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City of Lexington Recognized by the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign as a New HEAL City


PRESS RELEASE -- City of Lexington Recognized by the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign as a New HEAL City


Roanoke, Virginia – On October 8, 2019 the City of Lexington was recognized at the Virginia Municipal League Conference, by the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic as a HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign Member. The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign supports local elected officials to adopt healthy eating and active living (HEAL) policies and practices that create healthy, prosperous communities. As a HEAL Campaign Member, the City of Lexington will receive technical assistance and resources to support their work to create a community where all people can make healthy choices to eat nutritious food and be physically active.

The purpose of the HEAL Campaign and its levels of recognition – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – is to recognize and motivate local governments’ continued achievement from passing a HEAL resolution to attaining its HEAL goals. Cities and towns pass a HEAL resolution to become a member of the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign. They advance to higher levels of HEAL recognition by adopting policies and practices that municipalities set as goals in a resolution to shape the community into a place where residents and employees can make healthy choices about food and physical activity. Cities and Towns are recognized as new members of the Campaign and for advancing to higher recognition levels at the Municipal League annual conference.

The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign has recognized City of Lexington as a new HEAL Campaign member. City of Lexington will now work with the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign to achieve goals in the Resolution 2019-06 passed on April 4, 2019.


RESOLUTION

Setting forth Lexington city’s commitment to promote healthy eating and active living

            WHEREAS, in January 2013, the Virginia Municipal League entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Institute for Public Health Innovation to work collaboratively on the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign; and

            WHEREAS, high rates of costly chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke and hypertension among both children and adults are correlated to environments with few or no options for healthy eating and active living; and

            WHEREAS, more children are being diagnosed with diseases linked to overweight and obesity previously seen only in adults, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease; and

            WHEREAS, the current generation of children are expected to have shorter lives than their parents due to the consequences of obesity; and

            WHEREAS, the City of Lexington has the ability to affect the health of its residents and employees; and

            WHEREAS, planning and creating an environment that encourages and provides access to healthy eating and active living can promote health; and

            WHEREAS, supporting the health of residents and the local workforce through the adoption and implementation of healthy eating and active can reduce health care costs, improve health and quality of life and attract economic development;

            NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Lexington City Council hereby recognizes that a commitment is needed to create environments that enable residents and government employees to make healthy choices safely, conveniently, and affordably. While individual lifestyle changes are necessary, individual effort alone is insufficient. Significant societal and environmental changes are needed to support individual efforts to make healthier choices. To that end, the City of Lexington adopts this Healthy Eating Active Living resolution:

General Wellness

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, whenever possible, City staff should partner with community agencies to achieve common goals by:

  • Collaborating with community organizations to determine regional goals around mental, physical and nutritional wellness using the following strategy:
    • Designate a City representative to attend regular meetings of Live Healthy Rockbridge, a community coalition working together to improve the health and quality of life of all people living in the Rockbridge community

Physical Activity, Active Transportation, and Land Use

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Lexingtonpersonnel responsible for the design and construction of parks, neighborhoods, streets, and business areas should make every effort to:

  •  Promote bikeability and walkability, using the following strategy:
    • Update the Comprehensive Plan to include provisions that promote bikeability and walkability

Access to Affordable Nutritious Foods

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Lexingtonpersonnel should make every effort to:

  • Develop/promote a community garden, using the following strategies:
    • Designate and develop public land for community garden use
    • Provide public resources for community garden (i.e. city pays for water)
  • Promote emergency food assistance availability, using the following strategy:
    • Educate City personnel, especially emergency responders, about sources of emergency food assistance so they can better support community members facing food insecurity

Municipal Workplace Wellness

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in order to promote wellness within the City of Lexington, and to set an example for other businesses, the City of Lexington pledges to adopt and implement a workplace wellness policy that will:

  • Involve the municipal staff in determining Lexington’s policy needs around municipal workplace wellness using the following strategy:
    • Convene a Workplace Wellness Committee that will meet quarterly to plan activities and brainstorm ways to promote healthy eating and active living for City of Lexington employees

Implementation

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the head of each affected agency or department should report back to the Lexington City Council annually regarding steps taken to implement the Resolution, additional steps planned, and any desired actions that would need to be taken by the Council.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Lexington City Staff shall work with HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign Staff to explore HEAL policies and to identify those policies and practices that are suitable for Lexington’s unique local circumstances.


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. These policies and practices set the framework for healthy, prosperous communities where people live, work, and play.

“At the Institute for Public Health Innovation, we know that creating policies that address healthy living at a local level is critical to addressing the personal, collective, and economic impact of obesity,” said Sydney Daigle, HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign Manager for the Mid-Atlantic. The HEAL Campaign will work the City of Lexington to address these issues and adopt policies and practices that promote healthy eating and active living.

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About the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic

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 at Sdaigle@institutephi.org, 240-253-1036 or follow @HEALMidAtlantic on Twitter.

About the Institute for Public Health Innovation

IPHI develops multi-sector partnerships and innovative solutions to improve the public’s health and well-being across Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Our work strengthens health systems and policy, enhances conditions that promote health, and builds community capacity to ensure equitable health opportunities for all. 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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