February 28, 2017
PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that the Steel Valley School District is the latest school district to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny School and that the Township of Elizabeth, Borough of Glassport, City of McKeesport, Borough of Munhall, Borough of Port Vue, Borough of West Homestead and Borough of Whitaker are the newest Live Well Allegheny Communities.
“This is exciting news,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “These communities have always been known for their willingness and ability to work together to benefit their residents, and I have no doubt that their involvement with the Live Well Allegheny campaign will help those Mon Valley communities, and their citizens.”
The Steel Valley School District passed a board resolution committing to Live Well Allegheny and has pledged to make a commitment to a comprehensive healthy schools program, offer fresh fruits and vegetables at all meals and provide 2% milk instead of whole milk, utilize web sites and social media to provide information on physical activity, nutrition, stress management tobacco cessation and other health and wellness initiatives, and promote drinking water.
Four of the Mon Valley communities are part of County Council District 9. The Township of Elizabeth, Borough of Glassport, Borough of Munhall and Borough of Port Vue are all encouraging participation in voluntary wellness campaigns for employees and residents, promoting smoke free buildings and perimeters and develop walking maps and outdoor wellness trails that are available to residents. Elizabeth Township recently was also awarded silver certification as part of the Sustainable Community Development Network.
“We are excited to welcome our new school and community partners to the Live Well family” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “It is very rewarding to see the continuing momentum we have in our efforts to build healthier communities and improve the opportunities for our residents”
Part of County Council District 11, the City of McKeesport will promote recreational programming that encourages physical activity, designation of smoke-free children’s play areas in partnership with Tobacco Free Allegheny, further development of the William Lickert Jr. Memorial Walking Trail in Renziehausen Park, and utilization of the city’s web site and social media to increase awareness of wellness opportunities offered. The Borough of West Homestead has committed to sharing wellness information, developing walking maps, encouraging multi-modal transportation, promoting farmers’ markets, promoting smoke free buildings and perimeters, and utilizing web sites and social media to provide wellness information.
In County Council District 8, the Borough of Whitaker committed to share wellness information with residents, encourage involvement with community and volunteer activities and to promote smoke-free buildings and perimeters.
The communities are also in the footprint for participation in the Live Well Allegheny Mon Valley Initiative that is supported with funding from the Jefferson Regional Foundation. Its key objectives include increasing the number of people with access to smoke-free and tobacco-free environments, healthy food and beverage options, and physical activity opportunities. Partners include the Allegheny Health Network, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, the Steel Valley Council of Governments, the Human Services Center Corporation, Tobacco Free Allegheny, Just Harvest, Allegheny County Economic Development and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
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 by the County Executive 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. Karen Hacker.