Live Well Allegheny continues to grow! In July, we welcomed five additional workplaces (Raion Zou Holistic Healing, Donnelly-Boland and Associates, Human Services Administration Organization (HSAO), The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers, and Go Ape Tree Top Adventure), and two additional restaurants (Salvatore’s Pizza House and Lion’s Den Café and Deli). Thank you for taking steps to improve the health of Allegheny County residents!
It is the beginning of August, and it won’t be long before school starts. Back-to-school season is the perfect time to make sure your family is up to date on vaccines. In fact, August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Immunizations, or vaccines, help prevent serious and dangerous diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. Vaccinating according to the recommended immunization schedule provides children with safe and effective protection against preventable diseases. Did you know we have an Immunization Clinic? To find the clinic location, hours and services, please visit the clinic’s web page.
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. And don’t forget to check the partner resources page of the web site for additional resources.
Like and follow the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the ACHD news.
Karen Hacker, MD, MPH
Director, Allegheny County Health Department
Representatives from several Live Well Allegheny school districts, one Live Well Allegheny workplace, and two community partner organizations attended the 2018 Farm to Cafeteria Conference. The group learned ways to incorporate fresh, locally-grown foods into school meals. Check out this month’s Live Well Story for the details!
Interested in highlighting a health initiative in your organization? Please reach out to Kristen Rodack (Kristen.Rodack@AlleghenyCounty.US).
Congratulations to Collier Township, a Live Well Allegheny community, for completing its new community walking trails map! The Collier Township Discovery Trails Map was developed with funds from the Active Allegheny Grant Program administered by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County. The map shows the township’s five trails and includes information on landmarks and views along the way. The township hopes the map will encourage residents and visitors to walk and bike their way through the community.
Is your organization looking for ways to incorporate health into company policies and procedures? Live Well Allegheny has resources for you! Check out our website for information on Health in All Policies and Health Impact Assessments. These resources will help your organization consider health when implementing policies and procedures.
Congratulations to Live Well Allegheny school districts Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, McKeesport Area School District, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and Propel Schools for being awarded grants from the US Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)! FFVP provides funds to elementary schools to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to children during the school day. The program increases children’s consumption of healthy foods and exposure to different varieties of produce and promotes healthy school environments.
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is now offering blood lead level testing in McKeesport! Beginning August 2nd, ACHD will be offering blood lead testing on the first Thursday of every month from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and from 1-2 p.m. at the Wander Building in McKeesport. Uninsured and underinsured children can have their blood lead levels tested for free at this site. Insured children can be tested for a $25 copay. For more information on blood lead level testing, please visit: www.alleghenycounty.us/Health-Department.
For more information on testing in McKeesport, contact Megan Tulikangas at Megan.Tulikangas@AlleghenyCounty.US.
Get ready, Allegheny County! KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to play, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group are partnering together to bring the Let’s Play Everywhere Challenge to Allegheny County! This community-driven design competition will award $200,000 for Play Everywhere projects that make it easier for Allegheny County kids to play every day in unexpected places—sidewalks, vacant lots, bus stops, and beyond!
Let KaBOOM! know your idea to get kids playing in unexpected, everyday places by visiting https://apply.kaboom.org/ and submitting your idea by August 10th!
Questions? No problem! Reach out to Alex Daubert at 202-464-6095 or ADaubert@kaboom.org.
Join BikePGH for the 25th annual UPMC Health Plan PedalPGH! PedalPGH, happening August 26th, is the largest bicycle ride in Pennsylvania. The casual, fun ride exposes people of all ages and fitness levels to the neighborhoods, parks, bridges, and geography that make Pittsburgh so unique. All registration proceeds support BikePGH’s mission to create safer streets for biking and walking.
United Way’s fitUnited is hosting a Lunch and Learn about school health on August 27th! Join UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, United Way’s Be There Campaign, Trying Together, and Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative to learn about the relationship between school, health, and academic outcomes. Schools play an important role in promoting health, and research shows healthier students are better learners. Come learn more about how local efforts focused on school environment, attendance, and recess are working to improve health and academic outcomes for kids in our region. The Lunch and Learn will be held August 27th from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the United Way office (1250 Penn Ave.). Lunch will be provided.
The SparkPittsburgh Company Step Challenge has returned! Babb, Inc., WellAdvised, IWS, and WTAE have partnered to bring employers of Pittsburgh and Western PA the 3rd Annual Company Step Challenge! This year’s challenge runs from September 1st through October 15th. Compete against others to prove you work for one of the most active companies in western PA through this interactive step challenge.
Don’t miss the 2018 Pittsburgh Urban Farm Tour on September 8th! Organized by the East End Food Co-op (EEFC), Pittsburgh Food Policy Council (PFPC), and Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), the Pittsburgh Urban Farm Tour highlights the agricultural production capacity in urban areas of Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods. This self-guided tour provides a unique opportunity to connect with local food and farmers on commercial farms, community gardens, and apiaries throughout Pittsburgh. Featured neighborhoods include the East End, Garfield, South Side, and North Shore. Choose your own course and bike or drive to each destination.
Are you responsible for managing your organization’s or community’s waste management program? Join Sustainable Pittsburgh for their Responsible Waste Management Workshop on September 12th. This workshop pulls back the curtain on waste and recycling options for businesses, organizations, and municipalities located in southwestern PA. Local waste management experts and sustainability pros will share updates on recycling and waste management markets, along with best practices for establishing a program, forming a waste hauler contract, getting employees and community citizens on board, and more. An optional tour of PNC Park and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ cleaning operations will follow the workshop. For more information and registration, please visit: http://sustainablepittsburgh.org/event/responsible-waste-management-workshop/.
Save the date for the American Heart Association’s 7th annual Power of Laughter Health Workshop and Comedy Luncheon! The luncheon will be held September 15th from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Westin Convention Center. The event features comedian Kim Coles and includes a silent auction, shopping, free health screenings, and an education workshop. Come for an afternoon of laughs, lunch, and lifesaving health information.
This November, Tobacco Free Allegheny is celebrating the 4th annual Allegheny Quits for Life Smoking Cessation Awareness Week! Allegheny Quits for Life is a week-long series of events and communications designed to support residents’ efforts to quit smoking and using tobacco products. From November 11th-17th, Tobacco Free Allegheny, and their partners, will promote smoking cessation and a smoke-free Allegheny County. Allegheny Quits for Life partners are critical in conveying the message that a smoke-free Allegheny is a healthier Allegheny. There are a variety of ways to get involved in the celebration! Become an Allegheny Quits for Life partner, host or attend an event, or participate in the Great American Smokeout. For more information on how you can get involved, visit: http://www.tobaccofreeallegheny.org/AlleghenyQuitsforLife2018.asp.
What’s Happening in Public Health
While prepping your kids for back-to-school, it is important to make sure they are up to date on their vaccines. Immunizations, or vaccines, help prevent serious and dangerous diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. Vaccinating according to the recommended immunization schedule provides children with safe and effective protection against preventable diseases. Wondering what vaccines are necessary to attend school? Check out the Pennsylvania School Vaccination Requirements here.
To get information on ACHD’s Immunization Clinic, please visit www.alleghenycounty.us/Health-Department.
Find more information about National Immunization Awareness Month in the toolkit below!
Check out the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s feature of Allegheny County as part of their Sentinel Communities Surveillance project! The Sentinel Communities Surveillance project, conducted by RTI International in collaboration with the RAND Corporation, is sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The project, which began in 2016, will monitor activities related to how a Culture of Health is developing in 30 diverse communities around the country for at least five years. This community-specific report follows the initial Snapshot report, and provides insights into drivers of a Culture of Health in Allegheny County. The report focuses on key insights, opportunities, and challenges as the community advances on its journey toward health and well-being for all residents.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is seeking feedback on Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy. The policy outlines opportunities for community involvement and public participation in the individual permit application process in Environmental Justice Areas, defined as areas where 20% of residents live below the federal poverty line and/or 30% are non-white minorities. The revisions to this policy clarify how individuals living in Environmental Justice Areas may have additional opportunities to engage with the Department and permit applicants through public meetings, public comment periods, public access to permit documents and other measures in the effort to increase participation throughout decision making processes. View the draft Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy here. Comments are due August 28th.
Smoking is no longer permitted in and near public housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finalized the Smoke-Free Public Housing Rule in December 2016. Following the rule, all Public Housing Authorities are required to comply and implement smoke-free policies no later than July 31, 2018. A shout out to the Allegheny County Housing Authority for its foresight on this issue. The authority has already implemented smoke-free policies, effectively banning smoking in and near their residences. The rule is meant to improve the health of residents by reducing the negative effects of second hand smoke.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. The court sided with the city in a 4-2 majority opinion, finding that the city had not violated state law by taxing distribution of beverages. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and sugar-sweetened beverages was passed by Philadelphia’s City Council in 2016. Money collected from the tax funds pre-K, community schools, and improvements to public spaces like parks and libraries. The PA Supreme Court ruling provides a more secure future for the tax and programs funded through the tax.
Read ACHD’s statement on sugary and sweetened beverages, in light of the Supreme Court decision: www.facebook.com/AlleghenyCountyHealth.
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: https://livewellallegheny.com/about-us/live-well-allegheny-participants/partner-materials/.
We now have 59 communities, 14 school districts, 167 community partners, 46 restaurants, and 23 workplaces united in our efforts!