With the holidays upon us, there will be no shortage of celebrations and abundance of treats. While its fun to indulge here and there, its also easy to overdo it if you find yourself caught in a wintertime blizzard of sugars and fats.
How can the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign help this holiday season? One option is to adopt and implement a nutrition standard in the workplace. Such a standard sets guidelines for including healthy food and beverage options at all workplace and/or city-sponsored events.

No, this does not make the local government the Grinch! A nutrition standard adds healthy choices to each municipal workplace meeting or city or town-sponsored event. The city/town is by no means telling its employees or residents what to eat, but rather offering opportunities for them to make a healthy choice if they desire.

Physical activity is the other essential component to combating obesity and chronic disease. Snowed in? Too cold outside to get in a lunch time walk? No worries! The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign also offers a  workplace wellness toolkit to help support movement during the work day. Examples include an active stairwell policy and physical activity break policy. ( Policies are listed just below the table).

In addition to some festive treat ideas, please review our sample nutrition standard policy and healthy meeting policy The holidays are the best time to share and shape traditions - will your city or town build a culture of health this year?

This fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a new series of short videos that address community health and chronic disease prevention. Each video features a different concern shared by many local leaders and business owners across communities large and small, answering why community health is important to the economic development and vitality of their city or town. 

What is "the bottom line"?  Making healthy living easier for communities can help increase profits, bring in more customers, and build goodwill. Sounds like a win-win! T he nine videos can be found on the CDC's Community Health YouTube Playlist . Watch, learn, and share!
Health Initiatives Boost Economic Development
Health Initiatives Boost Economic Development


The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign would like to welcome the City of Hopwell, VA as its 50 th member of the Mid-Atlantic campaign. Located 24 miles southeast of Richmond, Hopewell sits at the confluence of the James and Appomattox rivers. Resolution goals will be worked on by Hopewell Health Coalition, City Staff, and the Director of Recreation and Parks to increase opportunities for physical activity and affordable nutritious food in both the city and municipal workplace.


The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign is thankful for the continued support from both the Maryland and Virginia Municipal Leagues. This fall we were able to attend both the VML Annual Conference in Richmond as well as MML's Fall Conference in Cambridge. We absolutely LOVE how the leagues are actively showing their support for healthy eating and active living, particularly with the healthy food and beverage options offered at both events. Kale salads, dried fruit & nuts, and infused water - just to name a few!

Twenty-two cities and towns were recognized at the Virginia Municipal League conference in October.


Thank you to those who participated in the Cross-Site Evaluation survey being conducted by our funder, Kaiser Permanente, across each of the five states (California, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, and Virginia) in which the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign is implemented. $100 of Visa gift cards were at offered to winners from both Maryland and Virginia who entered the drawing at the end of the survey. 

Congratulations to the following:
Anthony L. Ayers, Sr. [Capitol Heights, MD]*
Michael Bennett [Aberdeen, MD]*
Katrina Dodro [New Carrollton, MD]*
Lawrence D Hughes [Mount Rainier, MD]*
Phil Miskovic [Crewe, VA]
Michael O'Connor [Frederick, MD]*

Each of you will be contacted this week directly by the Evaluators to confirm your mailing address.

* The MD Gift Law prohibits gifts to individuals over $20                          

As another year comes to end, we are excited that 2016 will include an improved version of the HEAL Leaders Club, success stories from our first Small Grants Program, and a Sustainable Maryland Certified HEAL "action"!  We wish you a healthy and safe holiday season and a very happy New Year. Please stay tuned for more details about HEAL in January 2016.

Your HEAL Team
    Marisa Jones
    Evelyn Kelly
    Kate McGrail
    Mike Royster