The purpose of Fostering Healthier Communities is to facilitate and encourage municipalities to plan for and create vibrant, active, healthier, and more equitable places through their built environments.

How a community is designed has a direct effect on the health of its residents. Land development patterns, zoning ordinances, and land use classifications impact walkability, access to services, and transportation options, which in turn impact our health. Often the built environment serves to create and exacerbate inequitable access to the resources and power that people need to be healthy and thrive.

Health equity is defined by the CDC as the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health.

Health inequities are patterns of differences in health outcomes between groups of people. Those differences are driven by inequities in how resources, opportunities, wealth, and power are distributed within and across our communities.

How TRORC supports our communities in planning for health:

  1. Including a specific chapter in your Town Plan explicitly focused on public health ensures that a greater emphasis is placed on health and health equity throughout other plan elements and helps to coordinate and focus Town resources to address community health needs. TRORC staff can assist you in developing or updating a health chapter for your Town Plan
  2. TRORC can support your Town with planning or policy work that advances health equity. We can provide technical assistance for plan or ordinance work as well as funding to support community engagement.
  3. Zoning and other ordinances also play a critical role in shaping the built environment and its impacts on our health. TRORC assists municipalities with creating or revising tobacco regulations, especially protections for smoke-free / vape-free public spaces.

If your town is interested in resources for developing a Health Chapter for your Town Plan, creating a Health and Wellness Committee, ensuring public spaces are smoke-free, or undertaking a health equity project, please email Sarah Wraight at [email protected] or call 802-457-3188.


Community Health Needs Assessments
Local Health District Office
  • White River Junction
    • Resources for WIC services, Maternal and Child Health, Healthy Community Design, Worksite Wellness, School Health, Immunizations, Infectious Diseases, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Tobacco Prevention, Emergency Preparedness, Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention, Local Reports and Data
Statewide/Local Health Partners
Education, Health & Human Services
Food Security
Planning Toolkits


Health Resource Manual– compiled by Mt. Ascutney Hospital

Health Centers
Food Security Resources
  • Upper Valley Haven– Along with shelter, UVH has a bread shelf open 24/7 to the community, a food shelf open Monday-Friday, and a cafe.
  • Veggie Van Go– Vegetables are delivered at Mt. Ascutney Hospital twice a month (2nd Tuesday) and distributed to the community.