Todd Bookman

Reporter

Todd started at NHPR in 2009 as an intern, and in 2011, took over the health beat. He spent two years at WHYY in Philadelphia covering health and science, before returning to NHPR in 2016 as a general assignment reporter with a focus on business and economics. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

Ways to Connect

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Rick Christie is every candidate’s dream volunteer. He sports buttons, he speaks with passion, and he puts in his time.

"Hello, David. My name is Rick. I’m working for the Romney campaign. How are ya?" 

Christie is in Manchester, going door to door for Mitt Romney. He estimates he’s knocked on about 2000 doors since June. Of course, not all go well.

Polls still show a near dead heat between Romney and President Obama in New Hampshire.

Dan Gorenstein / NHPR

A joke about being New Hampshire Speaker of the House is that you get a parking spot, $125 annual salary, and the chance to bang a gavel.

But when Bill O’Brien took the position in 2010, he took an important but largely under the radar position into the spotlight.

"It’s been all about O’Brien," says Dante Scala, a political scientist at UNH. "For better or worse, O’Brien became the center of gravity in the New Hampshire legislature, and the face of the New Hampshire legislature, in a way that past Speakers rarely are."

A judge has ruled that State health officials can access private health records at Exeter Hospital, as it continues to investigate an outbreak of Hepatitis C.

In August, the Hospital went to court seeking a protective order, arguing that the Division of Public Health’s request for patient records violated privacy laws.

But Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara has denied that request, saying that patient privacy must give way to the state’s interest in investigating a public health threat.

At the end of September, Judge Steven McAuliffe did something unique: he invited U.S Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to come to Concord and weigh in on the suit.

The Judge is looking for help in deciding whether or not the State’s slashing of Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals followed proper guidelines.

Well, the Secretary didn’t show. But an attorney for her agency did phone into the hearing, and informed the judge that Sebelius isn’t quite ready to give her opinion.

New Hampton School

Herman Hassinger made his mark in New Hampshire on the campus of the 190-year old New Hampton School.

Spread over the 50 acres is evidence of his architectural ability and understanding of how to mix old with new.

Pilalas

There are some buildings that are well over a hundred years old, and there are some that are one or two years old. But they all fit together wonderfully, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t agree with me.

Jason Pilalas is on the Board of Trustees, and was friends with Hassinger.

Jobs and the economy continue to dominate on the campaign trail, from the national to the local level. But  government run health care programs like Medicaid and Medicare are also getting their fair share of attention. Major changes to both programs are potentially on the horizon.

With just over a week to go until the election, NHPR’s health reporter Todd Bookman has this overview of what’s at stake for Granite State voters. 

Hospital officials from around the state gathered in Concord on Thursday to learn how to prevent drug theft and misuse by employees.

Residential properties in New Hampshire continue to move at a strong pace. 

More than 1,100 homes sold in September. That’s a 7.5% jump from 2011 levels, fueled in part by very low mortgage rates.

Prices, though, remain flat. The average sale price last month was just under $200,000, a slight dip from August.

Ned Redpath with Redpath Realty in Hanover says buyers still control the market

The State Attorney General released new data today on domestic violence-related deaths. 

From 2001 through 2010, 79 people in New Hampshire died as a result of domestic violence. Two-thirds of the victims were women.

And the data shows a disproportionate share of the deaths were in rural counties, including Sullivan, which had the state’s highest rate.

Attorney General Michael Delaney says that while New Hampshire remains a safe state, domestic violence is occurring at an unacceptably high rate.

Peterborough Town Hall was the sight of John McCain’s final town hall meeting in the 2008 election.

Four years later, he told a small crowd that being back in town was a special feeling.

The Arizona Senator questioned President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East, citing the embassy attack in Libya.

We lost four brave Americans. There was ample warnings about the security deterioration. The President can say all the things he wants to, but facts are stubborn things.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gadgetdude/804190044/">gadgetdude </a> / flickr

New data released today shows New Hampshire students graduating with the highest debt loads in the nation. 

According to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success, the Class of 2011 averaged $32,440 in debt.

It’s the second year in a row New Hampshire has had the highest average load. 

Tara Payne with the NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation says the numbers send a signal to students and parents.

CDC Social Media / Flickr

A judge heard arguments today in a case involving patient medical records at Exeter Hospital. At issue is just how much access the state needs to investigate an outbreak of Hepatitis C.

Back in August, Exeter Hospital filed a protective order arguing the state’s broad request for patient records violates both state and federal privacy laws.

In Merrimack Superior court, lawyers for the State countered, saying they have a duty to investigate exactly what happened inside the hospital, and that means they need complete access.

hitthatswitch / Flickr/Creative Commons

The number of cases of fungal meningitis in New Hampshire now stands at six. Public health officials today announced two more cases of the infection.

The patients all received tainted steroid injections manufactured by New England Compounding Company. The Massachusetts-based manufacturer has since recalled all of its products.

The State Attorney General’s office announced today that more than 43,000 TD Bank customers in New Hampshire are at risk of identity theft. The bank can’t locate two tapes containing sensitive data shipped between locations back in March.

TD Bank is offering new accounts free of charge and a year of credit monitoring to affected customers.

In total, the bank is notifying more than 250,000 customers on the east coast about the breach.

Any parent can tell you that sweet foods are an easier sell to kids than, say, sprouts or salad. But with more than a quarter of New Hampshire struggling with obesity, researchers at Keene State College are working on innovative ways to get children as young as three years old hooked on vegetables.

No patients in New Hampshire have tested positive for fungal meningitis as the national outbreak continues to grow.

simminch / Flickr/Creative Commons

2010 was a great year for Republicans, as they secured veto-proof majorities in Concord. The energy of the Tea Party was one reason why.

If you show up to vote on November 6th, election officials will, for the first time in New Hampshire, ask for identification. Voters can show a driver’s license, military ID, student ID or a passport.

For those without an ID, the state is now ready to distribute a free voter ID card, says David Scanlan, Deputy Secretary of State.

Speaker of the House John Boehner is the latest high profile Republican to stump in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney is joining 40 other state attorneys general in urging congress to crackdown on predatory lending practices.

Delaney today signed a joint letter urging Federal lawmakers to oppose the Consumer Credit Access, Innovation and Modernization Act.

A day after the presidential debate in Colorado, pundits and politicians are giving their views on the showdown. To get a sense of what New Hampshire voters thought of the debate, we visited Main Street in Keene, and present this audio postcard.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sskennel/4526014600/">SSkennel</a> / Flickr

In a press conference at Exeter Hospital today, lawyers called the state’s request for broad access to medical records a government overreach. The state continues to investigate the Hepatitis C outbreak.

In August, Exeter Hospital filed a protective order in Merrimack Superior Court. It’s seeking to block the state’s request for broad access to patient medical records.

State officials investigating the outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital continue pressing for access to patient medical records.

In August, the hospital went to court seeking a protective order, arguing that the Division of Public Health Services’ broad request for records violates both state and federal privacy laws.

Today, the state filed its response in Merrimack Superior Court. It says that healthcare providers are required to share information during a public health investigation.

Flickr

The ten New Hampshire hospitals suing the state over Medicaid reimbursement rates do have a legal basis for their lawsuit. That’s according to an order issued today by a federal judge. 

The hospitals argue that the State’s slashing of more than $250 million in Medicaid funding in the last budget violates Federal guidelines. Those guidelines are meant to ensure adequate quality and access to health care for Medicaid recipients.

New housing data suggests the New Hampshire market may be stabilizing, even while residential prices remain low.

The median sale price last month was $210,000. That’s the same price from August 2011--a signal that the number of houses for sale continues to outpace demand.

But a report from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors says the number of units sold is up more than 20% from last year. And gains are being seen in each of the state’s ten counties.

Nearly 80 years after the deaths of bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, a few, shall we say, "tools of their trade" are going up for auction. Among them are his Colt .45 and her .38 Special, which could each go for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer eventually caught up with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in 1934, a newsreel announcer declared "the inevitable end: retribution. Here is Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who died as they lived: by the gun."

Gamma Man / Flickr/Creative Commons

State health officials announced today that three animals have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 

Along with two emus in Fitzwilliam and a horse in Derry, a man in northeastern Massachusetts has also tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus. Officials are warning residents of Seabrook, South Hampton and Newton to be on alert.

Jose Montero is the state’s Director of Public Health.

Alex E. Proimos / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act says that every state has to select a health plan that will basically serve as a model for other plans.

So, if the model plan covers, say, infertility treatment, eyeglasses or autism services—those same benefits must be included in other plans.

This requirement only applies to the individual and small group markets, where about 200,000 New Hampshire residents shop for insurance.

foshydog / Flickr/Creative Commons

A national study released today ranks New Hampshire the 17th slimmest state. 

The 'F as in Fatreport is produced by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It finds that last year, 26.2% of Granite Staters were obese, up slightly from 2010 figures.

The study also found that more than 12% of high school students in New Hampshire are obese.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire Republicans gathered today for a unity breakfast. Over eggs and sausage, Republicans at the Manchester Country Club talked jobs and the economy. Party leaders stressed a need to work together before the November election. And the governor of Louisiana called for a conservative agenda in the New Hampshire statehouse.

Keynote speaker Bobby Jindal told the crowd that with Ovide Lamontagne as governor, New Hampshire can better compete for new business.

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