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Local Organizations Engage as Vision 2020 Champions

December 23, 2012
Keene, NH

Groups Working Together to Live in the Healthiest Community in the Nation

Cheshire County's Healthiest Community Initiative, launched by the Council for a Healthier Community in 2006, is pleased to announce that eight new groups including Lynn C. Rust CPA PC, Spirited Nutrition, Monadnock Family Services, The Racquet Club, Inc., Monadnock Conservancy, Keene State College Advocates for Healthy Communities, St. James Social Service Ministry, and the City of Keene have signed on as "Vision 2020 Champions" in October, November and December. Since kicking off the Organizational Champions program at an event in March 2012, 60 groups are working together to live in the healthiest community in the nation.

Champions are community organizations, schools, businesses and clubs who promote social connection and activity in support of healthy lifestyle behaviors like eating 5+ fruits vegetables/day and being physically active for 30 minutes/day, according to Healthiest Community Director, Linda Rubin. "Champions agree to take their next healthy step to live, share, model and inspire lifestyle behaviors to improve the health of those living in Cheshire County".

Since joining, Monadnock Family Services has made great strides in modeling healthy behaviors at their workplace. Their newly formed wellness committee, championed by new staff member and Champion, Jen Ireland, has conducted a fitness challenge, have started the strategic planning process for their organization with a large focus on health and wellness, and plan to take the Center for Disease Control's worksite wellness tool to help give them direction on how to improve the health of their organization.

According to Phil Wyzik, Executive Director of MFS, "becoming an Organizational Champion is an important step in furthering the efforts MFS has already taken to help promote a healthy workplace. While we've felt the obligation to help employees improve their health for some time, being a part of the larger Vision 2020 initiative is a helpful boost. Now we're part of something bigger than just our enterprise – we're doing our part for the community. We're looking forward to taking the CDC's worksite wellness assessment tool and I know that the data our employees provide will be key to planning our next health action steps at our Champion organization."

The Healthiest Community Initiative is funded by the Cheshire Health Foundation and is designed to actively engage the citizens of Cheshire County in the journey to become the nation's healthiest community by 2020. The Champions program's emphasis is on encouraging individuals and groups to take greater responsibility for all aspects of their own health and to think also about the health of friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Among the many goals of the Healthiest Community Initiative is an evolution of the local health care system to allow an increased focus on disease prevention and maintaining good health. For more information about the Healthiest Community Initiative, to view the current list of Vision 2020 Organizational Champions and to see how you can become a Champion, please visit, www.healthiestcommunity.org or call (603) 354-5454 ext 3930.

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