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Cheshire County HEAL program commended for health initiative

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently highlighted the work being done to improve employee health in Cheshire County, crediting the Cheshire County Healthy Eating Active Living initiative and the Healthy Monadnock 2020 Champions program for starting the initiative.

According to the CDC, employer-based wellness programs may have great impact on the health of the community, potentially reaching most adults in Cheshire County — there are approximately 45,000 working-age adults in Cheshire County, and a particularly low unemployment rate of about 5 percent.

“Under the banner of ‘Vision 2020,’ more than 1,900 individuals and 80 organizations are currently registered in a ‘Champions Program,’ according to the CDC article. Vision 2020, which changed its name to “Healthy Monadnock 2020” in June, is a community-wide initiative to improve the overall health and well-being of citizens in Cheshire County and the Monadnock region. The initiative aspires to lead the region to the status of “the healthiest community in the nation” by the year 2020.

Since Healthy Monadnock 2020’s inception in 2006, employers have been a target audience for the initiative. In 2012, Cheshire County HEAL partnered with Healthy Monadnock 2020 and started using the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard with the initiative’s Organizational Champions. The ScoreCard is a tool to assess and expand worksite wellness programs. To date, approximately 15 employers with over 4,000 employees are now using the ScoreCard, with more employers expected to participate as they come on board as Healthy Monadnock 2020 Champions. This workplace wellness initiative was initially introduced through a pilot program of Cheshire County HEAL in 2008, a local coalition of the statewide campaign, HEAL NH.

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