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The Health Trust Announces $30 Million Investment Towards Making Silicon Valley Healthiest Region in America
Date:1/24/2008

Strategic initiatives focus on healthy living, healthy aging, healthy

communities

CAMPBELL, Calif., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Health Trust today announced a $30 million investment in three initiatives that will help Silicon Valley become the healthiest region in America.

By 2010, the goal is to make significant strides in achieving the goals of healthy living, healthy aging, and healthy communities for everyone in the region.

"Silicon Valley is dynamic and successful, but we are not immune to health challenges," said Frederick J. Ferrer, Chief Executive Officer of The Health Trust. "We are experiencing the national epidemic of obesity that increases the risks of many deadly chronic diseases. We are facing a population explosion of seniors in our county and our health and social service system is ill-prepared. And, we struggle to overcome the barriers to health that exist for far too many people in our community. There is much work to be done."

Over the last two years, The Health Trust Board of Trustees, staff, and other community leaders identified the most critical health issues of the region and developed detailed strategies for effective change. "We based our decisions in solid research to determine where the largest areas of need were, and where our leadership and investments could make the biggest contribution to health," said Ferrer.

All three initiatives concentrate on changing the community environment so that health is more accessible to every resident. The three initiatives launched by The Health Trust are:

-- "Healthy Living" which focuses on getting more people to a healthy weight. Plans for this initiative include advocacy for land use policies that support physical activity and healthy lifestyles, encouraging more community gardens and farmers markets, workplace wellness activities, and an engaging public education campaign to encourage people to eat better and be more physically active.

"This means changes to infrastructure so that children have places to play near their homes, that families can safely walk to schools and neighborhood services, and that everyone can conveniently buy fresh produce and other nutritious food," Ferrer said. "Every individual should have the opportunity to live a healthy life."

-- "Healthy Aging" which focuses on more physical activity opportunities for seniors, improved hospital-to-home transitions, and training, support and respite for caregivers. The Health Trust will also expand Meals On Wheels and other services to support independent living.

"We plan to open the first neighborhood cafe that will be open to all generations, but be especially welcoming to seniors," Ferrer explained. "Having regular contact with people is so important in keeping seniors physically and mentally active."

-- "Healthy Communities" which focuses on ensuring fair and equitable health care services and programs for all of the region's residents. Plans include health screenings for the prevention and management of chronic disease, recruitment and training of a diverse health care workforce, and getting more people covered by health insurance.

"As part of this initiative, we are very proud to be opening an innovative Children's Dental Center in June in East San Jose," Ferrer added. "It will provide dental care for thousands of the estimated 120,000 children in our county who need to see a dentist."

The Health Trust, formed in 1996 with beginning assets from the sale of four local nonprofit hospitals, has always been more than a traditional grantmaking foundation. From the start, it has also provided direct services to the community and been a leader in community collaborations to tackle significant health problems. In its first 10 years, The Health Trust provided more than $100 million of community benefit through program services and grantmaking activity. The Health Trust's current net assets top $135 million.

For more information on The Health Trust and its vision for Silicon Valley, visit http://www.healthtrust.org.


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SOURCE The Health Trust
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