Thursday, August 2, 2012
The leading causes of death in Seaside are heart disease, cancer and accidents, according to a California Department of Health report. But a new initiative aims to make the city a healthier place all around.
A collaboration between the Monterey County Health Department, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District and the city of Seaside has landed Monterey County a federal grant to fight chronic disease and improve community health.
Seaside’s the first city in Monterey County to receive the federal Community Transformation Grant of $253,000 per year for five years. The money will be used to launch four initiatives: smoke free multi-unit housing, decreased sugar-sweetened beverages, chronic disease self-management and walkable communities.
Once the new academic year starts, the collaborative will assess safe walking routes to Seaside schools and launch a “rethink your drink” campaign. It’s also contracting with the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula on a chronic disease self-management initiative, which will be offered in Spanish and English at a clinic in Seaside.
“Our strategy is not only to reach out to the community,” says Interim County Health Officer Lisa Hernandez, “but to work with other agencies to approach it at a systems-wide level.”
Project Coordinator Rose Colon says the program will pave the way for similar efforts in other local cities.
“Once we have accomplished our goals in Seaside and they are sustainable we will move on to another community,” she says.