Healthy Monadnock 2020 is a health initiative developed by Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene with the goal of creating a more sustainable community by supporting healthy lifestyle changes in the Cheshire County and Monadnock region.
In operation since 2007, Healthy Monadnock’s thirty board members, known as the Healthiest Community Advisory Board, have implemented goals and action plans representing schools, organizations and businesses in order to become a healthier, more maintainable society.
According to Healthy Monadnock 2020 website (http://www.cheshire-med.com/vision_2020.html) the general concept of Healthy Monadnock is to create a community with nutritious food options that are easily accessible, to have safe places for physical activity and to promote healthy choices such as attending regular doctor screenings and receiving an adequate amount of sleep.
“The Healthy Monadnock 2020 initiative is a really positive group to have in our Keene community. I think by setting goals and standards for the community to meet, the organization is encouraging and pushing members to make the correct choices in order to improve their health and our society’s as a whole,” Angela Silveri, KSC junior, said. According to Silveri, Healthy Monadnock is well-equipped to help serve the community in terms of spreading healthy lifestyle changes.
“With all the recent information discovered about how severely even small choices can affect us health wise, I don’t see why people wouldn’t want to make changes. It seems like Healthy Monadnock Twenty-Twenty creates a platform for citizens to make healthy choices with support from people who really know what they’re doing,” Silveri said.
According to Healthy Monadnock, their goal of becoming the healthiest community in the nation by 2020 was inspired by community members who were already making healthier choices through activities like shopping at farmers’ markets, walking their kids to school, riding their bikes to work, quitting smoking and losing weight. Some of the goals of Healthy Monadnock 2020 include increasing healthy eating, active living, educational attainment, income and jobs and social connections, as well as improving conditions and skills that support mental well-being and access to quality health care, according to Healthy Monadnock. KSC junior Kyle Sanborn explained that he believes that Healthy Monadnock is a worthwhile organization that Keene State College should become more involved with.
“I personally would love to see Healthy Monadnock Twenty-Twenty have a stronger presence on our campus. It’s such a positive thing that they’re doing and I think it would be good for students to become healthier while becoming closer with the community we live in and try to make positive changes together as a whole. It sometimes feels like there is such a significant separation between the Keene State students and the Keene townspeople and community. Something positive like this would be a great way to bring us together,” Sanborn said.
For those who are interested in this initiative, there is an opportunity for people in the community to become more closely involved with helping achieve the goals of Healthy Monadnock 2020 by becoming what are known as “Champions,” according to Healthy Monadnock 2020. Champions are individuals, organizations and schools that work together in order to achieve better environments that support healthy lifestyles and choices, according to Healthy Monadnock. Students like KSC junior Benjamin Neary took interest in becoming a “champion” after hearing about what Healthy Monadnock represented.
“I’m really interested in sustainability and buying local and stuff like that, so when I heard about what Healthy Monadnock stood for and their goals, it really got me thinking about dedicating some of my time to this initiative. I love the idea of coming together as a community and supporting each other in making not only healthier decisions for us as individuals, but for our environment as well,” Neary said.
Amanda Lashua can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org