Eastside Riverside, Riverside County
HEAL Zone | Link to HEAL Zone Fact Sheet
The Riverside County Joint Health Coalition (RCJHC) was formed in 2009 with the mission "to promote, improve and sustain social and physical environments for healthy eating behaviors and active lifestyles for wellness through policy development and advocacy, environmental change and community empowerment in Riverside County."
The Kaiser Permanente HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Zone Initiative is designed to help combat obesity by making healthy choices accessible to more people in underserved communities across Southern California. The Eastside HEAL Zone will empower residents to lead healthier lives through environmental changes that are sustained by policies and enhanced by education and promotion.
Strategies | Link to Cross Site Strategies
The Eastside HEAL Zone Initiative is a collaborative of members representing both public and private sectors, including county agencies, school district staff, community businesses, elected officials, park and community services staff, local health clinics and foundations – focused specifically on the Eastside neighborhood within the city of Riverside. Members will be instrumental in planning, gathering and implementing our Community Action Plan strategies which address the following goals:
1. Reduce calorie consumption
2. Increase consumption of healthy foods and beverages (e.g., water), and
3. Increase physical activity.
Partners | Link to Partnership Structure
The Eastside HEAL Zone Initiative is a collaborative of members representing both public and private sectors, including county agencies, school district staff, community businesses, elected officials, park and community services staff, local health clinics and foundations – focused specifically on the Eastside neighborhood within the city of Riverside.
We invite and welcome residents, groups and organizations to join the Eastside HEAL Zone to combat obesity. For Eastside HEAL Zone information, or to join the Riverside County Health Coalition, contact Laurie Haessly at (951) 358-5153 or email@example.com.
In partnership with City of Riverside Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, a youth photovoice project was launched in July 2012. Teens in the summer parks program wandered the Eastside community in search of healthy and unhealthy messages. Armed with cameras, they took photos of things that might discourage or motivate them to make healthy choices, such as playing at the park or selecting a healthy beverage at the store. They identified outdoor safety and neighborhood cleanliness as two main issues that could be addressed that would support a healthier teen lifestyle. You can view some of the pictures taken by our youth on our PhotoVoice tab!
Healthy City Mapping
In partnership with “Healthy City”, Eastside residents and community leaders were invited to a mapping session to identify locations that could serve as model sites for nutrition and physical activity. In small groups, residents sat around large neighborhood maps to pinpoint stores, small markets, parks, and community centers that are vital to the health and safety of the Eastside. Attendees also designated areas for improvement that each location could address to support their community in health. Through our partnership with Network for a Healthy California, several markets are being offered assistance in making those resident-requested improvements.
Neighborhood Specific Plan Updates
Several members of the HEALZone Initiative are actively participating in the city’s public process of updating the neighborhood specific plans of the Eastside, including University Avenue and Marketplace Specific Plans. Residents, health professionals, business owners, university representatives and city staff participated in several workshops and public comment sessions to incorporate health into the plan updates. Specific plans make recommendations and requirements for any future building, sidewalk, street, transportation, utility and business infrastructure improvements made within a designated area of the city. These plans are currently in draft form, and address green space, recreation, walking and bicycling accommodations, housing, business uses, as well as cultural and historical preservation of a neighborhood.
East Riverside Youth Weekend Retreat Helps Turn Local Action into Global Change
The Child Leader Project (CLP) in Riverside is leading eastside Riverside HEAL Zone youth to go local and global on health issues. Samantha Wilson, CLP's Director, arranged a weekend trip for the youth to learn about food justice programs in Oakland, CA. Their visit with Planting Justice gave them first hand experience on youth-led organizing on food accessibility and sustainable business models for employing low income youth in food justice work. They toured Oakland's community and backyard gardens planted and designed by youth in Planting Justice. CLP youth and young adults also have opportunities to connect with their international peers through creative collaboration, leadership, conflict resolution, and community organizing.
Twelve HEAL Initiative Youths Shine at Statewide Conference
Hollywood High School, Long Beach, Ontario and Riverside youth participated in the California Center for Civic Participation (CCCP), a statewide Youth Advocate Network for Sustainable Communities (YANSC) conference in Sacramento from May 20 - 22. The mission of CCCP is to empower youth to be vital participants in decision making processes at all levels.
The youths had the opportunity to present to an audience of statewide policymakers at the State Capitol on their top priority strategies in the areas of transportation, land use, food access and education. They also met with their local representatives to provide perspective on the strengths and challenges their communities face to create healthy active environments for residents. The youths will work with the HEAL Initiative partners to recruit new members and meet regularly to work on issues in their communities.
Anaheim, Oildale and Riverside Participate in Screening of HBO's THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION
The Weight of the Nation™ documentary series and public health campaign, which aired in May on HBO, presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the severity of the obesity epidemic, showcase strategies that work and, most importantly, catalyze action to end obesity. Anaheim, Oildale and Riverside hosted screenings in their communities and have said that these resources are great to "spark discussion and solutions" and to "engage and inform."
Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Riverside Join California's Bicycle Friendly Community Program
The Bicycle Friendly Community Program (BFC) provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling. A Bicycle Friendly Community welcomes cyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.