HEAL SPotlight: Prince george county, vA
Updated July 2019
In October 2018, Prince George County, Virginia earned the HEAL Campaign’s Platinum recognition, the highest achievement award for the County’s efforts to create opportunities for residents and County staff to eat better and move more. The Platinum award recognizes Gold Level cities, towns, or counties that can demonstrate their policies and practices are monitored and evaluated and HEAL implementation is integrated across government departments. The HEAL Campaign recognizes Prince George County’s efforts to promote health and wellness throughout the community by engaging citizens and employees to create a culture of health and wellness.
After passing a HEAL Resolution in 2015, the County Administrator launched the Community Health Action Team (CHAT), an interdepartmental committee of government department leaders. The committee has been instrumental in initiating and expanding HEAL activities such as expanding walking trails, upgrading playgrounds, increasing recreational program, and hosting a Citizen Wellness Fair. The County is also helping citizens access healthier food options by funding SNAP/EBT acceptance (formerly known as food stamps) at the local Farmer’s Market.
Further, HEAL activity implementation is monitored through the County’s Six-Month Workplan process, which was initiated the County Administrator in 2011. The HEAL initiatives are incorporated into this workplan to provide the County with a framework to monitor progress towards HEAL goals included in the HEAL resolution. This workplan also monitors and tracks the progress of the County’s Wellness Committee, a committee that is leading the County’s staff workplace wellness initiatives. The Wellness Committee is supported by staff from multiple departments who either serve on the committee or have worked on one of its many diverse HEAL initiatives, including: installing nine outdoor exercise stations on walking trails around the County complex; hosting an employee Healthy Living Day; holding staff wellness challenges such as the STEP’s Challenge; implementing Healthy Living Day Off for employees; and integrating healthy snacks into County administration and police department offices.
The network of partners from throughout County government has enabled it to move HEAL policies and practices forward that address community needs. The County's CHAT and Wellness Committee has effectively engaged both community members and employees as it strives towards healthier policies and practices for all residents. Through the support of the CHAT committee, Wellness Committee, and engaged stakeholders and community members, the County has attained the highest HEAL Resolution status – congratulations, Prince George County!