The Y's Commitment to a Healthier Community
Pioneering Healthier Communities: Healthy Shasta
In 2005 the Shasta Family YMCA became one of seven founding partners of the Healthy Shasta Collaborative, committed to addressing childhood obesity in California’s North State. Today, Healthy Shasta is comprised of 20 organizations that have joined forces to promote healthy choices and environments supportive of healthy lifestyles.
In 2006 the Shasta Family YMCA was one of 13 communities selected to participate in the Y’s national action initiative, Pioneering Healthier Communities. Ten local leaders, including representatives from the McConnell Foundation, city and county government, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, education, the National Park Service, public health, Mercy Medical Center and the Shasta Builders Exchange represented the Y and Healthy Shasta at a national planning conference in Washington, D.C.
The participants were challenged to return home and make a difference in their own communities by addressing local policy issues that would remove barriers and promote opportunities for healthy living. They were also given the task of developing a model project that would make an impact on community wellness. The participants selected the Healthy Schools Initiative of Healthy Shasta to focus their resources and vision.
Pioneering Healthier Community participants, together with a steering committee that included the McConnell Foundation, Shasta County Public Health and the Y, developed and funded a seven-year, $7 million model project called the Healthy Students Initiative. Three local schools were selected to receive substantial support and resources as they work innovatively to improve student health and academic success, and develop a roadmap for other local schools which will ultimately decrease childhood obesity rates in our county.
To ensure effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability, the Shasta Family YMCA, as a member of the Healthy Shasta Partner Leadership Team, integrated its Pioneering Healthier Communities pledge and the Healthy Students Initiative, within the structure of the established Healthy Shasta Collaborative, a vibrant and growing force of change in the North State.
More About The Y's Pioneering Healthier Communities Initiative
Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC), which launched in 2004, is the signature initiative of Activate America that focuses on policy and environmental change in communities to promote healthy lifestyles. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and corporate and foundation donors, Y-USA has provided seed funding to 117 Ys across the country and their communities to take on this work.
Our Healthier Communities Initiatives are built on the concept that local communities can work together to give all community members healthy choices and support the pursuit of healthy lifestyles. More than 160 Ys are working in collaboration with community leaders to make changes in policies and the physical surroundings in those communities so that healthy living is within reach for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.