The Allegheny County Health Department has teamed up with local and national partners to address disparities in African-American communities. The REACH program, a CDC-funded initiative, aims to achieve health equity and prevent chronic disease. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, the coalition’s work has expanded to include not only health screenings but also vaccination clinics.
Many social, geographic, political, economic, and environmental factors can create challenges to vaccination access. According to the CDC, people from racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by a lack of access to quality health care or health insurance. Because of these challenges, some people are less likely to be vaccinated.
Since Black and Brown people are diagnosed and dying at higher rates than their white counterparts, and getting vaccinated at lower rates, the coalition hopes to achieve health equity in targeted areas throughout the Pittsburgh area. Vaccination clinics in Black communities are vital and essential to overall health and wellness.
H3C, Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ, Just Harvest, and Allegheny County Health Department will hold a clinic on Wednesday, November 17 from 2-6 p.m. In addition to COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, annual influenza vaccines and shingles vaccines will be administered. The first 20 registered appointments will receive a $25 Giant Eagle gift card, amongst other gifts. The clinic is located at the Hamilton House, 7403 Hamilton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. Call 412-376-7118 to schedule an appointment or transportation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has been challenged to think differently. The Borough of Dormont, a Live Well Allegheny Community, is doing just that with the implementation of the Healthy Streets Dormont Project.
Residents organized a petition and made a presentation to council to create safer outdoor spaces for walking, biking, or cycling with less interference from traffic and provide room for people to get outside and keep at least 6 feet from others. The Healthy Streets Dormont Project launched on June 8. It will run through June 30 and then.
During this time, Grandin Avenue and Memorial Drive will be open to only local traffic and deliveries. The Dormont Pool parking lot is also closed to traffic except one row of parking for park users. There are signs around the streets and parking lot to explain the closures.
“We saw an opportunity for the borough to be flexible and creative in light of the changing needs of our residents during the COVID-19 shutdown,” said Jen Mazzocco, Vice President of the Dormont Borough Council. “People were going out in their neighborhoods more often to get some exercise and a break from the indoors. Many of us witnessed our neighbors using the streets to give social distancing space to others they passed, so when we saw the presentation, we thought it could possibly be a way to make outdoor physical activity easier and safer during a time when that was so important to our community’s physical and mental wellbeing.”
The pilot is just in its beginning stages, but the council is already looking at the advantages of the program and gathering information on whether to expand it. The Traffic, Parking, and Planning Commission has been tasked with creating a more sustainable, comprehensive plan for the program.
“I’d love to see a network of ‘healthy’ streets that cross the borough and help create safer paths to our park, pool and business district as well as provide more open space for those who don’t live close to those places. That will require a lot more data and planning, and we are hoping the pilot gives us some good information to start that process,” Mazzocco said.
Dormont encourages and welcomes all ideas and feedback for the program. More information about the program can be found on the Borough of Dormont website: http://boro.dormont.pa.us/healthy-streets-dormont/
According to the American Public Transportation Association, people use some form of public transportation 34 million times each weekday in the U.S. In Allegheny County, there are many options for transportation; however, navigating those options can be hard. A to B is an online tool designed to help riders find inclusive and accessible transportation options that meet their personal preferences, abilities, and needs. Developed by transportation providers and advocates in the Transportation Working Group, including Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh a Live Well Allegheny community partner, the tool currently includes 28 options from 20 transportation providers.
A to B is free, voluntary, and anonymous. To use A to B, visit www.AtoBAllegheny.com, answer a short survey of questions, and get matched to possible transportation options. The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Users should be sure to answer all applicable questions to receive the best results. A to B will not map specific trips, but rather find the best connection to options for riders.
If you have questions about A to B or would like help using the tool, call (412) 562-5104 (TTY 711), Monday-Friday from 8AM to 5PM or leave a message after hours. Transportation providers can also call this number to be listed in the tool.
We’re excited about the addition of this tool in our region. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified that access to transportation supports health and reduces healthcare costs. Ensuring that all residents of Allegheny County can get from point A to point B can have a profound positive impact on health and wellness.
Learn more about this topic and the A to B Tool with these resources:
Babb Inc., a Live Well Allegheny Workplace, is leading the way in encouraging workplace wellness. In June, the Wellbeing Department hosted the 4th Annual LiveWell Open Golf Tournament in concurrence with the 2019 U.S. Open.
The team set up a 5-hole par-16 mini-golf course in the Ballroom of the Babb Inc. historical building located on Pittsburgh’s Northside. To enhance workplace culture and encourage participation, trophies, prizes, and, of course, bragging rights were awarded to the top golfers in the men’s and women’s categories. Practice rounds were held the week leading up to the tournament that took place on Wednesday, June 12.
This type of event creates friendly competition between coworkers and provides an opportunity for people to get up and move during the day. More than 20 people participated in the tournament. Babb, Inc. continues to grow their culture with different activities, such as the LiveWell Open, that reflect their belief that employee care and wellbeing is the number one priority in any organization.
Another way that Babb, Inc. is promoting wellbeing and engagement is through the 4th Annual SparkPittsburgh Step Challenge, which runs September 1 through October 15. This free and friendly challenge is designed to help organizations move towards better health and wellbeing one step at a time. Along with competing against other organizations, all steps contribute to Pittsburgh’s total step count to help make a difference in the health and wellbeing of the city!
This year, SparkPittsburgh is excited to announce the addition of Cleveland to the campaign (SparkCleveland)! Through the success of Pittsburgh, the partners hope to continue to expand Spark across the nation to help improve lifestyles across America. Visit www.SparkPittsburgh.com to join the challenge today!