For Immediate Release:  July 10, 2017

Contact:

Julia Groenfeldt, Program and Communications Associate

Institute for Public Health Innovation

202.747.3455

JGroenfeldt@institutephi.org

Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) Recognizes 16 HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign Leaders in Maryland

Ocean City, MD —  On June 27th, at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual summer conference in Ocean City, the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPH) through its HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Cities and Towns Campaign of the Mid-Atlantic recognized the achievements of 16 Maryland cities and towns. The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign is a project of the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), in partnership with the Maryland and Virginia Municipal Leagues, and is funded by Kaiser Permanente, founding partner. The Campaign provides technical assistance to municipal leaders to help them create healthy, prosperous communities by adopting policies and practices that improve their communities’ physical activity and food environments.

When they join the HEAL Campaign, cities and towns adopt healthy eating and active living policy and practice goals to create communities where all people can make healthy choices to eat nutritious food and be physically active. Each year, the Campaign recognizes cities and towns that advance to higher Campaign recognition levels by attaining their healthy eating and active living goals. The goals achieved by this year’s honorees include: the implementation of streets policies and adoption of bicycle and pedestrian master plans that promote bicycling and walking for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities; the adoption of nutrition standards that ensure that food and beverages provided at workplace meetings and city-sponsored events include healthy options; the provision of healthy options in vending machines in municipal buildings; the support and promotion of farmers’ markets and community gardens; the planting of fruit forests in public rights of way; and the implementation of creative workplace wellness policies and programs.

The following cities and towns were recognized at the MML conference:

  • The Town of Burkittsville and the City of Seat Pleasant were recognized as new HEAL Campaign members.
  • The City of New Carrollton and Town of Rock Hall received the Bronze HEAL Recognition for achieving one new HEAL goal.
  • The City of Laurel received the Silver HEAL Recognition for two new HEAL goals.
  • The Town of Bel Air, City of Bowie, Town of Capitol Heights, City of College Park, Town of Colmar Manor, City of Frederick, City of Greenbelt, and Town of Ocean City received the Platinum Gold Recognition for attaining three new HEAL goals.
  • The Town of Edmonston, City of Gaithersburg, and City of Rockville received Platinum HEAL Recognition, the highest HEAL achievement award. Cities and towns that advance to the Platinum level have attained Gold status and provide evidence that their healthy eating and active living work reaches across government departments and is being evaluated and monitored.

“This year’s honorees were recognized for their continued commitment to healthy eating and active living, shaping their local communities into healthier and more prosperous places to live. We also welcomed two new HEAL Campaign members this year, bringing the number of HEAL cities and towns in Maryland to 30! Congratulations to all our honorees!  “says Susan DeFrancesco, HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign Manager at IPHI.

The annual Maryland Municipal League Conference is an opportunity for city and town municipal officials to build skills and learn about new opportunities to enhance their communities. The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign led two workshop at this year’s conference. One was a mobile session in which participants walked while learning how to hold walking meetings to encourage physical activity during the work day. A second workshop highlighted how healthy eating and active living policies and practices promote older adult health.

About the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign:

The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign provides free technical assistance to local government leaders to help them create healthy, prosperous communities by adopting policies and practices that improve their communities’ physical activity and food environments. HEAL is a project of the Institute for Public Health Innovation, in partnership with the Maryland and Virginia Municipal Leagues and funded by Kaiser Permanente, founding partner.

For more information, visit the HEAL website at www.healcitiesmidatlantic.org and contact HEAL staff at 202-747-3455 or jgroenfeldt@institutephi.org.

About Institute for Public Health Innovation: 

IPHI creates partnerships across sectors and cultivates innovative solutions that improve health and well-being for all populations and communities across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, particularly those most affected by health inequities. IPHI’s work enhances the environments and conditions in which people live, age, work, learn, and play; strengthens health service systems and public policy; and builds organizational and community capacity to sustain progress.  IPHI is one of over 40 public health institutes across the country and a member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes.

For more information on IPHI, see www.institutephi.org, and follow IPHI on Facebook and Twitter @InstitutePHI.

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