WOODSTOCK – Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission board members voted to support building healthy communities at Wednesday night’s board meeting. The motion followed a presentation given by the Windsor Health Service Area Community Collaborative on Vermont’s 3/4/50 campaign. The campaign is a simplified way to help individuals and communities understand the toll that lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use have on the death toll in Vermont. “These are deaths that don’t need to happen so soon” stated presenter and community collaborative member Sandra Knowlton-Soho.

What is the 3/4/50 campaign? The 3 behaviors of no physical activity, poor diet, and tobacco use lead to the 4 diseases of cancer, heart disease / stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease which result in more than 50% of deaths in Vermont. The campaign offers tips for individuals, early childhood educators, schools, businesses and municipalities on steps to take to improve health. Melanie Sheehan, of Mt. Ascutney Hospital emphasized, “These strategies combined can have a tremendous, collective impact on improving the lives of Vermonters and decreasing chronic health conditions and healthcare costs.” Medical costs related to asthma, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease have increased since 2010. In 2015, the estimated cost in Vermont was $2.04 Billion dollars. Costs are expected to continue on this path, increasing by 75% from 2010 to 2020.

By voting unanimously on the motion to: “support and encourage the regional implementation of the Vermont Department of Health 3/4/50 initiative in the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission’s (TRORC) communities,” the TRORC Board did what the state is asking in support of this campaign.

TRORC Board Chair, Bill Emmons of Pomfret states, “The 3/4/50 initiative is an important step toward creating healthy and vibrant communities. TRORC’s efforts to foster healthy living habits through planning for safe neighborhoods, encouraging healthy local foods and incorporating the natural environment into our daily lives will be enhanced through this important initiative.”
According to a November 2016 community health survey conducted by the Windsor County Prevention Partnership, over 60% of the 824 respondents agreed that they would support town policies that would limit location/density of “adult only” product retailers or the advertising of “adult only” products. Town policies such as these are health promoting strategies suggested by the 3/4/50 campaign. Towns looking to implement these and other health supporting strategies can receive support from TRORC or the Windsor County Prevention Partners who worked together to draft a “Supporting Healthy Communities” policy guide. The guide gives concrete examples on how towns can promote health through a variety of approaches including town planning language, resources to model policies, and ideas from Vermont towns who have successfully implemented recommended strategies.

Board members representing the towns served by TRORC were asked to coordinate 3/4/50 presentations for their select boards and communities.

For more information on the campaign, visit

http://www.healthvermont.gov/3-4-50. For more information on how towns can support health related
policies, contact Melanie.sheehan@mahhc.org or lmorrow@trorc.org .