Two years ago, a small group of residents from Warren, NH had an idea. They wanted to bring health and wellness to their friends and neighbors. The picturesque, mountain town with just over 900 inhabitants is extremely rural with the closest access to health and wellness programs at least 20 miles away. The extended north country winters make those miles seem even longer. The group began their initiative In December of 2017, by sending a questionnaire to residents, asking them what services they wished they had in town. The response was encouraging: two thirds of the questionnaires were returned, and all responders were enthusiastic.
Health, Wellness and More!
When the results of the survey were analyzed, the highest requests were for a centrally located space that could offer light exercise, wellness initiatives and classes on art, nutrition and more. Spurred by these positive results a committee was formed to find a place in town that could host these valuable programs.
In March of 2018, a copy of the survey was sent to Ammonoosuc Community Health Services (ACHS), a Federally Qualified Community Health Center (FQCH) with six health care facilities in the north country, including Warren, NH. CEO, Edward Shanshala was impressed by the group’s dedication and their mission: community wellness for residents in Warren and surrounding towns of central Grafton County, with an emphasis on nutrition and physical health. He felt the mission aligned with the goals of ACHS and a collaboration was born!
A new community space at ACHS-Warren
Over the past year, with generous funding from the Cornell Foundation, ACHS staff and committee members have worked together to create a welcoming space for the new Warren wellness program. Located in the rear annex section of the Warren-ACHS clinic, in the heart of Warren, the space can accommodate up to 30 people – perfect for small health and wellness sessions. Updates to the lighting and kitchen area make the spot ideal for nutritional workshops. Additional renovations have also created a space to host traveling dental services.
Among the first programs scheduled will be the RSVP Bone Building program. Bone Builders helps prevent and cure osteoporosis. Light weights are used from a sitting position to strengthen muscles and bone. This program is free, and open to seniors of all abilities. It’s led by 2-3 volunteers age 55+ who have been specially trained. The program will begin Tuesday, August 20th from 10:00-11:30, and will meet weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you are interested in Bone Builders or hosting a community health program at the center, please call the committee at 603-764-9073. The Wellness Committee meets at ACHS-Warren the third Monday of every month and new volunteers are welcome.