Gaithersburg Promotes Healthy Lifestyle
The Mayor and City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Monday, May 5 allowing the city of Gaithersburg to join the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign. HEAL encourages the adoption of policies and implementation of programs to help stem the obesity epidemic and create healthy, prosperous communities. There are fourteen municipalities in Maryland and Virginia that are currently participating.
Several initiatives are already in place to support the HEAL Campaign in Gaithersburg. A Workplace Wellness Committee was convened earlier this spring, made up of employee representatives from each department in the City who serve as ambassadors to promote wellness in both professional and personal environments.
The City’s Bike Master Plan was recently reviewed, and several elements have been prioritized for implementation, including the application of share the road arrows and improved signage to foster greater awareness amongst cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
A pilot program to offer and solicit feedback on healthier options in vending machines at City facilities is being developed, and the City is also designating lactation space within each City facility for employees who are breast feeding.
The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic began in 2012 when the Institute for Public Health Innovation embarked on the initiative. Through a strategic partnership with the Virginia Municipal League and the Maryland Municipal League, 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.