State Auditor Announces Statewide Project for Improved Performance and Health Outcomes

Montpelier, VT – State Auditor Tom Salmon CPA announced the creation of the Accountable to You, Accountable to Me statewide wellness initiative. This program will encourage Vermonters to take a proactive role in their own personal health and wellness by focusing on accountability to one’s self and others who are part of their lives.

By signing up to be held accountable to one’s individual health and/or savings goals, Vermonters will employ a new strategy to achieve better personal and community results in the year ahead. Vermonters will have an opportunity to sign up for one of the following categories:

· No Use of Alcohol

· No Use of Tobacco or any illegal substances

· Lose 25 pounds

· Save 2,012 dollars to donate to a Vermont charity.

“It is our goal to empower 1,000 Vermonters to be accountable with their lives,” Salmon said, “by providing a system that one can enter by simply declaring individual goals linked to clear outcomes. I’m excited and eager to get the ball rolling.”

Salmon joined John Kleinhans, chairman of the Vermont State Colleges Student Association, and Deputy Health Commissioner Barbara Cimaglio, to record a 30-minute program for local access television to help explain the concept and how people can join or learn more. “The Vermont Department of Health and our partners are always looking for new ways to improve health outcomes,” Cimaglio said. “Although Vermont is known as the healthiest state, substance abuse, smoking and obesity are still public health challenges. We support this innovative project and look forward to seeing how Vermonters respond.”

Accountable to You, Accountable to Me is based on four different goals that Vermonters can pledge to accomplish by the conclusion of 2012, or 12 months from personal enrollment through March 31, 2013: quit smoking, stop drinking, lose 25 pounds, or save $2,012 to donate to a local Vermont charity or an individual project choice. Individuals may modify their declaration of pounds lost or dollars committed. Entrants who stay on course toward their chosen goal will be entered in a monthly prize bowl drawing with a cash reward donated by participants or businesses. Each participant will be paired up with a mentor that will make weekly electronic or phone contact and provide support.

Accountable to You, Accountable to Me will be led on a day-to-day basis by John Kleinhans, and is open to all Vermonters. The program will include a social media campaign and active grassroots campaign based through all 14 counties in the state. “I am really excited,” Kleinhans said. “This is a morale boosting vehicle where Vermonters can stand up and make themselves better and their communities better after a difficult year. If we could find 1,000 Vermonters to save 2012 dollars for others, that is over 2 million dollars…It blows my mind!”

For any press inquiries or to sign up contact John Kleinhans at 802-505-7322 or by email at A2youA2me@gmail.com.