FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 22, 2019

WalkWorks Program Improves Health of Communities Through Physical Activity, Expands Throughout State

Pittsburgh, PA The WalkWorks program, a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, is continuing to grow, adding two new locations, Community Health Council of Lebanon County and East Forest Schools in Forest County.

“Having access to areas where residents can walk, bike or perform any other recreational activity is essential in helping to keep Pennsylvanians healthy,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “I can speak first-hand to the benefit of a designated walking route, as I actively participate once a month in a walking group that utilizes a WalkWorks route around the Capitol Complex. Physical activity can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and premature death. Being active also helps prevent weight gain, reduce depression and improve cognitive function in older adults.”

The new affiliates are already working with community partners to identify and agree on potential routes. WalkWorks will provide technical assistance, promotional materials and signs to the new community partners.

“These communities have demonstrated their commitment to expanding opportunities for physical activity in the built environment,” said Carol Reichbaum, M.S.L., M.S.P.A., director of WalkWorks in Pitt Public Health’s Center for Public Health Practice. “Each will engage community members to assist with the identification of a 1- to 2-mile walking route, which will be used by walking groups.”

“This is great news,” said Nicole Maurer, Executive Director of Community Health Council of Lebanon County. “We are truly excited about being selected to be part of a program that encourages our constituents to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle and we look forward to working with WalkWorks and the City of Lebanon to implement this initiative in our community.”

“This is great news,” said Debra Arner, Principal of East Forest Schools. “We are truly excited about being selected to be part of a program that encourages our students, their families and the community-at-large to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle and we look forward to working with WalkWorks and our community to implement this initiative in our community.”

Funding for WalkWorks is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and the State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, both from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information about WalkWorks, visit www.pawalkworks.com or follow the Department of Health on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, founded in 1948 and now one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, conducts research on public health and medical care that improves the lives of millions of people around the world. Pitt Public Health is a leader in devising new methods to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other important public health problems. For more information about Pitt Public Health, visit the school’s Web site at www.publichealth.pitt.edu.  

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Nate Wardle, 717-787-1783 or ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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