February 3, 2014
The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air, exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~ Anonymous Nursery Rhyme
Jean-Paul Sartre once said, "Everything has been figured out, except how to live."
Within the Desert Healthcare District and Coachella Valley, many programs, services, and infrastructures are available to help residents achieve the ability to “live well”.
Some of these programs and services are specific to school children and their families. For example, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy School Program targets every student in every school in the Valley to create policy change for healthier environments, healthier eating habits, healthy school meals, and increased physical activity opportunities. Ask your child about his/her participation in their school and how is their school doing in the program!
Like a truly healthy human body, a truly healthy community is one in which all systems function as they should, and work together to make the community function well. In an individual, health is, to a large extent, a result of all the body’s billions of cells getting what they need. For a community, health is, to a large extent, the result of all citizens getting what they need, not only to survive, but to flourish (California Dept. of Public Health; “Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities”). “Access to quality care, while important, is only one small part of the formula for achieving a long and healthy life,” stated CEO at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey in a recent Linkedin article. “Far more determinant are a broad range of social and economic factors -- a nurturing childhood; a healthy diet; opportunities for exercise; freedom from violence, crime, and drug abuse; and a quality education,” Lavizzo-Mourey concluded...
(Read the entire article here)
A healthy community is a whole that’s larger than the sum of its parts. It’s one where people take care of one another, where people from diverse backgrounds mix comfortably and work together for the good of the community. In short, a healthy community is one in which all citizens can be assured of a decent quality of life – economically, physically, environmentally, socially, and politically (California Dept. of Public Health; “Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities).
Many Coachella Valley cities have included a health and wellness component in their general plans. These communities of various sizes, demographics and civic personalities have been leaders in creating healthier environments. Using a variety of community-driven strategies, they have curtailed exposure to tobacco, increased opportunities for physical activity and better nutrition, and improved public safety. Some examples range from increasing the number of safe bike paths on city streets, engaging residents in community gardens, creating safe routes to schools, enhancing public parks and trails, and zoning changes to allow farmer’s markets to serve its residents. The Desert Healthcare District’s own Wellness Park has a ¼ mile walking loop, exercise stations, and healing and fragrance gardens for meditation and good mental health.
Links to Policy Change Efforts:
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- Clinton Health Matters Initiative
- CV Link – the planned multi-use path connecting all Valley cities
- Coachella Valley Economic Partnership
- City of Palm Springs Office of Sustainability
Links to Local Parks and Recreation
- Desert Healthcare District’s Wellness Park
- Desert Recreation District
- Desert Trails
- Desert Hot Springs Health and Wellness Center
- Friends of the Desert Mountains
- City of Palm Springs Parks and Recreation
Links to Access to Healthy Food