HNH Foundation Awards Over $720,000 to Improve the Health of New Hampshire Children

lebanon-for-webThe HNH Foundation awarded $720,924 in grants during its 2014 program year. The awards benefitted 24 health-related initiatives and projects at non-profit and community organizations across the state. The HNH Foundation, NH’s children’s health funder, uses its resources to address systemic issues affecting the health of New Hampshire’s youngest and most vulnerable children and their families. Grants were awarded in 2014 to assess the oral health and weight status of NH’s third grade students, support outreach and enrollment planning to increase access to health insurance coverage, pilot models for oral health prevention services for young children and pregnant women, and foster grass-roots efforts to make New Hampshire communities healthier for children and families.

According to HNH Foundation Interim President Patti Baum, these grants, several of them multi-year awards, address the Foundation’s core mission: “We look to support innovative ways to advance our three goals: preventing childhood obesity, promoting oral health prevention, and improving access to children’s health and dental insurance coverage. Many of the 2014 grants focus on policy, system and environmental changes to achieve these goals, including safe places to walk and bike in both urban and rural areas of the state, and establishing data collection systems of oral health prevention services throughout New Hampshire.

HNH Foundation Board Chair Martha McLeod added: “The HNH Foundation provides a variety of grants including planning and convening, capacity building, and project grants for tax-exempt entities, especially if those funds can be leveraged to secure additional funding from other resources. We also look carefully at providing funding in towns or regions with highest need, as identified in the latest NH Healthy Smiles Healthy Growth Survey.”

2014 HNH Foundation Grant Recipients include (for statewide activities, unless otherwise indicated):

$391,499 for the Prevention of Childhood Obesity

  • Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health
  • Cheshire Medical Center/DHMC Keene
  • YMCA of Greater Nashua
  • City of Manchester Health Department
  • Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission
  • Early Learning NH - Manchester
  • Foundation for Healthy Communities

$45,960 for Increasing Access for Health and Dental Insurance Coverage

  • NH Fiscal Policy Institute
  • Bunnell Consulting
  • JSI Research and Training Institute

$210,603 for Oral Health Prevention

  • UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice
  • Coos County Family Health Services
  • NH Public Health Association
  • Health Resources in Action
  • Goodwin Community Health Services – Strafford County
  • Valley Regional Healthcare – Newport
  • Foundation for Healthy Communities

Other Support: $72,862

  • NH Food Bank
  • NH Fiscal Policy Institute
  • NH Housing Finance Authority
  • UNH Farm to School Program
  • Girls Inc.

On December 1st, the HNH Foundation published its Request for Proposals for the Spring 2015 grant cycle. Letters of Inquiry - due December 15 - are being accepted to advance the three HNH Foundation goals:

  • To increase the number of New Hampshire children who have access to health and dental insurance coverage, with a priority on children through age 18;
  • To promote preventive oral health care for children through age five and pregnant women;
  • To prevent childhood obesity, with a focus on children through age five

In addition to project, capacity building, general operating support and leverage grants, funding is available to support planning and convening.

Click here for more information.


Safe Routes to Play Report released in Lebanon, with funding and support from the HNH Foundation

Safe Routes to Play documents specific, concrete ways to make it easy and safe for children and families to walk and bike to parks and play areas in their own neighborhoods. The report gathered information on what types of recreation are important to families and their ideas for improvement through neighborhood walkabouts, interviews at school and recreation events, and a public survey targeted at parents.

The report also mapped and analyzed where parks and recreation areas are located in Lebanon’s “villages” and what kinds of play equipment and other amenities are needed at each park, especially for young children up to age 5.

"Safe Routes to Play" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License. For more information go to

Read the report online on the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission website.

Watch our videos documenting how Lebanon is helping families get from where they live to where they play.

HEAL NH Releases New Obesity Prevention Plan, with funding and support from the HNH Foundation

The 2014-2019 Healthy People Healthy Places Plan is the second statewide action plan released in the past six years to guide healthy eating and active living activities in the Granite State.

New Hampshire’s first-ever obesity prevention plan, the HEAL Action Plan was developed in 2008. During the past six years, over 60 cities and towns – encompassing over 30% of the state’s population – have been targeted by HEAL community partnerships for healthy eating and active living initiatives such as community gardens, safer parks, new bicycle-pedestrian paths, and healthier nutrition standards in schools.

While the “Healthy People Healthy Places Plan” calls for continuing and expanding this successful HEAL community-level work, it also stresses the need for policy change at the state level and a focus on creating equitable access to healthy eating and active living resources for all residents, in both urban and rural communities.

Click to Download a Summary of the Plan

Click to Download the Full Plan

The NH 2013-14 Healthy Smiles - Healthy Growth Third Grade Survey Demonstrates Progress in Statewide Obesity Rates and Oral Health

The NH 2013-14 Healthy Smiles - Healthy Growth Third Grade Survey has been released and the news is good. The statewide report, funded by the HNH Foundation and Northeast Delta Dental, demonstrates progress made in obesity prevention and oral health among third graders across the state. Data show a marked improvement over the last five years since the previous survey was conducted in 2009. For the first time, the current assessment includes all ten counties in New Hampshire and community-level data for the City of Nashua.

This survey was conducted during the 2013-14 school year by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, with assistance from the Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services. The purpose of the survey was to gather representative data on oral health and height/weight status for third grade students statewide. When compared to the 2008-09 survey, there is a 30% decrease statewide in obesity prevalence, and a 31.7% decrease in untreated tooth decay statewide, along with a 32.5% decrease in children with immediate dental needs:


  • 3,971 third grade students in 126 schools were screened
  • 12.6% of third grade students in the state were obese
  • 15.4% were overweight
  • There was not a significant difference in prevalence of obesity by gender
  • Among counties, Coos County had the highest prevalence of obesity (21.6%).

Oral Health

  • Statewide, 35.4% of New Hampshire third grade students experienced tooth decay
  • 8.2% of students had untreated decay
  • Only 1% of third grade students required urgent treatment due to pain or swelling
  • There were no differences in the prevalence of oral health indicators by gender
  • Among counties, Coos (14%) and Strafford (14.2%) counties had the highest prevalence of untreated decay.

According to Dr. Jose Montero, Director, Division of Public Health Services, NH Department of Health & Human Services, “This survey is significant because it gathered uniform data on oral health and height/weight status of third grade students that can guide public health program planning, monitoring, evaluation, and future allocation of resources. The data provide an objective context for establishing ongoing ‘best practices’ in improving the health of our children.”

Patti Baum, Interim President of the HNH Foundation, called the survey results “encouraging. The Foundation has been funding obesity prevention efforts throughout New Hampshire, and preventive and restorative oral health programs in Coos County; we’re pleased to see impact supported by this data.” More recently, the HNH Foundation has extended funding to WIC (Women, Infants and Children) clinics in three locations across the state to not only reach young children but also pregnant women who need access to dental care. The HNH Foundation seeks to reach the state’s most vulnerable children by making grants to support obesity prevention efforts, increasing access to children’s health and dental insurance coverage, and promoting oral health prevention services. 

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), conducted data collection at public elementary schools in each county throughout New Hampshire. The Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services coordinated access to city-level data for Nashua third grade students. The HNH Foundation and Northeast Delta Dental Foundation provided funding for data collection, while the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors contributed technical assistance for the sampling and data analyses.
For specifics about the report findings and data, please contact Nicola Whitley, Division of Public Health Services, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services at 603-271-4822.

Click here to read the 2013-2014 Healthy Smiles-Healthy Growth Third Grade Survey.