Confused about that new health care buzz word — the “medical home” ? A project in Fresno is exploring the potential of that model and finding it helpful. Here’s a story that explains what it’s all about.
La Mesa, with a population of nearly 60,000, sits on a series of hills just east of San Diego. Its scenic character masks health statistics that are the worst in San Diego County, with 40 percent of the adult population overweight and an additional 23 percent considered obese. The area also has the highest rates of adult diabetes and heart disease. But now the city has written a strategic wellness plan that engages schools, health providers, businesses and faith communities in an ongoing effort to create the healthiest city in the region.
Can a city redefine itself through health and wellness? Long Beach wants to try, and its residents are the reason. The city is the voice of the people, and the people want pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycle lanes, grocery stores and cooking seminars. Wellness doesn’t come cheap, but Long Beach is hoping its ambitious portfolio of grants and innovative programs will attract new funders eager to participate in this urban laboratory that recently hired its own Bike Ambassador, Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz.
The city of El Monte sponsors a walking club and is working with local convenience stores to stock more healthy alternatives to junk food and alcohol. The efforts are part of the Healthy El Monte initiative, which seeks to combat high rates of obesity and diabetes in a city of 125,000 sandwiched between major freeways and industrial sites. Margaret Simpson has the story.
The city of Richmond is close to adopting a new way of planning for the city’s future, adding a “health and wellness” element to its general plan that will force developers to address new concerns when they design neighborhoods or other projects. The city believes it would be the first in the nation with such a comprehensive requirement.