basketball game and was aided by a defibrillator.

The Valley News reports Lebanon High School sophomore Christopher Roberge was on the bench during the second quarter when he had a medical episode.

Attacks by two psychiatric patients awaiting treatment at Manchester’s Elliot Hospital last year underscored the well-documented problems with New Hampshire’s mental health system.

In December, the state agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed in 2012 on behalf of six plaintiffs who had cycled in and out of emergency rooms and the state mental hospital. The state has agreed to spend $30 million over the next three years to re-build its community-based system of care, once considered a national model.

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