Category Archives: Live Well School

Deer Lakes, North Versailles Newest Members of Live Well Allegheny

June 7, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) announced today that the Deer Lakes School District has formally been designated as a Live Well Allegheny School. The announcement was celebrated at the district’s 8th Annual Employee Health & Wellness Fair.

“We know that what attracts people to Allegheny County and its municipalities most is the quality of life that we offer here. We are grateful to the Deer Lakes School District and North Versailles Township for joining us in our efforts for a healthier community,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Along with the existing members of the campaign, each of these steps ensure that we continue to offer a great quality of life in our communities and that we are also focused on continuing to improve those quality and, along the way, the health and well-being of our residents.”

The Deer Lakes School District is committed to providing a healthy environment for their students and staff members. The district intends to start a school garden through a recent grant for Tower Garden growing units, which will use aeoroponic technology and grow a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, the high school will incorporate Life-Skills program in conjunction with hands-on approach to gardening practices. The Skyward communication tool has helped the school promote healthy food changes to school lunches, including increasing low-fat milk options over sugary beverages and limiting processed foods. Deer Lakes School District has a wellness committee that has developed a walking club for staff and offers a complimentary salad meal to one teacher per week for participation in the club. Lastly, the school district is participating in the “Building Healthy Schools” program with Penn State PRO Wellness.

“As the Live Well Allegheny campaign continues to grow, it is so exciting to see how communities and school are taking on activities for health. We now have 12 schools/districts and 46 communities who have committed to adopting live well activities,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. This is a movement and it takes all of us working together to make Allegheny County a healthier place.”

The Township of North Versailles has also joined the Live Well Allegheny campaign, having been designated as a Live Well Allegheny Community. The township has committed to a number of action steps in order to provide a healthier community for residents. The community promotes smoke-free buildings, perimeters, as well as parks by participating in the “Young Lungs at Play” program. North Versailles is also committed to providing residents with opportunities to be physically active by maintaining parks and recently developing a walking trail. The community actively promotes and supports local Farmers’ markets. Lastly, the township commits to sharing information on wellness campaign events with the broader community to encourage the voluntary participation of residents.

Participants in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating workplaces can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to live well.

Live Well Allegheny was launched by County Executive Fitzgerald 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.

Wellbridge Health and Spectrum Charter School Commit to Live Well Allegheny

May 13, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced Wellbridge Health is the newest company to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace. Also, announced was Spectrum Charter School, the latest to receive designation as a Live Well Allegheny School. That announcement was celebrated at the BEE Well Family Expo at the Gateway # 4 Fire Hall in Monroeville.

“With each new Live Well Allegheny commitment we are closer to our goal of surrounding Allegheny County residents with healthy choices where they live, work and learn,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “Employers and schools have an important role in encouraging healthy behaviors and I commend the newest members to join the campaign.”

Spectrum Charter Schools has committed to the following action steps to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny School. First, the school district will provide body mass index (BMI) data with the Allegheny County Health Department. In addition, Spectrum Charter will host Touch a Truck—Bee Well EXPO, which is a family event to encourage active living and nutrition. They are committed to increasing fresh fruit and vegetable intake among students by offering fresh organic fruits on Mondays and Taste It Tuesdays as an opportunity for students to try new foods. In addition, the school is pursuing a Healthy Relationship curriculum. During the 2017-2018 school year, they will have a garden on-site and implement lesson plans in conjunction with the garden.

Wellbridge Health, a care management solutions company, prioritizes preventative healthcare for their clients and employees. As a Live Well Allegheny Workplace, Wellbridge Health is committed to creating a healthy, mindful, and active environment for employees. The organization will establish an Employee Wellness Committee to facilitate wellness in-services and host healthy pot-luck lunches periodically. In addition, they will encourage employees to incorporate more whole foods in their diets, consume 64oz/day water and avoid junk foods. Wellbridge Health will also increase activity by initiating a walking club, encouraging workplace exercise and implementing wellness challenges. With a focus on preventative care, Wellbridge Health encourages all employees to have regular primary care and dental visits, as well as offering regular blood pressure screenings. The organization promotes mindfulness by promoting activities such as yoga practice, meditation, and stress management.

Participants in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating workplaces can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to live well.

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.

Steel Valley School District, Seven Mon Valley Communities Commit to Live Well Allegheny

February 28, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the Steel Valley School District is the latest school district to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny School and that the Township of Elizabeth, Borough of Glassport, City of McKeesport, Borough of Munhall, Borough of Port Vue, Borough of West Homestead and Borough of Whitaker are the newest Live Well Allegheny Communities.

“This is exciting news,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “These communities have always been known for their willingness and ability to work together to benefit their residents, and I have no doubt that their involvement with the Live Well Allegheny campaign will help those Mon Valley communities, and their citizens.”

The Steel Valley School District passed a board resolution committing to Live Well Allegheny and has  pledged to make a commitment to a comprehensive healthy schools program, offer fresh fruits and vegetables at all meals and provide 2% milk instead of whole milk, utilize web sites and social media to provide information on physical activity, nutrition, stress management tobacco cessation and other health and wellness initiatives, and promote drinking water.

Four of the Mon Valley communities are part of County Council District 9. The Township of Elizabeth, Borough of Glassport, Borough of Munhall and Borough of Port Vue are all encouraging participation in voluntary wellness campaigns for employees and residents, promoting smoke free buildings and perimeters and develop walking maps and outdoor wellness trails that are available to residents. Elizabeth Township recently was also awarded silver certification as part of the Sustainable Community Development Network.  

“We are excited to welcome our new school and community partners to the Live Well family” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “It is very rewarding to see the continuing momentum we have in our efforts to build healthier communities and improve the opportunities for our residents”

Part of County Council District 11, the City of McKeesport will promote recreational programming that encourages physical activity, designation of smoke-free children’s play areas in partnership with Tobacco Free Allegheny, further development of the William Lickert Jr. Memorial Walking Trail in Renziehausen Park, and utilization of the city’s web site and social media to increase awareness of wellness opportunities offered. The Borough of West Homestead has committed to sharing wellness information, developing walking maps, encouraging multi-modal transportation, promoting farmers’ markets, promoting smoke free buildings and perimeters, and utilizing web sites and social media to provide wellness information.

In County Council District 8, the Borough of Whitaker committed to share wellness information with residents, encourage involvement with community and volunteer activities and to promote smoke-free buildings and perimeters.

The communities are also in the footprint for participation in the Live Well Allegheny Mon Valley Initiative that is supported with funding from the Jefferson Regional Foundation.  Its key objectives include increasing the number of people with access to smoke-free and tobacco-free environments, healthy food and beverage options, and physical activity opportunities. Partners include the Allegheny Health Network, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, the Steel Valley Council of Governments, the Human Services Center Corporation, Tobacco Free Allegheny, Just Harvest, Allegheny County Economic Development and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Participants in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating workplaces can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to live well.

Live Well Allegheny was launched by the County Executive 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 Dr. Karen Hacker.

Shaler Area School District Designated as Newest Live Well Allegheny School

January 17, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the Shaler Area School District is the latest school district to receive designation as a Live Well Allegheny School. The announcement was made during the district’s professional development day in front of all staff and employees. The district’s participation raises the number of school districts participating in Live Well Allegheny to nine.

“We’re thrilled to have another district join us in our efforts to become the healthiest county,” said County Executive Fitzgerald. “Schools play an important part in this effort because they not only can exhibit healthy actions, but can also teach them to our youth, making health decisions something that they do each day without thought.”

Shaler Area School District hosted a professional development day at Shaler Area High School for all 300 employees and staff including a wellness fair with 10 different vendors and a cooking demonstration provided by the food service provider.

Live Well Allegheny is about surrounding Allegheny County residents with healthy choices and that means healthy options at school, at work and in local communities,” said ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “I am so pleased that the Shaler Area School District is extending their commitment to Live Well Allegheny to improving the health of students, staff and also their community.”

“I am glad that Shaler Area School District is taking the leadership to be designated as the first Live Well School in District 3,” said Council Member Kress. “By taking advantage of the resources offered by Live Well Allegheny they are taking steps to improve the health of staff and students.”

To be designated as a Live Well Allegheny School, Shaler Area School District has already taken many steps to support the health and wellness of its students and employees. They have committed to the following additional steps as part of their commitment:

  • Encouraging staff wellness by providing a healthy cooking demonstration for staff, kicking off a 10,000 step challenge for all staff and conducting an employee wellness fair.
  • Improving student wellness by encouraging healthy food snacks during class parties and reducing food waste through nutrition improvement efforts in the cafeterias.
  • Focusing on community wellness by providing access to athletic fields and tracks during non-school hours to the community, hosting a community event to bring awareness about the prescription opioid epidemic and hosting a 5K race/walk for the community as a fundraising event for the Shaler Area Education Fund.

“Shaler Area School District is honored to be recognized as a Live Well Allegheny school district. We believe there is a strong connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind, and we are committed to creating and promoting a culture of wellness across our district,” said Superintendent Sean Aiken.

Students and employees in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating workplaces can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to live well.

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.

Mt. Lebanon Designated as Live Well Allegheny Community, School

ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker joins Mt. Lebanon Commissioners, School Board members and residents to announce that community's involvement with the Live Well Allegheny initiative.

ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker joins Mt. Lebanon Commissioners, School Board members and students to announce their community’s involvement with the Live Well Allegheny initiative.

PITTSBURGH – Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department, was joined by elected and appointed officials, students and residents of Allegheny County, Mt. Lebanon and the Mt. Lebanon School District to formally designate the district and municipality as part of the Live Well Allegheny campaign.
“It has been a fantastic two years for the Live Well Allegheny campaign, as the vitality we see in our communities is reflected in this campaign for a healthier county,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We see evidence each day that this effort is working, and that news has been supported by the recent data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. While we’ve made improvements, we know that there’s more work to do which is why it’s so important to have so many organizations help in this effort.”

Live_Well_MtLebanonThe Live Well launch happened this morning during the community’s first Farmer’s Market of the season which is held each week near the municipal building on Washington Road. In addition to the announcement, students from Mt. Lebanon participated in a game focused on #HowDoYouLiveWell, answering questions that ranged from health, nutrition, exercise and swim safety, to internet use and more.

“As a health care professional, I am very pleased that school districts and communities are becoming more involved in promoting an active, healthy lifestyle that will improve the health and well-being of their citizens,” said County Council Member Sue Means, who represents District 5 in which Mt. Lebanon is located.

The addition of Mt. Lebanon and the Mt. Lebanon School District brings the overall count of participants in Live Well Allegheny Communities to 23 and Live Well Allegheny Schools to 6. The initiative has also recently launched Live Well Allegheny Restaurants and Live Well Allegheny Workplaces.

“I am so pleased to celebrate a joint announcement by both the municipality and school district. Live Well Allegheny is about encouraging health behaviors for all Allegheny County residents in all facets of life at work, school or in our local communities,” said Hacker. “Whether it is students making healthier choices in the lunch line or local communities organizing events to encourage more physical activity. These small changes all add up to a healthier Allegheny County.”

Mt. Lebanon already engages in a number of activities to promote health, including the sponsorship of the Uptown Farmers’ Market, offering volunteer opportunities to enhance the quality of life, cycling and walking events and other initiatives for its 33,000 citizens. In addition to committing to continuing current activities, the municipality also intends to utilize the Tour de Mt. Lebanon, recreational opportunities and numerous other healthy initiatives to further the goals of the campaign.

“When it comes to health and wellness, being a walking community with a top regional hospital as its largest employer gives us a head start,” said Mt. Lebanon Commissioner Kelly Fraasch. “But nearly every municipal department, our school district and various nonprofit agencies located in Mt. Lebanon have contributed to our focus on improving quality of life for all, and our commitment to promoting wellness and safety for all residents.”

Live_Well_MTLSDThe Mt. Lebanon School District is also taking steps to promote the goals of the Live Well Allegheny campaign by focusing on staff wellness, student wellness and community wellness. The district already provides a comprehensive wellness plan for staff, offers a standards-based health and physical education curriculum, and has eliminated non-recyclable materials at all of its schools. Moving forward, the district has committed to share wellness tips and events using its social media accounts, providing healthy snacks for staff and faculty, as well as students for schools-related events, continuing its connections to local produce through Farm to School Partnerships and making water coolers available at all schools, as just a starting point.

“We are pleased to partner with Allegheny County, the Health Department and the Mt. Lebanon municipality as a Live Well Allegheny School,” said Timothy Steinhauer, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools. “The health and well-being of our students and staff is a priority in the Mt. Lebanon School District, so we are honored to take part in this important public health initiative to promote wellness and healthy living in our schools.”

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.

For more information on the Live Well Allegheny campaign, including how to become a Live Well Allegheny community or school, visit the Gain Live Well Status page.

Two Municipalities & Two School Districts Join Live Well Allegheny!

Live Well Allegheny is proud to announce that the boroughs of Sewickley and Turtle Creek, along with the McKeesport Area and West Allegheny School Districts, are the four newest members of the county’s Live Well Allegheny campaign. Their participation brings the number of Live Well Allegheny communities to 22 and school districts to five as they embrace the countywide effort to “live well.”

“It’s extremely exciting to add four more members to Live Well Allegheny,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Our goal from the beginning is to have the engagement and involvement of a vast number of stakeholders in this effort, because it’s only by working together that we’re going to be able to help our community be healthier.”

“Each new Live Well Allegheny commitment expands the impact of our collective effort to improve the health of Allegheny County residents,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “All of our Live Well communities and schools working together can promote simple changes to make their residents healthier. Whether it is offering employee wellness programs or access to bike and pedestrian trails, or healthier food options in schools, these are things which will surround residents with opportunities and help make the healthy choice the default choice.”

Live_Well_W-Allegheny-SchoolsIn Council District 1, the West Allegheny School District is committed to creating a community of learners who value wellness, specifically nutrition, fitness, and personal safety. The district’s Live Well Allegheny commitment is in four main areas including an active wellness committee that meets throughout the year to plan for wellness initiatives. Staff wellness activities include a partnership with FitBit to enable staff to purchase FitBits at a reduced cost, a Biggest Loser competition for staff and a summer fitness challenge. Student-centered wellness activities that includes a commitment to physical education classes including swimming, recess every day and Wellness Walks conducted periodically at the elementary school. Community partnerships which include working with the food service provider on the provision of fruit and vegetables offered at every meal including 2% milk options, healthy fundraising activities and an annual 5k event. The district is planning a Live Well Allegheny wellness fair to take place in 2016.

“I am thrilled that the West Allegheny School District will be part of Live Well Allegheny. The district is planning a variety of initiatives and opportunities planned to empower students, teachers, staff and families to make healthier and more active decisions inside and outside of school to better themselves mentally and physically,” said District 1 Council Member Tom Baker. “This will go a long way to positively influence the lives of the students from North Fayette Township and Findlay Township in District 1 in Allegheny County.”

Live_Well_McKeesport-Area-SchoolLikewise, in Council District 9, the Board of Directors of the McKeesport Area School District made a commitment to a comprehensive healthy schools program. They will offer fruits and vegetables at all meals and 2% milk instead of whole milk, utilize web sites and social media to provide information on physical activity, nutrition, stress management, tobacco cessation and other wellness initiatives as well as promote increased consumption of water. The McKeesport Area School District is the second district to join from the Mon Valley as part of the Live Well Mon Valley Initiative.

“Your diet, the way you live, and how you exercise are important things,” said District 9 Council Member Robert Macey.  “They’re important for your health and well-being, but also impact your ability to learn and achieve your goals. I’m thrilled to see the school district recognize that connection and proud that they are a part of the Live Well Allegheny campaign.”

Live_Well_Turtle-Creek-BoroughTurtle Creek Borough in District 8 joins five other municipalities as part of the Live Well Mon Valley Initiative in making a commitment to smoke-free buildings and parks, promoting a farmer’s market, making a commitment to plan a wellness event, promoting walking and biking activities and trail projects. The borough will also encourage the adoption of healthier food options at community events and promote wellness information to residents in a variety of ways including on web sites and on social media.

“Promoting quality of life, healthy development and positive health behaviors is important because it impacts each person individually by increasing quality and years of healthy life,” said District 8 Council Member Dr. Charles Martoni. “I am excited to see so many of our communities recognizing the importance of being healthy, but also supporting efforts for its residents to live healthier. I’m so proud to have so many District 8 communities committing to live well.”

Live_Well_Sewickley-BoroughSewickley Borough in Council District 2 passed a Live Well Allegheny resolution in September 2015. The borough has an extensive 5-year employee wellness program including increasing steps, weight loss, heart rate awareness and annual physicals. Also, as part of their membership in the Municipal Benefits Services for health care services they were able to purchase FitBits for every employee. The municipality has made a commitment to smoke-free parks and buildings and supports a weekly farmer’s market that is held at St. James Church. Each year there are four 5k events held in Sewickley Borough. In addition, wellness is promoted to residents on both the borough web site and Sewickley TV.

“Promoting good health has an impact on individuals and communities, as well as their living conditions, and enhances the quality of life for everyone,” said District 2 Council Member Jan Rea. “Encouraging people to make choices that benefit themselves is not always an easy task, but efforts such as Live Well Allegheny engage residents and communities in making those decisions together. The buy-in from District 2 communities is exciting, and as we all begin working together more closely on initiatives, our residents and communities will benefit.”