County gets $750,000 grant to help launch health initiative
May 28, 2015 11:05 PM
Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Department of Health, presents the Plan for a Healthier Allegheny during a press conference on Tuesday.
Lexi Belculfine / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Accessing fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity and decreasing smoking should be easier for Allegheny County residents, especially for those in disadvantaged communities, because of a $750,000 grant, the health department announced Thursday.
Funding came from a one-year grant through the Richard King Mellon Foundation and will support Live Well Allegheny by addressing major risk behaviors that contribute to chronic disease and a similar objective of the Plan for a Healthier Allegheny.
The county will partner with and contribute funds to local stakeholders, which will help implement programs, said Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department.
“Together, through collective action, we will address issues of food access, physical activity opportunities and data monitoring,” she said.
Partners include Allegheny County Economic Development, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Just Harvest and the United Way of Allegheny County and its fitUnited program.
Dr. Hacker said they haven’t yet identified specific “disadvantaged communities” — as defined by high poverty levels and being in food deserts — though there will be some in Pittsburgh, north of the city and in the Monongahela Valley.
“We know that there are documented inequities in certain communities, including higher rates of chronic disease among minority populations and lower income residents,” Dr. Hacker said.
RAND Health’s evaluation of the project and the Allegheny County Health Survey will also be supported by the grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
The Plan for a Healthier Allegheny, announced Tuesday, identified five target areas it wanted to attack to improve health in Allegheny County such as healthier eating, reducing smoking and improving air quality. Eleven communities and two schools are participating in Live Well Allegheny, launched in January 2014.
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