NH Lives Well

Welcome to NH Lives Well! With support from the NH Department of Health and Human Services, the NH State Health Assessment and Improvement Plan Advisory Council developed NH Lives Well in 2020 as a framework for the most recent State Health Assessment and State Health Improvement Plan.

The purpose of this page is to share important information from the most recent New Hampshire State Health Assessment and the State Health Improvement Plan.

NH Lives Well logo

The phrase “NH Lives Well” comes from our vision of how we want people in NH to experience health and wellness: in all places, in all ways.


Our Vision

We envision a time where all people in NH have equitable opportunity to flourish and achieve optimal mental, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional wellness.  We believe:

  • Equity is shaped at state and local levels such that individuals and communities have equitable access to opportunities
  • Wellness happens where people live, learn, work, and play
  • People include individuals and families across the lifespan


Our Framework

The State Health Assessment has been developed using the following domains:  Access to Opportunity, Health Status and Outcomes, Community, and Social Connectedness.

Central to this framework are the understandings that health and wellness are defined differently by every person, and that special attention must be paid to the underlying issues that prevent some communities from experiencing the best health possible.

Access to Opportunity

Describes some of the key factors that enable the achievement of optimal mental, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional wellness. Many of these factors are referred to as the “Social Determinants of Health.”

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Looks at the things that impact the environments where the people live, learn, work, and play. This domain considers a wide range of data, including access to transportation, housing quality, green space, and safety.

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Health Status and Outcomes

Focuses on more traditional physical and mental health measures, including how people experience the healthcare system.

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Social Connectedness

Illustrates how involved people are in their communities, how included they feel, and how they participate in civic activities like voting and volunteering. 

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Our Background

What are the State Health Assessment and the State Health Improvement Plan?

The New Hampshire State Health Assessment (SHA) is a report developed every five to seven years and describes the status of a broad array of issues related to the health of the people in New Hampshire. The SHA has historically been led by the NH Department of Health and Human in partnership with a wide range of partners representing healthcare, public health, safety, education, and other sectors.

The SHA provides the foundation for the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), also developed every five to seven years. The SHIP will guide decision makers in choosing where to put resources that will address NH residents’ greatest needs. Those priority issues are identified from the SHA data review, which included community engagement activities, such as surveys and listening sessions.

How are the SHA and SHIP developed?

The SHA is guided by the State Health Assessment and State Health Improvement Plan Advisory Council established by legislation passed in July 2020 (RSA 126-A:87 and RSA 126-A:88).

The Advisory Council is made up of 40 appointed members from a wide range of state and local agencies. The Advisory Council’s work is facilitated by the University of New Hampshire’s Institute for Health Policy and Practice in partnership with the Community Health Institute/JSI.

The Advisory Council meets regularly, as does its subcommittee on Community Engagement. The groups are charged with providing guidance on the structure and focus of the SHA, and also advising on the priority topics selected for focus in the SHIP.

The SHA and SHIP are developed in accordance with the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standards.

Why is this important?

The SHA and SHIP are important planning tools for programs and agencies who help improve the lives of NH residents. Health and wellness is impacted by so many things, and in so many places.

The SHA and SHIP provide a centralized vision for how we can all work together so that all people in NH experience optimal health and wellness.

Where can I learn more?

Visit the Advisory Council page on the General Court website to see meeting agendas, past presentations, and meeting schedules.

Contact Us

This website is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $2,211,836 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit CDC.gov.

The information presented on this website represents the experience of communities currently residing in N’dakinna, which is the traditional ancestral homeland of the Abenaki, Pennacook and Wabanaki Peoples past and present. We acknowledge and honor with gratitude the land and waterways and the alnobak (people) who have stewarded N’dakinna throughout the generations. (Acknowledgement language provided by the New Hampshire Indigenous Collaborative Collective.)