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Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL)

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health funded several organizations and jurisdictions to develop and implement one or more strategies that will create an environment where it is convenient, safe and easy for community members to eat healthfully and participate in physical activity every day. The grantees included the City of Los Angeles Planning Department, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Day One Inc, UCLA Prevention Research Center, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles, Advancement Project, City of Baldwin Park, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and the City of Lancaster. 

The HEAL Initiative grantees pursued a variety of strategies including, but not limited to, active transportation plans; increasing access to healthy foods; and safe routes to school plans. The HEAL Initiative was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Community Transformation Grants initiative. Below are descriptions of each of the projects with links to final documents developed by the grantees.

City of Los Angeles Planning Department
The City of Los Angeles developed a Health and Wellness Chapter for its General Plan, adopted by the City in 2015, which will help elevate health as a priority for future planning and development in Los Angeles. Known as the Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles the Health and Wellness Chapter lays out a practical vision for creating a more vibrant, healthy, and sustainable city. It serves as an overarching policy document for health - a platform to help launch broad, citywide initiatives that address health and equity.

In order to develop the Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles, a Health Atlas was developed as a tool to comprehensively examine health issues in Los Angeles and illustrates the role that neighborhoods play in the health of Angelenos. The Health Atlas analyzes over 100 health outcomes, such as childhood obesity, pollution, and crime, and how they are geographically concentrated in the city. The Atlas shows that life expectancy in Los Angeles' neighborhoods can vary by up to 12 years, highlighting the opportunity to address health inequities through better land use and community design. Funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and The California Endowment, this multi-sector initiative provides the first update to the General Plan Framework in over 20 years, and includes the development of complementary programs to address issues identified in the Health Atlas.

In addition to the Health Atlas, the City also created an interactive website at Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles,, where the Atlas' data is available through engaging maps and neighborhood profiles. It offers neighborhood profiles and interactive maps that display many of the characteristics of the built and social environments that affect health outcomes, such as economic conditions, education, land use, transportation, and crime statistics.

Safe Routes to School National Partnership
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership (SRTSNP) was funded to conduct research, provide educational information, and create a space to discuss funding for active transportation in Los Angeles County. During the grant period the SRTSNP worked with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to lead the Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative, which brought together community members, community based organization staff, jurisdictional staff, elected leaders, Metro staff and board members to discuss active transportation funding and support. The SRTNP developed a number of resources to share information with community members and leaders on active transportation funding./p>

The efforts of the SRTSNP and the Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative helped result in additional funding for active transportation from the Metro Express Lanes Toll Revenues Program and Metro Call for Projects; a motion to develop an Active Transportation Finance Strategy, which will be embedded in the Metro Active Transportation Strategic Plan; a countywide Complete Streets policy adopted by Metro; and the addition of active transportation and public health representatives to Metro's Technical Advisory Committee.

Advancement Project
The Advancement Project along with project partners Watts Century Latino Organization (WCLO), the Los Angeles Police Department and We Care Outreach, worked together to develop a Safe Schools Vision Plan to serve as a guide on how to create safe (from crime, violence, and traffic) and inviting streets for walking, bicycling, and playing around at around three middle and high schools in the Watts neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles.

City of Baldwin Park
The City of Baldwin Park in partnership with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and the Baldwin Park Unified School District worked together to develop and adopt a citywide Healthy Corner Store Policy. The policy establishes guiding principles and practices so that small and large food retailers contribution to a healthier Baldwin Park through strategies such as healthy food promotion, displays, and store settings. The voluntary program allows for both small and large food retailers to receive incentives and recognition by adopting standards specified in the policy.

City of Lancaster
The City of Lancaster working with the Antelope Valley Partners for Health (AVPH) and the Lancaster School District to engage parents, students and other community members in developing a citywide Safe Routes to School plan, which includes infrastructure improvement recommendations and programmatic opportunities for all of Lancaster's schools. The plan builds on the City's complete streets initiatives and the City's Master Plan for Trails and Bikeways to improve public health and expand opportunities for incorporating physical activity into the daily lives of the City's residents.

Day One
Day One worked with the cities of Baldwin Park, El Monte, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and South El Monte and Alta Planning + Design to develop the five-city San Gabriel Valley Regional Bicycle Master Plan. Adopted by all five cities in 2014, the Plan outlines bikeways for each city, links the cities to the greater San Gabriel Valley region and beyond, and identifies programs and policies that can improve the bike-ability of each community.

Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) worked with TRUST South LA and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to engage the community members in South Los Angeles in designing bicycle friendly streets. Together they developed the Active Streets LA Toolkit, which explains potential options to community members seeking to calm traffic and make their streets better for walking and bicycling. The toolkit is available to be used by anyone working on traffic calming initiatives in Los Angeles and beyond. During the HEAL grant, LADOT sought and was awarded grant funding to implement the community identified traffic calming improvements on Budlong Avenue in South Los Angeles

UCLA Prevention Research Center
UCLA and the City of Carson developed an active transportation plan for the City that combines the City's existing Bicycle Master Plan with additional considerations for pedestrians. The Plan, when finalized and implemented, will connect residents with schools, parks, commercial areas, and public transportation sites via walking and bicycling infrastructure.

YWCA of Greater Los Angeles:
The YWCA of Greater Los Angeles developed Community Service Plans for the unincorporated communities of East Los Angeles and Walnut Park. The Plans identify programs and activities that the YWCA will implement over the next 5 years to increase opportunities for physical activity. Over the time of the initiative, the YWCA also offered HEAL programming at two schools and two parks during non-school hours.

CicLAvia Southeast
CicLAvia facilitated an interagency working group to develop a Southeast CicLAvia Plan. The Plan provides the basis for a large-scale open streets event that will occur in May 2016. CicLAvia successfully worked with the Cities of Los Angeles, South Gate, Lynwood, Huntington Park, and the County of Los Angeles to file a successful application with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to partially fund the event.

Technical Assistance
PLACE provided technical assistance and funding to develop (1) Citywide Safe Routes to School Plan for the City of Cudahy and (2) Norwalk Park Master Plan for the City of Norwalk. PLACE staff managed the consultant teams to develop each plan, led community outreach and engagement to inform the plan, and served as the primary liaison between the City and Consultant.

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