NH health commissioner ‘functional conflict’ and misinformation

Filed in Health by on July 22, 2022 0 Comments

Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette was on the job three weeks when COVID-19 hit New Hampshire.  She will step down in December, a year before her term ends.

When she steps down in December, New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette will technically be leaving her term one year early. By another measure, three years of managing a pandemic crisis is a full term, and then some.

“I have 10 dogs at home,” said Shibinette, who announced her departure plans last week. “I always say COVID years were like dog years.”

The Bulletin talked with Shibinette, a trained nurse, about the role science played in the state’s COVID-19 response, her decision to leave early, and the risks – and benefits – of speaking up when lawmakers spread misinformation.

She told us about priorities waylaid by the onset of COVID-19 and how the state can do better by juvenile offenders in its care. With help from pandemic funding, her legacy will include several mental health initiatives, including the purchase of Hampstead Hospital to expand inpatient treatment for children; a new 24/7 crisis hotline and mobile response teams; and more services to transition people out of psychiatric hospitals and into their communities.

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