Our Story

The Healthy Monadnock Alliance is a partnership of community leaders from across our region who create and foster local initiatives to achieve better health and wellness for all. Our story is the ongoing story of the health and well-being of the 33 towns we serve, and the 130,000+ people who live, work, and play in the Monadnock Region.

We are guided in our mission by the Leadership Council for a Healthy Monadnock, with direct input from the community through a Community Health Needs Assessment and the unwavering support of Cheshire Medical Center. Our work is informed by an understanding that trauma, education, income, and other factors pose challenges to an individual’s ability to thrive- and we are working hard to address these disparities head on. Our members span all sectors, from municipalities, schools, businesses, faith and civic groups.

Our History

The roots of the Healthy Monadnock Alliance go back decades. As an Alliance, we have been pioneers, working to advance health equity and improve the quality of life for everyone in the Monadnock region. Our story is about expanding the choices, opportunities, and supports that are available to lead a healthy life in our community.

Our story is your story.

  • Council for A Healthier Community (The Council)

    Cheshire Medical Center convened volunteers from both public and private sectors, including schools, employers, healthcare, human services, mental health services and higher education to support health improvement efforts in the region.

  • Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Community (CCTFC)

    CCTFC formed to lead planning and implementation strategies to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use and decrease exposure to secondhand smoke by youth and adults in the region.

    Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Community (CCTFC)
  • Cheshire Smiles

    Cheshire Smiles was founded as an in-school oral health program offered free to children in Cheshire County.

  • Community Health Needs Assessment

    NH started to require non-profit health care organizations to conduct a community health needs assessment every 3 years as a part of new community benefits reporting law.

  • Advocates for Healthy Youth (AFHY)

    AFHY formed as a community coalition focused on childhood obesity, to support sustainable programs that promote healthy activity and nutrition options for youth.

  • Vision 2020

    Vision 2020 formed in response to a 2006 challenge by Nancy Sporborg, John Schlegelmilch, and Art Nichols to become the healthiest community in the nation. The Council agreed to oversee Vision 2020 with staff support from Cheshire Medical Center.

    Download the Vision 2020 Book

  • NH Prohibits Smoking in Bars and Restaurants

    NH Legislature passed the amended NH Indoor Smoking Act, which prohibited smoking in restaurants, lounges, and enclosed places.

  • First Healthy Community Summit

    “Living the Vision: Engaging Our Community in Health” was held, with a keynote address by Mark Fenton, host of the PBS television series “America’s Walking”, consultant to the University of North Carolina’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, and instructor in the walkable community workshop series of the Washington DC-based National Center for Bicycling and Walking.

    First Community Summit Keynote Speaker Mark Fenton
  • Vision 2020 Update to the Community

  • Healthy Community Summit II

    Our second summit was held, with the theme “Creating our Future: How We Can Better the Health of Our Community and Ourselves.” The keynote address was by Dr. Dennis Embry, Ph.D., M.A., CEO of PAXIS institute in Tucson, AZ, prevention scientist, licensed psychologist, and author of over 40 books and publications.

  • Healthiest Community Advisory Board Formed (The Board)

    The Board was formed at the direction of The Council to oversee Vision 2020.

  • Worksite Wellness Initiative

    Employers throughout the region started utilizing the worksite wellness assessment, based on the Centers for Disease Control’s Worksite Health Scorecard to evaluate and improve wellness offerings to their employees.

  • School Wellness Initiative

    Schools throughout the region began to take part in programs through the Initiative to encourage physical activity and healthy eating.

  • Vision 2020 Update to the Community

  • Healthy Monadnock 2020

    New name and brand introduced: Healthy Monadnock 2020 – working together we can become the nation’s healthiest community.

    Download the Announcement

  • Healthy Community Summit III

    Our third summit featured the theme “Ready by 21: Ensuring All Youth are Prepared for School, Work and Life”, with Karen Pittman, President and CEO of the Washington, DC-based, Forum for Youth Investment as keynote speaker.

  • Regional Public Health Network Advisory Committee (The Committee)

    The NH Department of Health and Human Services established 13 strategic partnerships to align multiple public health priorities into a single integrated system, and create regional public health networks that include every municipality in the state. Our region was named The Greater Monadnock Public Health Network. The state required formation of a Regional Public Health Advisory Committee (The Committee) for each network.

  • The Council Expands Scope of Responsibilities

    In addition to their responsibility of directing The Board which oversees the Healthy Monadnock 2020 initiative, the Council for a Healthier Community assumed responsibility over the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network, serving as The Committee.

  • Healthy Monadnock’s New Regional Boarders

    The Board broadened the focus area of Healthy Monadnock 2020 to align with our Public Health Network region. The focus area officially expanded beyond Cheshire County to include the 10 western towns in Hillsborough County for a total of 33 towns in the Monadnock Region.

  • Partners in Community Health Grant

    $1 million was awarded to Cheshire Medical Center from the Centers for Disease Control to support community partners in their work to increase opportunities for healthy eating, physical activity, and smoke-free living in towns, worksites, and schools.

  • Healthy Community Summit IV

    Our fourth summit: “Why Living Wages Matter to the Health of the Community,” Keynote Speaker: Jeff Furman, Ben & Jerry’s Inc., Chairman of the Board and founder of Ben & Jerry’s Foundation.

  • Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

    Council for a Healthier Community creates the first Greater Monadnock Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) based on action planning guidance of NH Department of Health and Human Services and Healthy Monadnock goals.

    Download document

  • Healthy Monadnock Update to the Community

  • Living Wage Work Group Created

    A coalition of 15 area business, health, faith, social service, government, nonprofit and education leaders joined to form the Living Wage group to provide education and support for employers to implement a plan to pay workers a living wage.

    Pictured here: W.S. Badger Company – one of the 15 earlier adopters of the Living Wage campaign.

  • Healthy Community Summit V

    Our fifth summit: “A Tapestry of Hope: Preventing and Treating Addiction”, Keynote Speaker: Johann Hari, New York Times Best Selling Author, Chasing the Scream, The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

  • NH Housing Authority Creates a Smoke-Free Requirement

    The CCTFC appealed to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) to include a smoke-free requirement for any new construction or renovation of low-income housing units. The NHHFA accepted the proposed revision to the tax credit application process and presented it to Governor Maggie Hassan, who approved the smoke-free requirement in May, 2016. In order for developers to qualify for Low Income Housing Tax Credit under the new rule, the developer’s application must reflect a 100% smoke-free policy.

  • The Council and the Board Merge

    Members of The Board were invited to join The Council, creating one body to oversee the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network and the Healthy Monadnock initiative.

  • The Council Adopts Work Group Strategies

    In January, The Council adopted our regional strategy to form and utilize work groups made up of content experts and advocates to operationalize our CHIP.

  • Healthy Monadnock 10 Year Update to the Community

  • Healthy Community Summit VI

    Our sixth summit: “Creating a Wellthy Community: Linking A Thriving Economy and Our Health”, Keynote Speaker: Greg Tehven, Thought leader, storyteller, advocate and Executive Director of Emerging Prairie.

  • Smoke-Free Parks

    9 towns banned smoking in recreation areas. The towns of Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Swanzey, Nelson, Rindge, Troy, Walpole, and Winchester worked with the CCTFC to create smoke-free policies for towns’ recreation areas and signage to reflect the new policies.

  • Tobacco 21 – Keene

    Keene City Counselors voted to raise the age to buy, use, and possess tobacco and nicotine products in Keene from 18 to 21. The new ordinance covered tobacco products, liquid nicotine and electronic cigarettes. The CCTFC played an active role in advocating for this age increase.

  • Council for a Healthier Community (The Council) is Renamed: Leadership Council for a Healthy Monadnock

    The Council changed its name to better reflect its expanded roles in our community since 1994.

  • The Council Sets New Priorities for the Healthy Monadnock Initiative

    The five priority areas to guide the Healthy Monadnock initiative were announced: Behavioral Health; Emergency Preparedness; Food Access and Active Living; Healthcare Access; and Protective Factors and Risk Factors. They align with the five CHIP Work Groups.

  • Monadnock Youth Coalition

    A new coalition was formed to aid in preventing the use of tobacco and alcohol among children and adults in Keene and Swanzey.

  • Greater Monadnock Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Update

    The original CHIP was updated to incorporate the input of numerous community partners and individuals. The plan provided a new lens to view health that includes equity, social determinants of health, and trauma.

    Download the CHIP update

  • Tobacco 21 – NH

    CCTFC engaged in a statewide effort, led by Tobacco Free New Hampshire, to successfully pass a statewide Tobacco 21 (T21) policy, which also covers e-cigarettes.

  • Healthy Monadnock Alliance

    To better reflect the regional partnership that had developed over the past 17 years, and the new equity driven mission- the Healthy Monadnock initiative changed its name, logo and website to mirror its evolution.