Upper Valley HEAL


Contact Information

Greg Norman
Director of Community Health Improvement and Benefits at Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
One Medical Center Drive
Lebanon, NH 03756

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Geographic Community Served

Click on above image to download the Upper Valley HEAL Case StudyDirectly Targeted Municipalities:
Grafton County: Lebanon, Enfield, Canaan, Grafton, Dorchester, Orange
Nearby Communities:
Grafton County: Hanover, Lyme, Orford.
Sullivan County: Plainfield, Grantham, Cornish

Community Overview

UV HEAL will serve the towns and cities of Lebanon, Enfield, Canaan, Dorchester, Grafton and Orange (total population of 23,966). "The Upper Valley" refers to a geographic area stretching along both sides of the Connecticut River in Central New Hampshire and Vermont. At the region's center are the towns of Hanover & Lebanon on the New Hampshire side and Hartford (White River Junction) & Norwich in Vermont.

Each Upper Valley town has its own distinctive character and beauty.
Statistics for this region:

  • 40% of Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (ChaD) pediatric patients in the target region are overweight or obese, compared to 25% of patients in 8 surrounding towns.
  • Mascoma students have more passive screen time than average NH youth, and are less likely to achieve 60 minutes of physical activity 5+ days/week (40% Mascoma to 47.4% statewide). Lebanon (68-74% by grade) and Mascoma (52.1%) students were significantly less likely to participate in team sports than NH averages (89.7%). Finally, students in both districts were much more likely (80.9%) to drink soda 1+ times per week than NH averages (74.9%), and ate slightly fewer fruits and vegetables than NH averages.




The Upper Valley HEAL Partnership, hosted by the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, links and supports community members and organizations working together to build a community that embraces healthy lifelong habits of 4-season physical activity and good nutrition.

HEAL Sectors Targeted

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

Goal/Long-Term Outcome: Increase physical activity and improve nutrition in UV HEAL communities

Health Care Providers

  • All Pediatric and Family Medicine practices in the region will routinely utilize BMI to monitor weight of all patients with a special emphasis on youth 18 and under.
  • All regional practitioners will routinely, appropriately, and easily refer patients and their parents to nutrition, physical activity, and behavioral modification resources.
  • All patients/families will receive routine education about weight and healthy lifestyle.

Communities and Municipalities

  • Engage community agencies and leaders to adopt and promote HEAL interventions.
  • Incorporate healthy eating and active living in town planning processes.
  • Increase use of and access to public spaces.
  • Assure Consistent Messaging.


  • Adopt and assess compliance with state school nutrition standards.
  • Increase awareness, commitment, and resources for school efforts to provide a healthy eating and active living environment.
  • Promote lifelong HEAL through integrated curriculum, communication, facility design, practices, and partnerships with families and communities.


  • Engage employers in adopting and promoting HEAL interventions.
  • Encourage employers to promote opportunities for employees to be healthy.
  • Educate employees about healthy eating and active living.
  • Create opportunities for employees to engage in healthy eating and active living.

Food and Recreation Providers

  • Enhance ability of community members, including lower income families, to have easier access to nutritious food.
  • Encourage food and recreation industries to promote opportunities for individuals and families to be healthy.
  • Comparison of 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 Ala Carte sales at Mascoma HS during January/February indicate significant positive changes in student purchases of ala carte items, with significant increases in water consumption, less sugary juice, and fewer sweet snacks.
  • Mascoma School District approved new limitations on ala carte offerings regarding calories/serving, sugar per serving, and fat/serving in August 2009. Changes beginning to be implemented in Mascoma schools.
  • Mascoma School District passed policies to ban new junk-food based fund-raisers, and to gradually phase out old junk-food based fundraisers over three years.
  • Mascoma School District passed policy identifying minimum # of minutes of physical activity at elementary and junior high levels, and approved intention to further increase physical activity minutes over next 3 years.
  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) created policy ending DHMC use of deep-fried food in DHMC-controlled food services.
  • DHMC Price policies effective January 2010 will create incentives for unsweetened beverages and whole fruit, and raise prices for sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • DHMC Lease conditions being negotiated with one external vendor with presence at DHMC to increase health of food options as part of multi-year lease renewal process.
  • 1 mile of Mascoma River Greenway opened November 2009, including development of a key access path.
  • 2.5 miles of Mascoma High School trails have been improved and made accessible to the public.

Steering Committee

Lebanon School District
Mascoma School District
Upper Valley Trails Alliance
Lebanon Recreation and Parks
Mascoma Valley Health Initiative
Vital Communities / Valley Food & Farm
Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital
Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Other Collaboraters

The Child Care Project at Dartmouth College
Willing Hands Enterprises
White River Family Practice
Mascoma Pediatric Clinic
Buck Road Family Practice
APD Pediatric Practice
Hanover Cooperative Society
Lebanon Canillas Gardens
Lebanon Farmers' Market
Lebanon Safe Routes to School Task Force
Mascoma Greenway Coalition
White Mountain Child Care Center

Latest Tweets

Stay Informed!

Find a HEAL Community

Learn more about featured community projects that promote Healthy Eating & Active Living in New Hampshire.