Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL)

A Good Idea


The Healthy Eating, Active Living Community Health Initiative (HEAL) is a program to empower community members to eat healthy foods and be physically active. The five-year (2006-2010), prevention-oriented initiative works with schools, worksites, neighborhoods, and the healthcare sector to stimulate change. The HEAL initiative helps local residents implement a Community Action Plan with a focus on sustainable policies and environmental change to empower community members to drive changes in their physical and social environment to reverse the trend of overweight and obesity and combat diabetes and heart disease. The initiative is working to increase access to healthy foods and safe spaces to be physically active in Santa Rosa neighborhoods. The program focuses on efforts that reduce racial and ethnic health disparities associated with poor nutrition and inactivity.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the HEAL initiative is empower communities to make changes in their physical and social environment to improve nutrition and physical activity.

Results / Accomplishments

The HEAL Neighborhood Sector has developed over 40 community garden plots, a community education garden, and a walking group with more than 25 members. The Healthcare Sector has worked with south Santa Rosa clinics to include screening children for weight problems at well-child checks, counseling for families of overweight children, and lactation support groups for breastfeeding mothers. The School Sector has installed salad bars at six elementary schools, trained teachers in physical education programs to help students reach 100 minutes of physical activity per week, supported annual wellness festivals, increased the number of healthy fundraisers (Jog-a-Thons), and applied for and received a $500,000 Safe Routes to School education grant. The Worksite Sector has developed a worksite wellness toolkit which is available online to Sonoma County businesses and developed a program that provides training and technical assistance to businesses implementing programs and policies to increase physical activity and healthy eating among employees.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Anthony Taylor, HEAL Coordinator
490 Mendocino Ave, Suite 202
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 565-6624
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Community Activity and Nutrition Coalition of Sonoma County
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Sonoma, CA
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Families

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