Category Archives: Live Well Stories

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!

Live Well Allegheny, Tobacco Free Allegheny Celebrate Tobacco Cessation Week

November 10, 2017

PITTSBURGH – Live Well Allegheny, Tobacco Free Allegheny and supporting partners are joining together for the third annual Allegheny Quits for Life week in Allegheny County this November 12-18. The week is dedicated to promoting tobacco cessation and healthy activities.

“Smoking rates have been on the decline in Allegheny County; however, 19% of county residents smoke, and that number is still far too high,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Health Department. “Decreasing smoking is a primary objective of our Live Well Allegheny campaign, and we strive to achieve that goal. For those who smoke, consider quitting this week. There are lots of options for cessation that can make all the difference for you and your loved ones.”

Allegheny Quits for Life will entail a week-long series of events and communications designed to support residents’ efforts to quit smoking. Its kickoff event will be “Merengue Monday,” presented in partnership with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and the event will be held at Katz Plaza (7th and Penn Avenue) at noon on November 13. All events are aimed at helping individuals stop tobacco use and to learn to live healthier lifestyles. (In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Grand Staircase/Gallery in the Allegheny County Courthouse.)

Allegheny Quits for Life also coincides with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, being held on Thursday, November 16, when smokers are encouraged to quit for the day. By quitting, even for just one day, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) encourages participants to share their messages about Allegheny Quits for Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the week, using the following hashtags: #WhyIQuit, #AlleghenyQuitsForLife and #HowDoYouLiveWell.

If you or someone you know wants free help to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). The PA Free Quitline offers personalized coaching sessions and free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum or lozenges), as available. Sign-ups can be done online at paquitlogix.org. In addition, local resources can be found on the Tobacco Free Allegheny website at: http://tobaccofreeallegheny.org/Where_to_get_help.asp.

More about Tobacco Free Allegheny

Tobacco Free Allegheny (TFA) was established on June 17, 2002 to administer and manage the comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation program in Allegheny County. TFA is a non-profit organization supported by the PA Department of Health and governed by a Board of Directors. The mission of TFA is to change the community norms surrounding tobacco use to make it uncommon to see, use or be negatively impacted by tobacco or tobacco smoke pollution (secondhand smoke). For more information, visit: www.tobaccofreeallegheny.org.

More about Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has helped to transform a downtrodden section of downtown into a world-class Cultural District that stands as a national model of urban revitalization through the arts. Touring Broadway, contemporary dance, family events, education and community engagement programs, and cutting-edge visual arts are among the variety of arts and entertainment the Trust presents and exhibits. Hundreds of artists, thousands of students, and millions of people expand their horizons in our theaters, galleries, and public art environments. For more information, visit https://trustarts.org/.

American Diabetes Association of Western PA hosts Pittsburgh Diabetes Expo!

Did you know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month? Throughout November, organizations are working to raise awareness of the risk factors associated with diabetes, as well as prevention and management tactics and tips for living with diabetes. Diabetes, like most chronic diseases, can be daunting. It is a disease that affects millions of Americans. In western PA alone, 400,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes. Additionally, it is estimated that over one million western Pennsylvanians are at risk for developing diabetes in their lifetime. (Interested in learning more about your risk for diabetes? Take the American Diabetes Association’s risk test!) Although diabetes is so prevalent, for most of us, gathering and interpreting information about diabetes is confusing and overwhelming. Diabetes Awareness Month serves as a platform to highlight helpful information and provide clarity on the disease.

To provide a one stop shop for resources related to diabetes prevention and management, the American Diabetes Association of Western Pennsylvania, a Live Well Allegheny Community Partner, is hosting its annual Pittsburgh Diabetes Expo in November. The Expo is being held on November 4th at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The free event is an information hub for resources about diabetes, as well as general health and wellness. Topics range from healthy cooking recipes, to tips on living with diabetes, to alternative types of physical activity. Free health screenings will also be available during the Expo. To learn more about diabetes, be sure to come out on November 4th, to get some clarity and helpful tips from our friends at the Diabetes Association of Western PA!

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Named a Live Well Allegheny Workplace

October 12, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) designated Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC as its newest Live Well Allegheny Workplace, it was announced today.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has been a fixture in our community for more than 120 years and has always focused upon the health and well-being of our region’s children, so it’s no surprise that they’ve joined the Live Well Allegheny effort,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Having a partner that is so substantial – more than one million outpatient visits, 12,000 inpatient stays, 9,600 observation stays, 147,000 emergency and Express Care visits, and 23,300 surgical procedures – is no small accomplishment and I commend ACHD and Children’s for working together to make us the healthiest county in the country.”

Children’s Hospital takes pride in focusing on employee health and culture. At the main hospital, all employees have access to the Children’s Fitness Center. A Wellness Committee, comprised of employees, offers educational sessions on a variety of health-related topics and event. The committee also encourages all employees to take regular walks around the campus daily. In addition, Children’s is a tobacco-free campus, and the hospital provides healthy food choices in its cafeteria and in vending machines.

“I am very pleased to bring Children’s Hospital on board as the newest Live Well Allegheny Workplace,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Health Department Director. “Children’s Hospital is striving to improve the health of their employees through a variety of exciting efforts. We look forward to working together to help improve the health of all Allegheny County residents.”

Children’s moved to a new campus in May 2009, and developed a “green” campus with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the main hospital and John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center. The buildings incorporate natural light and employ energy, water, materials and land as efficiently as possible.

“Our physicians, nurses and support staff who are among leaders in their fields make Children’s a world-class pediatric facility, and we are proud to have a hospital that is healthy, innovative and environmentally sustainable for patients, families, and all staff,” said Christopher Gessner, President, Children’s Hospital. “We strive to create a work environment that enables and fosters healthy living behaviors for everyone.”

Children’s also has used more than 30 measures to design one of the quietest hospitals in the world, which includes acoustic ceiling tile in lieu of hard ceilings; special use of carpeting and door seals; silent notification for nurse call through integration of wireless communication devices; and use of personal communication devices in lieu of overhead paging.

“As committed as Children’s Hospital is to the healthy lifestyles of our employees, we also are very proud of our continued and valued partnership with area schools and out-of-school time providers to advance healthful lifestyle choices for students, including adding physical activity and healthful eating into their daily routine,” said Anne Marie Kuchera, Director, Children’s Community Health. “We have helped over 60 schools and 70 after school programs throughout the region create healthier environments for students.”

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.”

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 Dr. Hacker.