Ontario Receives $1 Million Heal Zone Grant from Kaiser Permanente
ONTARIO, CA.- The City of Ontario will receive a $1,000,000 HEAL Zone grant. Kaiser Permanente announced plans to expand and strengthen their existing Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) interventions to promote healthier communities and healthier people in Ontario.
“Improving the health of the communities we serve has always been a central part of Kaiser Permanente’s mission,” said Greg Christian, Senior Vice President and Area Manager for Kaiser Permanente San Bernardino County Area. “We are pleased to invest these significant resources to help increase access to healthy food and physical activities for families in Ontario.”
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.
The grant is part of a larger Kaiser Permanente HEAL Zone investment to promote healthy communities across Southern California, in collaboration with community partners. This grant renewal marks the second phase of the HEAL Zone initiative. The initial phase was also funded with a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente in 2012.
“We are excited to have our Ontario HEAL Zone grant renewed for another three years,” said Ontario Mayor Paul Leon. “This sustained, targeted investment by Kaiser Permanente is having impressive, positive health outcomes for our HEAL Zone residents. With this funding we will continue to make environmental changes in the HEAL Zone that help make the healthy choice the easy choice for everyone.”
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. Timothy Jenkins, Area Medical Director & Chief of Staff, Kaiser Permanente San Bernardino County Area. “As we address obesity – especially childhood obesity – it’s imperative to make changes at the local level, where people live, work and play. That’s why it’s important that we all work together to make it easier to eat healthy and stay physically active in Ontario.”
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.