The Madera HEAL Zone is a network of community partners working together to make healthy choices the easy choice for Madera residents. Our goal is to help prevent diseases such as diabetes and hypertension that often result from being overweight or obese.
The HEAL Zone Community Action Plan (CAP) was created by Madera residents and includes several different activities and strategies aimed at helping people eat better and move more by focusing on:
- Lowering calorie consumption
- Increasing fresh fruits and vegetables consumption
- Increasing physical activity in community settings, such as parks, and safe routes for walking and biking
- Increasing physical activity in institutional settings, such as schools and work sites
The Madera HEAL Zone brings together community residents with a network of partner organizations, including:
- Central Valley Health Network
- The City of Madera Recreation and Community Services Department
- Children’s Hospital Central California
- CalViva Health
- Camarena Health
- Madera County Public Health Department
- Madera Unified School District
- Kaiser Permanente
By working together, we can make lasting, positive changes in Madera’s social and physical environments.
We invite and welcome individuals, groups and organizations to join the Madera HEAL Zone and the fight against obesity.
Contact Anita Ruiz at (559) 255-5300 for more information.
Teaching Youth to Reach for Healthy Options
In honor of National Nutrition Month, Bridge Store in Madera teamed up with the Madera HEAL Zone, Madera County Department of Public Health, and Network for a Healthy California - Children's Power Play! Campaign, Retail Program to provide 84 fourth-grade students from Washington Elementary School with an educational store tour.
The students learned about fresh, frozen, and canned fruit and vegetable options, and where to locate them in the store.
Students were also taught the importance of reading nutrition labels, and selecting items with no added salt or sugar.
To conclude the nutritionally informative tour, Bridge Store sent every student home with a bottle of water, an orange, and a $2 fruit/vegetable coupon.
More Playing, Less Waiting in PE Class
In Madera, elementary school students in Madera Unified now have access to more PE equipment to use during PE classes. The Madera County Public Health Department purchased about $8,000 in equipment that is now being used by PE classes at several elementary schools in Madera.
The equipment -- which includes bowling sets, foam dodgeballs, scarves and softballs -- are keeping more kids active for longer periods of time.
In the past, PE teachers only had one piece of equipment for every 10 kids (there are about 100 kids in each PE class), meaning students spent a lot of time standing around waiting for equipment.
With the new equipment purchased through the HEAL initiative, they now have one piece of equipment for every 2 students.
The students are able to maximize their PE time, staying active the entire hour, and get to use equipment that they hadn't in the past.
Bye Bye Soda Machines!
The City of Madera removed three soda vending machines from two facilities: John W. Wells Youth Center and Centennial Pool Complex. Currently the City is analyzing the remaining three machines with the intention of changing vending options to reflect 75% healthier food and beverage options.
Youth in Action
The City of Madera, in partnership with the Community Action Agency of Madera county, re-established the Madera Youth Commission. Fourteen student participants signed on as youth commissioners for the City, representing seven schools: Martin Luther King Middle School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Madera South High School, Madera High School, Enterprise Alternative Education School, Desmond Middle School, and Furman Continuation School. These youth commissioners are working with the City staff to identify ways to improve the health of local youth.
District Joint Use Policy
The City of Madera partnered with Madera Unified School District to work toward the District Joint Use Policy formation. Beginning May 12, 2012, the City opened the gates at Madera High School and Washington Elementary, allowing residents to utilize the physical activity amenities and adjoining green space. The City currently utilizes the gymnasiums at Desmond and Martin Luther King Middle Schools for the adult recreation and fitness leagues. The PC&S Department and Madera Unified School District are working to discss future development and building park components on future school sites that will be open to residents.
1,400 Students Get Access to Fresh Water and Exercise
1,400 students in two elementary schools are about to get healthier. Six water stations were installed, giving the students daily access to fresh water, the healthier alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages. In addition, six new weekly afterschool physical activity programs were established for the students. They're on their way to living the HEAL life!
Obese Valley Children Suffer Adult Ailments
"If I could just do away with Hot Cheetos, I think there would be a lot fewer visits to me," states Dr. Yvonne Juarez, chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente-Fresno, on the increasing number of pediatric patients she sees who are suffering from adult medical problems--including hypertension, diabetes, and acid reflux--stemming from high rates of childhood obesity.
KP's Educational Theatre performance of "The Best Me" creates young fans in Madera!
"The Best Me" was performed on Monday at George Washington Elementary School in Madera and was also featured on KFSN ABC-30, as well as the Madera Tribune. In addition to the performance, relay races and a Rethink Your Drink station were part of an energizing recess to stress the importance of staying fit and active.
Madera Schools Start Healthy Living Program Link to Article
Local Residents Against Big Waist Link to Article
Portable Water Stations Added at 2 Madera Schools Link to Article
North Valley Students Learn to be Sugar Savvy Link to Article