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New England Coalition for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention


NECON  NECON, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization, was established in 1984 with working groups whose members represented multiple disciplines from all six New England states. Today, NECON is a coalition of the New England state health departments, the region's schools of public health, and federal health agencies led by Region I of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as well as medical societies, legislators, and representatives from industry, labor, and voluntary associations. Its mission is to serve as an instrument for the development and enhancement of disease prevention and health promotion public policies and practices in New England.

For further information about NEGC events, please contact:
Charles C. Tretter, Executive Director
New England Governors' Conference, Inc.
76 Summer Street, 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02110-1226
tel.: 617-423-6900
fax: 617-423-7327
web site:

In 1986, the New England Governors' Conference (NEGC) charged NECON to interact with the states' chief health officers and other health policymakers and to submit recommendations periodically for the improvement of the health status of the region. NECON responds to that charge through annual conferences and interactive working groups that continually address the prevention and control of chronic diseases.

In 1999, at the New England Governors' Conference in Rockport, Maine, the governors requested that NECON return in 2000 with a "short list" of recommendations that could energize a regional commitment to prevention and significantly improve the health of the people of New England. Those six recommendations––our hexagon of health––were presented the following year to the governors at their conference in Springfield, MA. The six recommendations are attached (see reverse side).

NECON's annual region-wide conferences are shaped to implement the six recommendations. The Science of Prevention, our annual conference in October 2004, featured Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of the Institute of Medicine, as we accelerated our movement to create a Culture of Prevention in New England. An important corollary of this initiative is the establishment of Prevention Caucuses in each of the New England state legislatures.

NECON and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) created a regional working group to develop a Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Overweight and Obesity in New England. Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the HSPH and author of the recently published Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, chaired this extensive and regionally representative working group of over 100 members. The American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association have prioritized the reduction of the risk factors of poor diet, obesity, and physical inactivity, and their New England divisions were integral parts of the process. The group deliberated for nearly two years and the Strategic Plan was submitted to the New England governors at their annual meeting in 2003. The governors responded positively and the incoming Chair of the Governors' Conference, Vermont Governor James H. Douglas, suggested we call a New England Summit Obesity Conference. The conference was convened in Woodstock, VT on June 11, 2004.  (The Plan and the conference proceedings are available on our website:

In 2005, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded NECON a grant to facilitate implementation of the Strategic Plan. Implementation is being accomplished through NECON's Thinking Regionally, Acting Locally strategy: conducting State Health Action Forums as precursors to State Health Action Collaboratives. Local partnerships were forged as we co-sponsored the following forums: The Massachusetts Forum on Communities and Schools Working Together for Wellness (October 2005), The Rhode Island Overweight and Obesity Summit (January 2006), and The New Hampshire Healthy Eating/Active Living (HEAL) Forum (October 2007). At the National Obesity Action Forum on June 5-6, 2006, in Bethesda, Maryland, the DHHS and the National Institutes of Health designated NECON's activities as a model for the other nine regions.

The 2008 NECON Regional Conference entitled, PREVENTION: The Ultimate Cost Containment Strategy and A Key To Affordable Universal Healthcare in America will be held in the fall of 2008.

Funding sources for NECON include charitable trusts and foundations, private industry, voluntary sectors, and federal agencies.


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The New England Coalition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
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