Case Studies

Change the Culture; Increase Wellness


Education that increases awareness is one of the best ways to transform health outcomes. But, as every community health professional knows, without access to healthier foods, it’s hard to change an ingrained behavior even by increasing awareness.

In order to develop a durable systemic change, one Keene, N.H., program is making the healthy choice the easy choice.Turn a New Leaf, part of Healthy Monadnock  2020 and in cooperation with Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene, provides organizations with the tools, technical assistance and resources to support healthy choices.The program partners with restaurants and food venues to make it easier to identify the healthy choice when dining out. Menu items are evaluated by six criteria, such as saturated fat levels and calories, and then branded with a logo. 

The initiative guides restaurant patrons to healthier menu options with a simple, colorful logo of a red heart and green elm leaf. Using nutritional criteria, developed by graduate students of Keene State College’s Dietetic Internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines, the logo identifies the meals that are healthy, healthier and healthiest on a restaurant’s menu.Further, its community worksite wellness program uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Worksite Health ScoreCard as a way to bring education and awareness to employers regarding employee health. Technical assistance and resources are available for policy development, implementation strategies and evaluation.

The program goals are:

  • Create healthy eating environments within the Monadnock region by assisting local partners who highlight, identify and promote healthier menu items.
  • Create consistent, credible and easily recognized nutritional guidance for consumers.
  • Increase consumer demand for healthy items prepared or eaten away from home with marketing tools and local promotions.

Monadnock HEAL Coordinator, Maryanne Keating offer advice to others considering such a program. She says:

  • Changing the culture takes time. By providing organizations with the tools, technical assistance and resources to support the interventions, we can create positive changes that support the health and well-being of our community.
  • Engage worksites and food venues to adopt, implement and promote policies, systems and environmental changes that enhance known health outcomes. 

For further information, contact: Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene Keene, N.H., Maryanne Keating, Monadnock HEAL Coordinator, (603) 354-5454, extension 2369

Healthy Mondadnock was also featured in the Robert Wood Johnson-supported white paper, “Hospital-based Strategies for Creating a Culture of Health.”

About Healthy Monadnock

Healthy Monadnock 2020 is a community engagement initiative designed to foster and sustain a positive culture of health throughout Cheshire County and the Monadnock region. Founded and developed by the Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene in 2007, Healthy Monadnock 2020’s action plans are being guided in the community by the Healthiest Community Advisory Board, a group of 30 individuals representing schools, organizations, coalitions and businesses. Currently our partners are implementing action strategies designed to improve quality of life and prevent the leading causes of death for everyone.

About the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard

The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard is a tool designed to help employers assess the extent they have implemented evidence-based health promotion interventions in their worksites. It identifies gaps in health promotion programs and helps them to prioritize high-impact strategies including: organizational supports, tobacco control, nutrition, physical activity, weight management, stress management, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke and emergency response to heart attack and stroke.


Additional Resources

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