UCLA Health has formed a partnership with the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation to offer practical ways to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. The new entity, UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind, funded by a $3-million pledge from Sound Body Sound Mind, replicates the foundation's existing program model that aspires to give students access to fitness resources and education. The joint announcement was made March 6, 2015, at North Hollywood's East Valley High School during the unveiling of a new, state-of-the-art fitness center provided by UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind.
UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind provides middle school and high school students in under-resourced schools with commercial-grade fitness equipment and an innovative curriculum designed to build students' competence and confidence in a range of physical activities. UCLA Health believes that by encouraging students to embrace fitness, it will become an integral part of their lives. "This exciting partnership gives UCLA Health a unique opportunity to actively engage in preventive health," said Melanie Gideon, executive advisor of UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind. "By physically opening new doors to these centers, we hope to nurture healthier lifestyles and ultimately aspire to reduce the likelihood of chronic ailments often associated with inactive adults."
Founded in 1999 by philanthropists Cindy and Bill Simon, the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation has donated fitness resources to 89 schools in Los Angeles, reaching more than 92,000 students each year. "Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every student has the opportunity, knowledge and tools to pursue a healthy lifestyle through physical fitness," said Bill Simon. "Our collaboration with UCLA Health will allow us access to its world-renowned resources and personnel. Ultimately, we believe this partnership will allow us to reach our goals faster and more effectively, as we bring to bear the experiences of both our organizations on this challenge."
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 42 percent of children in Los Angeles County are overweight or obese, placing them at greater risk for serious chronic health problems. UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind gives students the tools they need to take charge of their health by ensuring that they have access to fitness resources. The project also exemplifies UCLA Health's commitment to community engagement.
"This program will help to improve the health of thousands of young Angelenos, and, over the long term, it may drive down healthcare costs and help boost economic productivity," said Nathan Nambiar, executive director of the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation.
For more information, contact Courteney Bailey at: (310) 267-1155