Story: Upper Connecticut River Valley

The Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire (NH) and Vermont (VT) is home to Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center—major players in the regional economy and the local health system. While there are pockets of poverty in this community of 140,000, residents generally are above average in education, income, and health status. But the region faces other challenges, including high per-capita health costs, rapidly declining Medicaid reimbursements, rising unemployment, an aging population. Additionally, the region’s rural nature creates challenges for accessing primary care.

Aspiring to a healthy and sustainable local economy, leaders from Dartmouth challenged Upper Valley residents to join together in addressing high healthcare costs and imagining a stronger future for the entire region—and they turned to ReThink Health for technical assistance. We worked with local champions to launch an initial planning team that included leaders from major regional employers, the social service sector, and members of the Upper Connecticut River Valley community, Dartmouth College, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Working closely with this team, ReThink Health helped launch a series of community dialogues, engage key stakeholders, and initiate regular meetings to think through challenges and guide progress toward a genuinely shared strategy for collaborating to transform the region.

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