Author: ACHD

About ACHD

Created in 1957, the Allegheny County Health Department is charged with protecting the environmental and public health of 1.2 million County residents through Pennsylvania Act 315 , the Local Health Administration Law.

Big Burrito Restaurant Group Facilities Designated as Live Well Restaurants

big Burrito Restaurant Group gains Live Well Restaurant status

Dr. Karen Hacker with big Burrito Restaurant Group Corporate Chef Bill Fuller

PITTSBURGH – This week, Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), presented Corporate Chef Bill Fuller with the Live Well Allegheny Restaurant designation for all of the restaurants in the big Burrito Restaurant Group that are located in Allegheny County. The announcement was made at Eleven on Wednesday morning.

“The big Burrito Restaurant Group provides a variety of healthy food options in its restaurants for all Allegheny County residents” said Dr. Hacker. “I am so pleased to see the commitment to Live Well Allegheny across the entire company. The group provide a great model for how to provide healthy options for multiple tastes in a variety of eating establishments.”

The new Live Well Restaurants are:

  • Casbah, 229 S Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)
  • Eleven, 1150 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh (Strip District)
  • Kaya, 2000 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh (Strip District)
  • Mad Mex, 4100 William Penn Highway, Monroeville
  • Mad Mex, 7905 McKnight Road, Ross
  • Mad Mex, 200 S Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)
  • Mad Mex, 2 Robinson Plaza, Park Manor Drive, Robinson
  • Mad Mex, Scott Towne Center, 2101 Greentree Road, Scott
  • Mad Mex, 370 Atwood Street, Pittsburgh (Oakland)
  • Soba, 5847 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)
  • Umi, 5847 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)

Each of the establishments has indicated the intent to work with the county to accomplish the goals of the campaign. Additionally, each has outlined steps to be taken by the facility to help meet those goals. At a minimum, the leadership at each establishment has committed to eliminating trans-fat oils, being smoke free and not selling tobacco products.

“As professionals we make our living by feeding people. It thrills us to supplement our mission of pleasing our guest’s senses with nurturing their total health and welfare.  We look forward to participating in the increased positive living of our communities and working in partnership with the ACHD,” said Bill Fuller, Corporate Chef, big Burrito Restaurant Group.

Each of the eleven restaurants is also committed to providing calorie counts and other nutritional information on menus or making the information otherwise readily available to customers; offering vegetarian/vegan fare; providing healthy side dishes including fruit and vegetables that can be ordered in lieu of higher fat/sugar/salt options; using plant based oils for cooking and baking; providing low calorie salad dressings; and offering low fat milk as an alternate to cream for hot beverages. Soba, Umi, Casbah, Kaya and Mad Mex Shadyside also provide a location to store bicycles at or near the restaurant.

The big Burrito Restaurant Group was also recently recognized as a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant by Sustainable Pittsburgh.

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.

Mt. Lebanon Designated as Live Well Allegheny Community, School

ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker joins Mt. Lebanon Commissioners, School Board members and residents to announce that community's involvement with the Live Well Allegheny initiative.

ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker joins Mt. Lebanon Commissioners, School Board members and students to announce their community’s involvement with the Live Well Allegheny initiative.

PITTSBURGH – Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department, was joined by elected and appointed officials, students and residents of Allegheny County, Mt. Lebanon and the Mt. Lebanon School District to formally designate the district and municipality as part of the Live Well Allegheny campaign.
“It has been a fantastic two years for the Live Well Allegheny campaign, as the vitality we see in our communities is reflected in this campaign for a healthier county,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We see evidence each day that this effort is working, and that news has been supported by the recent data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. While we’ve made improvements, we know that there’s more work to do which is why it’s so important to have so many organizations help in this effort.”

Live_Well_MtLebanonThe Live Well launch happened this morning during the community’s first Farmer’s Market of the season which is held each week near the municipal building on Washington Road. In addition to the announcement, students from Mt. Lebanon participated in a game focused on #HowDoYouLiveWell, answering questions that ranged from health, nutrition, exercise and swim safety, to internet use and more.

“As a health care professional, I am very pleased that school districts and communities are becoming more involved in promoting an active, healthy lifestyle that will improve the health and well-being of their citizens,” said County Council Member Sue Means, who represents District 5 in which Mt. Lebanon is located.

The addition of Mt. Lebanon and the Mt. Lebanon School District brings the overall count of participants in Live Well Allegheny Communities to 23 and Live Well Allegheny Schools to 6. The initiative has also recently launched Live Well Allegheny Restaurants and Live Well Allegheny Workplaces.

“I am so pleased to celebrate a joint announcement by both the municipality and school district. Live Well Allegheny is about encouraging health behaviors for all Allegheny County residents in all facets of life at work, school or in our local communities,” said Hacker. “Whether it is students making healthier choices in the lunch line or local communities organizing events to encourage more physical activity. These small changes all add up to a healthier Allegheny County.”

Mt. Lebanon already engages in a number of activities to promote health, including the sponsorship of the Uptown Farmers’ Market, offering volunteer opportunities to enhance the quality of life, cycling and walking events and other initiatives for its 33,000 citizens. In addition to committing to continuing current activities, the municipality also intends to utilize the Tour de Mt. Lebanon, recreational opportunities and numerous other healthy initiatives to further the goals of the campaign.

“When it comes to health and wellness, being a walking community with a top regional hospital as its largest employer gives us a head start,” said Mt. Lebanon Commissioner Kelly Fraasch. “But nearly every municipal department, our school district and various nonprofit agencies located in Mt. Lebanon have contributed to our focus on improving quality of life for all, and our commitment to promoting wellness and safety for all residents.”

Live_Well_MTLSDThe Mt. Lebanon School District is also taking steps to promote the goals of the Live Well Allegheny campaign by focusing on staff wellness, student wellness and community wellness. The district already provides a comprehensive wellness plan for staff, offers a standards-based health and physical education curriculum, and has eliminated non-recyclable materials at all of its schools. Moving forward, the district has committed to share wellness tips and events using its social media accounts, providing healthy snacks for staff and faculty, as well as students for schools-related events, continuing its connections to local produce through Farm to School Partnerships and making water coolers available at all schools, as just a starting point.

“We are pleased to partner with Allegheny County, the Health Department and the Mt. Lebanon municipality as a Live Well Allegheny School,” said Timothy Steinhauer, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools. “The health and well-being of our students and staff is a priority in the Mt. Lebanon School District, so we are honored to take part in this important public health initiative to promote wellness and healthy living in our schools.”

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.

For more information on the Live Well Allegheny campaign, including how to become a Live Well Allegheny community or school, visit the Gain Live Well Status page.

Two Municipalities & Two School Districts Join Live Well Allegheny!

Live Well Allegheny is proud to announce that the boroughs of Sewickley and Turtle Creek, along with the McKeesport Area and West Allegheny School Districts, are the four newest members of the county’s Live Well Allegheny campaign. Their participation brings the number of Live Well Allegheny communities to 22 and school districts to five as they embrace the countywide effort to “live well.”

“It’s extremely exciting to add four more members to Live Well Allegheny,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Our goal from the beginning is to have the engagement and involvement of a vast number of stakeholders in this effort, because it’s only by working together that we’re going to be able to help our community be healthier.”

“Each new Live Well Allegheny commitment expands the impact of our collective effort to improve the health of Allegheny County residents,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “All of our Live Well communities and schools working together can promote simple changes to make their residents healthier. Whether it is offering employee wellness programs or access to bike and pedestrian trails, or healthier food options in schools, these are things which will surround residents with opportunities and help make the healthy choice the default choice.”

Live_Well_W-Allegheny-SchoolsIn Council District 1, the West Allegheny School District is committed to creating a community of learners who value wellness, specifically nutrition, fitness, and personal safety. The district’s Live Well Allegheny commitment is in four main areas including an active wellness committee that meets throughout the year to plan for wellness initiatives. Staff wellness activities include a partnership with FitBit to enable staff to purchase FitBits at a reduced cost, a Biggest Loser competition for staff and a summer fitness challenge. Student-centered wellness activities that includes a commitment to physical education classes including swimming, recess every day and Wellness Walks conducted periodically at the elementary school. Community partnerships which include working with the food service provider on the provision of fruit and vegetables offered at every meal including 2% milk options, healthy fundraising activities and an annual 5k event. The district is planning a Live Well Allegheny wellness fair to take place in 2016.

“I am thrilled that the West Allegheny School District will be part of Live Well Allegheny. The district is planning a variety of initiatives and opportunities planned to empower students, teachers, staff and families to make healthier and more active decisions inside and outside of school to better themselves mentally and physically,” said District 1 Council Member Tom Baker. “This will go a long way to positively influence the lives of the students from North Fayette Township and Findlay Township in District 1 in Allegheny County.”

Live_Well_McKeesport-Area-SchoolLikewise, in Council District 9, the Board of Directors of the McKeesport Area School District made a commitment to a comprehensive healthy schools program. They will offer fruits and vegetables at all meals and 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 wellness initiatives as well as promote increased consumption of water. The McKeesport Area School District is the second district to join from the Mon Valley as part of the Live Well Mon Valley Initiative.

“Your diet, the way you live, and how you exercise are important things,” said District 9 Council Member Robert Macey.  “They’re important for your health and well-being, but also impact your ability to learn and achieve your goals. I’m thrilled to see the school district recognize that connection and proud that they are a part of the Live Well Allegheny campaign.”

Live_Well_Turtle-Creek-BoroughTurtle Creek Borough in District 8 joins five other municipalities as part of the Live Well Mon Valley Initiative in making a commitment to smoke-free buildings and parks, promoting a farmer’s market, making a commitment to plan a wellness event, promoting walking and biking activities and trail projects. The borough will also encourage the adoption of healthier food options at community events and promote wellness information to residents in a variety of ways including on web sites and on social media.

“Promoting quality of life, healthy development and positive health behaviors is important because it impacts each person individually by increasing quality and years of healthy life,” said District 8 Council Member Dr. Charles Martoni. “I am excited to see so many of our communities recognizing the importance of being healthy, but also supporting efforts for its residents to live healthier. I’m so proud to have so many District 8 communities committing to live well.”

Live_Well_Sewickley-BoroughSewickley Borough in Council District 2 passed a Live Well Allegheny resolution in September 2015. The borough has an extensive 5-year employee wellness program including increasing steps, weight loss, heart rate awareness and annual physicals. Also, as part of their membership in the Municipal Benefits Services for health care services they were able to purchase FitBits for every employee. The municipality has made a commitment to smoke-free parks and buildings and supports a weekly farmer’s market that is held at St. James Church. Each year there are four 5k events held in Sewickley Borough. In addition, wellness is promoted to residents on both the borough web site and Sewickley TV.

“Promoting good health has an impact on individuals and communities, as well as their living conditions, and enhances the quality of life for everyone,” said District 2 Council Member Jan Rea. “Encouraging people to make choices that benefit themselves is not always an easy task, but efforts such as Live Well Allegheny engage residents and communities in making those decisions together. The buy-in from District 2 communities is exciting, and as we all begin working together more closely on initiatives, our residents and communities will benefit.”