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.