On behalf of everyone at Live Well Allegheny, we wish you the best for 2018.
Another year has come to an end. We know the end of year holiday season can be hectic, and maintaining health and wellness can be a challenge. Fortunately, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reset and focus on your health and wellness goals. Wellness does not have to involve an overhaul of your lifestyle. Simple adjustments like using the stairs instead of the elevator or choosing a side salad instead of fries can make a big difference. Whatever your health and wellness goals may be for 2018, the Live Well Allegheny team can support you!
Live Well Allegheny offers support and resources to our Live Well Allegheny partners and Allegheny County residents. Connect with us this year, and get direct information about the resources available throughout Allegheny County. Check out our referral form for resources on healthy eating, physical activity, and smoking cessation. And stay tuned for more information about our upcoming 2018 Learning Collaborative Series that will offer a space for discussion and provide resources on a variety of health and wellness topics.
Speaking of health and wellness resources, did you know that eating healthy foods can help protect your body from lead? Diets rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C can help limit the absorption of lead into the body. Prevention of lead exposure is crucial for leading a healthy life. To combat the problem of lead in our county, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald commissioned a Lead Task Force comprised of various experts to look at the issue in detail. In December, the Lead Task Force released a final report and recommendations on the impact of lead and the importance of prevention of lead exposure in Allegheny County. Check out the What’s Happening in Public Health Section below for more information.
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
Family Support Centers take steps to make Allegheny County the healthiest county! All 28 Family Support Centers in Allegheny County were honored December 8th for completing the Healthy Eating and Active Living assessment and for their commitment and contributions to the goals of Live Well Allegheny. Check out the January Live Well Story for more information about the work being done at the Centers!
Interested in highlighting a health initiative in your organization? Please reach out to Kristen Rodack (Kristen.Rodack@AlleghenyCounty.US).
Braddock has a new space for residents to work on their fitness! The Braddock Fit Park officially opened on December 12th. The Fit Park, which was made possible by Live Well Allegheny Workplace TCV Community Services, Live Well Allegheny Community Braddock Borough, and McKeesport Hospital Foundation, is the first of its kind in Braddock. The Fit Park located on Braddock Avenue features exercise equipment for a full body workout.
The Live Well Allegheny team strives to support our Live Well partners and Allegheny County residents on the road to wellness. To provide direct support and resources, Live Well Allegheny offers a simple and quick referral form on our website. Use the form to connect with us and get information about the resources available in Allegheny County.
Does your organization work with pregnant or parenting women who want to reduce or quit smoking? Contact our Maternal and Child Health Program for information about their free smoking cessation program! Participants will receive a guidebook and Quit Kit, and will view a short video with a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
Call the Maternal and Child Health Program today at 412.247.7950 for more information!
Looking for ways to eat healthy and stay within your budget in the new year? Join fitUnited and the PA Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program for a Lunch & Learn about how to buy healthy foods on a budget. The Lunch & Learn will be held on January 11th at the United Way of Southwestern PA office. Lunch will be provided.
Join the American Heart Association for their Targeting Blood Pressure Symposium on Jan. 30th! This empowering symposium joins community and provider forces to target blood pressure in our region.
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.
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.
Does your community organization work with residents to build community health and resilience? Could your organization benefit from technical support? Consider applying for GTECH’s Resilience Generation resources! GTECH is offering custom interventions to enhance the work of community organizations in Allegheny County whose work focuses on increasing community health. Organizations can apply for a range of services including data collection and analysis.
Girls on the Run is coming this Spring! Girls on the Run (GOTR) 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 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. Registration for the Spring program opens January 31st.
To learn more about the program, visit www.gotrmagee.org or attend one of the upcoming Information Sessions: Jan. 17th from 6-7 PM at Magee-Womens Hospital Auditorium or Feb. 22nd from 6-7 PM at Panera Bread in Oakland (Blvd. of the Allies).
What’s Happening in Public Health
In Allegheny County, lead continues to pose a risk to the health of our residents and children. As a known neurotoxin, lead is a serious threat to public health, particularly for developing children. While the risk of exposure to lead has decreased due to public policies mandating the removal of lead from materials like paint and gasoline, historical usage of lead remains a threat to health. To address the problem, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald commissioned a nine-member Lead Task Force to review data on lead and provide recommendations for action to reducing the threat of lead exposure to county residents.
In December, the Lead Task Force published a final report and a list of recommendations for eliminating harmful lead exposure in Allegheny County. Read the full report and recommendations here. The focus of the report is on primary prevention (before exposure) and intervention (after exposure) strategies.
We know that lead can be a scary topic. However, there are steps you can take to protect you and your family from the harmful effects of lead. Diets rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C can help limit the body’s absorption of lead. Use this nutrition brochure for more information on the types of food to eat to help your body combat lead.
For more information on the Allegheny County Health Department’s approach to lead, visit www.achd.net/lead.
January is Cervical Health Awareness month. Roughly 79 million Americans have HPV, or human papillomavirus. Additionally, more than 11,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. January is the time to raise awareness about ways women can protect themselves from HPV and cervical cancer.
Both HPV and cervical cancer are often preventable. HPV can be prevented by getting a series of HPV vaccines, or shots. Cervical cancer can often be prevented by regular screenings and follow-up care.
Talk to the women in your life and encourage them to get a well-woman exam this year. Use the toolkit below for more ways to make a difference this month.
In November, the USDA announced the School Meal Flexibility Rule. The rule is designed to give schools more time and flexibility in implementing changes to school meals. Doing so rolls back much of the progress that has been made on school nutrition in recent years.
The rule allows refined grains instead of whole-grain rich products and revises the sodium targets even though children consume too much salt, according to the CDC. The American Heart Association considers the new rule a failure to our children and to the goal of healthier school meals (read AHA’s full statement here). While the USDA should be helping schools achieve nutritious lunches, this new rule slows progress.
Fortunately, there is still time to take action to protect school nutrition! The proposed rule is currently open for public comment. Submit your comments to the proposed rule by Jan. 29th.
Does your organization work to promote healthy behavior in children or youth? The US Department of Health and Human Services is accepting applications for the Healthy Habits: Timing for Developing Sustainable Healthy Behaviors in Children and Adolescents funding opportunity. HHS is seeking applications that employ innovative research to identify mechanisms of influence and/or promote positive sustainable health behavior(s) in children and youth.
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: www.livewellallegheny.com/partnermaterials.
We now have 49 communities, 13 school districts, 167 community partners, 41 restaurants, and 13 workplaces united in our efforts!