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Manchester Health Department focuses on better living in the city with website launch

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 12. 2017 5:54AM

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Health Department has launched a new website designed to connect residents with information about healthy living opportunities, their neighborhoods and the city in general.

In celebration of National Neighborhood Day on September 17, city health officials have designed, or “My Manchester” for short.

Described by city Public Health Director Tim Soucy as “a one-stop site for Greater Manchester residents and community partners who want a better life for themselves and their children,” the website was designed as a “hub” residents can click on to find neighborhood-based connections to a healthier lifetsyle.

“About two years of work went into this,” said Soucy. “The goal is really to connect residents with resources in their neighborhoods and the city.”

While the official launch date for the site isn’t until Sept. 17, its is currently active and accessible online.

Soucy told city aldermen the website grew out of the Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy (NHIS), which has three main goals:

• Prevent toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences.

• Attain health equity.

• Achieve environmental justice.

Soucy said the website was developed “at no cost to the taxpayer,” with funds coming from the Dartmouth Institute and the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are dedicated to making Manchester a ‘community of opportunity’ that allows all to participate, prosper and ultimately reach their full potential,” the website reads. “We practice the guiding principle that residents need to be part of the solution along with community partners, and together we share the responsibility of creating healthy neighborhoods. We are also ultimately committed to becoming an intergenerationally-celebrated, welcoming, inclusive and trauma-informed community. Our success will be measured when all Manchester families and residents thrive and give back to the greater good.”

Deputy City Public Health Director Anna Thomas said the website features tabs that contain links to pages for city neighborhoods, such as Bakersville, the North End, or Rimmon Heights.

“You can click on each one for background on each neighborhood,” said Thomas. “There are photos, and we are encouraging residents to submit their own photos. There are also facts and features promoting things specific to each neighborhood, things unique to them.”

Thomas said the site will also show people where military service memorials are located in neighborhoods across the city.

The site can also be translated into dozens of languages, by clicking on the “Google Translator” feature on the mainpage.

According to the website, “Research has shown that residents who give back to the community or to something bigger than themselves have fewer stress-related illnesses and better lifelong health. We encourage users to learn more about Manchester’s history and what the community has to offer by visiting each neighborhood profile. Here, users will find neighborhood news and events, facts and features, ways to get involved and resources for healthy living.”

The new site also contains a ‘vision’ for the future of the Queen City, which states:

“Manchester will be a thriving ‘City of Neighborhoods’ designed to:

• Support opportunities for learning and employment.

• Increase access to resources for both healthcare and neighborhood-based services.

• Provide positive living spaces and places, including both home and neighborhood.

• Increase neighborhood pride and connections and improve safety.

• Promote healthy choices and options that support healthy living.”

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas said he believes the website is an “important tool.”

“I think it is something that will be easy to navigate, and give people another opportunity to see all the good things that are happening in Manchester,” said Gatsas. “I think it speaks volumes about where the city’s at.”

“I’ve been talking to a lot of people who are looking for this information,” said Board of Mayor and Aldermen Chairman Pat Long. “It’s great to see a place where they can go to get it.”

Soucy also invites users to view Manchester’s Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy page to learn more about the work underway to build neighborhoods of opportunity and community schools in the city.

For information, visit

Health Technology Manchester

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