When the HEAL Campaign launched in 2012, we were a small initiative just getting started. Since then, the Campaign has grown to 68 members, released dozens of resources, hosted webinars, published articles, and featured spotlight articles on our cities and towns.

Now, we would like to thank you for being part of the Campaign by providing you with a new and updated HEAL Campaign Website ( HEALCitiesMIDAtlantic.Org) where you can easily access our wide inventory of tools and resources to help you implement your HEAL policy goals. With a new fresh face, we hope that the new site is easy to access and easy to use.
If you have any questions or difficulty accessing the materials, please let us know. We are more than happy to help you find the resources you need to make your HEAL policy goals a reality.

Thank you again for being a member of our ever-growing community -- we hope that our Campaign continues to inspire and encourage healthier policies, practices, and environmental changes in cities, towns, and counties throughout Maryland and Virginia.

Last month, the HEAL Campaign attended the annual Virginia Municipal League (VML) Conference in Roanoke where we had the great honor of welcoming two new HEAL Campaign members and honoring the achievements of four current Campaign members. This year's honorees include:

  • The City of Lexington and Surry County for passing a HEAL resolution and joining the Campaign.

  • The Town of Scottsville and The Town of Ashland received Bronze recognition for incorporating HEAL goals in a recent comprehensive plan update and a workplace wellness program to incentivize staff wellness through fitness classes, educational activities, and monetary rewards.

  • The Town of Dumfries and the Town of Wytheville 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 healthy eating and active living work reaches across government departments and is being evaluated and monitored.

Congratulations to all our Virginia members who have been working hard this past year to implement your HEAL policy goals. We're looking forward to seeing you next year!
Featured above - The Town of Wytheville (left); The Town of Dumfries (center); The City of Lexington (right). Photo credit: Manuel Timbreza.

This month, we're highlighting our two newest Virginia Platinum towns - the towns of Dumfries and Wytheville . Read how th ese towns are accomplishing HEAL resolution goals and the steps they took to reach Platinum, the highest HEAL recognition level!

Interested in having your city or town featured in an upcoming Spotlight article? Please send a request to Sydney at

Resource | Sugary Drink Taxes – ChangeLab Solutions has produced a series of resources to help state and local governments understand how taxes can decrease sugary drink consumption and raise local revenues that can be invested in creating healthier communities. Resources include -- Designing Sugary Drink Taxes: A legal & practical guide; Model Legislation Requiring Safety Warning for Sugary Drinks; and Sugary Drink Warning Labels: A Legal Update.

Case Study | Colorful Crosswalks In the past few months, news stories have brought attention to conflict between US cities and towns that have created aesthetically pleasing crosswalks (i.e. painted streets) and the Federal Highway Administration that has called these design changes dangerous and distracting. In opposition to these claims, cities and towns are proving colorful intersections can lower traffic speed and create safer spaces for all. Read how this neighborhood in the City of Somerville, MA demonstrated the myriad benefits of crosswalk art.

Webinar |   Beyond the Physical: Mental and Social Benefits of Walkable Communities  – Join America Walks for an engaging webinar on the myriad benefits of walking that extend beyond our individual physical health. Learn how walking and walkability are associated with social connectedness and a positive sense of well-being. The webinar will be held on November 20th at 2 PM EST. Register here .

Resource | Library Bike Share -- Libraries throughout the country are launching bike-share programs where members can check-out free community bikes, locks, and helmets. Unlike most bike-share programs, these programs are free for anyone with a library card. Find out how communities are implementing these programs in cities and towns throughout the US.

Resource | Disrupting Food Insecurity -- The Urban Institute provides a comprehensive yet digestible resource on strategies communities can take to reduce food insecurity in rural and suburban communities. By addressing challenges families face, including access to affordable housing, medical care, and financial opportunities, communities can leverage resources to ensure residents have access to healthy, affordable food options. View the dashboard to find information on your state or read the list of strategies t o learn more about addressing these issues in your city or town.

Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities This program will award seven communities $12,500 to implement Safe Routes to Parks action plans through tailored technical assistance based off of the Safe Routes to Parks Action Framework. The framework provides a structured process by which communities can increase safe and equitable access to their parks and green spaces. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations working closely with parks and transportation decision-makers. Applications are due by December 16th, 2019. Learn more.

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, please visit the website,  or contact HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign Manager, Sydney Daigle at