Lucila Rochel, an immigrant mother and her 12-year-old son Jerman Yañez have received health services at Tri City Health Center (TCHC) including referrals to the dentist, the dietitian and the optometrist. The TCHC dietitian advised Lucila that Jerman was overweight and benefits of exercise and eating healthy would significantly contribute to his improvement. Like Jerman, a significant percentage of adolescents and children in schools in the tri-cities of Fremont, Newark, and Union City would benefit from a program to combat childhood obesity.
As the local community health leader, TCHC responded to the community need to fight youth obesity through an innovative, cohesive and coordinated program called Eat Well, Live Active. This program combines clinical and lifestyle based intervention, incorporating nutritional counseling workshops, guided supermarket tours promoting healthier food habits with the parents of the program participants and discounted family gym memberships with personalized fitness regimes. TCHC has partnered with the Fremont/Newark YMCA on this comprehensive program and has received grant funding based financial support from Kaiser Permanente and the Cisco Foundation.
The pilot group will benefit 25 low-income overweight children ages 9-12, and has been well received by the TCHC community along with the partnering Fremont/Newark YMCA. Tony Clark, Community Programs Director YMCA Fremont/Newark, was thrilled about the opportunity to partner with TCHC on this program and said, “We had the facility and now we have an avenue to work together and help the community. This is our first program targeting kids and the start of a great relation with TCHC. We have the foundation for a successful program and are excited about making our services affordable to help foster the growth and impact of this new program.”
Jerman Yañez who enrolled into the TCHC Eat Well, Live Active program has been a poster child for the effectiveness of the innovative program. As a result of the program, Jerman exercises three times a week, is energetic and motivated. Lucila and her whole family have seen the benefits of exercise and eating healthy. Lucila said, “This program is a blessing not just for my kid but for the entire family. Before the program, it was hard to get Jerman out of the house, away from his video games. Now he enjoys going to the gym. The program has helped the whole family by allowing us to spend time together and exercise. I have seen improvement in Jerman and I’m sure that more will come at the end of the program.”
TCHC’s “Eat Well, Live Active” program is providing an initial model in the fight against youth obesity. TCHC and the YMCA are working as a team to provide this comprehensive education and training, and will be evaluating the outcomes for continuously improving the program, sustaining ongoing success in the future, and eventually expanding the program to more patients!