Welcome new members of Live Well Allegheny!
Congratulations to the Borough of Dravosburg and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for committing to make Allegheny County the healthiest county in the nation! In January, we designated the Borough of Dravosburg as our newest Live Well Allegheny Community, and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as our newest Live Well Allegheny Workplace. With our wonderful partners, we can improve overall health and wellness in Allegheny County.
Though the winter months can provide many challenges, don’t let those obstacles affect your health and wellness goals. At Live Well Allegheny, we strive to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Combat the winter blues with doable physical activity. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or start a walking club at your workplace. For more tips on how to stay active, visit: www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity.
Regular physical activity is essential for combatting chronic diseases, like hypertension and heart disease. Speaking of heart health, did you know that February is American Heart Month? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Luckily, heart disease can often be prevented. Making healthy choices, like eating healthy foods, getting active, and quitting smoking, can help reduce your risk. Concerned about your heart health? Talk to your doctor about ways to prevent heart disease, and visit www.healthfinder.gov for more information. Also, check out this month’s Live Well Story to see what the American Heart Association Greater Pittsburgh Region is working on this month and the rest of 2018!
Do you have an event coming up? Please let us know so we can add it to the Live Well Allegheny event calendar. Contact Marie Fontelo (Marie.Fontelo@AlleghenyCounty.US) with details. Please check the partner resources page of the web site for additional resources.
Karen Hacker, MD, MPH
Director, Allegheny County Health Department
American Heart Association Greater Pittsburgh Region (AHA), a Live Well Allegheny Community Partner, emphasizes heart health during American Heart Month! Check out the Live Well Story for more information on how AHA is raising awareness of cardiovascular diseases and ways to reduce your risk.
Interested in highlighting a health initiative in your organization? Please reach out to Kristen Rodack (Kristen.Rodack@AlleghenyCounty.US).
Is your community working on an active transportation plan? Apply to the Active Allegheny Grant Program for financial assistance! In January, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced that funding is now available through the Active Allegheny Grant Program managed by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, in partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department.
The program provides financial assistance to communities to develop plans and design transportation projects that will, when implemented, provide bicycle and pedestrian connections to important local destinations and transportation systems and increase residents’ opportunities for physical activity. In addition, a small amount of funding is available to carry out educational activities, develop stakeholder outreach and materials, and conduct events that promote active transportation. Find more information about the grant in the program guidelines, and apply today!
Congratulations to Live Well Allegheny Community, Wilkinsburg Borough, on receiving an economic development grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania! The borough is using the $475,000 grant to establish a park along Ardmore Boulevard.
The Allegheny County Health Department, in collaboration with the PA Department of Transportation, is offering free traffic safety presentations for elementary students. The informational program, titled “Road Rules,” gives children the skills and information needed to be safe pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, and vehicle passengers.
Does your business support locally sourced food? Make sure you are listed in Farm to Table Western PA’s Local Food Guide! It is free to list your business, and the guide will be distributed online and at events throughout Western PA. To add your business, visit www.farmtotablepa.com/local-food-guide.
Also, join Farm to Table Western PA for their annual Farm to Table Conference April 14th-15th! The conference, which provides consumers with two days of networking and educational opportunities, will include seasonal cooking demonstrations, gardening, and nutrition information about local food.
Attention Live Well Allegheny Schools: win a free mindfulness class for your school! PA Action for Healthy Kids is partnering with Joni Sturgill of Healthy Body Peaceful Soul to offer one school the chance to win a free class on mindfulness. Enter today to win a 45-minute mindfulness class where students, staff, and families will learn about stress and simple techniques to reduce stress and feel more calm and focused.
Is your organization looking to fund a garden project? Join the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council’s Urban Ag Working Group for the Green for Growing: Funding your Farm or Garden Project event on February 13th! The event, which is focused on funding opportunities for community gardens and small farms, will host the USDA and many small organizations and funders. The event is being held from 6-8pm at Spirit (242 51st Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201). Get more information here.
Save the date for Adagio Health’s inaugural health symposium, Transforming Women’s Health on March 22nd! The symposium, featuring keynote speaker Senator Barbara Boxer, provides opportunities to interact with experts in the fields of reproductive health, family planning, breast and cervical cancer, nutrition, and sexual and reproductive health education. Regular ($200), student ($30), and nonprofit ($100) tickets are available now!
Girls on the Run is coming this Spring! Girls on the Run is an empowerment program for 3rd-5th grade girls that gives them skills and experiences to navigate their world confidently! During the ten-week program, girls meet with trained coaches twice per week to learn life skills through engaging lessons and fun activities. At the end of the season, girls from all local GOTR teams come together to complete the Girls on the Run 5K. Spring registration is open.
For more information attend the upcoming Information Session on Feb. 22nd at Panera Bread in Oakland (Blvd of Allies).
Coming soon! The American Lung Association hosts the LUNG FORCE Expo on June 7th! This one day event features expert presentations on lung cancer and other lung diseases. This event gives patients, caregivers and healthcare providers a chance to connect and learn ways to stay healthy.
What’s Happening in Public Health
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is offering free blood lead level testing for uninsured or underinsured children in Allegheny County. Testing will be done at ACHD’s Immunization Clinic on Tuesdays from 9am-12pm and on Thursdays from 12-4pm. No appointment is necessary. The clinic is located on the fourth floor of Hartley Rose Building (425 First Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219), entrance on Cherry Way. Blood lead level tests will be done via a capillary screen or “finger stick.” Call the Health Department at 412.687.2243 to find out if you qualify for services.
The service is the result of a regulation requiring all children in the county, unless otherwise exempted, to have their blood lead levels tested. The regulation, which went into effect on January 1st, applies to all residents and schools of Allegheny County, and is meant to boost early detection and treatment of lead poisoning and reduce the incidence, impact, and cost of the problem.
For more information about ACHD’s approach to lead, visit www.achd.net/lead.
February is American Heart Month. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease every year. Fortunately, heart disease can often be prevented. Making healthy choices and managing health conditions can help reduce your risk. Concerned about your heart health? Talk to your doctor about ways to prevent heart disease.
Participate in American Heart Month by spreading the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and ways to live a heart healthy life. Use the toolkit below for more ways to make a difference.
New research links the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, with improved health outcomes and lower health care costs. Recent research from the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service demonstrates a strong correlation between food insecurity and chronic health conditions among low-income adults. The research shows that the risk of ten chronic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, and stroke, increases as the severity of food insecurity increases. Additionally, research shows that food insecurity is connected to lower compliance with health services and medication due to balancing costs of food with medical services.
SNAP is the primary nutrition assistance program in the United States. Approximately 42 million Americans use the program to provide nutritious meals for their families. By making food available to low-income people, SNAP serves an important role in improving the health and well-being of American families.
Have you ever received inaccurate health information? Know the Science materials from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health can help you understand the science of health! Know the Science uses interactive modules, videos, and quizzes to provide accurate and engaging health information. Use the resources to better understand scientific topics and get the most accurate health information.
In January, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) reported a rise in flu cases in Allegheny County. Like the rest of the country, Allegheny County has an uptick in flu cases this year. Compared to last year, the county has seen about 50% more flu cases reported and 64% more hospitalizations. ACHD urges residents to get their flu shots, if they have not received one yet. It is not too late!
Residents should contact their doctor as soon as possible if they’re experiencing flu symptoms. Also, residents should take precautions against the flu. Wash your hands, do not cough or sneeze into your hands, and stay home if you have flu symptoms.
For more information on how to fight the flu, visit www.achd.net/flu.
This is the latest Live Well Allegheny e-update. Please find a variety of information that will be helpful to you in your efforts, and can also be shared within your own networks. As always, you can find a great deal of information on our website at: www.livewellallegheny.com including partner resources which are available here: http://www.livewellallegheny.com/about-us/live-well-allegheny-participants/partner-materials/.
We now have 50 communities, 13 school districts, 167 community partners, 41 restaurants, and 14 workplaces united in our efforts!