Press Releases


Entries in NH DHHS (722)


NH DHHS - NH Officials to Discuss State’s Comprehensive Response to Opioid Epidemic

Member of the media are invited to a press event on Tuesday, September 29,

2015, at 11:30am, to hear firsthand from State officials about the State’s

comprehensive strategy to address the opioid overdose crisis.

WHAT: State of New Hampshire’s comprehensive strategy to address

the opioid epidemic, including the plan to distribute the

drug overdose reversal medication, naloxone

WHO: Anticipated speakers include Governor Maggie Hassan; DHHS

Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas; NH Bureau of Emergency

Medical Services Director Nick Mercuri; Police Chief

Association President Chief Bob Cormier; individuals in

recovery; family members of those experiencing addiction;

and physicians providing naloxone and medication-assisted

treatment for people experiencing addiction

WHEN: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WHERE: Governor and Council Chambers

NH State House

Concord, NH

The press conference will specifically address:

· Two new laws, House Bills 270 and 271, that were passed and went in

to effect June 2, 2015, to increase public access to drug overdose

reversal medication, often referred to as naloxone or by its

commercial name, Narcan.

· The State’s purchase of naloxone kits that will be made available

this fall at no cost for those at risk for an opioid-related overdose

or their friends and family members.

· The State’s new campaign to increase awareness of the opioid crisis

and of resources and services available to help prevent, treat and

support recovery from addiction.

Presentations will run from 11:30am to approximately 12:10pm, with the

remaining 20 minutes available for questions from the press.

Press packets will be available at the beginning of the event.


NH DHHS - Promotes Good Oral Health among Older Adults in Honor of National Senior Center Month

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, Oral Health Program, has been

providing oral health screenings in senior centers around the State to

raise awareness of the importance of oral health for New Hampshire's older


Older adults face barriers to regular dental care due to a lack of dental

insurance, financial constraints, absence of perceived need, and

transportation issues. A recent statewide survey of older adults in senior

centers documented an unmet need for dental care among seniors living

independently in their communities, particularly among those residing in

rural areas, and those with limited incomes. Twenty-four percent of older

adults have untreated decay and sharp broken teeth.

“Because many seniors have unmet oral health needs, the Department is

promoting innovative approaches to dental care to help seniors prevent and

control tooth decay,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of the

Division Public Health Services. “Oral health is part of healthy aging; you

can’t be healthy without good oral health.”

Older adults with urgent dental needs in six selected senior centers who

have been identified by hygienists are referred to participating local

dental offices, where their treatment is paid for through funds from DHHS.

These services are especially important for older adults because poor oral

health impacts their nutritional status, social functioning, and overall

well-being. As the gateway to the body, the mouth is constantly challenged

by bacteria and viruses that cause infection and inflammation. Dental

caries (cavities) and the periodontal diseases (such as gingivitis and

periodontitis) have been linked to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,

respiratory diseases, and cancer.

The Oral Health Program received funds from the National Association of

Chronic Disease Directors to provide seniors with screening assessments,

oral health education, and referrals for treatment.

While these programs are important, funding for seniors’ dental screening

assessments ends on September 30, 2015. DHHS is raising awareness of the

issue to show the importance of sustaining the screening program and adding

on-site preventive oral health services to additional sites in the state.

For more information about screening sites or the Oral Health Program in

New Hampshire visit

# # #


NH DHHS - Tobacco Survey 

Recent Survey Recognizes Independent Pharmacies in New Hampshire That

Do Not Sell Tobacco Products

Concord, NH – A recent survey conducted by the NH Department of Health and

Human Services (DHHS) identifies Independent Pharmacies in New Hampshire

that do not sell tobacco products. DHHS applauds theses pharmacies for

putting the health of their clientele and patients ahead of sales. The

survey, conducted by phone in August 2015, asked the 33 Independent

Pharmacies in New Hampshire if tobacco products were sold in their

stores—of those who answered the question, 27 said no.

“DHHS is applauding these New Hampshire Independent Pharmacies for

recognizing the conflict of selling a product that kills an estimated 1,900

New Hampshire residents a year while offering health care and

pharmaceutical services,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public

Health at DHHS.

These New Hampshire Independent Pharmacies join the growing list of

national retailers that have decided not to sell tobacco products in their

stores. Target Corp. stores historically (since 1996) have not sold tobacco

products. Last year, CVS Caremark Corp. (now CVS Health) made the decision

to stop selling tobacco products in its stores, citing that selling

cigarettes and providing health care do not go together in the same


Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of over 7,000 chemicals; these poisons pose a

danger to the body right away and can trigger sudden blood clots, heart

attacks, and strokes. About 70 of these chemicals can cause cancer.

According to the Surgeon General Report, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease,

every cigarette smoked damages the body, causes immediate harm to

nonsmokers (including unborn babies), and weakens the immune system,

increasing the body’s susceptibility to illness, bacteria and viruses, such

as the flu.

Some major cities, such as New York and Boston, have banned the sale of

tobacco products in pharmacies. The harmful effects of tobacco use are not

limited to smoking cigarettes; cigars, hookas, bidis, and smokeless tobacco

products all can cause cancer, disease, and tooth loss. E-cigarettes

(electronic smoking devices) emit an aerosol that has been found to contain

at least 10 chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other

reproductive harm. The devices can create an addiction to the drug nicotine

and can lead to cigarette smoking, particularly in youth.

DHHS currently offers free help quitting tobacco use through 1-800-QUIT-NOW1-800-QUIT-NOW FREE

( The list of these independent pharmacies can be

found at


# # #


NH DHHS Identifies Positive Test Result for West Nile Virus

First Positive Mosquito Batch of the Season

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) is announcing that a batch of mosquitoes has tested positive for

West Nile Virus (WNV) recently from the city of Manchester. This is the

first mosquito batch found to be positive so far this year and the first

positive test result of the season. DHHS is collaborating with the City of

Manchester Health Department on notification around this recent detection.

WNV, along with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), are arboviruses that are

transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV was first identified

in New Hampshire in August of 2000. The Public Health Lab has tested 3,048

mosquito batches, two animals, and 46 people so far this season for WNV and

EEE. There have been no positive tests for EEE yet this year. Last year, 1

mosquito batch tested positive for WNV in New Hampshire and there were 18

positive batches for EEE. No animals tested positive for WNV last year but

there were three EEE positive animals. Three humans were determined to have

been infected with EEE last year as well, with two fatalities, but there

were no people found infected with WNV.

“This is the first positive mosquito test result in New Hampshire this

season,” said NH State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, “NH residents and

visitors need to make sure they take precautions to prevent being bitten by

mosquitoes as we head into the fall, the most risky time of year for

mosquito-borne illnesses like WNV and EEE.”

Residents and visitors to New Hampshire should protect themselves and their

family members by using an effective mosquito repellant that contains 30%

DEET, wearing long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are

most active, and removing standing water from around your home so

mosquitoes do not have a place to breed. Repellents with picaridin, IR3535

and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products also

provide protection against mosquito bites.

Symptoms of the WNV usually appear within a week after being bitten by an

infected mosquito, although many people can be infected and not develop any

symptoms, or only develop very mild symptoms. Symptoms can include flu-like

illness including fever, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue. A very small

percentage of individuals infected with WNV can go on to develop more

serious central nervous system disease, including meningitis or

encephalitis. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms,

including fever and headache, contact your local medical provider.

Anyone with questions about WNV/EEE can call 1-866-273-64531-866-273-6453 FREE between 8 AM to

4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Other information about EEE and West Nile

virus are available on the DHHS website at and on the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

Prevention Guidelines for West Nile Virus

Prevention Guidelines for WNV and EEE


NH DHHS Announces Changes to Certain Locations for Accessing EBT Cash 

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Division of Family Assistance (DFA) is announcing additional

locations where cash recipients will not be able to access benefits that

are issued onto Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards.

EBT Cards were already being restricted at liquor stores, gaming

establishments, and adult entertainment facilities. Now the work of a

legislative study committee has resulted in passage of House Bill 219,

which adds new locations to the list of those restricted from accessing EBT

cash. These new locations include: branding, body piercing, and tattoo

shops; smoke shops; and recreational marijuana dispensaries.

Terry Smith, DFA Director, said, "These new EBT restrictions took effect

September 18, 2015. The EBT system automatically blocks EBT Card

transactions at restricted locations, including all ATMs located on the

same premises."

Nicholas Toumpas, Commissioner of DHHS, said, "The legislature has acted

commendably in a bi-partisan way to give the Department a low-cost yet

effective option for ensuring cash assistance is spent for life


Cash assistance can be issued onto an EBT Card for the following programs:

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Old Age Assistance (OAA),

Aid to the Needy Blind (ANB), and Aid to the Permanently and Totally

Disabled (APTD).


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