- Need: Easier access to wellness programs in a Maine county covering a large geographic area.
- Intervention: Healthy You was created to deliver wellness programming in 6 locations throughout the county, rotating for 2 months of the year to each location, with programming customized to the needs of each community.
- Results: Over 5,000 community members annually participate in wellness programs.
Healthy You is a wellness program that serves
Aroostook County, Maine. Aroostook County is
the northernmost county in the state and has the largest
land area, covering over 6,600 square miles.
To identify the region's wellness programming needs,
Center conducted a series of focus groups with county
residents. Based on input from focus group participants,
Healthy You uses a broad definition of wellness,
addressing overall well-being, including physical,
emotional, mental, social, and family health.
Focus group participants identified travel time and cost
as barriers to accessing wellness programs. The hospital
where wellness classes were offered was as much as 40 to
50 miles from some residents. To address geographic
barriers, Healthy You developed a unique system of
rotating through 6 communities, spending 2 months each
year offering wellness programming catered to meet the
needs of the following rural towns: Washburn, Limestone,
Van Buren, Caribou, Fort Fairfield, and Presque Isle.
The program is a partnership of Cary Medical Center and
Aroostook County businesses, organizations, and other
healthcare agencies. It is funded and sponsored by Cary
Medical Center with smaller event specific sponsorships
from outside organizations.
Healthy You provides:
- Wellness programs 2 months per year in each community
- Services tailored to meet community needs
- New programs and repeated favorites catered to each
community on a variety of topics including:
- Physical activity
- Chronic disease management.
- Wellness activities include programs like:
- Family fitness
- Healthy living classes
- Hands-on activities
You can find Healthy You Events & Information on
Healthy You celebrated its 10th year of services in 2018,
delivering 48 wellness programs in 7 different towns in
Aroostook County. Approximately 5,000 people participate
each year in Healthy You programming.
Healthy You was the recipient of the Maine
Public Health Association's Program of Excellence
Award for 2013.
Because of the difficulty accessing Healthy You programs
due to weather and physical limitations for some
participants, Healthy You began offering programs through
an online webinar platform. Through the use of online
devices, participants can now keep up with the classes
and opportunities from remote locations.
In recent years, more people have expressed their desire
to stay informed about Healthy You programs. As a large
number of participants are not on social media or
actively utilizing technology, the option to promote
solely through electronic means is not viable.
As a result, Healthy You has converted to a greener
method of promotion. In addition to direct mailings, they
have advertised in local newspapers and sent promotional
emails. Social media such as Facebook
as well as online calendars and local public access
channels will also be utilized.
Partnerships are the key to the Healthy You program's
ability to do so much on a small budget. Advisory
committee members have roles in their community that
allow for mutually beneficial arrangements.
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention
December 4, 2013
Date updated or reviewed
January 11, 2019
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub,
Healthy You [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at:
[Accessed 7 July 2022]
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.