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 boundaries. Our partners include the City of Ontario, Partners for Better Health, Ontario-Montclair School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Kids Come First Community Health Center, West End YMCA, Pitzer College, Loma Linda University, HEAL Zone residents and Kaiser Permanente.
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.
WHY THE HEAL ZONE?
2018 California Health interview shows Obesity rates in the City of Ontario higher than the County. The goals for HEAL ZONE is to improve health outcomes for residents in the HEAL Zone. Through the grant, we have been able to provide increased physical activity opportunities for residents and increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables.