August 13, 2016
PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the Borough of Braddock is the latest community to receive the designation of a Live Well Allegheny community. The announcement was made as part of the Braddock Community Day event held earlier today.
“Live Well Allegheny encourages people to make changes where they live and work that will impact their health,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “I commend the newest members of Live Well Allegheny that are contributing to a healthier Allegheny County.”
The Borough of Braddock hosted its annual community day at the intersection of Braddock Avenue and Library Street. In addition to visiting with representatives of the Health Department, attendees could also participate in Zumba, cardio boot camps, children’s games and a parade.
“We are thrilled to have another community join our effort to become a healthier county,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “With the commitment from Braddock, we now have 26 municipalities which are actively working with the county to help their residents become healthier.”
In its ordinance for Live Well Allegheny, Braddock indicated that it will:
- Promote participation in a voluntary wellness campaign for the community’s employees
- Share information on wellness campaign events with the broader community to encourage voluntary participation of residents
- Develop indoor and outdoor wellness trails accessible to residents of all abilities
- Offer incentives for employees who walk or bike to work
- Encourage multi-modal transportation of residents by providing facilities or policies that encourage walking and bike riding
- Promote and support farmer’s markets
- Encourage involvement with community volunteer activities
- Promote smoke-free buildings and perimeters.
“I’m very proud that Braddock has joined this effort, and that the announcement of their commitment was made in such a public way as part of its Community Day celebration,” said Dr. Charles Martoni, the District 8 Allegheny County Council Member. “Braddock is the fourth municipality in my district to help us become a healthier county, and we are grateful for their efforts.”
The borough has already set a strong example for how a community can help its residents become healthier.
“The health of our residents is a priority. We host a 2-acre urban farm with Grow Pittsburgh to promote access to fresh produce and our Red Lantern Bike Shop provides kids free bicycles and repairs to encourage physical activity. I am excited that we are part Live Well Allegheny as it is great partnership to foster a healthy community in Braddock,” said Mayor John Fetterman.
The event also provided an opportunity to announce that two more organizations have become part of the Live Well Allegheny Workplaces effort: Rankin Christian Center and Virtual Officeware (DE) LLC.
The Rankin Christian Center (Rankin, PA) committed to action steps in four main focus areas to be designated as a Live Well Workplace:
- First, the company will make changes in the building facilities and workplace environment including providing healthy food options during company meetings and functions, ensuring well-lit and safe stairwells, providing access to filtered water cooler dispenser, access to an on-site room for fitness activity, providing space for a workplace garden.
- Second, it will integrate policy which will include providing employees with comprehensive health insurance including dental and preventative care with low copays.
- Third, it will provide health education, screening and prevention services like onsite health fairs and screenings for staff and community members in collaboration with local health providers.
- Finally, the organization leaders will actively demonstrate support for staff wellness and participate in wellness activities and programs.
Virtual OfficeWare, (Pittsburgh, PA) indicated that it has already implemented many of the goals of the campaign including:
- Creating an Employee Wellness Committee that has ongoing leadership support and participation as well as representatives from various departments
- Providing Fitness Wearables (Jawbone Up Bands) in conjunction with a step challenge
- Drafting a new company mission statement that supports employee well-being
- Offering health screenings for Blood Pressure, LDL Cholesterol, and Glucose readings
- Provide free healthy snacks such as fresh fruit in the breakroom
- Access to in-site fitness center, workout room and outdoor bicycles for physical activity
- Offering a reduction in insurance premiums, cash and extra PTO days to encourage participation in health improvement activities.
Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.