Aspire Health expands pediatric healthy lifestyle program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Monica Sciuto, Montage Health, (831) 622-2756
Karina Rusk, Salinas Valley Health, (831) 759-1843
The enhanced program features more health topics, new locations, flexible online coaching, and updated learning activities to combat the growing prevalence of childhood obesity in Monterey County.
MONTEREY COUNTY, CA. — Aspire Health’s Healthy Together program, formerly called the Pediatric Wellness Program, underwent a recent expansion to reach more families with the aim of curbing the alarming rates of childhood obesity and diabetes in Monterey County.
More than 42 percent of Monterey County children age 5–17 are overweight or obese, and more than 25 percent of residents self-reported having diabetes or prediabetes, according to the 2022 health survey completed by the Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative. Healthy Together is addressing the current and future health of families facing these chronic conditions through bilingual education and programming.
“It is staggering how many Monterey County residents are struggling or otherwise impacted by the adverse health effects associated with diabetes and obesity. They’re our friends, neighbors, and family members, and a healthy future for our community depends on initiatives like Healthy Together,” said Liz Lorenzi, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Population Health, Aspire Health.
The flexible, family-focused program is offered in Spanish and English, Monday through Friday, with group class and individual appointment options. The classes and activities offer fun and engaging sessions about topics including goal setting, healthy eating, and physical activity. Highly-trained, certified coaches use pediatrician recommendations and a family-focused approach to inspire lifelong healthy habits.
Recent program modifications have made it more attainable for children and families to create their own, customized wellness journey tailored to their unique health needs, busy schedules, geographic location, and technology capabilities.
“Based on feedback from families and pediatricians, we made these program adjustments with our community’s voice and well-being in mind. Aspire Health firmly believes that this investment will pay off exponentially down the road for our population’s health,” Lorenzi said.
Healthy Together is underwritten by Montage Health Foundation and Salinas Valley Health Foundation, making the program free for families regardless of health coverage status. Enrollment requires a doctor referral and participants must be Monterey County residents between the ages of 2 and 18, meeting at least one of the following criteria:
- Greater than 85th percentile/age body mass index
- Unexpected weight gain
- Laboratory values that put them in an at-risk category for diabetes
For more information, including a referral card for your doctor, see the program flyer, visit www.aspirehealth.org/healthytogether, or call (831) 644-7491.
Interviews with families who have benefited from the program are available upon request.