A partnership between LiveWell Colorado and the City of Pueblo, the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign provides training and technical assistance to help municipal officials adopt policies that improve access to healthy eating and active living (HEAL) in their communities.
What makes a city or town healthy?
It’s about more than nice views, clean surroundings and a busy economy. Healthy cities offer environments that give residents plenty of opportunities to be physically active and eat healthy foods. Bike lanes, recreation centers, farmers’ markets — these are the kind of 21st century resources that make towns vital and attractive to both home buyers and businesses.
People want to work and live in a place that makes it easy to live well.
Pueblo’s HEAL Elite Status
Many people in Pueblo contributed to the city earning LiveWell’s highest measure of accomplishment – Elite – not the least of which was Lindsay Reeves, Pueblo Triple Aim’s Community Engagement Director. At least she was… until this month. I don’t know that I can adequately describe the passion Lindsay has had for population health in Pueblo and turning the discussion about it into action. Here are her words on Pueblo’s HEAL work. Keep up the strong work, Lindsay. She will be missed in Pueblo Triple Aim, but we know she will keep working for Pueblo’s health.
Executive Director, Pueblo Triple Aim
In October 2014, Pueblo City Council passed a resolution designating Pueblo as a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) City as part of the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign sponsored by LiveWell Colorado. The passing of this resolution was so much more than a fancy piece of paper. It was a statement by our city's leaders that would ultimately help Pueblo to be distinguished among six other Colorado communities as making a concerted effort to provide opportunities for its citizens to live healthy lives.
Over the past two and a half years, numerous policies have been passed by City Council to increase physical activity access across the city, put focus on the importance of worksite wellness for City employees and to provide more access to safe, affordable healthy food. Each of these focus areas combine to make up the overall HEAL work.
Active Community Policies
Numerous improvements have been made to the City's infrastructure to support cycling and walking in the community. Projects such as the installation of numerous bike lanes, streetscaping to encourage walking and wayfinding signs, bicycle racks and pedestrian countdown timers all made up the policies that were passed in this focus area.
Healthy Workplace Policies
In January 2017, the City Manager designated staff time of one Human Relations Analyst to work specifically on worksite wellness opportunities for City employees. Since then, a series of Lunch and Learn events happen each month with topics ranging from yoga and mindfulness to cholesterol screenings and ways to incorporate physical activity into the workday.
Healthy Food Access Policies
Community gardens are an integral part of providing healthy, fresh, local and affordable food to neighborhoods that are considered "food deserts" (residents live less than a 1 mi radius from a full service grocery store). The City of Pueblo passed a resolution to support the zoning and establishment of community gardens throughout the City. This allows for the opportunity for more local produce to find its way into the hands of citizens who need it most.
Working for the Pueblo Triple Aim Corporation has been the greatest professional joy I've had in my career thus far. Having the opportunity to work alongside so many community agencies to develop action plans for change has lead to many successes. Doing business differently has become the norm and challenging the status quo has become a common language across the community. Population health has become my passion, Pueblo will always be the place I call home and I will continue working on these important issues until we have created a community where everyone can live, work, play and most importantly THRIVE! Thank you for your continued support of Pueblo Triple Aim, the goals and initiatives that will ultimately make Pueblo the Healthiest County in Colorado, and for always putting the needs and benefits of our community ahead of any one specific agency agenda. It is Together that we can make a difference and it is Together that we will achieve success. Thank You!