Jason Moon | New Hampshire Public Radio

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 Concord and covers a variety of topics including health. He's also the host and reporter behind Bear Brook, an investigative podcast.

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

DCYF

Reports of child abuse and neglect reached a record high in New Hampshire during the last fiscal year.

Last fiscal year, the Division for Children, Youth and Families received more than 30,000 calls reporting child abuse or neglect. Of those, more than 12,000 were investigated by child welfare workers.

The new data released by the state Friday highlights the increasing demands on the agency tasked with protecting the welfare of children.

The report also shows the average caseload for DCYF workers, about 45, remains well above the nationally recommend level of 12.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

More than $4 million in state and federal money was spent rolling out a Medicaid work requirement in New Hampshire that was later struck down by a federal judge.

The numbers, which come from state estimates provided to the Government Accountability Office, are the first estimate of the total cost of the now defunct program.

Wikimedia Commons

State health officials are asking for the public's help in identifying a Massachusetts man who may have been exposed to rabies.

The Department of Health and Human Services says the man came in contact with a baby raccoon on September 20th in Conway, where he helped a local resident remove two baby raccoons from Route 16. The raccoons were brought to a wildlife rehabilitation center where they were later found to have rabies.

CDC map

The first vaping-related lung injury in New Hampshire has been identified.

State health officials say an adult from Sullivan County was hospitalized after vaping nicotine products.

The injury was consistent with the more than 1,000 cases of vaping-related injuries associated with e-cigarettes that have been reported across the nation in recent months.

The CDC is investigating that outbreak, which has resulted in at least 18 deaths.

State Epidemiologist Ben Chan says, so far, no specific cause has yet been identified.

Sara Ernst / NHPR

The state agency tasked with investigating allegations of child abuse is issuing a sweeping request for public input on how it could better do its job.

The Division for Children, Youth, and Families has struggled for years through funding cuts, growing number of calls, and lawsuits that allege the agency failed to act to protect children.

DHMC

Dartmouth-Hitchcock and GraniteOne Health, an existing group that includes Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, have signed an agreement to combine under a single new healthcare network.

The formal agreement announced Wednesday would combine more than half-a-dozen hospitals across New Hampshire into a single new healthcare network.

The official agreement comes nine months after the groups signed a letter of intent. The deal will need approval from the state Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Unit and Consumer Protection Bureau as well as the Federal Trade Commission.

Each week in Manchester, in an undisclosed location, a similar scene unfolds. On this particular day, in early September, it goes like this: A few people set up a card table in a shady spot. In front of the table they place a few plastic buckets.

Soon, a woman approaches holding a shopping bag. Inside are several used syringes. She empties the bag into one of the buckets, chats with the people manning the table, then refills the bag with a few boxes of clean syringes.

NHPR Photo

Dartmouth College has received a $4 million grant to research new models for providing opioid addiction treatment to patients outside of traditional healthcare settings.

The grant will fund a number of different research projects at Dartmouth, including a pilot program to test the effectiveness of a new injection-form of buprenorphine, a drug that can reduce withdrawal symptoms for people suffering from opioid addiction.

Another project will look at how opioid addiction treatment is administered in emergency rooms.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Office of the Child Advocate is launching a review into how restraint and seclusion are being used on children in behavioral health settings.

The review will look at both private residential treatment facilities and the state-run Sununu Youth Services Center.

Courtesy T. Burdette

New research from the University of New Hampshire shows wilderness therapy is more effective and cheaper than traditional methods for treating adolescents with substance use and mental health issues.

In wilderness therapy, teenagers receive treatment in the context of outdoor experiences like backpacking trips or rock-climbing.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Citing antitrust concerns, the New Hampshire Attorney General's office is objecting to a proposed merger between Exeter Hospital, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

In a statement, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said the merger would reduce competition for healthcare services on the Seacoast and potentially increase prices for consumers.

The state of New Hampshire is suing four members of the Sackler family who own drug maker Purdue Pharma.

Read the lawsuit here.

The state accuses the Sacklers of being the architects of a deceptive marketing campaign around opioids that contributed to the state's drug crisis.

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 court battle between the state of New Hampshire, the ACLU, and nearly two-dozen hospitals. A ruling in the case could have profound impacts on how New Hampshire treats people who are in a mental health crisis.

GEORGE FREY / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is objecting to a proposed settlement offered by drug maker Purdue Pharma.

The maker of oxycontin is hoping to resolve thousands of lawsuits that allege the company played a major role in creating the opioid crisis.

The number of people without health insurance in New Hampshire remained steady from 2017 to 2018. 

The new census data shows that in 2017 and 2018 about 77,000 New Hampshire residents, or 6% of the state's population, didn't have health insurance.

Nationally, the uninsured rate ticked up from 7.9% to 8.5% over the same period.

States without Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act saw higher increases in the uninsured rate in 2018.

Associated Press

Trump administration officials announced Wednesday morning that New Hampshire will receive more than $26 million in a new round of federal grants designed to combat the opioid crisis.

Flikr Creative Commons / Dvortygirl

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office says it has decided to join a massive multi-state lawsuit against makers of generic drugs.

The move comes after the AG’s office faced pressure from state lawmakers for not joining the suit sooner.

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