Prince George County, Virginia was recognized at the Virginia Municipal League Annual Conference, by the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic as a Gold Level Leader. The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign supports local elected officials to adopt policies that create healthy, prosperous communities. As a HEAL County, Prince George County works to create a community where all people can make healthy choices to eat nutritious food and be physically active.

The County’s HEAL policies and practices include a Community Health Action Team focused on staff and community wellness initiatives, a Mobile Home Park Rehabilitation Team working towards an improved residential environment, and a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which opened up a payment system for SNAP users at the community Farmers’ Market.

Municipalities and their residents face increased medical costs and diminished quality of life due to the epidemic of obesity and overweight. Municipal leaders across the Virginia are addressing the crisis by adopting local policies that encourage physical activity and nutritious eating.

The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic is an initiative of the Institute for Public Health Innovation that began in 2012. Through a strategic partnership with the Virginia and Maryland Municipal Leagues and funding from Kaiser Permanente, the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign provides free coaching and technical assistance to municipal leaders to adopt local policies that promote access to healthy, affordable foods, convenient access to opportunities for physical activity and recreation, and workplace wellness for municipal employees. These policies set the framework for healthy, prosperous communities where people live, work, and play.

Percy C. Ashcraft, County Administrator, stated “The County is committed to healthy eating, active living and community wellness. The local programs developed have positively impacted the lives of County staff and residents of our community. Prince George County is honored to be recognized as a Gold Level HEAL Community Leader at the Virginia Municipal League 2016 Annual Conference by the Institute for Public Health Innovation.”

“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 in Virginia,” said Susan DeFrancesco, HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign Manager for the Mid-Atlantic. “We are honored to work with Prince George County and congratulate them on reaching the Gold Level designation in our HEAL Leaders Club. It’s a reflection of the County’s strong commitment to doing what it can to promote the health and well-being of its citizens and County employees.”

About Prince George County, VA

Prince George County is 276-square-miles centrally located by the James and Appomattox Rivers in the Richmond, VA MSA. The county is ideally situated on I-95 and I-295, providing ready access to all major East Coast and Sunbelt markets.

In the last decade, Prince George County has become known for its concentration in advanced and aerospace manufacturing. With Rolls-Royce North America’s 1,000 acre Crosspointe Campus and state-of-the-art collaborative R&D facilities such as the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, the county is well positioned to welcome a growing and healthy workforce. Visit www.princegeorgecountyva.gov.

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

The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign provides free technical assistance and coaching to support municipal officials to adopt policies that improve their community’s physical activity and food environments. Supporting healthy choices is essential to address the obesity epidemic among Maryland and Virginia’s children and adults.

For more information, visit www.healmidatlantic.org or contact Susan DeFrancesco, director of the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic at 240-252-2016 or at sdefrancesco@institutephi.org. Follow @HEALMidAtlantic on Twitter.

About the Institute for Public Health Innovation

The Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHi) provides technical capacity, leverages resources, and facilitates collaboration across sectors to develop, implement, and evaluate effective strategies that improve health and quality of life in the DC, Maryland and Virginia region. IPHi is one of the newest institutes within the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), an organization of 38 members throughout the United States and a growing aspect of the national public health infrastructure. To learn more about IPHi, visit www.institutephi.org.