About Us

The NH Citizens Health Initiative (Initiative) originated from the recommendations of the Pillars Project published in late 2004. The major intent of the Pillars Project, an effort initiated and supported by the Endowment for Health, was to develop a framework for a health care system that provided everyone with access to high-quality, cost-effective care and left no one without health care or coverage. The Pillars Project recognized and reinforced the need for a sustained effort if these goals were to be achieved.

Building upon the work and recommendations of the Pillars Project, the University of New Hampshire and the Endowment for Health identified goals, established the Initiative structure and focus, recruited leadership, and established policy teams in the areas of Quality of Care, Health Promotion Disease Prevention and Finance and Cost Information. Governor John Lynch agreed to support the effort and convened the first meeting of the Initiative.

Vision & Goals

Our vision is that over the next decade, New Hampshire will take a ‘health first’ approach so that all citizens will benefit from proven approaches that improve health and prevent disease. When care is needed, it will be delivered according to the highest quality standards and it will be provided in an efficient, measurable, and scientifically sound manner to help individuals sustain or improve health. The organization and financing of care will occur in a logically constructed and understandable system.

Our long term goal is to create and sustain a public dialogue that will measurably improve the “systems” that finance and provide health care in New Hampshire in order to accomplish two fundamental objectives:

  • Assure a healthy population
  • Create an effective system of care

To reach these goals, the New Hampshire Citizens Health Initiative brings together a broad cross section of citizen representatives, joined by businesses, medical providers, and community agencies in an ongoing, goal-oriented effort to achieve a plan for our state.  Our work is driven by information and experience, not by ideology or untested preconceptions. Actions and solutions are vetted by the larger community and undertaken in a way that is open to comment and input from the community, from the initial discussions through to implementation and evaluation.

The Citizens Health Initiative performs its work under formal working groups known as Pillar Projects. Our focus for 2012 will be on the following Pillar Projects:

We intend to sustain the NH Citizens Health Initiative for a minimum of ten years, creating a group that can act as a medical hub for knowledge, innovation, and evaluation. In the end, our aim is to create a system of care that promotes health, assures quality and makes care affordable, effective, and accessible to all.

Initiative Staff

Jeanne Ryer, Director   Sharon Beaty, Chair


Annie Averill   Felicity Bernard phot Felicity Bernard
Stephanie Cameron   Katherine Cox
Marcy Doyle   Hwasun Garin
Matthew Humer   Sally Minkow
Molly O'Neil   photo of Jan ThomasJan Thomas
Holly Tutko   Dee Watts photoDee Watts


The NH Citizens Health Initiative would like to acknowledge the many past and present funders of its work:

  • Endowment for Health

  • Local Government Center Trust

  • New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

  • The University of New Hampshire

  • HNH Foundation

  • Wellpoint Foundation

  • NH Department of Insurance

  • MVP Health Care

  • Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Contact Us