Category Archives: Live Well Workplace

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.

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.

University of Pittsburgh Designated as Live Well Allegheny Workplace

April 19, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the University of Pittsburgh has committed to Live Well Allegheny by becoming a Live Well Allegheny Workplace. The announcement was made at the University of Pittsburgh’s MyHealth@Work Health and Wellness Center in celebration of the facility’s one-year anniversary.

“I’m thrilled to have the University of Pittsburgh join us in our effort to make our county healthier,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “It’s not surprising that the university is a good fit as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace with its focus on health, athletics, nutrition and so many other things that are the foundation to healthy living. I congratulate Chancellor Gallagher and all of the administration, faculty, staff and students on this designation and thank them for their involvement in the program.”

The University of Pittsburgh has committed to several action steps as part of its faculty and staff wellness program to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace.

“We are so excited to have the University of Pittsburgh join our Live Well Allegheny efforts” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director Allegheny County Health Department. “Our Live Well Allegheny Campaign continues to grow and we know that employers play a significant role in promoting the health of their employees. It is organizations like the University of Pittsburgh that can make a real difference in the health of our county’s population by providing opportunities, incentives, and support for employee health improving activities.”

In the spirit of the University of Pittsburgh’s initiatives, the MyHealth@Work for the University of Pittsburgh Health and Wellness Center was created to provide free medical services, treating both acute and chronic conditions, for University faculty and staff regardless of insurance coverage. In addition to opening the MyHealth@Work Health and Wellness Center, the leadership has committed to faculty and staff wellness by hiring two staff positions, including a Wellness Specialist and part-time onsite Health Coach. The Wellness Specialist assists with the development of a wellness committee and creates recommendations for wellness initiatives appropriate to University faculty and staff. Currently, the University offers free health coaching in five lifestyle programs (weight management, nutrition, tobacco cessation, physical activity, and stress management). Learn more about the programs offered by visiting www.hr.pitt.edu/wellness.

“The University has top-down support for its wellness efforts. We have a responsibility to take advantage of the world-class expertise on campus, UPMC Health Plan’s experience, and the University community’s enthusiasm for the programs,” said John Kozar, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources. Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Cheryl Johnson added, “At the University, we are cultivating a wellness culture, which will provide additional incentives for all of us to become more involved in making healthy lifestyle choices.”

The University of Pittsburgh has been long committed to free preventative services and offers incentives to faculty and staff for participation in health improvement activities, including biometric screenings and preventative physical exams as well as completing an online health risk assessment.

The University also developed the Healthy Lifestyle Institute under the direction of Dr. John Jakicic, Distinguished Professor of Health and Physical Activity, which aims to improve community health by examining how biological factors like genetics can influence lifestyle behaviors, and how those factors impact chronic diseases and negative health outcomes, and translating evidence-based initiatives to programs focused on healthy lifestyle practices that target the University of Pittsburgh faculty, staff, and students are a key component of this initiative.

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 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.

Live Well Allegheny Welcomes Four Municipalities, Phipps Conservatory

April 11, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the Borough of Bellevue, Borough of Sharpsburg, Borough of East McKeesport, and the City of Duquesne were designated as Live Well Allegheny Communities and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is the newest Live Well Allegheny Workplace.

“I’m thrilled to see the Live Well Allegheny program continue to grow and expand,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “With today’s announcement, we now have 41 municipalities, 10 school districts, 35 restaurants – some having multiple locations, and 10 workplaces all committed to working together to improve the health and wellness of county residents. What’s even more excited is that we have room to welcome even more and encourage residents to learn more about the initiative.”

The Borough of Bellevue committed to action steps intended to improve the health of residents including promotion of wellness campaign events to employees and residents, developing indoor and outdoor wellness trails that are accessible to residents of all abilities and to offer incentives for employees who walk or bike to work. In addition, Bellevue will promote healthier options in vending machines with nutrient content listed and promote smoke-free building and perimeters.

“It is so exciting to see more and more communities and workplaces join our Live Well Allegheny effort,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “We are committed to engaging all 130 municipalities in this effort and we are well on our way. With this announcement, we have 41 Live Well Allegheny Communities. These efforts to surround citizens with healthy options can make a big difference in the health of our County.”

The Borough of Sharpsburg committed to several action steps in order to become designated as a Live Well Allegheny Community. The municipality will promote participation of employees and residents in wellness campaign events and activities. Sharpsburg is committed to multi-modal transportation for residents by providing facilities or adopting policies that encourage walking and bicycling. In addition, the community will disseminate health information about physical activity, nutrition, and smoking cessation using websites and social media and support local farmers’ markets and smoke-free spaces.

The Borough of East McKeesport has been designated as a Live Well Allegheny Community for committing to the health of residents. The community will utilize social media tools as a way of communicating health messages and promote participation in wellness events. East McKeesport intends in developing walking maps as well as indoor and outdoor wellness trails, which are accessible to residents of all abilities. The borough will provide employees incentives to walk or bike to work as a way to promote multimodal transportation and also host an OpenStreets event on June 3rd, 11am-2pm. The community will support farmers’ markets and work with vending machine companies to add healthy food options. Smoke-free environments are a priority for the borough as well.

The City of Duquesne joins the Live Well Allegheny campaign by committing to partner with the Steel Valley Trail Council to promote the use of the trail by city residents as well as apply for funding to improve pedestrian and bicyclist access to the trail system. Duquesne will also promote and support farmers’ markets by partnering with the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and promote smoke-free buildings, playgrounds and perimeters.

The newest Live Well Allegheny Workplace, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens (Pittsburgh, PA) has already implemented many of the goals of the campaign as part of a workplace wellness program that started in 2013. Its mission is to provide opportunities for employees to engage in physical activity, attend educational classes on health and wellness and to access information on health and wellness during the work day. As part of its commitment, Phipps will expand their employee wellness program including the addition of on-site yoga and employee fitness center, expand programs which work within local communities such as Homegrown and Let’s Move Pittsburgh, Map a safe walking route starting and ending from the workplace or in vicinity and set up a walking group mid-day.

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 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.

How Two Local Organizations Are Reshaping Pittsburgh’s Employee Health

PITTSBURGH — The last time you went to one of the many YMCA locations in Allegheny County, you may have seen something in the window indicating that they are a Live Well Allegheny Workplace. It’s a simple window cling, but it symbolizes the YMCA’s dedication to the health and well-being of both its employees and community. In partnership with Live Well Allegheny, the YMCA has improved employee health and even saved a person’s life.

The Associate Vice President of Healthy Living, Gretchen North, and Shannon Vargesko, the Y’s HR Coordinator and Healthy Living Assistant Project Coordinator reflected on their long-time partnership with Live Well Allegheny. “It just made sense…the YMCA is known for healthy living and social responsibility,” said North when asked about the partnership with Live Well Allegheny. This inspired the Y to put their mission first and “walk the walk” for their employees and community at large. On September 6, 2016, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh became the fourth worksite to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace.

The YMCA has been making the health and well-being of its employees and the community a priority for a long time. It’s their mission. The message the organization sends to its employees is that they are invested in them as well as our community. This is what brought them to partner with the Live Well Allegheny campaign.

According to Vargesko, the YMCA has made several changes, big and small, to its approach to employee health. From healthier choices in vending machines to full campaigns encouraging healthier living, our county’s Y has made real changes worthy of replicating. Vargesko mentioned several healthy campaigns for employees, including the “Renew, Restore, Re-You” campaign. The program asked employees to pick a relaxing activity they normally do not participate in and do it once a week. One employee reported having reuniting with a friend she had not spoken to in over ten years because she chose to reconnect with former friends as her activity. Vargesko said it “increased [employee] morale, but also their joy in this hustle and bustle society.”

While the Y’s employee health campaigns are working, it’s reasonable to ask how an organization with fewer resources could weave Live Well Allegheny’s values into their workplace. North had a possible idea. “We’re fortunate to already have exercise equipment and trainers and dieticians,” North said, “but being an employer who wants to invest in its employees’ health can be much simpler.” The YMCA offers bi-annual health screenings and CO2 monitoring for free. North reported that through these routine procedures an employee and lifetime non-smoker found she had dangerously low levels of carbon dioxide. She was then able to get medical help, which led to open heart surgery. That simple, free screening, offered by her employer, saved her life.

Allegheny County’s YMCA and their partnership with Live Well Allegheny shows how a workplace can care and invest in their employees’ health. Ultimately, improving employee health aids in improving community health. Employees are people with families and friends, who may notice how much less stressed they are. Vargesko reports, “less stress, clarity,” are many of the terms used by employees in post-campaign surveys.

Live Well Allegheny’s main goal is to improve the overall health of its citizens and, ultimately, become the healthiest county in the United States. This is a lofty goal, and only possible with collaboration, including communities, workplaces, restaurants and schools. Live Well Allegheny hopes to provide support for these partnerships. Something as simple as having that window cling has “helped our reputation…and serves as a reminder to employees and community members that health is a priority,” said North. The YMCA is a great example of how a Live Well Allegheny Workplace can invest in employee health in simple, but effective ways.

Supporting Wellness in the Workplace

March 9, 2017

PITTSBURGH – Live Well Allegheny Workplace, Virtual OfficeWare Healthcare Solutions (VOWHS/VRS), is dedicated to helping physician practices be more successful, improve patient care and build healthy communities. According to Nicole Milojevic, Vice President of Human Resources, putting wellness in the forefront of what they do is a natural fit.

How is Virtual Office Healthcare Solutions creating a healthier environment for employees? They developed a wellness initiative that started with a step challenge and healthy potlucks. They now have an active Wellness Committee with “peer-to-peer” support to help everyone make positive changes. Employees have the opportunity to earn points toward reduced insurance premiums by participating in preventative care exams, screenings, tobacco cessation offerings, and other employer sponsored activities such as participation in CPR Certification classes, chair massages, and flu shots. Overall this initiative has encouraged a healthier work environment and greater satisfaction.

Ms. Milojevic explained that some employees “had misconceptions that such [health] activities were solely focused on exercising” rather than a more holistic approach to health. As a result of the employee wellness activities, VOW/VRS, has improved overall employee satisfaction from 87% to 94%, which is a significant human resources milestone. Ms. Milojevic encourages more employers in Allegheny County to join Live Well Allegheny and help to make Allegheny County the healthiest in the country.

Township of Pine and Four Employers Commit to Live Well Allegheny

January 19, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the Township of Pine is the latest community to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Community and Adagio Health, Babb, Inc., No Crayon Left Behind, and the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania are the newest Live Well Allegheny Workplaces.

The Township of Pine committed to action steps intended to improve the health of residents. Information about wellness events and volunteer activities are shared with the community to encourage the voluntary participation of residents. The community also promotes smoke-free buildings and perimeters. The Township of Pine will encourage physical activity by developing wellness facilities and programs accessible to all residents of all abilities and creating walking maps that measure the distance and encourage residents to meet goals and will encourage multi-modal transportation of residents by providing facilities or policies that encourage walking and bike riding.

Adagio Health (Pittsburgh, PA) committed to the following action steps to be designated as a Live Well Workplace: providing healthy food options during company meetings and functions including fruits and vegetables as well as gluten-free options, offering vending machines with healthy food options and water coolers are accessible on every floor of the office. Adagio Health is a tobacco, smoke-free environment and offers smoking cessation programs through their employee benefits program. The organization is also a proponent of breast feeding and they allow employees to pump at work in designated, private areas. Employees are offered comprehensive and affordable health insurance, which includes free dental and eye coverage, and all preventative co-pays are free. They also encourage employees to use the well-lit stairwells instead of elevators.

Babb, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) has been designated as a Live Well Workplace by committing the several action steps including strong leadership support, the company offers a robust wellness program for employees such as annual health risk assessments, weigh-ins, condition management programs, and biometric screenings. The office is equipped with a relaxation room with monthly chair massages, an on-site fitness center, and healthy snacks provided through the SnakWell Initiative. Babb, Inc. is developing a safe walking routes map for employees, encourages the use of stairs through visible prompts, and offers a membership to a local spinning/yoga studio. The company provides comprehensive health insurance with vision and dental care as well as employee flex hours for wellness activities. The organization also provides opportunities for financial wellness, tuition reimbursement for continuing education credits, and the Babb Gives Back program to support the Northside community.

No Crayon Left Behind (Sewickley, PA) has already implemented many of the goals of the campaign including provide a water dispenser for hot and cold water that is available to employees. The workplace also encourages the use standing desks, provides a communal fridge stocked with fresh vegetables, fruits, and cheeses that is for everyone at the office. In addition, the organization will bring in big batches of salad to keep in the fridge for employees to eat during the week. Walking meetings are used both as physical activity and stress relief. Employees are also encouraged to take breaks for stretching during the work day. Additionally, the workplace intends to begin yoga classes twice a month for all employees at a local yoga studio. The organization also aims to participate and sponsor fun-runs or team building physical activities hosted by the Borough of Sewickley. Lastly, No Crayon Left Behind intends on providing the office with a HappyLight to help employees that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Veterans Leadership Program of Western PA (Pittsburgh, PA) The organization promotes physical activity by hosting yoga once a week in the office, encouraging staff to walk campus during lunch breaks, and encouraging participation in active events such as the Crucible and 335 Miles for Veterans. The Maintain Not Gain program during the holidays provides an opportunity for weekly weigh-ins and trading healthy recipes on an office message board. Monthly seminars on health topics such as stress management are held after staff meetings. In addition, the workplace is equipped with a kitchen for staff to bring in healthy lunch options and often staff will share items from their garden. Healthy choices, including several vegetarian and vegan options, are provided at company functions. Lastly, the organization offers a comprehensive healthcare plan with dental and vision coverage at a low cost to employees.

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.

Cigna Receives Live Well Allegheny Workplace Designation

October 25, 2016

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced Cigna, a global health services company with offices in Pittsburgh, is the newest Live Well Allegheny Workplace. Dr. Shadrach Jones, Medical Director at Cigna, accepted the designation at the Cigna Healthcare Center in Robinson Township.

logo_cigna“I’m thrilled to have Cigna join our effort to become the healthiest county through the Live Well Allegheny initiative,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “As more and more organizations, companies, municipalities and school districts become part of this campaign, we also see more and more commitments from individuals who want to be healthier and live healthier. Together, we continue to have a significant impact on the health of our community.”

The announcement took place today at the Cigna Employee Health Fair. There were informational sessions discussing a variety of ways for employees to manage their health. The sessions included speakers on the employee assistance program, health coaches and dieticians.

“Live Well Allegheny aims to help people gain the tools needed to incorporate healthy habits in all aspects of their lives,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “I commend Cigna for implementing programs to help their employees be healthy and productive.”

To be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace, Cigna has committed to the following action steps to support the health and wellness of its employees:

  • The organization is providing a smoke-free environment both indoors and outdoors on all US based Cigna Premises and during all company sponsored events; Cigna Quit Today© is a tobacco cessation program available free to all employees.
  • Employees are encouraged to use preventative care services, including annual physicals and biometric screening options, by being provided incentives.
  • Incentive programs for Healthy Weight and Healthy Blood Pressure offered to all employees and their family members.
  • In addition to online and telephonic health coaching, the provision in 2016 of an onsite health coach for employees.
  • Health food options are provided at the organization’s on-site cafeteria as well as in company vending machines and health snack options during company meetings.

“Cigna’s investment in the Pittsburgh region starts with our employees. Our focus on the health and wellness of our employees has shown to help our workforce stay healthier, more productive, and better engaged to meet or exceed the needs of our customers,” said Julia Huggins, Cigna president for Pennsylvania.

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.

As an employer, Cigna is committed to diversity and offers an array of employee benefits including health, dental and disability insurance. Active in the community, Cigna employees established the Pittsburgh chapter of Achilles International with more than 300 volunteers and athletes with disabilities. Cigna has also been a national title sponsor of the March of Dimes. More than 650 Cigna employees participate in the annual Pittsburgh walk and Run for Babies 5K.

YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh Designated as Live Well Allegheny Workplace

September 6, 2016

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Dr. Karen Hacker of the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today designated the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh as the newest Live Well Allegheny Workplace. Kevin Bolding, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, accepted the designation at the PNC YMCA in downtown Pittsburgh.

“It’s no surprise that the YMCA is a healthy workplace, but to have the organization in the Greater Pittsburgh area sign on to help us become a healthier community is thrilling,” said Fitzgerald. “As we work cooperatively to become healthy, having partners on board like the YMCA makes our efforts even more positive and we look forward to welcoming even more workplaces in the coming months.”

The announcement took place as the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh kicked off “Renew, Restore, ReYou” which is a six-week stress-management challenge that encourages employees to pick one new relaxing activity to do weekly. Options include yoga, tai chi, coloring, meditation and inspirational reading. Employees the PNC YMCA and several other branches participated in a yoga class as part of the kick-off.

“The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh has been an important partner of Live Well Allegheny since the launch in January 2014. It serves as a valuable community resource enabling Allegheny County residents to make healthier choices,” said Hacker. “I am pleased to recognize them for their commitment to the health of their employees.”

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh has committed to action steps in four main focus areas as a part of their employee wellness program to be designated as a Live Well Workplace:

  • In the building facilities and workplace environments, the organization is eliminating all carbonated beverages from vending machines; all of the campuses are currently smoke free as designated with signage; campuses offer access to cardio and strength equipment to employees; and, seven branches have gardens that are used for education and teaching purposes.
  • In policy integration, the organization’s comprehensive wellness program includes quarterly healthy living challenges, onsite biometric screenings and health risk assessments and access to an evidence-based diabetes prevention program in addition to an organization wide policy for breastfeeding mothers.
  • The organization provides annual health risk assessments, on-site biometric screenings, flu shots in the area of health education, screening and prevention in addition to offering tobacco cessation, stress management and chronic disease prevention and management programs as part of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • The leadership commitment and employee ownership is an area of commitment with a monthly employee wellness committee and engagement program that is kicked off by senior management.

“Healthy Living is at the heart of what we do,” said Bolding. “The Y is dedicated to building healthy spirt, mind and body for all and that starts with our employees. With a strong, healthy team we can be more impactful in our efforts to deliver our mission, live our cause and eliminate health disparities in Allegheny County. The leadership and support we have received from the County throughout this partnership has been wonderful and we are proud to be recognized as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace.”

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 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.

Learn how your business can become a Live Well Allegheny Workplace.

Braddock Borough and Two Employers Commit to Live Well Allegheny

August 13, 2016

PITTSBURGHLiveWellBraddockThe Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the Borough of Braddock is the latest community to receive the designation of a Live Well Allegheny community. The announcement was made as part of the Braddock Community Day event held earlier today.

Live Well Allegheny encourages people to make changes where they live and work that will impact their health,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “I commend the newest members of Live Well Allegheny that are contributing to a healthier Allegheny County.”

The Borough of Braddock hosted its annual community day at the intersection of Braddock Avenue and Library Street. In addition to visiting with representatives of the Health Department, attendees could also participate in Zumba, cardio boot camps, children’s games and a parade.

“We are thrilled to have another community join our effort to become a healthier county,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “With the commitment from Braddock, we now have 26 municipalities which are actively working with the county to help their residents become healthier.”

In its ordinance for Live Well Allegheny, Braddock indicated that it will:

  • Promote participation in a voluntary wellness campaign for the community’s employees
  • Share information on wellness campaign events with the broader community to encourage voluntary participation of residents
  • Develop indoor and outdoor wellness trails accessible to residents of all abilities
  • Offer incentives for employees who walk or bike to work
  • Encourage multi-modal transportation of residents by providing facilities or policies that encourage walking and bike riding
  • Promote and support farmer’s markets
  • Encourage involvement with community volunteer activities
  • Promote smoke-free buildings and perimeters.

“I’m very proud that Braddock has joined this effort, and that the announcement of their commitment was made in such a public way as part of its Community Day celebration,” said Dr. Charles Martoni, the District 8 Allegheny County Council Member. “Braddock is the fourth municipality in my district to help us become a healthier county, and we are grateful for their efforts.”

The borough has already set a strong example for how a community can help its residents become healthier.

“The health of our residents is a priority. We host a 2-acre urban farm with Grow Pittsburgh to promote access to fresh produce and our Red Lantern Bike Shop provides kids free bicycles and repairs to encourage physical activity. I am excited that we are part Live Well Allegheny as it is great partnership to foster a healthy community in Braddock,” said Mayor John Fetterman.

The event also provided an opportunity to announce that two more organizations have become part of the Live Well Allegheny Workplaces effort: Rankin Christian Center and Virtual Officeware (DE) LLC.

The Rankin Christian Center (Rankin, PA) committed to action steps in four main focus areas to be designated as a Live Well Workplace:

  • First, the company will make changes in the building facilities and workplace environment including providing healthy food options during company meetings and functions, ensuring well-lit and safe stairwells, providing access to filtered water cooler dispenser, access to an on-site room for fitness activity, providing space for a workplace garden.
  • Second, it will integrate policy which will include providing employees with comprehensive health insurance including dental and preventative care with low copays.
  • Third, it will provide health education, screening and prevention services like onsite health fairs and screenings for staff and community members in collaboration with local health providers.
  • Finally, the organization leaders will actively demonstrate support for staff wellness and participate in wellness activities and programs.

Virtual OfficeWare, (Pittsburgh, PA) indicated that it has already implemented many of the goals of the campaign including:

  • Creating an Employee Wellness Committee that has ongoing leadership support and participation as well as representatives from various departments
  • Providing Fitness Wearables (Jawbone Up Bands) in conjunction with a step challenge
  • Drafting a new company mission statement that supports employee well-being
  • Offering health screenings for Blood Pressure, LDL Cholesterol, and Glucose readings
  • Provide free healthy snacks such as fresh fruit in the breakroom
  • Access to in-site fitness center, workout room and outdoor bicycles for physical activity
  • Offering a reduction in insurance premiums, cash and extra PTO days to encourage participation in health improvement activities.

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.