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City of Wheeling Recognized for Healthy Practices

Jesse Mestrovic, director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Wheeling, displays a West Virginia Healthy People Healthy Place Silver Award presented to the city on Tuesday in Charleston during the West Virginia Association of Counties conference luncheon. (Photo Provided)

WHEELING – Programs and policies that help promote good health in the City of Wheeling have earned recognition from the State of West Virginia.

Officials from Wheeling accepted a Silver Award on Tuesday at the West Virginia Association of Counties conference in Charleston as part of the inaugural West Virginia Healthy People Healthy Places initiative. The award honors the city for outstanding work to improve health of residents by implementing policies and programs that help people in the community do everything from eat better to move more, as well as live and work in a tobacco-free environment.

The application to the West Virginia Health People Healthy Places initiative — submitted by the City of Wheeling Parks & Recreation Department — focused on benchmarks in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and tobacco use. Jesse Mestrovic, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, said the greater Wheeling community should be honored by this distinction, adding that community partners that helped in this effort included Grow Ohio Valley, Ohio County Schools, the Ohio County Health Department, the West Virginia University Extension office and Fun-Raiser.

“This shows that Wheeling is a champion in the state with its commitment to improving health and quality of life,” Mestrovic said. “It takes a village — and in this case, a city — to achieve this level of success. Our fellow governmental agencies and community partners played a key role in achieving this recognition. With this Silver Award, it shows that our work is not done, and next year we will pursue gold status.”

Mestrovic thanked the community partners for their help and support in making Wheeling a healthier place to live.

Members of Wheeling City Council thanked Mestrovic for his efforts in helping the city achieve the silver status.

“It’s a really great recognition for the city because it shows that we are a champion in the state with a commitment to improving our health and quality of life, and that we go above and beyond to make health and wellness a priority,” Councilwoman Melinda Koslik said.

The Healthy People Healthy Places recognition program, in its inaugural year, is a statewide recognition of communities that showcase a commitment to supporting healthy choices through policy, environment, community-clinical linkages and systems changes.

West Virginia Healthy People Healthy Places is a program of the Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, which noted that major causes of death and disability in the state are attributed to chronic conditions, many of which are preventable.

The state agencies developed the initiative to recognize communities with a commitment to supporting healthy choices through Healthy People Healthy Places.

A total of seven communities across West Virginia will be recognized during today’s ceremony in Charleston for their commitment to the health and well-being of West Virginians.

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