Leadership Seacoast Explores The State of Healthcare in Seacoast Region

Program held at Community Campus featured a Walk-A-Mile Poverty Simulation


PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE, FEBRUARY 15, 2014 — Local non-profit Leadership Seacoast, an organization committed to developing informed and active community leaders, recently explored the state of healthcare in the Seacoast, including the delivery of healthcare in the Seacoast, social services in the region and the benefit and barriers to delivery

Highlighting the interactive “Health and Human Services Day” was a “Walk a Mile (in their shoes) Poverty Simulation,” facilitated by the United Way of the Greater Seacoast. The poverty simulation experience was designed to help participants begin to understand the barriers faced by a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month. Following the simulation, United Way staff debriefed the experience and discussed further what living in poverty is like in the Seacoast.

“’Walk-a-Mile’ gives our class a snapshot of what many in the Seacoast struggle with on a daily basis,” said Jennifer Wheeler, Executive Director of Leadership Seacoast.

Following the stimulation, the class learned about the impact of substance abuse and mental health have on health and human services in New Hampshire, and took a tour of the Seacoast non-profits located within the Community Campus: Child Advocacy Services; More Than Wheels; Families First; Community Child Care Center; Krempels Center; and RCA-Portsmouth Adult Basic Education Program. The Community Campus is a collaborative, multi-tenant nonprofit health initiative created and constructed by the Foundation for Seacoast Health.

The day also included a discussion on the Affordable Care Act, and what it means to providers and patients throughout the Seacoast, led by Tyler Brannen, Health Policy Analyst, NH Insurance Department.

In the closing presentation, Mary Ann Cooney, Deputy Commissioner, NH Department of Health and Human Services, discussed the state’s role in health and human services.

Leadership Seacoast’s Health and Human Services Day was sponsored again this year by Optima Bank. Optima Bank is a locally-owned commercial bank.

Thanks to the continued backing of area businesses like Optima Bank, Leadership Seacoast is able to provide meaningful experiences for every student, offer scholarships to participants, create further opportunities for alumni, and secure the best speakers and venues. For more information about Leadership Seacoast and becoming a corporate sponsor, visit https://www.leadershipseacoast.org/ [1] or contact Jennifer Wheeler at 603-334–6063 or jwheeler@leadershipseacoast.org [2].


Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Leadership Seacoast is a six-month experiential learning program for those who want to discover how their communities function and how they can become a positive catalyst for change. The program is a behind-the-scenes exploration of the places, programs, influencers, and experts who power the Seacoast community. Program highlights include nine interactive days spent exploring community issues and themes around justice, education, economic development, government, health and human services, the environment, and arts and culture.

Leadership Seacoast alumni make a difference in their communities through networking, active involvement, and personal action. Since its inception in 1988, Leadership Seacoast has created a strong foundation that values diversity of opinion and consensus building to find solutions to challenges affecting the Seacoast’s community and its future. For more information please contact  jwheeler@leadershipseacoast.org or visit www.leadershipseacoast.org.




Jennifer Wheeler, Executive Director

Leadership Seacoast