July 2, 2019

Albee Budnitz MD, FACP, FCCP, did a lunch time presentation for my department last week regarding vaping or “Juuling.” It was an eye-opening presentation for many of us. From a discussion of what vaping is, the products available and “accessories” and the health implications, it was a whirlwind of frightening information. 

Here are a few of the highlights that I found most interesting, disturbing and concerning:

  • In the past year vaping among high schoolers has increased 78%.

  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine and most adolescents do not know this and nicotine is a very highly addictive drug.

  • Some e-cigarettes/pods contain as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes – and some teens will “vape” up to 4 pods per day – that is the equivalent of a 4 pack per day smoker!! This has led to nicotine toxicity.

AMA in Chicago

June 19, 2019

Tessa Lafortune-Greenberg with Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MDLast week I attended the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago for the first time. This included four days of taking part in business of the House of Delegates (HOD).  Due to circumstances of my colleagues not being available I was promoted (battlefield promotions I was told) to alternate delegate then delegate. This allowed me voting rights on HOD business and was quite an experience. 

There were 2500 physicians, residents and medical students from all 50 states and over 115 specialties, including our delegate Dr. Bill Kassler, Dr. Stuart Glassman representing the AAPMR as a delegate, our EVP Jim Potter  and Dr. Georgia Tuttle. 

New England Medical Societies & AMA Delegation Meeting

May 29,2019

I recently spent a Saturday morning at meetings of the Council of New England State Medical Societies and New England Delegation to the American Medical Association at the Massachusetts Medical Society Headquarters in Waltham, MA. Along with the other New England State Medical Society presidents, I presented our New Hampshire report to the group and discussed resolutions to bring to the AMA meeting in June.

It was great to see that our neighboring states are dealing with similar issues that we are working on in the Granite State. Vermont is working on leadership trainings, opioid prescribing and paid family leave.  Maine and Massachusetts are working on immunization requirements. Vermont and Connecticut are also advocating against marijuana commercialization legislation.

Perspectives from the MMS Annual Meeting

May 14, 2019

I recently spent time at the Massachusetts Medical Society annual meeting in Boston. As I am originally from Massachusetts, and did my undergrad, medical school and residency in Massachusetts, it was great to see many of my prior classmates and colleagues that I have not seen in years.

Measles Outbreak Requires Greater Vaccine Promotion

May 8, 2019

Sometimes timing is everything. In regards to having an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease – measles, I wish this was not occurring. However, with my focus this year on ensuring that Granite Staters are protected from these diseases by routine immunizations, the timing couldn’t be better for the medical community and health systems to take a more assertive role in vaccine promotion.

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.