Category Archives: Live Well Stories

Tobacco Free Allegheny, Live Well Allegheny, & Partners to Celebrate Smoking Cessation Awareness Week with Allegheny Quits for Life

Did you know that November 11-17 is Smoking Cessation Awareness Week? To raise awareness about tobacco cessation, Tobacco Free Allegheny (TFA), Live Well Allegheny, and supporting partners are joining together for the fourth annual Allegheny Quits for Life week. A week-long series of events and communications, the campaign is designed to support Allegheny County residents’ efforts to quit smoking and stop using tobacco products. Throughout the week TFA partners will be promoting tobacco cessation and healthy activities.

Smoking rates are declining nationally, but the battle is far from over. Every day, roughly 1,300 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses. This is not just a national problem; the health effects of tobacco disproportionately affect Western Pennsylvanians. In Allegheny County, 23% of county residents smoke exceeding the rate of Pennsylvanians (21%) and Americans (18.1%).

To combat the negative impacts of tobacco and build a healthier Allegheny County, TFA serves as a community resource, providing education about tobacco use and the harmful effects of secondhand smoke exposure. By celebrating Allegheny Quits for Life, TFA and its partners raise awareness about smoking cessation resources, the harmful effects of smoking, and promote healthy activities that can be used to substitute tobacco usage.

Allegheny Quits for Life partners are critical in conveying the message that a smoke-free Allegheny is a healthier Allegheny. There are a variety of ways to get involved in the celebration! Check out the list below for ways to be a part of Allegheny Quits for Life:

Additionally, we encourage you to join in the celebration on Tuesday, November 13th by participating in Tango Tuesday! Tango Tuesday is the official kick-off of Allegheny Quits for Life Cessation Awareness week. The event features a free dance class with Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, resources from local health organizations, a public press conference & more! See the Facebook Event for more information about Tango Tuesday!

For more information about the events and activities during Allegheny Quits for Life week, please visit: www.facebook.com/events.

Pittsburgh organizations attend Farm to Cafeteria Conference, learn ways to add locally-grown food to school meals

It’s Back-to-School season. The season tends to bring thoughts of new clothes, fresh pencils, cute bookbags and jam-packed schedules. For some people, however, back-to-school involves taking steps to safeguard children’s health by focused on immunizations and handwashing. At Live Well Allegheny, we believe it’s just as important to consider nutrition and nutrition in school meals as ways to improve our community’s health.

Recently, eight school food advocates from Pittsburgh attended the 2018 Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Representatives from Pittsburgh Public Schools, Deer Lakes School District, Mt. Lebanon School District, Woodland Hills School District, University of Pittsburgh, Grow Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council learned more about best practices to incorporate food grown and produced locally into school meals. We’re proud to say that these individuals are also part of four Live Well Allegheny school districts, one Live Well Allegheny workplace, and two Live Well Allegheny community partners.

Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, the conference brought together leaders and changemakers in farm to school procurement, school gardens, sustainability, and purchasing regulation. Farm to cafeteria is part of the farm to school movement which seeks to build connections between communities and locally-grown food and local food producers. Farm to school encourages changes in food purchasing and education to improve access to healthy foods, and to empower children to make informed food choices. The conference also included keynote speakers and a myriad of workshops covering topics including equity and access in school gardens, using food service guidelines to create healthy food environments, and methods of engaging state Agriculture departments.

Building on knowledge gleaned from the conference, local organizations hope to encourage more farm to school initiatives in Pittsburgh. The school representatives plan to implement more farm to school by increasing education among parents and students, measuring and communicating impact, implementing procurement changes, and incorporating garden and food production in the classroom.

Following the conference, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service announced Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), in partnership with Grow Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, is a recipient of the USDA Farm to School grant award. The grant provides $5.2 million in awards to bring nutritious, local food into schools and bolster economic opportunities for farmers. PPS is one of two schools in Pennsylvania to receive the award. The grant funds will be utilized for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years to strengthen and standardized farm to school initiatives throughout the district. Grow Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council will engage local growers to provide produce in schools, and collaborate with community members to increase awareness and support for the farm to school movement.

Allegheny County Youth receive Free Meals and Fun through Summer Food Service Program!

School’s out for the summer! For many kids, summer is filled with pool days, summer camp, and popsicles; however, for thousands of kids in Allegheny County, summer can also mean no school meal and for those struggling with food insecurity, the lack of a free school meal can be impactful. It is estimated that 70,000 students in Allegheny County qualify for free or reduced lunch during the school year. During the summer months, many of those students go without meals. To help fill the gap, organizations like the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, a Live Well Allegheny Community Partner, support local distribution sites of the Summer Food Service Program.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a national program of the USDA that provides free meals to kids in the summer months. SFSP ensures that low-income children receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Through the program, local sponsors like churches and community organizations provide meals and activities to children ages 18 and under.

Allegheny County boasts nearly 300 distribution sites. The distribution sites, which range from churches to parks, provide free summer meals and fun activities to Allegheny County youth throughout the summer months. The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s SFSP outreach initiative seeks to increase participation in the program by offering information, best practices, marketing support, and technical assistance to local sites.

To increase youth participation, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank collaborates with partners to support sites in providing activities during meal times. The Summer Food Toolkit, developed by United Way’s fitUnited, Let’s Move Pittsburgh, and Live Well Allegheny, was created to aid sites in facilitating fun educational activities. The toolkit offers curriculum and activities related to nutrition education, physical activity, and safety.

Wondering how you can find a summer food site near you? To find a site in your neighborhood, text “FOOD” to 877-877 or call 2-1-1 for the United Way hotline to hear site locations and meal schedules. You can also visit USDA’s Summer Meal Site Finder to find a site in your community.

Red Lantern Bike Shop and ACHD promote Bike Safety with Helmet Distribution!

As the calendar turns to June, the temperatures rise, and opportunities for physical activities pop up all over Allegheny County. With a variety of parks and trails, Allegheny County boasts endless opportunities for residents to get outside. While being active this summer, it is important to remember to be safe. June is the perfect time to focus on safety because it is National Safety Month. Did you know injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 40? This month, we encourage everyone to learn more about important safety issues, and ways to prevent injuries. To celebrate National Safety Month, we are spreading the word about one of our Live Well Allegheny Community Partners, the Red Lantern Bike Shop, and their work providing bikes and safe biking equipment to children.

The Red Lantern Bike Shop operates with a team of volunteers to repair bikes for free, and provide free bikes to kids in the community. Working out of a repurposed shipping container, Red Lantern Bike charges only for parts that need to be ordered, but bike repairs are done for free by volunteers. The organization is so much more than repairs, as part of its mission is to provide free bikes to kids whose families may not be able to afford a new bike. Volunteers collect used bicycles, fix them, and on Saturdays opens the shop for families with children to stop and pick up a free bike for their kids.

This summer, the Red Lantern Bike Shop will be providing a helmet along with a bike to children through a partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD)’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program and Traffic Safety Education Project. The helmet distribution is part of ACHD’s mission to prevent injuries while encouraging kids to be physically active. Funding for this program is provided by the PA Department of Health.

For more information on the Red Lantern Bike Shop, check out its website or Facebook page. Bikes are for any child, but parent and child must be present. Bikes are on a first-come, first-serve basis with typically 12 bikes available each Saturday from 10 AM to Noon. If they can’t find a bike for your child in the right size, you can come back again. The Red Lantern Bike Shop is located at 420 Braddock Avenue, in Braddock, next to Braddock’s Free Store.

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.

UPMC Hospitals Celebrate National Nutrition Month All Year with Wellness Initiatives!

For many Pittsburgers, the beginning of March signals one thing: the end of winter. In March, the first signs of spring pop up throughout our communities. Springtime is the perfect time to focus on your health and wellness. Cabin fever and warmer weather make a persuasive argument for getting outside to take a walk or ride a bike. Another way to focus on health this month is by celebrating National Nutrition Month. Each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics uses National Nutrition Month to remind people of the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy habits. Maintaining a healthy diet combats the risk of chronic diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke.

One of the largest employers in Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) celebrates National Nutrition Month year-round through their wellness initiatives. Live Well Allegheny Restaurants, which includes the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital, the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy, and the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Presbyterian, are taking health and wellness to the next level. For the three restaurants, joining Live Well Allegheny was a jumping off point for a myriad of wellness initiatives that work towards improving health of employees and hospital visitors.

The health and wellness initiatives at the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital are not only focused on providing more nutritious options to employees and visitors, but are also using nutrition as a tool for fighting cancer and other chronic diseases. Chefs and dieticians have joined forces to provide employees and visitors with nutrition education that is proven to prevent and treat chronic diseases. One example is the hospital’s oncology cooking demonstrations. Once a month, chefs and dieticians emphasize the benefits of plant-based diet on preventing and treating cancer. The oncology cooking demos provide nutrition education, skills-based information, and taste-testing of plant-based meals. In addition to receiving nutrition education and resources, employees and visitors are also educated on the cooking skills that are necessary for at-home meal preparation, making the demos accessible for all people.

The hospital also emphasizes national health observances by promoting disease-fighting nutrition aimed at specific chronic illnesses. For instance, in February, the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital celebrated American Heart Month to raise awareness about prevention of heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases. The heart health theme was emphasized during a coffee and dark chocolate pairing on February 14th that educated employees and visitors on the benefits of dark chocolate in maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle.

The Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy is also taking steps towards improving health and wellness in our communities. At UPMC Mercy, the Food and Nutrition Department works to improve the health of employees and visitors with healthy food options, health coaches, and cooking demonstrations. The chefs provide nutritious foods with dining smart items, a nutritious entrée paired with vegetables and a starch, as well as a new salad bar. Additionally, health coaches are available outside of the cafeteria for employees and visitors to consult about a variety of wellness topics, such as nutrition education, stress management, and physical activity.

The Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy also hosts cooking demonstrations to provide employees and visitors with nutrition and skills-based education. Like the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital, the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy emphasized American Heart Month during their February cooking demonstration. Held at the UPMC Greentree Outpatient Cardiac Center on February 12th, the chefs and dietician emphasized the importance of incorporating whole grains in your diet to maintain heart health during the demonstration. The dietician broke down myths about carbohydrates, and provided helpful insight into healthy grains versus unhealthy grains for the employees and visitors. Chefs demonstrated ways to incorporate whole grains for breakfast and lunch with recipes for overnight oats and salads teaching attendees how to make delicious meals with healthy grains. Demo attendees were also encouraged to make their own overnight oats to take home for breakfast the next day.

Last, but not least, the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Presbyterian ensures that the cafeteria is the wellness hub for the hospital by providing nutritious options including vegetarian and vegan fare, health and wellness information, and wellness programming. A priority of the department, employees and visitors can take advantage of an extensive salad bar that was recently renovated, offering a variety of fresh produce. The cafeteria has also increased vegetarian and vegan options by 30 percent, and offers at least one veg-friendly soup every day. The cafeteria’s wellness wall is a one-stop-shop for employees and visitors to get resources about health-related activities at the hospital, such as the employee weight race.

The department also offers wellness programming for employees and visitors to receive resources for preparing health meals at home. Wellness Wednesday is an interactive health presentation that involves nutrition education and cooking demonstrations once per month. A chef and dietician provide the audience with tips and tricks to incorporating healthy foods into their diets in accessible ways. The Wellness Wednesday on February 14th celebrated American Heart Month by featuring healthier desserts, heart healthy recipes, and health screenings with recipes for tofu chocolate mousse and chocolate “nana” ice cream. The recipes demonstrated ways to transform traditionally unhealthy foods into healthier options with minor ingredient substitutions. Attendees and passersby had the opportunity to sample the recipes, and get recipe cards to make the foods at home. The Food and Nutrition Department also partnered with the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute to provide a variety of health screenings, including blood pressure screenings, for employees and visitors. In addition to focusing on human health, UPMC Presbyterian has also focused on the health of the environment by going Styrofoam-free. Switching to recyclable containers has allowed the cafeteria to reduce waste and its ecological footprint.

American Heart Association Greater Pittsburgh Region Emphasizes Heart Health during American Heart Month!

For many of us, February is a time to show love and gratitude to our friends and family. It is a month full of cupids, flowers, and candy hearts. But for organizations like Live Well Allegheny Community Partner, American Heart Association Greater Pittsburgh Region (AHA), February is a time to remind Americans about the importance of heart health.

February began as American Heart Month in 1963 when Congress officially recognized the need to focus national attention on heart health. The federally-designated event serves to celebrate the progress that has been made and focus on the work that must continue to reduce the deadly risks and consequences of cardiovascular disease, including stroke.

Promoting heart health is essential to improving overall health in our communities. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in 1-in-4 deaths each year. Recent changes to blood pressure guidelines emphasize the importance of heart health. In November, health officials published new guidelines for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. A group of nine health organizations, including AHA, redefined the standard, lowering the guideline for high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80. The change in guidelines is meant to help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier to avoid other health risks, such as heart disease.

Locally, AHA works to remind residents in the Greater Pittsburgh Region of the risks of cardiovascular diseases, and ways to reduce their risk. AHA provides people of all ages the tools they need to take control of their health. AHA works with corporate and community-based partners to implement programs in-and-around Allegheny County, especially in communities that have the greatest need for prevention, education, and health intervention. In partnership with community partners, AHA implements programs like Healthy BP for All and Challenge: BP.

Through Healthy BP for All, AHA works with 412 Food Rescue to provide heart healthy education and healthy cooking classes to 60 communities in Allegheny County. Additionally, AHA, in partnership with Live Well Allegheny, reaches communities through their Challenge: BP program. Challenge: BP encourages communities, organizations, and workplaces to take the challenge to help raise awareness and lower blood pressure of residents through evidence-based resources like Workplace Health Solutions and Check. Change. Control.

This February, AHA is using American Heart Month to emphasize the importance of maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle. Throughout the month, AHA is spreading awareness of cardiovascular disease and promoting prevention of such diseases by providing information about heart healthy activities. On February 2nd, AHA is encouraging people to wear red for National Wear Red Day, which takes place every year on the first Friday in February. National Wear Red Day raises awareness and supports women in the fight against heart disease. By increasing awareness, speaking out about heart disease, and empowering women to reduce their risk for cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, AHA saves thousands of lives each year.

Additionally, AHA and UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute are hosting a free health screening event in honor of National Wear Red Day. The event is being held on February 2nd from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the U.S. Steel Tower, Concourse Level (600 Grant St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219). The event includes, blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, glucose screening, heart health information, risk factor guidelines, heart-healthy recipes, and more! If you are concerned about your heart health, join AHA on February 2nd to take the first step in taking control of your health!

Family Support Centers take steps to make Allegheny County the healthiest county!

Did you know that there are 28 Family Support Centers (FSC) across Allegheny County that provide services to families with children under the age of six? We are proud to say that, with the help of the Family Support Center Network of Allegheny County, all 28 of the centers have taken steps to improve the health of the families they serve. We recognize those efforts as part of Live Well Allegheny. With the help of the FSC staff, we are continuing to make progress towards improving the overall health of county residents.

The improvements that the centers have made began in the winter of 2015. During the Family Support Retreat in late 2015, leadership decided to make health and wellness a priority. The Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Collaboration Committee was created to make that priority a reality. The HEAL Committee, which includes representation from Family Support Centers, the Allegheny County Health Department, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development, provides ongoing technical support and encouragement to the Family Support Center Network.

Fast forward to 2017. To date, all 28 Family Support Centers have completed the Healthy Eating and Active Living assessment. The assessment results were used as a baseline measurement for achieving best practices in health and wellness. Using those baseline measurements, each center developed goals and action steps specific to that center. The goals and action steps, that all focus on making staff and families at the centers healthier, include initiatives like offering fruit-infused water instead of soda, and identifying the portion size of food served. The centers have also taken advantage of partnerships with local organizations, like 412 Food Rescue, to improve food security for families, and have utilized the programs of national organizations like Cooking Matters to offer cooking classes.

On December 8th, the Family Support Policy Board and Live Well Allegheny held a recognition ceremony honoring the Family Support Centers for the steps taken towards improving health. During the ceremony, all the centers were recognized for their efforts by Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. Each center received a certificate and a gift bag acknowledging the work in improving the health of the families served.

Live Well Allegheny recognizes the commitment and contribution that the Family Support Center Network has made to Live Well Allegheny and to improving health and wellness in Allegheny County. The steps that the Family Support Centers have taken cannot be overstated. These efforts demonstrate a commitment to families in making the healthy choice the easy choice. It is through partnerships like the one with the Family Support Center Network that we can make the biggest impact on health in our county. We commend the Family Support Center Network for its contributions to our goal of making Allegheny County the healthiest county, and we look forward to our ongoing partnership in improving the health of all residents!

Tips on safe travel during the holidays from the Traffic Safety Education Project!

The holiday season is here! For many of us, this time of year is filled with baking, decorating, and cleaning for holiday get-togethers. While it is a time for parties and celebrations, the holiday season can be busy and stressful. You can keep from adding to that stress by staying safe while traveling this season. For Allegheny County Health Department’s Traffic Safety Education Project, ensuring that drivers are prepared and knowledgeable about winter travel is a priority.

The goal of the Traffic Safety Education Project (TSEP) is to reduce local injuries and deaths due to avoidable vehicle crashes. TSEP staff utilize state-approved curriculum to provide educational programming on a variety of traffic safety topics, including car seat usage, aggressive and distracted driving, and seat belt safety. TSEP also offers educational programming for audiences ranging from elementary students to mature drivers.

For TSEP staff, ensuring that drivers understand how important it is to stay safe on the road during the holiday season and winter months is crucial. The holiday season is a major concern for those in the traffic safety field due to the high levels of travel during the winter holidays. While the number of cars on the road skyrocket during this time of the year, the temperature also plummets making road conditions hazardous. This is also commonly paired with drowsy driving, which creates a dangerous situation for both passengers and others on the road. Additionally, drunk driving becomes more of a concern during the holiday season due to holiday parties and celebrations.

Fortunately, our friends at TSEP have some tips and tricks for staying safe on the roads throughout the winter months. Remembering the basics of safe driving is a surefire way to stay safe. Utilizing a seat belt regardless of the distance, avoiding aggressive driving behaviors, and avoiding distracted driving will help maintain safety. In terms of driving in the winter months, TSEP staff recommend checking your tire tread to ensure that it is season appropriate, being aware of changing weather conditions, and keeping an emergency kit in your car. Last, but certainly not least, do not drive impaired. Use a designated and sober driver to get to and from your destination during the holidays, and all times of the year.

From everyone at Live Well Allegheny and TSEP we hope you have a fun and safe holiday season!