Helping Riverside Eat Healthier By Tackling Obesity
Riverside, Calif. – Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative announced plans to expand and strengthen its existing HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) interventions to promote healthier communities and healthier people in the Eastside of Riverside.
The Riverside Community Health Foundation, who serves as the lead agency for the Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative, is a recipient of a $1 million grant as part of a larger Kaiser Permanente HEAL Zone investment to promote healthy communities across Southern California, in collaboration with community partners. This marks the second phase of the HEAL Zone initiative.
HEAL Zones are designed to help make healthy choices accessible to more people in underserved communities — and in turn to prevent diseases such as diabetes and hypertension that often result from obesity. For more than four years, HEAL Zone sites in Southern California have implemented community-based strategies in neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces to improve healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices.
“We are excited to receive this funding from Kaiser Permanente and the opportunity to build upon the tremendous work of the Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative. This grant will help us to continue transforming the Eastside neighborhood into an environment where healthy eating and active living is not only possible but also collectively internalized,” said Ninfa Delgado, Vice President/COO, Riverside Community Health Foundation.
In addition to focusing on healthy eating and active living strategies, the new HEAL Zone grant will empower the collaborative to improve prevention, treatment, and management of obesity and its related conditions by facilitating referrals between clinics and community resources.
“I appreciate all the work that the HEAL Zone Collaborative has done to improve my community,” said Griselda Martinez, Eastside resident. “Now the people are more active and eat better, but we need to continue working together, so more people in our community can live a healthier life.”
Eastside HEAL Zone will also focus on three specific goals over the next three years:
- Increase consumption of healthy food and beverages, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking water, and decrease calorie consumption, especially sugar-sweetened beverages
- Increase physical activity
- Improve prevention, treatment, and management of obesity and its related conditions
The vision of the HEAL Zones is that at the end of the three-year initiative, communities will be measurably transformed, so that opportunities for engaging in healthy behaviors – walking and biking on safe routes, buying affordable fresh fruits and vegetables close to home, exercising in parks and participating in active after-school programs — are part of daily life.
“Obesity is one of the most pressing health concerns in our community today,” said Dr. Frank Flowers, Jr., Area Medical Director at Kaiser Permanente Riverside. “Poor diet, inactivity, and obesity contribute to the risk of many health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. We’re especially concerned about the high rate of childhood obesity in Riverside, 25.80%, which is above the state average of 22.32%. That’s why it’s important that we all work together to make it easier to eat healthy and move more in Riverside.”
Interested community residents and leaders are welcome to join the Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative. The Collaborative invites residents to become a part of the HEAL Zone Collaborative celebration on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at Riverside City Hall in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Room/Grier Pavilion (7th Floor), 3900 Main Street in Riverside from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. or in the city Council Chambers at 6:15 p.m.
To learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s HEAL Zones and HEAL Zone Initiative, visit http://healzones.org/ and http://community.kp.org/be-informed/program/heal-zones.
Follow the Collaborative on Facebook/Eastside HEAL Zone.
About Riverside Community Health Foundation:
Riverside Community Health Foundation (RCHF) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public benefit foundation. With a mission of improving the health and well-being of our community, RCHF is committed to providing access to quality health care and education for all. We believe that healthy and happy individuals lead to thriving communities, so we are passionate about creating and funding innovative programs that take an integrated approach to health and well-being and, in doing so, improve the quality of life for all. RCHF provides 100,000 encounters each year through our clinics, which are operated in partnership with Borrego Health, and our health education and outreach programs. RCHF funds approximately $1.6 million annually to other nonprofits and governmental agencies providing health care services and programs for residents of the cities of Riverside and Jurupa Valley. For more information about RCHF, visit rchf.org
About Kaiser Permanente, Riverside:
Kaiser Permanente opened its medical center in Riverside in 1989 and its hospital in Moreno Valley in 2008. Currently, we provide care for over 447,000 members throughout Riverside County. Over 500 physicians care for our members at 9 medical facilities and at Kaiser Permanente’s Riverside Medical Center and Moreno Valley Medical Center. Riverside Medical Center is licensed for 226 beds. Moreno Valley Medical Center has 101 licensed beds.
About Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 4.2 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information follow us on twitter; @KPSCALNews or go to: www.kp.org/share. River