Healthy Pittsfield

Healthy Pittsfield
Healthy Pittsfield is a community partnership comprised of various city, school, business and health service representatives, launched under the guidance of the City of Pittsfield Health Department.  The mission of the partnership is to develop and implement community-based initiatives that will measurably improve the health and quality of life of Pittsfield’s residents and work force.

The partnership has four key action areas: Active Living, Healthy Eating and Dining, Tobacco-Free Living and Mental Wellbeing.  Partners work to fulfill its mission by organizing resources, events, outreach, education and advocacy efforts to increase community members’ access to no-cost and low-cost opportunities to improve health outcomes via the four key action areas.

Current Partners

  • Pittsfield Family YMCA
  • Berkshire Health Systems
  • The Nutrition Center
  • New Life Chiropractic
  • Peak Performance Life Coaching
  • Berkshire Running Center
  • Cheryl Rose
  • Be Well Berkshires
  • Operation Better Start
  • The Christian Center
  • City of Pittsfield Parks & Recreation
  • City of Pittsfield Board of Health
  • City of Pittsfield Cultural Development
  • Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market
  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

New Partners always welcome!


Healthy Pittsfield has regular monthly meetings and anyone interested in collaborating on various initiatives is welcome to attend.  Healthy Pittsfield 2017 Meeting Schedule - Dates and location may change, so please call ahead to confirm.

Active Living


Living a sedentary lifestyle can have negative effects on the body and the mind.  Becoming more active on a daily basis can greatly improve physical health, as well as mental health, and can reduce the risk of major health issues such as heart disease and obesity.  Active Living can be as simple as walking and biking instead of driving or taking other forms of public transportation, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and decreasing the amount of TV/computer time.

The partnership strives to make it easier for Pittsfield citizens to lead an active lifestyle through promoting existing programs and creating new safe ways for community members of all ages to be active. Partners are working to:

  • create sustainable environmental changes that promote active living
  • coordinate programs and events
  • create Safe Routes to School initiatives

Have you heard of the “Pittsfield Walking Loops”? Healthy Pittsfield created a “Downtown” 2-mile walking loop that community members can walk or run located on the city’s central and inviting location of North Street.  The “Morningside “ loop is another option along Tyler Street, First Street, Fenn Street, East Street, Woodlawn Ave, Sliver Lake Blvd. Community members are invited to enjoy what Pittsfield has to offer while becoming more physically active.  The loops are marked with green signage along the way to guide pedestrians.  Healthy Pittsfield hopes to implement more loops throughout the city so that they are more accessible to the entire community.

Partners developed the Active Living Resources for Pittsfield.  Pittsfield has so many local indoor and outdoor opportunities for physical activity, many of which are free! 


Healthy Eating and Dining


A Food Access Resource list has been created to help people locate community meals, food assistance programs and nutrition education programs in Pittsfield. Berkshire Food Web is also a resource provided by the Nutrition Center, for locating services throughout the county

We know being overweight can lead to serious health issues including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure and affect ones quality of life.  The partnership strives to support healthy behaviors by improving access to healthy foods in the community and providing education about healthy diets.  Today more meals are eaten outside the home to coordinate with busy lifestyles.  To give individuals the opportunity to make healthier choices when dining out at local restaurants, the partnership is working to expand restaurant participation in the Healthy Dining Program.

Looking for fresh, local produce for you and your family to enjoy?  Visit Downtown Pittsfield’s Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 9am to 1pm from May 11th through October 26th, located on First Street across from the Common.  Like “Pittsfield Farmer’s Market” on Facebook for local news and events. Another great resource, Leanne Brown offers a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, "Good and Cheap" eat well on $4 a day! a free PDF is available to download.

Tobacco-Free Living

Tobacco use is still a leading cause of preventable death in our community.  Not only is it important to help people quit, but it is also important to limit people’s exposure to secondhand smoke.  Healthy Pittsfield is working to promote tobacco cessation programs that are offered and to support the implementation of smoke-free housing.

  • Kick the Habit. Stop Smoking!

-   Most smokers try to stop smoking 5 – 6 times before being successful.

-   Don’t feel as though you are alone, let friends help you.
-   Don’t try to taper off.  Success rates are better for those who quit completely.  SET A -- QUIT DATE
     and circle it on your calendar.
-   Make a list of your reasons for quitting.  Keep it with you and read it when you are tempted to light up.
-   Ask your healthcare provider about nicotine replacement therapy.
-   Throw away all cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters and matches.
-   Increase your intake of liquids – especially water.  Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
-   Avoid situations you associate with smoking.
 
Choose a smoking cessation option to help you go through the process of quitting:

Berkshire Health Systems Tobacco Treatment Services
BMC & Hillcrest Campus  499-2602
Fairview Hospital 854-9622
These programs are usually covered by insurance, and there is individual or group counseling, and nicotine replacement therapy.

The website is:  http://www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/quitnowBMC

Your health insurance may help you quit. Click the link to learn more about what your insurance may cover and how to stop smoking.   http://www.makesmokinghistory.org/
  • Tobacco Awareness Program of the Berkshires

The Tobacco Awareness Program works to provide the community with information about the regulations of tobacco sales and educate the community with the health effects that tobacco use and second- hand smoke can have on an individual’s life.

For more information about the Tobacco Awareness Program of the Berkshires visit http://www.tritownhealth.org/tobacco.php

Mental Wellbeing

Chronic stress, anxiety and depression often contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, excessive alcohol and drug use and other destructive behaviors.  The partnership will work with stakeholders to offer stress management education and awareness programs and support community initiatives that aim to improve mental wellbeing.

ACTIVITIES UNDERWAY:

1.    Promotion of local food access/nutrition education and active living resource guides
2.    Expand the Healthy Dining Program in local restaurants
3.    Facilitate collaboration for an improved local food system
4.    Promote and increase utilization of the existing Walking Loops & Walking Clubs
5.    Implement Safe Routes to school environmental changes in Morningside neighborhood
6.    Monthly educational column in the Berkshire Eagle
7.    Promotion of smoking cessation programs and smoke-free housing initiatives
8.    Development of action plan to address mental wellbeing & substance abuse prevention
9.    Annual Mayor's Fitness Challenge Campaign


If you are interested in becoming a Healthy Pittsfield partner, contact Gina Armstrong, Pittsfield Health Department at 413-499-9411 or garmstrong@pittsfieldch.com.