The Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease (HPCD) within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Public Health today recognized seven communities with the new Healthy People Healthy Places designation at an awards ceremony held as part of the West Virginia Association of Counties (WVACo) Conference in Charleston, West Virginia.
“These inaugural awards resulted from key stakeholders coming together to put forth a strong plan to address obesity after the national 2018 Southern Obesity Summit that took place in Charleston in 2018," said Jessica Wright, HPCD Director. "Our goal is to recognize good work going on in communities that truly supports health as a social and cultural norm.”
The Healthy People Healthy Places program celebrates communities committed to supporting healthy choices. Gold-level awardees are Greenbrier County, City of Martinsburg, Mingo County, City of West Hamlin, and Wirt County. Silver-level awardees are the City of Huntington and the City of Wheeling.
“These exemplary communities are encouraging residents and visitors to eat better, be more active and discourage the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes," said Dr. Cathy Slemp, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR's Bureau for Public Health. "Communities that aim to achieve Healthy People Healthy Places program benchmarks are actively investing in their own future, for we know that health and economic development build off of each other."
Designated Healthy People Healthy Places communities receive signage and other materials to publicize their commitment to policies, programs and practices that promote healthier lifestyle decisions. The Healthy People Healthy Places program also provides advice and assistance to expand the impact of community efforts.
"With our vision to be a partner in creating a better West Virginia, the West Virginia Association of Counties is pleased to celebrate these honored communities," said Phyllis Yokum, President of WVACo Board of Directors.