The Aegis
Harford County

Bel Air finance director honored for town employee health and wellness programs

Bel Air Finance Director Lisa Moody is in charge of looking after the Town of Bel Air's budget, but she has taken on an additional effort in the past decade, looking after the health and well being of her co-workers.

She was honored for that effort Tuesday evening with the Silver HEAL Leader award from the Healthy Eating Active Living Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic. Member communities work with the campaign to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles among municipal employees and residents.


Mayor Susan Burdette, who accepted the award on Bel Air's behalf during the Maryland Municipal League's annual conference in Ocean City in June, presented the award to Moody as a surprise during a town commissioners' meeting Tuesday night.

The MML, along with the Virginia Municipal League, partners with the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic. The regional initiative is funded through the Kaiser Permanente health care firm, according to the program website,


"It was a very nice surprise, it really was, for the town to get recognized for that, and we're going to strive to make a different in that HEAL program as time goes on," Moody said Wednesday.

Moody, an avid runner, is the chair of the town's Wellness Committee, which was formed in 2008 as a subcommittee of Bel Air's risk management program to promote employee health and safety.

Moody has worked for the town for 20 years, and she exercises regularly and works to eat healthy.

"It's personally important to me, so if I can share with employees and if it makes a difference in somebody's life, that's a good thing," she said of healthy living.

Burdette said Moody has recently promoted fitness among town employees with the FitKIK Pebble device, which can be attached to a person's shoe to measure their steps, by a healthy eating through healthy snacks in vending machines campaign and by enrolling employees in a community supported agriculture program to purchase fresh produce from local farmers.

The CSA is offered through Brad's Produce, of Churchville, according to Burdette.

The town earned silver leader status because of the FitKIK program and the CSA, Moody said.

Fifty out of nearly 100 full and part-time town employees participate in the FitKIK program, and they have logged a combined 59.07 million steps since the program started Oct. 1, 2015, Moody said.


The town provides incentives to employees for their participation and reaching goals in the various programs. The Wellness Committee also hosts regular wellness fairs and lunch and learn sessions for employees.

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"We try to keep it fresh and come up with new ideas," Moody said.

Bel Air is one of 27 Maryland municipalities that are HEAL members. Aberdeen, one of Bel Air's sister Harford County municipalities, is also a HEAL city, according to the program's website.

Burdette said Wednesday that Planning Director Kevin Small and former Mayor Robert Reier have also been supporters of the town's HEAL programs.

She said staffers have become competitive over who can walk the most steps, and heathy food and drinks are the norm at employee gatherings.

"We've definitely seen a difference in what the staff are eating," Burdette said. "They'll pick water over soda now."


Being a HEAL member also helps the town when applying for grants for capital improvements or programs that promote active lifestyles for residents. The HEAL initiatives have been incorporated into the town's comprehensive and sustainability plans.

"We can now say that we're a HEAL city, which lets [grantors] know that we have all these health programs in place," Burdette said.