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Entries in NH DHHS (607)


NH DHHS - Eat Well to Be Healthy: New Data on Fruits and Vegetables Consumption

Concord, NH – We have all heard since childhood the admonishment to “eat

your fruits and vegetables,” but apparently the message still is not

getting through. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention (CDC) entitled “State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables

2013” doesn’t paint a very healthy picture for New Hampshire, or the


On average in the U.S., adults consume 1.6 servings of vegetables per day

but the recommendation is for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables

per day. In New Hampshire, the average adult consumes at least 1.8 servings

per day, which is on the high end for the country. A diet rich in fruits

and vegetables helps reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Fruits

and vegetables also provide essential nutrients and vitamins, fiber, and

other substances important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are

naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

“As more is learned about nutrition and its effect on our overall health

the more important the consumption of fruits and vegetables becomes as part

of a healthy diet,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “I am pleased

to see that our State is on the high end of fruits and vegetables

consumption, but we can and should do better for ourselves and our families

and New Hampshire.”

According to the report, in 2013 30.3% of adults and 36.8% of adolescents

in New Hampshire reported eating fruits less than once a day, and 17.6% of

adults and 31.8% of adolescents reported eating vegetables less than once a

day. However, New Hampshire has fewer healthier food retailers compared

with the national average.

DHHS has been working with the NH Kids Count Coalition so that children and

their families can access affordable, nutritious food, including fresh

fruits and vegetables in their local communities. A great goal is for

adults to support local farmers markets and other access points for fresh

fruits and vegetables. It is not only good for your health but for the

local economy as well. To see a list of more than 70 farmers markets in New

Hampshire, visit the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Markets and

Food; the list should be updated shortly for 2014.

This data brief on fruits and vegetables consumption is one of the topics

DHHS is focusing on in recognition of National Public Health Week, April

7–11 (#nphw #nhphw). To learn more, visit the DHHS website at For more information on NPHW



NH DHHS - Hepatitis A vaccination clinics Friday, April 11th

The Capital Area Public Health Network in coordination with the town of

Hopkinton and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services,

will be holding hepatitis A vaccination clinics Friday, April 11th from 5

PM – 8 PM, and Saturday April 12th from 10 AM – 2 PM. The media is

invited inside the clinic area from 4:15 PM – 4:45 PM Friday, April 11th.

At this time media will be given the opportunity to interview clinic staff

and take photographs and video of the clinic.

These clinics are a follow up to vaccination clinics held last summer

following DHHS’ investigation into two cases of hepatitis A in two food

service employees who worked at establishments in the Hopkinton area.

Hepatitis A requires a second vaccination six months after the first one to

ensure maximum coverage. During the clinics last summer more than 1100

people were vaccinated. The clinics are being held with pre-scheduled

appointments and are only for those who received their first hepatitis A

vaccine at one of the earlier clinics. The American Red Cross is assisting

with logistics for the event.

WHAT: Hepatitis A clinic

WHEN: April 11, 2014 at 4:15 PM

WHERE: Slusser Senior Center

Houston Drive

Hopkinton, NH


NH DHHS Releases Data Brief on Diabetes during Pregnancy in New Hampshire

Concord, NH – Most women with gestational diabetes know that taking steps

to manage the disease during pregnancy is critical for the health of both

mother and child. What many women don’t realize is that those steps need to

continue even after the baby is born. A report on the impact of diabetes

during pregnancy in New Hampshire is now available and points to an

increasing public health problem in the State.

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that is diagnosed for the

first time during pregnancy, usually during the second trimester, and is

the most common type of diabetes (90%) among pregnant women. Gestational

diabetes affects about 7% of all U.S. pregnancies or about 200,000

pregnancies each year. In New Hampshire, the rate of reported maternal

diabetes per 1,000 live births increased significantly from about 3.4% in

2001 to 5.7% in 2010.

“Women who have had gestational diabetes are not only at increased risk of

health problems during their pregnancy but they are also at increased risk

of developing diabetes in the future,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of

Public Health at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

“Children of mothers with gestational diabetes are also at risk of health

problems around the time of delivery such as miscarriage, birth defects,

being born too large or too small, or having breathing problems or glucose

or iron deficiency. Later in life the children are at increased risk of

obesity and diabetes themselves. But there are steps women can take to

lessen their risk and keep themselves and their children healthy.”

Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35% to 60% chance of

developing diabetes in the next 10–20 years. Women with a history of

gestational diabetes should be screened for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after

the baby is born and at least every 3 years after that. It is important for

women to reach and maintain a healthy weight, preferably before becoming

pregnant, and maintain a healthy weight by making healthy food choices and

being active for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Breastfeeding also

helps protect against childhood obesity, which is a risk factor for type 2

diabetes. For mom, breastfeeding can also promote an earlier return to a

pre-pregnancy weight. Gestational diabetes also occurs more frequently

among women with a family history of diabetes, overweight and obesity, and

from Hispanic/Latina, African-American, American Indian, Asian, Pacific

Island, or Alaska Native background.

This data brief on gestational diabetes is one of the topics DHHS is

focusing on in recognition of National Public Health Week, April 7–11

(#nphw #nhphw). To read the data brief, go to . For more information

on NPHW visit


NH DHHS Collaborates to Increase Oxygen Capacity during a Disaster in New  Hampshire

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

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services in collaboration with the

Emergency Services Unit (ESU) is partnering with the State’s Public Health

Networks (PHNs) to increase the medical system’s capacity to handle

patients during a large outbreak or mass casualty event. This is phase III

of a program begun in 2008. Phases I and II included the purchase and

deployment of ventilators to the acute care hospitals around New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Critical Care and Supplemental Oxygen Program (CCSOP) is

working to strengthen the State’s ability to respond to a catastrophic

event. One hundred twenty-five ventilators, machines that assist very ill

patients who cannot breathe on their own, were deployed across the State

during the first two phases. Phase III involves oxygen concentrators,

machines that pull oxygen out of the air for patients with mild to moderate

breathing problems. This is called low-flow oxygen.

The NH CCSOP program is providing concentrators to the Public Health

Networks and assessing their use as well as tanked oxygen use at alternate

care sites (ACSs). These ACSs would be set up by the Networks if the number

of ill people exceeds the capacity of the hospitals. The other part of

phase III is workshops and exercises intended to improve the ability of the

PHN partnerships to provide medical evaluation and care during a major

event. Beginning last year, all the Networks have participated in workshops

and functional exercises to practice setting up an ACS. Successful

implementation of this project will result in the development of a specific

medical surge plan to be used in an event.

“This is a huge cooperative effort among the Division of Public Health

Services, the Emergency Services Unit, and the Public Health Networks,

which means all of the entities they collaborate with including hospitals

and other health care partners and local first responders,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “This is a vital arm of our

preparedness efforts and I want to thank everyone involved for all their

hard work on behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire.”

This low-flow oxygen program is one of the topics DHHS is focusing on in

recognition of National Public Health Week, April 7–11 (#nphw #nhphw). To

read more go to For more

information on NPHW visit


NH DHHS - Breastfeeding Support for New Mothers Can Make a Big Difference

Concord, NH – With 8 out of every 10 New Hampshire mothers choosing to

breastfeed their infant after delivery, more and more mothers are returning

to work and asking their employer to provide a breastfeeding friendly

workplace. In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

introduced an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act to require Break

Time for Nursing Mothers. This federal law mandates a minimum level of

workplace support for nursing mothers and requires employers to provide

reasonable break time and a place to express milk for up to the infant’s

first year of life. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human

Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is also

encouraging breastfeeding through such actions as the Breastfeeding

Friendly Employer Award and the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Award.

“Breastfeeding promotion and support is an important part of our public

health message within the Division of Public Health Services,” DHHS Public

Health Director Dr. José Montero. “Many of our programs that provide

services to the women of New Hampshire include breastfeeding promotion and

support services, such as our WIC Nutrition Program, the Breastfeeding Peer

Counseling Program, our Home Visiting Program, SIDS Program and our

state-funded Community Health Centers. We recognize the importance of

supporting mothers who choose to breastfeeding and value the public health

reward, such as reduced rates of obesity, type 2-diabetes, and

cardiovascular disease.”

Last year, DPHS teamed up with the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force

to launch a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award. The award was presented

to employers who are establishing and maintaining comprehensive,

high-quality lactation support for their employees. Employers are

encouraged to apply for this annual award this year.

This year, DPHS and the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force have teamed

up again to promote a Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Award. This award

is open to all New Hampshire licensed child care providers who are

providing the highest level of breastfeeding support within their program

to support nursing mothers and infants, as well as employees. As more

employers and child care providers join the recent movement to support

breastfeeding mothers, the opportunity to meet the American Academy of

Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first

six months will become achievable for more working mothers.

“We recognize that mothers want to provide the best health and nutrition

for their babies,” said Montero. “Research clearly shows that exclusive

breastfeeding for the first six months provides optimal nutrition. New

Hampshire is ready to follow the recommendations of the AAP and the US

Surgeon General and take action to make it a reality for working mothers in

the Granite State.”

The DPHS Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Section and the Maternal and

Child Health Section continue to work collaboratively to promote, support,

and encourage breastfeeding for all pregnant women and new mothers. To

learn more about current and past initiatives, visit the NH DHHS website at .

This breastfeeding initiative is one of the topics DHHS is focusing on in

recognition of National Public Health Week, April 7–11 (#nphw #nhphw). For

more information on NPHW visit