Health Department Receives $1 Million Kaiser Permanente Grant to Improve Health in North Long Beach

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CSULB and CSUF Receive $525,000 GrantHealthy choices will be easier in North Long Beach due to a Kaiser Permanente’s $1 million 3-year investment in Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL). The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) received this grant from Kaiser Permanente to promote the public’s health in targeted areas of North Long Beach. The Health Department has been granted the funds as the coordinating agency of the Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach, an alliance of community groups focused on improving health for all residents in North Long Beach.

“The Kaiser Permanente HEAL grant will help us improve the lives of residents, and transform entire neighborhoods,” Mayor Bob Foster said.

“The residents of North Long Beach will be thrilled at the chance to work with the Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach and key partners to improve the health of our community by encouraging healthier living and more active lifestyles,” said 9th District Councilmember Steven Neal. “I am also delighted to work with Kaiser Permanente, the neighborhoods and community groups to inspire policy, systems, and environmental change through some of the exciting initiatives planned over the next three years.”

The investment in North Long Beach is part of Kaiser Permanente’s new three-year, more than $7 million HEAL Zones initiative across Southern California. The 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 heart disease that often result from obesity.

“Obesity is one of the most pressing health concerns for our communities today. We are especially concerned about the high rate of childhood obesity in North Long Beach, where 55% of individuals over 12 years of age are overweight or obese,” said Joseph Colli, MD, assistant area medical director and Pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center. “Poor diet, inactivity and obesity contribute to the risk for many health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. That’s why it’s important that we all work together to create opportunities for children and families to eat healthier and move more in communities like North Long Beach.”

The vision of the HEAL Zones is that at the end of the three-year grant period, 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.

“The Health Department team is excited to receive this funding from Kaiser Permanente and are proud to be partners with them in the fight against obesity in our community,” said Ronald R. Arias, Director of the City’s Health Department. “The Health Department and the Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach look forward to working together to create lasting changes to make the North Long Beach community a healthier place for all to eat better and move more as part of their daily life. In the end, its all about having fun and getting outside to walk, run, swim, bike and play.”

The North Long Beach HEAL Zone project brings together partners from the Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach including the Office of 9th District Councilmember Steven Neal, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Development Services, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach Community Action Partnership, The Children’s Clinic, Californians for Justice, and various neighborhood associations.

For more information, please contact Shawna Stevens, Health Department HEAL Zone Coordinator, at 562.570.7901 or at shawna.stevens@longbeach.gov.

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