Greater Franklin HEAL

Contact Information

Melissa Lee

Community Health Improvement Specialist
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Franklin Regional Hospital
15 Aiken Ave
Franklin, NH
603-934-2060 ext. 8369

Geographic Community Served

Click on above image to download the Greater Franklin HEAL Case Study

Primary focus is on the City of Franklin with collaborative efforts across the Winnipesaukee Public Health Region.

About Franklin HEAL 

A group of community partners focused on improving the nutrition and physical activity environment in Franklin and surrounding areas. Healthcare, public health partners, non-profits, civic clubs, city government, media, schools, workplaces, interested citizens and more make up the membership of the Greater Franklin HEAL Coalition. Their work in the community is part of a larger statewide HEAL Initiative coordinated by the Foundation for Healthy Communities. 


What began in 1996 as a group of service providers getting together to discuss common problems in the Twin Rivers region has become a strong and influential Public Health network of agencies, committees, and community activists that have made some remarkable changes in this region. The mission of the network has been to serve the region by working to address the problems that exist and to develop plans to reduce the impact of these problems in our community.


Their community coalition work began in 2004 with the “Healthy Heart for Life” Project which aimed to increase Franklin’s awareness of high cholesterol and heart health risk factors. A community Walking and Trail Guide was created and has been used to not only to make community members more aware of the great walking trails in and around  Franklin, but also has become a prescription for physical activity and health used by local healthcare providers. The guide has been an ongoing project for the Greater Franklin HEAL Coalition. A decade later, the HEAL movement is strong in Franklin and brings together multiple organizations and citizens for the health of the community. 




In LRGHealthcare’s 2014 Health Needs Assessment, 21.9% of residents in the Franklin Regional Hospital service area identified a need for access to affordable food. Weight related health issues were also identified within the top three health concerns for the Franklin area. Also, our region ranks higher than the state average of adults consuming few fruits or vegetables*. *According to the 2009 BRFSS 

HEAL Sectors Targeted

Health Care Industry
Communities & Municipalities
Business & Worksites
Food & Recreation Industries

Their local coalition goals are driven by the HEAL NH’s “Healthy People Healthy Places” Plan published in 2014. This plan prioritizes work that promotes improved access to healthy foods and places for physical activity in communities and populations with the greatest health disparities. The Franklin HEAL Coalition’s local action plan aims to meet the follow goals:

  • Increase access to healthy foods and physical activity in Franklin
  • Encouraging all community and civic organizations to consider the health of the community in all policies
  • Engage community in educational opportunities, and activities that promote healthy food choices and engagement in physical activity 

Greater Franklin HEAL Coalition current objectives:

  • Working with schools and other business and/or entity on creation and implementation of food and physical activity related policy, education, and promotion
  • Working to promote transportation options for better access to healthy foods from downtown or “hard to reach” locations
  • Supporting development of community gardening opportunities
  • Updating and creating promotional materials for physical activity assets (including the Walking and Trail Guide to the Greater Franklin Area)
  • Supporting and promoting trails and parks  through letters of support, publicity opportunities, and special events
  • Working with the Mayor’s Drug Task Force partners including the Franklin Police Department to increase the perception of safety in and around downtown Franklin specifically on trails and in parks
  • Providing support for environment and policy changes that would help to integrate sidewalks, bike lanes, and other pedestrian/bike friendly opportunities in the community

Franklin HEAL Coalition Partner Initiatives include:

  • Franklin Farmer’s Market
  • Paul Smith School Gardening and Playground Committees
  • Bessie Rowell Community Center Peer Network Group
  • SAU 18 District Wellness Committee
  • Regional Public Health Network Collaboration
  • UNH Cooperative Extension SNAP Education Project
  • “Franklin for a Lifetime” Community Project
  • Franklin Mayor’s Drug Task Force

Last updated March 2016

  • Publication of Walking and Trail Guide
  • CATCH Kids Club is occurring in Tapply Thompson Community Center for after school programming in grades K-4.
  • "Early Sprouts" Curriculum provided to 4 child care directors - Outdoor gardens are constructed and planned
  • Parent Information nights to introduce 5-2-1-0, Early Sprouts, and HEAL to the community
  • "5-2-1-0 Goes To School": 27 Elementary school classrooms had guest presenters teaching a HEAL lesson.
  • Spaulding Youth Center Healthy Kids Initiative is teaching 5-2-1-0 to their students and assessing their fruit and veggie intake daily through their daily behavior score sheets.
  • Information about FIT WIC activities goes out to families with young children enrolled at both Franklin and Bristol sites.
  • Regional Walking challenge schedule is complete and is sponsored by local organizations that lead the walks.
  • The "Eating Right" Operation Front Line class is full and the classes are expanding in the region.
  • HEAL Project promotion / information table at 7 events
  • The "Make the Move Approved" restaurant program and convenience store program has been created and all the marketing materials are finished.

Tapply-Thompson Community Center
Town of Bristol
Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County
Franklin Parks and Recreation Department
Mix 94.1 FM
Twin Rivers Intergenerational Program (T.R.I.P.)
Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc.
Health First Family Care Center
Winnipesaukee River Trail Association
Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, Inc.

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