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Welcome VA HEAL C/Ts
HEAL Network
Spotlights of the Month
Tools & Resources
Funding & Awards
About Us
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 Congratulations Virginia HEAL Members! 
Last week the HEAL Team attended the annual Virginia Municipal League Conference in Hampton, VA where we welcomed three new members and recognized the achievements of eleven Virginia cities, towns, and counties. Our current awardees include....  *drumroll please* 

NEW MEMBERS -  Recognition for joining the HEAL Campaign and passing a HEAL Resolution: 
  • City of Fairfax 
  • City of Manassas
  • Town of Scottsville
BRONZE -  Recognition for adopting/implementing ONE new HEAL policy, practice, or program:  
  • City of Fairfax: Launched Farm to Fairfax, the City's producer-only farmers market. 
  • City of Roanoke: Initiated a workplace wellness program for City staff including health and wellness workshops, walking groups, stress reduction strategies, and an enhanced employee health fair.
SILVER -  Recognition for adopting/implementing TWO new HEAL policy, practice, or program:
  • Town of Ashland: Initiated workplace wellness programs for Town staff, including: point-based monetary rewards for employees who participate; reimbursements for gym memberships; and, an annual family subscription to the Town's pool.
  • City of Falls Church: Established a healthy vending program in its Community Center and established a City-wide urban agriculture program beginning with a community garden at City Hall.
  • The County of Greensville: Engaged the County's Community Health Action Team that works to bring effective health-oriented programs to rural communities. Their work has helped launch community events and provided funding for an upgraded river nature trail, EBT card use at the local farmers market, and a playground at a children's park. They were also recognized for their financial support of their local YMCA's Diabetes Control Program.
GOLD -  Recognition for adopting/implementing THREE new HEAL policy, practice, or program:
  • Town of Big Stone Gap; Provided free nutrition classes at their Tourist and Information Center, provided free exercise classes like weekly Zumba classes, and took the million mile challenge as a town - which aims to have residents collectively walk one million miles in a year. 
  • The Town of Bluefield: Initiated smoke-free public parks and recreation areas, held an annual 5K run, and established a straw bale community garden for residents downtown.
  • Town of Dumfries: Initiated workplace wellness by establishing a staff garden and issued pedometers and stand-up workstations to town staff.
  • Town of Wytheville: Created walking trails and maps to promote walking in their downtown, provided a free, daily, nutritious snack to children at the municipal swimming pool, and installed handicap-accessible exercise equipment along an existing outdoor walking path. 
PLATINUM - Recognition for members that have  attained Gold status and provide evidence that their healthy eating and active living work reaches across government departments and is being monitored and evaluated: 
  • City of Hopewell: The City has been a member of the Campaign since 2015 and accomplished many of their HEAL goals. Through a public-private partnership, they've conducted their Fitness Warrior program to provide free fitness classes at facilities in communities that are lacking opportunities for affordable fitness options. They've also worked with partners to establish a community garden in a food desert that provides food to a local food pantry and community residents. Finally, they've integrated a health focus into their Comprehensive plan.
  • Prince George County: The County joined the Campaign in 2015.  They have worked on many diverse HEAL initiatives, including workplace wellness programs run by their interdepartmental Wellness Committee. These programs included an employee health fair, implementing Healthy Living Day Off for employees, and integrating healthy snacks into County administration and police department offices. They have also worked to improve access to play areas in low-income communities and ensured that Farmers markets have the support they need to accept SNAP/EBT. 


HEAL Campaign members at the 2018 VML Conference in Hampton, VA

HEAL Network 
The conference was a great opportunity  to see some familiar faces and connect with our members. We always enjoy hearing about what HEAL policies and practices you're working on in your communities. There are so many interesting and inspiring initiatives happening in our cities and towns, and we are always eager to hear more! If you have initiatives you would like to pursue or are currently implementing, please feel free to reach out to the HEAL Team.

We are happy to share resources and provide complimentary technical assistance to help you move your HEAL ideas forward. In addition, as a member of the HEAL Campaign, you also have access to our extensive peer network. We have cities, towns, and counties throughout the region that are working on a host of innovative HEAL initiatives (see accomplishments  from our VA honorees above). We are always happy to connect you with another municipality working on an initiative you're interested in pursuing! 

For information and technical assistance, contact HEAL Staff: Sydney Daigle, and Julia Groenfeldt,

Spotlights of the Month 
This month we're sharing the accomplishments of our newest Platinum members from the City of Hopewell and Prince George County, VA. This City and County are championing healthy eating and active living policies and practices through innovative and sustainable approaches to HEAL implementation.   Please take a few minutes to read the accomplishments of the City of Hopewell, VA and Prince George County, VA. Read the Spotlight articles here

National League of Cities | City Summit 
The National League of Cities is hosting the upcoming City Summit conference in Los Angeles, CA on November 7-10, 2018. The HEAL Campaign is considering offering programing at the upcoming summit; however, we would first like to learn which of our VA and MD HEAL cities and towns will be attending the summit. 

If you will be attending the upcoming conference, please let us know by emailing Sydney Daigle at

Tools and Resources
Resource | What Works? Social and Economic Opportunities to Improve Health for All -   This report from County Health Rankings and Roadmaps outlines key steps toward building healthier and more equitable communities and features specific policies and programs that can improve social and economic opportunities and health for all. Find more information and download the report  here.  
Webinar | Bringing Local Data to Life: Using New Life Expectancy Data to Spark Change  - Join Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and partners for this upcoming webinar on how to use local life expectancy data to pinpointing health disparities and drive action. Learn how to use data to examine the factors that may be influencing health such as access to health care, safe and affordable housing, and educational opportunities. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 16th at 1 PM EST. Information and registration here
Resource | Access to Healthy Food Combats Older Adult Malnutrition  The Building Healthy Places blog explores how coordinated services from healthcare to housing can create livable, age-friendly communities that support the economic, health, and social needs of older adults. Check out the blog here. 
Wellbeing City Award Nominations   The Wellbeing City Award recognizes cities that place their residents' wellbeing at the center of their policies. It highlights the winning cities' initiatives, putting them on a global stage to tell their story, share best practices, and serve as inspiration for fellow city leaders. If you would like your city nominated, email the Julia Groenfeldt, HEAL Program Associate, at We're happy to nominate you for this award! Nomination  deadline is October 15, 2018. 
Funding and Awards
Community Change Grants RFA - America Walks and partners are awarding grantees $1,500.00 in community stipends for projects related to creating healthy, active, and engaged places to live, work, and play. This grant program will work to provide support to the growing network of advocates, organizations, and agencies using innovative, engaging, and inclusive programs and projects to create change at the community level. Applications are due by November 2nd, 5 PM EST. Find more information here
About Us
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 on the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, p lease visit the website at or contact HEAL Campaign Associate, Julia Groenfeldt at
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