Jason Moon

Reporter

Before joining NHPR's newsroom in February of 2015, Jason held internships with a variety of public radio organizations including StoryCorps, Transom.org, and WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied philosophy, political science, and audio documentaries at Bennington College in Vermont.

Jason lives in New Hampshire's Upper Valley region and covers a variety of topics including health, and is the host and reporter behind Bear Brook, an investigative podcast. 

Every great mystery begins with a first clue. For NHPR listener Hannah Robinson it was a series of letters in the mail.

“I started receiving mail communications from the AARP and hearing aid coupons,” said Robinson, “and I’m still getting invitations to join retirement specialists for dinners and things like that -- just things for someone who is much older.”

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

A Nashua police officer was justified in using deadly force during an incident last September, according to the New Hampshire Attorney General's office.

www.facebook.com/SalemNHPolice

A Salem police officer has been charged with reckless conduct and disobeying a police officer for allegedly leading other officers from his own police department on a high speed chase in 2012.

Jason Moon / NHPR

A man who has spent the last three and a half years inside a prison-run psychiatric unit despite never being convicted asked a judge on Friday to order his transfer to a less restrictive mental health facility.

The case of Anthony Heath highlights New Hampshire's controversial practice of treating some mental health patients with no convictions inside the prison system.

Heath was civilly committed to New Hampshire Hospital in 2016 after being deemed not competent to stand trial for an assault charge.

44,412 New Hampshire residents signed up for or switched their health insurance plans on healthcare.gov during the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period.

The number is just slightly down from last year's total of 44,581.

That trend is in line with national enrollment numbers which ticked downward 1.7%.

The health insurance market for individuals has remained relatively stable in New Hampshire in recent years, despite steep cuts in federal funding for advertising and outreach.

Children were restrained or secluded more than 20,000 times in residential youth behavioral health facilities in New Hampshire over a five year period from 2014 to 2018. That’s the finding of a new report from the Office of the Child Advocate, an independent watchdog agency that oversees the state’s Division for Children, Youth, and Families.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Wednesday to repeal the state's work requirement for people who receive health insurance through expanded Medicaid.

The work requirement was struck down by a federal judge last summer and remains in legal limbo as the state appeals the ruling.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Parkland Medical Center in Derry have announced they are adding a combined 8 new inpatient psychiatric beds.

The new beds come amid a years-long statewide shortage of mental health treatment options that, among other impacts, has forced many mental health patients to languish in emergency rooms for days or even weeks.

Amidst an ongoing lawsuit over that issue, lawmakers last year passed additional funding for mental health beds in the state.

Jim Legans via Flickr CC

A new bill would bar telecom companies from selling location data from smartphones in New Hampshire without explicit consent from consumers. The bill is one of several efforts by states and municipalities across the country to regulate the sale of consumer data.

The measure is sponsored by Democratic state senator Shannon Chandley, who said she authored the bill after being contacted by a constituent.

NHPR Photo

A new bill would direct the state health department take a more active role in overseeing the prescribing of psychotropic drugs to foster children in New Hampshire.

A federal Inspector General report from last year found New Hampshire had one of the highest rates of foster children receiving drugs for emotional and psychiatric issues.

New Hampshire is one of 10 states selected by the Trump administration to receive a Medicaid grant aimed at improving treatment for pregnant mothers suffering from opioid misuse disorder.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called on voters in Manchester today to be “moved, radically” by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his presidential campaign.

Omar and Sanders’ remarks at Southern New Hampshire University on Friday underscored the campaign’s continued emphasis on sweeping progressive policy goals.

Allison Quantz / NHPR

The last day to sign up for a health insurance plan for the year on healthcare.gov is this Sunday.

After this Sunday, people in the individual market won't be able to sign up for a health insurance plan until next year, unless they experience a qualifying life event like getting married or having a baby.

Allison Quantz | NHPR

The number of medical students coming from rural areas has fallen by almost 30% since 2002, according to a new report. Researchers say the trend is partly to blame for healthcare workforce shortages in rural states like New Hampshire.

State health officials say they are planning to apply for a waiver from the federal government that would loosen restrictions on how Medicaid dollars could be spent on mental health treatment in New Hampshire.

Federal law currently prohibits the use of Medicaid dollars to pay for mental health care at facilities with more than 16 beds, to prevent the so-called “warehousing” of mental health patients with public funds.

A major new study on mortality rates in the U.S. finds New Hampshire had the largest increase in the rate of deaths of people between 25 and 64.

The study shows the rate of deaths among young and middle aged people in New Hampshire increased by 23% between 2010 and 2017. That's the largest increase anywhere in the country.

The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also finds the overall life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for the third consecutive year, despite the fact that Americans pay more for healthcare than any other country.

State health officials say they are planning to apply for a waiver from the federal government that would loosen restrictions on how Medicaid dollars could be spent on mental health treatment in New Hampshire.

Federal law currently prohibits the use of Medicaid dollars to pay for mental health care at facilities with more than 16 beds, to prevent the so-called “warehousing” of mental health patients with public funds.

NHPR File Photo

Almost 500 infants born in New Hampshire between July 2018 and September 2019 had signs of neonatal abstinence syndrome. That's according to a new report from the State Child Advocate which looks at how well the state is dealing with the problem.

The report identifies systemic problems in how the Division for Children Youth and Families currently responds when a baby is born exposed to drugs.

Allison Quantz | NHPR

Three weeks into the federal healthcare exchange's open enrollment period, there are fewer new enrollees in New Hampshire compared to last year.

Since November 1st, 7,851 people in New Hampshire have signed up for a new plan or switched their plans on Healthcare.gov. That's down from 9,027 during the same period last year.

Zandra Rice-Hawkins with the non-profit Granite State Progress says severe cuts in federal funding for advertising the healthcare exchanges is driving the decline.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Exeter Hospital and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital are launching a public-relations campaign aimed at overcoming the objections of state regulators to a proposed merger.

Exeter Hospital and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital are hoping to join forces under a new non-profit that would be a subsidiary of Massachusetts General Hospital. Wentworth-Douglass was acquired by Mass General in 2017.

NHPR Photo

An estimated 14,000 children in New Hampshire were affected by opioid abuse in 2017. That's the finding of a new study that tries to quantify the impact of the opioid crisis on children in America.

The study from the United Hospital Fund shows 51 out of every 1,000 kids in New Hampshire were impacted by the opioid crisis in 2017, either from their parent's opioid use or their own. 

Jason Moon / NHPR

Two victims in the Bear Brook murders case were laid to rest at a funeral in Allenstown on Saturday.

Marlyse Honeychurch and Marie Vaughn were found murdered just outside Bear Brook State Park in 1985. Despite the efforts of investigators, their identities went unknown for more than 30 years.

Google Maps

A five-hour standoff in Ossipee on Thursday ended with a man being shot by police.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office says police officers were attempting to serve legal documents and to arrest 53-year-old John Swanson at his home in Ossipee.

According to the AG, Swanson refused to come out of his home. He was later shot during a confrontation with police and is currently receiving medical treatment.

The AG says the name of the officer or officers involved in the shooting will be withheld until formal interviews have been conducted.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

A committee of New Hampshire House lawmakers is calling for the repeal of the state's Medicaid work requirement.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

A judge says a man who threatened to kill a transgender woman at a Planet Fitness in Nashua last March violated New Hampshire's Civil Rights Act. The verdict is one of the first for the state's new Civil Rights Unit.

On Friday, Marc Bernier was ordered by a judge to pay a fine of $500, to not enter the Planet Fitness in Nashua, to not come within 250 feet of the victim, and to not violate the Civil Rights Act again. If Bernier violates the terms of the injunction, the fine will increase to $3,000 and he could face criminal charges.

Department of Human Health and Services

A new report by the Office of the Child Advocate says the state agency tasked with investigating allegations of child abuse is hampered by poor communication, chronic understaffing, and an outdated, inefficient records keeping system.

The report, which examines systemic factors affecting child safety in New Hampshire, focuses on the deaths of five children and one parent whose families had contact with the Division for Children, Youth and Families since February 2018.

www.BackgroundNow.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

New Hampshire is one of seven states, cities, and counties nationwide to be selected for a training program designed to revamp the state's juvenile probation system.

The training will take place next month at Georgetown University.

The list of attendees from New Hampshire include staff from the Division for Children, Youth and Families, a circuit court judge, the state's child advocate, a public defender, and police officers.

DEA.gov

At least 135 police departments across New Hampshire will participate in a nationwide prescription drug take back program Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

And for the first time they will accept vaping devices along with prescription drugs.

DEA Site Locator: Find a collection location near you.

The decision to accept vaping devices comes in response to an ongoing outbreak of a vaping-related illness, that has killed at least 34 people across the country and injured one person in New Hampshire.

Allison Quantz | NHPR

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has announced a $4.5 million plan to create what it says is the country's first geriatric emergency department in a rural area.

The hospital is working with the California-based non-profit West Health on the project. West Health, which has worked on similar projects in urban settings, will spend $3 million on the project. Dartmouth-Hitchcock has committed an additional $1.5 million.

Imagine you are forced to go to a hospital to receive psychiatric treatment that you don't think you need. What rights would you have?

That's the question at the heart of a legal battle between the state of New Hampshire and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The case has big implications for New Hampshire, but it also highlights a nationwide problem: A shortage of mental health beds is leaving patients stranded in emergency rooms for days or weeks at a time.

Anxiety and agitation

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