Gain Live Well Status

The best approach for making an impact on the health and well-being of our County is through a coordinated, local effort. Our communities, schools and our workplaces must all work together for Allegheny County residents to “Live Well.”

All municipalities, schools and restaurants located within Allegheny County are encouraged to gain “Live Well status” so that they contribute to our goal to make Allegheny County the “healthiest county” in the nation.

Instructions and criteria for becoming a Live Well Allegheny Community, School or Restaurant are listed here (click on the appropriate title to view criteria):

To be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Community, the city, municipality, township, etc. must first indicate its intent to work along with Allegheny County to accomplish the goals of the campaign. This can be accomplished by executive action, resolution or other formal action taken by a mayor, municipal executive, or the governing body of the community.

In addition to referencing willingness to work with the campaign to accomplish its goals, the community should also indicate what additional steps it is willing to take within its own community toward those goals. At a minimum, at least three action steps should be committed to in the community’s formal action.

Following is a sampling of possible action steps, but it is by no means exhaustive:

  • Promote participation in a voluntary wellness campaign for the community’s employees
  • Share information on wellness campaign events with the broader community to encourage the voluntary participation of residents
  • Plan, promote and implement a Live Well Allegheny event in cooperation with the campaign that encourages active living
  • Develop indoor and outdoor wellness trails accessible to residents of all abilities
  • Develop walking maps; measure the distances mapped and encourage residents to meet goals
  • 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
  • Ask your vending machine company to add healthy foods, and work with the company to post calories and nutrient contents and amounts for the foods offered
  • Promote and support farmers’ markets
  • Encourage involvement with community volunteer activities
  • Promote smoke-free buildings and perimeters
  • Provide health information focused on monthly or seasonal events
  • Utilize web sites and social media to provide information on physical activity, nutrition, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other health and wellness related initiatives.

Once formal action has been taken by the proper authorities within the community, including information on how the requirements of the program will be met, written notification should be made to the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

Letters of commitment can be addressed to:

Dr. Karen A. Hacker, Director
Allegheny County Health Department
542 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Emailed letters can be sent to Hannah Hardy at HHardy@achd.net.

Upon review by the Health Department, designation of the community as a Live Well Allegheny Community will be formally made. The community will then be recognized as a partner in the campaign and will be entitled to all the benefits that being a partner entails.

To be designated as a Live Well Allegheny School, a district or school must first indicate its intent to work with Allegheny County to accomplish the goals of the campaign. This can be achieved by executive action, if appropriate, or by resolution of the school board.

In addition to referencing willingness to work with the campaign, the district should indicate:

  1. Its willingness to share student BMI data (by school) with the county annually; and,
  2. Identify what additional steps it is willing to take within its own schools toward Live Well Allegheny goals.

At a minimum, at least four action steps should be committed to in the district’s formal action. Following is a sampling of possible action steps, but it is by no means exhaustive:

  • Provide 15 minutes of exercise four times a day and incorporate non-traditional exercise options like dancing, yoga, hula hoops or other opportunities into physical education classes
  • Make a commitment to a comprehensive healthy schools program
  • Share information on wellness campaign events with district residents to encourage the voluntary participation of parents and students
  • Ask your vending machine company to add healthy foods, and work with the company to post calories and nutrient contents and amounts for the foods offered
  • Plan, promote and implement a Live Well Allegheny event in cooperation with the campaign that encourages active living
  • Offer fresh fruit and vegetables at all meals; and provide 2% milk and chocolate milk instead of whole milk
  • Enhance health education to include nutrition and physical activity information
  • Conduct a youth survey (PAYS or YRBS) that includes questions on physical activity and nutrition; share the resulting data with the Allegheny County Health Department
  • Initiate employee wellness activities such as walking clubs to encourage physical activity
  • Engage in the Safe Routes to School Program
  • Implement an evidence-based social skills curriculum
  • Initiate a school garden with connection to education program
  • Record student insurance information and share overall data with Allegheny County Health Department
  • Incorporate fitness measures into physical education classes
  • Expand opportunities for fitness to all staff and students (i.e. conduct administrative meetings in an active manner (walking, standing); schedule and encourage walks during free periods
  • Promote water drinking (provide bubblers with attachments to fill water bottles)
  • Develop health food policies for food served at school meetings or school-sponsored events
  • Utilize web sites and social media to provide information on physical activity, nutrition, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other health and wellness related initiatives.

Once formal action has been taken which includes detail on how the requirements of the program will be met, written notification should be made to the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

Letters of commitment can be addressed to:

Dr. Karen A. Hacker, Director
Allegheny County Health Department
542 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Emailed letters can be sent to Hannah Hardy at HHardy@achd.net.

Upon review by the Department, designation of the district as a Live Well Allegheny School will be formally made. The district will then be recognized as a partner in the campaign and will be entitled to all benefits being a partner entails.

To be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Restaurant, the business must first indicate its intent to work along with Allegheny County to accomplish the goals of the campaign. This can be a formal letter submitted by ownership of the restaurant or food business.

In addition to referencing willingness to work with the campaign to accomplish its goals, the restaurant should also indicate what additional steps it is willing to take within its own business toward those goals. At a minimum, restaurants must commit to eliminating trans-fat oils, being smoke free and not to sell tobacco products and commit to at least four action steps in the restaurant’s formal action for designation as a Live Well Allegheny Restaurant.

Following is a sampling of possible action steps, but it is by no means exhaustive. The restaurant will:

  • Provide calorie counts and other nutritional information (including sodium) on menus or otherwise readily available to customers, daily specials can be excluded
  • Offer and promote menu items or side dishes as low calorie options with options spread across menu categories (main dish, appetizer, etc.)
  • Offer half portions on select menu items
  • Offer vegetarian/vegan fare
  • Provide healthy side dishes including fruits and vegetables that can be ordered in lieu of higher fat/sugar/salt options
  • Offer brown rice, quinoa or other whole grains as an alternate to white rice and whole grain bread as an alternate to white bread
  • Use plant based oils for cooking and baking (for example olive oil and canola oil instead of animal fat containing predominantly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats partially-hydrogenated oils) and make customers aware
  • Provide low calorie salad dressings
  • Offer low fat milk (1% or skim) as an alternate to cream for hot beverages
  • Promote healthier beverage options by providing smaller sized sugar sweetened beverage (including soda) options (8 ounce) without refills, highlighting unsweetened options (via lower prices) or by providing healthier options to soda like soda water flavored with fruit juice or alternate recipe
  • Provide a location to store bicycles at or near the restaurant
  • Provide evidence that it is recognized by another healthy restaurant certification
  • Provide a children’s menu that adheres to the Kids Live Well criteria as established by the National Restaurant Association (www.healthydiningfinder.com/kids_livewell/criteria)

Once formal action has been taken which includes details on how the requirements of the program will be met, written notification should be made to the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

Letters of commitment can be addressed to:

Dr. Karen A. Hacker, Director
Allegheny County Health Department
542 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Emailed letters can be sent to Hannah Hardy at HHardy@achd.net.

Upon review by the Department, designation of the workplace as a Live Well Allegheny Restaurant will be formally made.

To be designated as a Live Well Workplace, an employer must first indicate its intent to work with Allegheny County to accomplish the goals of the campaign. This can be accomplished through action by the board of directors, a formal letter signed by the leadership, or action by an organization’s chief executive. In addition to making a formal commitment to the campaign, the employer should also indicate what additional steps it is willing to take achieve the campaign’s goals. In the organization’s formal action a minimum of at least four action steps should be identified for attainment. Following is a sample of possible action steps, but this list is by no means exhaustive. We have categorized four main themes of interventions that are important to success. We encourage workplaces to select actions from these categories, or to explore their own initiatives, but a minimum of four actions steps are required for designation as a Live Well Workplace.

1. Building, Facilities, Workplace Environment

Employer provides a supportive physical and social work environment that is conducive to healthy habits and behavior.

  • Provide healthy cafeteria options with healthy foods/snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables for purchase
  • Provide healthy food options during company meetings and functions
  • Ensure healthy food options in vending machines
  • Provide private area for use by breast feeding employees to pump and store their milk.
  • Ensure well-lit, safe stairwells
  • Provide access to water fountain, water dispenser, water cooler
  • Access to on-site fitness center or room for exercise classes, physical activity
  • Locate safe and accessible outdoor walking or running paths and trails, map a safe walking route starting and ending from the workplace or in vicinity
  • Provide access to secure bicycle storage area in safe, convenient location
  • Provide standing/walking desks
  • Consider a tobacco/smoke-free work campus
  • Provide space for or create workplace garden(s) that employees can build and maintain

2. Policy Integration

Employer integrates health and wellness promotion policies into organizational structure

  • Institute a healthy food policy requiring healthy food and drink options at company meetings, functions, and events
  • Establish and communicate tobacco-free workplace policy that includes tobacco cessation resources for employees
  • Develop a policy that supports breast feeding employees and allows them flexibility to pump at work in a designated, private area
  • Allow and encourage paid time off for employees to have preventive cancer screenings.
  • Offer employee flex work hours to allow for opportunities for physical or wellness activity before, during, after work, and lunch breaks
  • Use financial incentives such as reduction in insurance premiums, gift cards, cash, prizes, extra vacation days to encourage participation in health improvement activities such as giving up tobacco, weight loss, regular physical activity, and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Negotiate health-club discounts or provide subsidized membership at local fitness centers, programs such as Weight Watchers
  • Create and sponsor employee athletic teams and activities
  • Provide or insure that your employees have access to comprehensive health insurance that includes dental and eye care as well as preventive care without co-pays.

3. Health Education, Screening, and Prevention

Employer disperses health education information and encourages participation in screening, physical wellness activities, and disease prevention.

  • Provide annual Health-Risk Assessments (HRAs)
  • Offer health screenings for BMI, Obesity, Cancer, Blood Pressure, LDL Cholesterol, Diabetes, and numerous other biometrics
  • Make available health and wellness educational resources to employees via printed materials, direct mail, electronic correspondence, posters, bulletin boards on topics such as physical activity, improved nutrition , and tobacco cessation
  • Remind employees of importance of regular check-ups, physical examinations, and health screenings
  • Encourage employees to hold walking meetings
  • Support stretching and physical activity breaks during work hours and meetings
  • Set up walking/running/fitness club before or after work
  • Organize fitness classes on site
  • Provide or subsidize pedometers
  • Promote weight-loss competitions, group challenges, team relays, walking events, marathon competitions
  • Encourage stair use through attractive and visible prompts
  • Promote cessation tobacco support groups, resources, and services
  • Provide easy-to-access information about local programs and opportunities for physical fitness, community health related events, farmers markets
  • Provide health counseling/coaching focused on physical activity, smoking cessation, and weight management
  • Organize educational seminars or Lunch and Learns on health topics
  • Conduct periodic weigh-ins and BMI Calculations with educational materials on the association of excess body weight and diabetes, heart diseases, and hypertension
  • Highlight success stories of employees who have successfully quit smoking, lost weight, or achieved health goals

4. Leadership Commitment and Employee Ownership

Senior level management, CEO/President supports participation in employee wellness program and employees are included and engaged.

  • Create an Employee Wellness Committee that has ongoing leadership support and participation as well as representatives from various programs or departments
  • Organization leaders actively demonstrate their support for employee wellness and participate in wellness activities and programs
  • Company mission/vision statement supports employee health and value of wellness programs in the workplace
  • Leaders publicly recognize employees for healthy actions or outcome
  • Participation in another recognized workplace wellness certification

Once formal action has been taken by the proper personnel within the business, including information on how the requirements of the program will be met, written notification should be made to the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

Letters of commitment can be addressed to:

Dr. Karen A. Hacker, Director
Allegheny County Health Department
542 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Emailed letters can be sent to Hannah Hardy at HHardy@achd.net.

Upon review by the Health Department, designation of the community as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace will be formally made. The business will then be recognized as a partner in the campaign and will be entitled to all the benefits that being a partner entails.

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