Inspired by its mission to improve community health, Kaiser Permanente developed the HEAL program in 2004 to support healthy behaviors and reduce obesity through clinical practice and sustained community-level change. In 2005, the HEAL initiative grew to include place-based work, known as Community Health Initiatives (CHI). Since the program began, Kaiser Permanente will have committed more than $21 million to support HEAL efforts across Southern California.
Ontario is one of six HEAL Zones in Southern California. The City of Ontario received a grant from Kaiser Permanente to work with Healthy Ontario partners and residents to promote Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) in the HEAL Zone. The HEAL program focuses on neighborhoods between 10,000 and 20,000 residents, called HEAL Zones, and engages the residents and local organizations to create positive changes. The Ontario HEAL Zone is a pilot project designed to make the healthy choice the easy choice for residents within the HEAL Zone. Our partners include the City of Ontario, Partners for Better Health, El Sol, Ontario-Montclair School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, West End YMCA, Pitzer College, Loma Linda University, Huerta del Valle, Department of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Hospital, HEAL Zone residents and Kaiser Permanente who has provided the grant to fund the HEAL Zone project.
Three main goals associated with the Kaiser HEAL Zone are:
- Increase physical activity;
- Increase consumption of healthy food and beverages such as fresh fruit and vegetables and drinking water;
- Decrease calorie consumption of unhealthy food, especially sugar-sweetened beverages.
The Kaiser HEAL Zone in Ontario includes the neighborhood generally bounded by Mission Boulevard on the north, Francis Avenue on the south, San Antonio Avenue on the west and Bon View Avenue on the east. HEAL Zone activities occur in various locations throughout the HEAL Zone including schools, churches, community centers, and parks.