Initiated in 2008 by the League of California Cities and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and funded by Kaiser Permanente, HEAL offers workshops, technical assistance, model policies and a website supporting cities that wish to become healthier places to live and work.
California cities participating in the HEAL Cities Campaign are making policies and resolutions involving land use, economic development and employee wellness to address the public health threat of obesity in children, adults and families and provide options for a healthy lifestyle.
Richard Isaacs, MD, physician in chief of Kaiser Permanente's South Sacramento Medical Center, appeared before the Elk Grove and Sacramento city councils to commend both cities for adopting resolutions to become healthy cities.
“Our focus is to improve the health of the entire community,” Dr. Isaacs told the Sacramento city council. “We are incredibly proud of where we are.”
The city of Sacramento has two major goals: to improve nutrition standards at before and after school programs and to improve food and beverage content in vending machines. The city of Elk Grove is promoting healthy lifestyles at city hall by providing staff with an employee wellness program.
At a recent Davis city council meeting, Ron Groepper, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president and area manager, recently presented a commemorative plaque and said the resolution underscored the city’s “historic support for the healthy and active lifestyle choices.”
West Sacramento also recently became a HEAL city and is building a new park compliments of a Community Benefit HEAL grant.
West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said that this “is just one example of the kinds of investments that Kaiser has made in the community to really bring this to light. You can’t have a healthy community if there’s no safe place to play as a child, or you can’t walk safely to get fresh food or to the library. Those small things are exactly what adds up to the sorts of choices and environments that promote good health and a better community.”
Once cities adopt the resolution, the HEAL Campaign provides a variety of resources to help elected officials and city staff put policies into place.
Of the 482 California Cities, 122 have joined the campaign adopting policies and resolutions. The campaign has a goal of reaching a total of 150 cities by September 2012.
For information on to how your city can join the campaign, please visit the HEAL Cities campaign website or contact Kanat Tibet at (916) 213-6380.