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Can This Be the Healthiest Place in America?

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, November 21, 2013

Thousands of people are involved in keeping track of their own health by measuring their commitment to lose weight and get fit. While schools are revamping their menus to offer reliably nutritious fare, local planners are drawing up sketches for sidewalks and parks to encourage residents to walk and run.

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene, and local physicians are helping people "create an awareness" of their own health, says Art Nichols, the hospital CEO.

"We're not unlike a lot of other communities. We are the only hospital in our county, and we have had this partnership with physicians for 15 years," Nichols says. "When you own the market and are a significant provider, I feel there's a responsibility to that market. We don't want to wait for people to get sick and show up in our offices or emergency room. That's not enough to do our jobs."

"We want to try to help our community be the healthiest it can be, and in fact, we declared we wanted it to be the healthiest community in the country," Nichols adds.

The Healthy Monadnock 2020's activities are overseen and guided by a "healthiest community advisory board," a coalition of 30 people representing schools, private business, healthcare organizations, recreational groups, non-profit agencies, municipal and state governments.

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1 comments on "Can This Be the Healthiest Place in America?"


J. Kuriyan (11/22/2013 at 9:32 AM)
While Cheshire County has to be commended for the effort, how do they propose to prove that the health of their population is improving, let alone claim to be the "healthiest"? Of course they can make it more easy for residents to follow a healthier lifestyle but the central question remains "If you build it, will they come?" A claim for a "healthier environment" doesn't justify being labeled as a "healthier community" until there is quantitative proof that the health of residents is improving.