Category Archives: Live Well School

Students at Steel Valley School District Teach Families & Community Members about Community Health!

Have you ever wondered how mental health affects teens’ performance at school? Or how poor vision could impact students’ academic achievement? Or maybe you are curious about whether students who receive free and reduced school lunches feel food insecure? These are questions that the students at Steel Valley School District, a Live Well Allegheny member, are exploring through student-led research projects. The students are part of the Pitt-Bridge to College Program (Pitt-Bridge). Pitt-Bridge provides a framework wherein students choose a community health topic, engage in community-based participatory research, and develop an intervention based on research findings.

Pitt-Bridge is an extracurricular program that includes Science, Technology, Research Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STREAM) learning through health science clubs. The health science clubs offer an opportunity to participate in student-led, relevant community health research. The program prepares students to effectively work with others and become STREAM leaders in their community. The goals of the program are to increase the number of students entering and graduating from college, and to improve community health through student-led and facilitated research and education projects. Pitt-Bridge specifically targets underserved communities in developing its school-based health science clubs.

Currently, Steel Valley hosts three health science clubs – two at the high school, and one at the middle school. On April 21st, Steel Valley hosted a Health and Wellness Fair featuring the Pitt-Bridge students’ research projects. Students involved in the Pitt-Bridge Program presented results from their research projects on relevant community health topics that affect the student body, and the broader community. Divided into three sessions, students and community experts came together to share information and resources with families and community members on each topic.

The first of three projects presented focused on determining whether social isolation was a problem at Steel Valley. The group produced and distributed a survey to other students, and found that approximately 30 percent of students felt isolated. In response to the research findings, the students created a support group to offer a space for peer-to-peer interaction, problem-solving, and friendship-building. The session also featured mental health specialists who work with individuals for counseling, suicide prevention, and managing stress through mindfulness.

The second project focused on “the right to sight” – or vision care for all people. The project considered the connection between vision and success in school, and featured information and resources around vision care in the community. The third and final topic was on food insecurity in Steel Valley. The health science club students conducted survey research about whether students feel food insecure. All students at Steel Valley are eligible for free school lunch due to  a provision under the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. While the research findings indicated that the students are not feeling food insecure, the survey indicated a desire for healthier options at school lunch. Currently, the club is working on connecting students with the food service department to expand food choice at lunch.

Pitt-Bridge offers an opportunity for students to engage in community health research, learn from peers and experts, and make progress towards higher education. Pitt-Bridge is looking to expand the program into additional schools for the 2018-2019 school year. If you are a Live Well Allegheny School, and are interested in participating in the program, please contact Dr. Robert Branch at rab13@pitt.edu.

Woodland Hills School District Teaches Lifelong Health and Wellness in Live Well After School Program!

At Live Well Allegheny, we know healthy lifestyle changes can be a hard sell. Living a healthy life can be difficult without the support of your community. Our Live Well Allegheny partners make a healthy choice the easy choice by using innovation and creativity to promote health and wellness in our communities, schools, workplaces, and restaurants. Woodland Hills School District (WHSD), a Live Well Allegheny school, is helping its students prioritize health and wellness with its Live Well Afterschool Program, and other wellness initiatives.

Students at WHSD learn lifelong health and wellness information in the Live Well After School Program, a semester-long after-school program focused on healthy living. The program started in 2011 with funding from the Heinz Endowments. The voluntary effort is offered for grades 8-12, with curriculum for the program connecting evidence-based health information with interactive lessons to encourage student engagement and participation.

The Live Well After School Program is three pronged, with focuses on healthy nutrition, lifelong physical activity, and stress management. Students learn practical skills related to nutrition like grocery shopping on a budget and using foods to increase their vitamin intake. Students also learn different types of physical activity they can use throughout their life, such as line dancing, yoga, hiking, and Zumba. To ensure student engagement, the program relies heavily on interactive learning, which has been essential to the success of the program. While there are some classroom-based lessons, students spend most of the time on activities that encourage movement and hands-on learning. The curriculum includes projects like gardening to encourage hands-on learning. Through the garden project, students started seedlings in a hydroponic garden and repotted the plants in the school’s greenhouse. The afterschool students are responsible for planting and maintaining the plants, which are open to use by all students at the school. The students have grown a variety of herbs and lettuces in the garden project.

In addition to the after-school program, WHSD promotes health and wellness through programs that reach its full student body and the broader community. To ensure that all students are receiving messages about health and wellness, WHSD sends daily living well messages that cover a wide variety of health topics. For elementary students, the school hosts living well family fun nights. WHSD partners with University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing students to provide interactive health information, games, and food to elementary students and their families. The school also partnered with Jump with Jill, a music-based health program for kids that uses rock music to teach nutrition, to provide schools with healthy nutrition assemblies. In addition to reaching its student body, WHSD is also expanding its health and wellness message to the broader community. Last summer, the school participated in a community day with eleven communities. During the community day, the school had a tent with health and wellness activities for people of all ages. Through the wellness initiatives at the schools, WHSD is promoting health and wellness to its students and the community.

Riverview School District and Pittsburgh Juice Company Earn Live Well Allegheny Status

February 27, 2018

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Health Department announced that another school district – Riverview School District, and restaurant, Pittsburgh Juice Company, have joined the Live Well Allegheny campaign. Now participating are 50 communities, 42 restaurants, 14 workplaces and 14 school districts that are making health a priority in Allegheny County.

 

“I am very pleased to report that the Riverview School District and the Pittsburgh Juice Company have joined the Live Well effort,” said ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “Our newest Live Well Allegheny members will be providing opportunities to increase physical activity and to improve nutrition and healthy cooking practices, all of which are key elements that will help improve the health of our residents.”

Live Well Allegheny School District

The Riverview School District has committed to students’ health and wellness through initiatives that promote proper nutrition and physical activity as part of the learning experience. Initiatives for elementary school students include: morning movement and stretching activities, daily recess, mindfulness activities, and fitness Fridays, implemented by each school building’s Wellness Committee. For junior and senior high school students, Riverview Schools held its inaugural Turkey Trot, a successful, fun, half-day school event that offered three diverse healthy activities. The Riverview Junior and Senior High School Health and Physical Education Department have also concentrated on offering diverse fitness opportunities for students every day, providing cardio equipment, circuit training, and a music and dance class that students can utilize.

Live Well Allegheny Restaurant

The Pittsburgh Juice Company has committed to providing healthier food options to its customers through continued sustainable practices. Customers have access to vegetarian dishes, whole grain alternatives and healthier beverage options. The restaurant uses plant based oils, and has eliminated the use of trans fats from their kitchen. In addition, the Pittsburgh Juice Company has a secure area for patrons to store their bicycles, if they need a rest in between rides.

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald as a comprehensive and 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 Allegheny County Board of Health and Dr. Hacker.

Participants in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with the 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.

Students at Curtisville Primary Center Learn about Locally Grown Apples!

Have you ever thought about how our fruits and vegetables are grown? How farmers grow those perfectly crisp apples? Or even, how many of those apples grow on one tree? These were the questions that first grade students at Curtisville Primary Center in the Deer Lakes School District, a Live Well Allegheny School, had for local apple farmer, Jeff Norman. Thanks to the school’s Farmer Direct Series, they had a chance to get some answers.

On October 2, Mr. Norman of Norman’s Orchard, located in Tarentum, spent the morning teaching first graders the ins-and-outs of the apple-growing business. Students had the opportunity to learn about different varieties of apples that are local to Western Pennsylvania. Mr. Norman also talked to the students about planting and harvesting, differences in varieties and ways to cook apples. He answered many questions about the specifics of growing and operating an orchard. And at the end of the presentation, students enjoyed a snack of Norman’s Orchard apples and caramel dip.

The visit from Mr. Norman was part of Curtisville Primary Center’s Farmer Direct Series. Local farmers are invited to visit the school and talk to students about farming practices and local produce. Through the Farmer Direct Series students can learn from a different type of farmer every month. This provides an opportunity for students to make a connection between the fruits and vegetables they eat and the growing practices of local farmers.

The Farmer Direct Series is just one piece of a larger wellness initiative at Curtisville Primary Center. For Principal Jennifer Cavalancia, incorporating lessons about nutrition and wellness is an important piece of the curriculum. The students at Curtisville Primary Center do not just learn about nutrition and wellness in the classroom, they get down in the dirt. They have helped plant fruit trees in the school yard and have grown lettuce and herbs in tower gardens. School wellness initiatives can provide creative methods for peaking kids’ interest in fruits and vegetables. We are very excited to see schools like Curtisville Primary Center prioritizing health and wellness in education!

Several New Live Well Allegheny Designations

August 17, 2017

PITTSBURGH –  The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) announced today that one municipality, one school district, two workplaces and four restaurants have been designated as part of the Live Well Allegheny campaign during the past month. This brings the total to 49 communities, 13 school districts, 13 workplaces and 41 restaurants that are making health a priority in Allegheny County.

“In order to reach our goal of making Allegheny County the healthiest county for all residents it takes all of us doing our part to make healthy choices where we live, learn, work and eat,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director. “I am so pleased to be able that these organizations are joining with us in our efforts, and thank them for each contributing to Live Well Allegheny.”

Live Well Allegheny Community

Mount Oliver Borough is committed to sharing information on wellness campaign events with the broader community to encourage the voluntary participation of residents, encourage multi-modal transportation of residents by providing facilities or policies that encourage walking and bike riding with a specific focus on making good connections to municipal parks and promoting and their farmer’s market.

Live Well Allegheny School District

The Elizabeth Forward School District’s commitment began with a community garden that is farmed by elementary students at Greenock Elementary School and a summer enrichment class called, “Little Sprouts.” The class teaches children about growing and cultivating a garden as well as how to prepare the food that they grow. They also participate in “Cooking Matters” classes with parents sponsored by 412 Food Rescue, conduct several food drives and have a “Food Cupboard” at the school that provide food items for the neediest families. Additionally, the district provides healthy lunches and snacks for students. In the future, the district plans to conduct community surveys and to expand gardens to other schools in the district.

Live Well Allegheny Workplace

PITT OHIO has a robust workplace wellness program that includes offering healthy food and snacks for purchase in its cafeteria and in vending machines, and makes those same options available during company meetings and events. Employees have access to comprehensive health insurance including dental and eye care and preventative care without copays. The business has also established a tobacco-free workplace policy which includes cessation services, and is creating and sponsoring employee athletic teams and activities. To underscore PITT OHIO’s focus on health and wellness, a health and wellness coordinator has been in place since October 2015. In addition to providing resources, the workplace also provides annual Health Risk Assessments, a before-work stretching program, weight-loss competitions, group challenges and walking events.

TCV Community Services offers its employees healthy food options in vending machines, a private area for breastfeeding employees, well-lit and safe stairwells, and access to water fountains dispensers and coolers on site. Moving forward, the workplace will be considering consider a tobacco and smoke-free work campus. The organization is also exploring the integration of health and wellness policies into its organizational structure through the adoption of a healthy food policy, a policy to support breastfeeding employees, the use of financial incentives to encourage participation in health improvement activities, potential health-club discounts for employees, and will provide or ensure that employees have access to comprehensive health insurance including dental and eye care in addition to preventive care without co-pays. Employees have access to health education information and are encouraged to participate in screenings including those for body mass index, obesity, and blood pressure.

Live Well Allegheny Restaurant

The leadership of each of these restaurants has committed to providing healthy options for customers, information on which can be found on the Live Well Allegheny Restaurants page.

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 by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald 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.

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.