Maryland Cities and Towns Demonstrate Commitment to Healthy Eating Active Living

Ocean City, Maryland — On June 12th, 2018, the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic welcomed three new members and recognized the achievements of seven Maryland cities and towns at the annual Maryland Municipal League’s (MML) Summer Conference in Ocean City. The annual MML Summer Conference is an opportunity for municipal officials to gain peer support, build skills and knowledge, and learn about opportunities to enhance their communities.

The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign is a project of the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), in partnership with the Maryland Municipal Leagues and with support from Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. The Campaign provides technical assistance at no cost to municipal leaders to help them create healthy, prosperous communities by adopting healthy eating and active living (HEAL) policies and practices that improve their communities’ physical activity and food environments. The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic has 65 members across Maryland and Virginia.

Cities and towns join the HEAL Campaign by passing a HEAL Resolution that outlines HEAL policy and practice goals to create communities where all people can make healthy choices to eat nutritious food and be physically active. This year, the HEAL Campaign welcomed three new HEAL municipalities for passing a HEAL Resolution: the Town of Chesapeake Beach, the Town Mount Air, and the City of Glenarden.

Each year, the Campaign recognizes cities and towns that advance to higher Campaign recognition levels by achieving their healthy eating and active living goals. This year’s honorees included:

  • Silver Recognition:
    • The Town of Mount Airy was awarded Silver for two accomplishments related to workplace wellness and improved marketing of town walking circuits and trails.
  • Gold Recognition:
    • The City of Laurel received Gold Recognition for attaining three new HEAL goals, including workplace wellness initiatives like walking meetings, hosting a community health fair, and purchasing and stocking high-tech healthy vending machines.
    • The Town of Rock Hall was awarded Gold Recognition for accomplishments related to launching a morning walking program for a local school’s faculty, staff, and students; forming an interdepartmental workplace wellness committee; and the construction of a new playground.
  • Platinum Recognition:
    • The Town of Bel Air, the Town of Capitol Heights, the Town of Colmar Manor, and the City of Frederick received Platinum HEAL Recognition, the highest HEAL achievement award. Cities and towns that advance to the Platinum level have attained Gold status and are able to provide evidence that their healthy eating and active living work reaches across government departments and is being evaluated and monitored.

In addition to its awards ceremony, the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign held a networking reception for over 40 HEAL municipal leaders. This peer-to-peer learning opportunity allowed for robust discussions on the successes and challenges related to implementing complete streets, workplace wellness, and healthy vending policies and integrating health components into comprehensive plans.

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 Program Manager, Sydney Daigle at Sdaigle@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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