CAHC Caledonia South Essex Accountable Health Community
Bridging for Health: Improving Community Health Through Innovations in Financing supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by the Georgia Health Policy Center, is pleased to announce the selection of Caledonia & s. Essex Accountable Health Community (CAHC) to participate in this initiative.

CAHC is committed to the shared goal of improving the health and well-being of the people in Caledonia and southern Essex Counties by integrating efforts and services, with an emphasis on reducing poverty in the region.  Several organizations have taken a lead in this effort: Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Northern Counties Health Care, Northeast Kingdom Human Services, RuralEdge, Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging, Northeast Kingdom Community Action, and the Vermont Foodbank.  Several other local agencies and organizations are also partnering in this effort to improve health and well-being of residents in the region.

NVRH CEO Paul Bengtson was enthusiastic about this award. “This will help us engage with even more local partners such as banks and financing organizations to develop sustainable financing mechanisms to build flourishing communities through a variety of population health-improving strategies,” said Bengtson.

The goal of Bridging for Health is to improve population health by rebalancing and aligning investments while fostering linkages among multisector stakeholders. Population health recognizes that factors outside of the traditional health care delivery system—like housing, food access, and education—significantly influence health and well-being. Innovations in financing to fund nontraditional, health-related initiatives can achieve improvements in population health for all. To accomplish this, Bridging for Health focuses on: innovations in financing; collaboration and collective impact; and population health and health equity.

“All CAHC organizations are working toward the same goal, a vibrant community,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “Investing in our collective health sets everyone up for success. We are delighted to get expert support and guidance from Bridging for Health for this effort. A strong foundation is being laid, and Bridging for Health will help us frame a structure on that foundation.”

The Georgia Health Policy Center, as the national coordinating center, works with these communities to further develop, evaluate, and disseminate innovations in policy, health care delivery, and financing.  Each site is provided with technical assistance, evaluation support, and opportunities for peer learning. Additional resources for convenings, core functions, and/or special projects are also available.

The Caledonia & s. Essex Accountable Health Community is one of only six communities around the country offered this opportunity.  The other five  Bridging for Health sites are:

  • Allegheny County Health Department (Pennsylvania)
  • The Bexar County Community Health Collaborative (Texas)
  • Inland Empire (California)
  • Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville (South Carolina)
  • Yamhill Community Care Organization (Oregon)

For more information on Bridging for Health, visit


Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of more than 300 community partners – food shelves, meal sites, schools, hospitals, and housing sites. Food insecurity has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic, economic disruptions, and recent flooding. The Vermont Foodbank and its network have been on the front lines, working to ensure that everyone has the food they need to maintain their health. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank provided over 12 million pounds of food to people throughout Vermont. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation.