NMC Commentary

Is RiseVT Connected to Local Stakeholders?

Yes! Each of the RiseVT staff who are engaging our local communities in embracing healthy lifestyles work on a daily basis with many local stakeholders from schools, worksites, municipalities, and more. This direct grassroots connection helps ensure that RiseVT is amplifying and accelerating local efforts and resources that support healthy habits as part of the collective effort to improve the quality of life and reduce healthcare costs through prevention. We are thankful for all our partners throughout Franklin and Grand Isle counties!

In addition, Franklin Grand Isle (FGI) RiseVT just expanded our Executive Committee to leverage broader perspectives in how to strategically advance prevention efforts. We have welcomed five new members to the group that has included myself, Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine, Emerson Lynn, and Jonathan Billings. Joining us on the FGI RiseVT Executive Committee are: Heidi Britch-Valenta, the Town Administrator in Highgate; Lynn Cota, the Superintendent of Schools for Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union; Monica Green, a resident of the Islands and a second generation owner of Vermont Precision Tools in Swanton; Lisa Hango, who represents Richford, Berkshire, Franklin, and Highgate in the Vermont House of Representatives; and Robin Way, the Executive Director of CIDER (Champlain Islanders Developing Existing Resources). This talented, involved, caring group broadens our geographic perspective and provides great insights in the day-to-day realities in families, schools, workplaces, municipalities, community partner organizations, and even the legislature!

The FGI RiseVT Executive Committee works closely with RiseVT Program Manager Denise Smith, who shares updates on the initiatives and campaigns that the RiseVT team are involved in across the region. In addition to providing expertise and perspective to help shape local strategies, our committee helps ensure these efforts continue to be aligned with the evidence-based best practices on which RiseVT is built. The committee also reflects on the results of the measurement and evaluation of the local programming to ensure proper progress toward our short-term goals which research shows drive our mid-term goals (increased physical activity, healthy food choices, etc.) and our long-term measure (healthy weights for children and adults). It is amazing to live in a community actively engaged in conversations about wellbeing. I am grateful that these local leaders have stepped forward to provide insight and expertise to RiseVT. Their input will help the dynamic RiseVT team continue to shape and improve offerings and approaches.

There are so many exciting advancements happening in our local culture relating to health and well being. It is exciting to see schools strengthening wellness policies and serving healthier foods. It is wonderful to see municipalities investing in walkability and bikeability. It is refreshing to see smoke-free parks becoming more common. It is great to see so many employers engaging their workforces in wellbeing challenges. At the individual level, it is fun to see people out walking and enjoying the great outdoors with their friends and family. RiseVT is about encouraging all of that to happen – amplifying it, accelerating it, and celebrating it. Please, join the RiseVT movement. Visit us online at www.risevt.org, connect with us through social media, or join in on any of the RiseVT activities (keep watch in the St. Albans Messenger). Play the Gratitude Bingo game located on the RiseVT website and maybe you’ll win a donation to your favorite local organization!

— Jill Berry Bowen, RN, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer