Contact: Elizabeth Lietz, AHA, (202) 626-2284
John Clayton, NHHA, (603)-415-4255

WASHINGTON (November 4, 2013) - The American Hospital Association (AHA) today awarded the Carolyn Boone Lewis Living the Vision award to Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene in Keene, N.H., for its work to improve the health of its community through actions that go beyond traditional hospital care. The award was presented to Cheshire Medical Center by AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock at an event this morning.

Cheshire Medical Center is a 169-bed rural hospital that has partnered since 1998 with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, a primary care and multi-specialty clinic. Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene is the driving force behind an initiative called "Healthy Monadnock 2020," a community-wide effort to actively engage the citizens of Cheshire County and the Monadnock Region to become the nation's healthiest community by the year 2020. Healthy Monadnock 2020's strategies are intended to provide high-impact environmental and policy change that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for individuals and groups, such as schools, workplaces and towns.

The hospital was nominated for the award by the New Hampshire Hospital Association.

"In seeking a nominee from New Hampshire for this prestigious award, the NHHA recognized Cheshire Medical Center's unique role as the driving force behind an initiative called 'Healthy Monadnock 2020,'" said NHHA President Steve Ahnen. "Back in 2006, this community-wide health initiative – designed to actively engage the citizens of Cheshire County in the process of becoming the nation's healthiest community by the year 2020 – was founded and developed by Cheshire Medical Center.

"Today, Healthy Monadnock 2020's activities are being guided in the community by the Healthiest Community Advisory Board, a group of 30 individuals representing schools, organizations, coalitions and businesses, but there is no denying the pivotal role the hospital played in getting this process off the ground."

In nominating Cheshire Medical Center for the award, the NHHA noted that the facility in Keene "is living the AHA Vision of a society where all individuals reach their highest potential for health. They are walking the walk, not just talking the talk. They have put meaningful and significant effort and resources into achieving their vision of becoming the healthiest community in the country by the year 2020."

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