Health

9.15.15: Mindfulness in Schools & The Song of the Fall

Sep 15, 2015
Fuzzy Gerdes via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/77kTqw

Meditation, sitting, mindfulness: whatever you call it, it’s springing up everywhere - from Google’s corporate offices to high school classrooms in the Bronx. But can techniques developed to help hospital patients really improve the lives of low-income students? Today, why mindfulness has a place in the classroom. Plus, music industry insiders clamor to predict and announce the summer’s most popular hit – but what about the song of the fall?  We’ll discuss the qualities that make up a classic autumnal anthem. 

Mr.Ripp

  New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont so far this year have had no reported human cases of West Nile or eastern equine encephalitis, according to data from two federal agencies. 

Foster's Daily Democrat reports that Massachusetts has had two reported human cases of West Nile this year. 

In Maine and New Hampshire, no mosquitoes or animals have tested positive for either disease, while mosquitoes in counties in Massachusetts and Vermont have tested positive for the West Nile virus. 

Vaping360 / Flickr/CC

Despite claims by the industry that e-cigarettes are healthier than traditional smoking, more research is raising questions about this alternative, including its rising use by teenagers. But vaping has caught on, with more shops opening and many ex-smokers who say vaping helped them quit tobacco.

GUESTS:

You could say 36-year-old Matt Ray works in paradise — on a barrier island off the Florida's southern coast. As athletic director of the Anna Maria Island Community Center, Ray is doing what he loves.

"I grew up playing sports," he says. "I actually played two years of college basketball. So sports have pretty much been my entire life."

VA Health Clinic Opens In Colebrook

Aug 13, 2015

   

The VA has opened a new health clinic in Colebrook, part of a plan to expand coverage to veterans in the North Country.

It is using some exam room and office space at the Indian Stream Health Center, says Dr. Hugh Huizenga, the Chief of Primary Care at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

It is starting out two days a week but plans to expand to every weekday as new staffers are hired, he said.

It will offer services including primary care and mental-health counseling.

It was nearly a year ago that widespread abuse at Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham came to light. Now, Lakeview is shutting down.

The facility is a treatment center for people with brain injuries and intellectual disabilities. And as New Hampshire faces a future without Lakeview, families and state regulators are deciding where to send people with highly challenging behaviors. 

Scrutinizing Supplements: The Hype And The Hope

Aug 10, 2015
Clean Wal-Mart / Flickr/cc

Millions of Americans swear by them, from the daily multivitamin to herbal remedies claiming to cure various ailments. And while some supplements have solid science behind them, others have been questioned by research. Meanwhile, recent reports have found that some products don’t contain the ingredients listed on their labels.

Thomas Fearon

We’ve been listening back to a 1989 report on the state of mental health care in New Hampshire. Last week, reporter Kathy McLaughlin explored the living conditions in the old New Hampshire Hospital buildings, which could be crowded and grim.

Today, we share part two of that report. NHPR’s Martin Murray spoke with Paul Gorman, superintendent of New Hampshire Hospital, who explained how the hospital’s new, community-oriented facility sought to treat patients.

The state of New Hampshire has been officially providing care for its mentally ill citizens for over 170 years. In that time, there have been dramatic changes in the living conditions for patients – and the state’s approach to treatment.

In 1989, New Hampshire Hospital built a state of the art facility that sought to provide individualized care for patients with the most severe symptoms.

To mark that occasion, NHPR produced a two-part report on the history and future of New Hampshire Hospital. In part one today, you’ll hear reporter Kathy McLaughlin chronicle the living conditions in the old hospital buildings. Barred windows, dim lighting, and crowded sleeping wards fostered a rather gloomy environment.

From the archives this week, the inside history of New Hampshire Hospital, from reporter Kathy McLaughlin.


masha krasnova-shabaeva via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4set22

How much sleep do you need and how do you get it? We explore these and other sleep-related questions with the latest on sleep research.

Science Cafe: A Closer Look At Sugar

Jul 20, 2015

Our Science Café tackles sugar: the average American now eats about 130 pounds of sugar every year. It’s in everything from tomato sauce to milk. But what exactly is sugar? And how does it affect our bodies?

This show was originally broadcast on March 17, 2015.

GUESTS:

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

A new state law aims to boost the number of children screened for lead poisoning. There's good reason New Hampshire is aiming for that goal.

Children aged 0-6 are the most likely to suffer permanent health and cognitive damage from lead exposure. Yet in 2013, New Hampshire tested a mere 16.5 percent of children in this age group for elevated blood lead levels. That's concerning because 62 percent of New Hampshire's houses were built before 1978 - the year the federal government cracked down on lead paint.

ABC Quilts was founded in 1988, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, with the mission to lend comfort to babies born with AIDS. Now, its volunteers also make and deliver handmade quilts to abandoned babies and those affected by their mother’s drug or alcohol abuse.

Ellen Ahlgren of Northwood, New Hampshire began ABC Quilts, delivering six baby quilts to Boston City Hospital, each carrying the inscription “with love and comfort to you.” Soon after, ABC Quilts began to grow rapidly, and has since delivered more than half a million quilts worldwide.

From the archives this week, the story of Ellen Ahlgren and ABC Quilts, from reporter Leslie Bennett. 


Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

The Emerging Science of Gut Health and Probiotics

Jun 25, 2015
Ryan Snyder / Flickr / Creative Commons

Scientists have long known that bacteria live in the human gut, working with the digestive system to break down food. But researchers have recently discovered even more far-reaching effects of the trillions of microbes living in our bodies, impacting everything from our immune systems to chronic illness. We examine the science of gut health.

Courtesy Tiltfactor

  Some of the most thought-provoking research into how we think about health care is going on at Dartmouth College – and it’s coming out of a game design lab.

Fairfax County / Flickr/CC

Twenty years ago, it was not considered a big problem in New Hampshire, but today – these little black-legged bugs are seen as a major threat to people, pets and wildlife.  We’ll get the latest on where their populations are expanding and on tick-borne illnesses, primarily – but not exclusively -- Lyme disease. We’ll also look the state’s new plan to address this.

Garrett Vonk

  The number of uninsured people showing up in New Hampshire emergency rooms continues to drop _ a trend hospital officials attribute to the state's expanded Medicaid program. 

Under the plan lawmakers passed last year, adults making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty limit _ about $15,900 a year _ are eligible for Medicaid. More than 39,000 have signed up since enrollment began July 1. 

Aging In Place In N.H.

May 5, 2015
Rosie O'Beirne / Flickr/cc

Most seniors prefer to stay in their homes, instead of institutional care. Advocates say strengthening the programs and grassroots efforts that support that goal is not only more caring, it makes good economic sense. But there are challenges – from who pays for in-home-help to how available that help really is.

Flikr Creative Commons / drocpsu

State officials are investigating reports of an international traveler in New Hampshire infected with the measles virus.

The only known public exposure site in New Hampshire was the Flatbread Company restaurant in Portsmouth on April 20 between the hours of approximately 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

There are no cases identified related to this situation, and New Hampshire is well-protected from widespread measles transmission due to a high vaccination rate.

Courtesy the Conway Daily Sun/Jamie Gemmiti

New reports commissioned by Governor Maggie Hassan have found state regulators failed to protect residents from abuse and neglect at Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham.

The reports come as the Department of Education - after repeated attempts to push Lakeview into compliance with state regulations - announces it will shut down the Lakeview School. 

The state will now reevaluate how it regulates the facility’s residential program.

Elizabeth via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/qNttFS

With a market value up to $2.50 an ounce, and online sales on the rise, it’s been called liquid gold. On today’s show, a look into the breast milk market, and how the biotech industry is getting in on the game.

Then, the question of why Homo sapiens thrived while Neanderthals became extinct has long been debated among scientists. We’ll hear from an anthropologist with a stunning new theory that explains their extinction: humans had dogs.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

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

The sixth annual report released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute rates counties nationwide in two categories — health outcomes and health factors.

Vermont’s online health insurance exchange has been beset with problems since its launch a year and a half ago. In a surprise announcement on Friday, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Vermont will abandon Vermont Health Connect if it doesn’t start working properly soon.

Koshy Koshy | Sea Turtle via flickr Creative Commons / Birds: flic.kr/p/cdLdas | Bees: flic.kr/p/dgg8w4

Social media sites are teeming with sexual imagery, jokes, and questionable content. Yet their official policies prevent sex-ed organizations from crafting a message that might actually resonate with the people who need it.

On today’s show, are social media sites censoring sex-ed?  Plus, our series Good Gig continues with a lighting pro who’s illuminated everything from Olympic ceremonies to Super Bowl half-time shows.  

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

Logan Shannon / NHPR

The word vitamin has only been around for just over 100 years.  But today vitamins are a $36 billion dollar-a-year industry. 

On today’s show, the history and science behind the mostly unregulated vitamin market.

And, with new measles outbreaks discovered each week, parents who choose not to vaccinate their kids are in the cross hairs. We’ll talk to reporter who asks: are mothers to blame? And the story of an extreme athlete who balances work, family, and 400 miles of running and biking per week.

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

 An insurance company and a group of medical providers are teaming up to start a new insurance company in New Hampshire.

The new company is a partnership between Massachusetts-based Tufts Health Plan and Granite Healthcare Network – the parent company for Catholic Medical Center, Concord Hospital, Wentworth-Douglas Hospital, LRGHealthcare, and Southern New Hampshire Health System.

Tufts Health Freedom Plan will begin selling insurance to employers. The company is considering selling in the individual market too, including on the federal healthcare exchange.

Colin Dunn via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7GCv8P

The word vitamin has only been around for just over 100 years. But today vitamins are a $36 billion dollar-a-year industry. On today’s show, we’ll look at the history and science behind a largely unregulated market. Plus, a new hotline for emotionally distressed teens aims to help teens by communicating in a space where they feel comfortable – via text message.     

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

VCU Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections / flic.kr/p/27g6S7

An overwhelming majority of medical researchers and pediatricians advocate for vaccinating kids. Vocal anti-vaxxers include celebrities Jenny McCarthy and Rob Schneider. On today’s show we’ll find out why women are more likely to distrust doctors and go anti-vax.

Plus, we’ll bust some of the myths behind anti-oxidant rich super foods, and find out how advertisers turned Listerine into a cure-all – and virtually created the concept of bad breath.

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

VCU Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections / flic.kr/p/27bFm2

  Malaria threatens more than half the world’s people. Yet there is still no way to immunize against it. On today’s show, why a promising vaccine developed by an upstart in the biotech scene is not getting funded. 

Plus, Levi Strauss started making jeans during the gold rush, introducing the  most iconic symbol of American style. Today’s Good Gig profiles the Levi’s in-house historian who sifts through mine shafts and dusty attics to find the stories behind every crease. 

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

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