Vaccines in the News

March 13, 2019

The past week has seen an increase in news stories regarding vaccines.Though I am thrilled that we are seeing pro-vaccine stories hitting the news, it saddens me that we have gotten to this point with some of our greatest scientific and medical discoveries. I love that 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger in Ohio, did his research, and when he became an “adult” decided vaccines were what he wanted to do for his “own wellbeing and the wellbeing of people around” him. 

Ethan did not want to “be the reason some eradicated disease spreads again.”  He spoke in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about his experience with his mother who he feels received significant misinformation from on-line sources. He feels the American people need to focus on these organized groups spreading disinformation.

Presidential Travel

February 19, 2019

Drs. Tessa Lafortune-Greenberg, Georgia Tuttle and Travis Harker in DCLast week, I had the opportunity to attend two very interesting events. The first was the AMA National Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., with Drs. Georgia Tuttle and Travis Harker, and Jim Potter. The four of us met with New Hampshire’s federal delegation including Senator Maggie Hassan and Representative Chris Pappas, as well as staffers from the offices of Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Representative Annie Kuster.

Concerns Regarding HB481

February 5, 2019

With the public hearings on the legalization of recreational marijuana use taking place this week, I thought I would write about my concerns as a pediatrician and why I think our legislators should oppose HB481.

Other states in the US have legalized recreational marijuana use and what have we learned? Unfortunately - not enough. Washington and Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2012, and in the six years since there are still many questions that need to be addressed – what are the economic costs associated with increased crime, increased health care costs – emergency treatment and substance abuse treatment, increased costs in relation to accidents and injuries on roads or in workplaces? Despite the lack of data other states are continuing to legalize recreational use.

Making Connections

Dr. Tessa Lafortune-Greenberg - hockey poseJanuary 30, 2019

This weekend I participated in the Black Ice Pond Hockey Tourney at White Park, here in Concord. This a four-day (typically – when the weather cooperates) hockey tournament that occurs right in the middle of our long winters here in the Granite State. For me, it is a time for me to get outside and enjoy playing hockey during a time when I am not typically enjoying the cold weather.  

Granite State’s Vaccine Registry is Sorely Needed

January 23, 2019

New Hampshire has been the only state in the United States without an electronic immunization registry that is functioning to allow vaccine information to be safely stored and searchable in an electronic database.

The concept of a functional vaccine registry is to have a confidential, population-based, computerized information system that collects vaccination data of the people living in a state. This is time saving and provides a significant amount of data.

A state vaccine registry can allow providers to determine appropriate vaccines for their patients. This prevents patients from getting inappropriate vaccines at inappropriate times and delaying vaccines due to unknown immunization history. 

Listening – an underused leadership skill

December 19, 2018

Polar bearIn preparation of my taking over as NHMS president, I attended the Karl M. Altenburger, MD, Physician Leadership Academy with Jim Potter that was sponsored by The Physicians Foundation through the Brandeis Heller School that was held at Babson Executive Conference Centre in Boston. This was a 3-day leadership training that focused on team building and strategies for change for state medical society physician leaders and CEOs.

Influenza

December 3, 2018 

Get your flu vaccine!It’s time for the flu vaccine. Influenza – for anyone who has had “the flu” you are aware that it is not just a bad cold. Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

Coming to a close...

November 6, 2018

My presidency of the Medical Society is coming to a close at this weekend’s NHMS Annual Scientific Conference at the Wentworth Hotel in New Castle, November 9-11. I hope to see many of you there for this year’s informative meeting with lectures on a variety of current and relevant medical topics including physician burnout, exercise as a major positive influence in the treatment of serious mental health disorders and three hours of lectures on opiate use issues that will fulfill our NH opiate competency CME requirements. I will also be presenting a talk on “The Impact of Firearms on Public Health” covering many of the aspects of this subject, which has been my main mission and focus for many years, including during my tenure as president of NHMS.

Prescription: Democracy

October 24, 2018

VoteAs we get close to the mid-term elections I keep thinking about how interconnected public health and politics have become. We simply cannot separate those two areas of concern these days no matter how hard we may try.

Facilitating Change

October 10, 2018

Personal involvement and perspective often drive certain individuals to make a special effort to facilitate change. In this regard, I think of several people who have dedicated their lives after personal experience aroused a passion for a particular cause.

I think in particular of Emma Gonzalez and her surviving schoolmates who have devoted their recent actions to highlighting the unimaginable tragedy of lives lost in the Parkland High School killing of twelve of their classmates. Their determination and persistence in advocating for change in our gun laws has really provided the momentum in our country for having success in reducing gun violence. I think also of Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly who, after Gabby’s shooting in Tucson and after years of rehab for Gabby, launched their effort to fight gun violence in response to the horrific killing of twenty children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

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