New Hampshire Public Health Association and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility Share Common Ground


Recently Joan Ascheim, NHPHA Executive Director, and Terry Johnson, NHPHA Vice-President, had the opportunity to meet with leadership and the Advocacy Committee of NH Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) to share the work of NHPHA and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

While the two organizations are long-time members of one another’s association, the opportunity to strengthen the relationship emerged when members of NHBSR attended NHPHA’s Lobby and Advocacy training in November. It was then that NHBSR Executive Director, Michelle Veasey, invited NHPHA to attend their advocacy committee meeting. 

NHBSR convenes, inspires and supports businesses and their community stakeholders to build a more sustainable and prosperous state for all.  Their network of businesses shares a desire to “do well and do good”.  During our conversation it was clear that members care deeply about their workforce, their communities and the environment. 

Joan and Terry shared the mission and strategic priorities of NHPHA with the committee and legislative priorities from 2018.   They discussed the social determinants of health and health equity and discussed why these are key concepts for businesses.  Joan conveyed some critical information from the Prevention Institute on how prevention investments made by businesses can reap six dollars in savings for each dollar spent.  Workplace wellness initiatives such as encouraging biking to work, heathy food options and smoke-free campuses can lead to reductions in sick leave, medical costs and worker’s comp claims by as much as 25%. 

Joan and Terry also talked about how businesses can contribute to healthy communities by participating in public health networks, local planning groups and encouraging green spaces, farmer’s markets, healthy school lunch menus and more. 

Not surprisingly, many of the business members are already contributing to the well-being of their workforce and communities through many of these measures.  During a follow-up conversation with Michelle Veasey, we found common ground in legislation coming up in the 2019 session, such as family and medical leave, minimum wage and bills related to climate change. 

We are excited about the prospect of our two organizations working more closely together and continuing our conversations on areas of mutual concern. 

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