2018 Grants Challenge

A youth-led public health program involving health professionals, students, & our communities.

Promoting a culture of healthy practices in even the most under-resourced communities via physician referred nutrition and fitness community health programming, led by local students.


Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

HCSY seeks to build sustainable programs that empower Health Systems to educate communities in understanding and improving their social determinates of health. This is done via a park prescription platform. Physicians provide prescriptions for their patients with nutrition & fitness barriers to participate in UCLA-Fitted fitness instruction, disease specific Grocery Store Tours, and Growing Grit, a gardening and mindfulness workshop. The programs are lead by youth from corresponding communities.

Which of the LIVE metrics will your activation impact?​

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Obesity rates

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?​

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

South LA

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?​

Advocate for policy

Trainings and/or in-person engagements

Encourage businesses to change practices

Influence individual behavior

Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to LIVE?​

A Healthier Community Starts with YOUth (HCSY) will make LA the best place to live because, it directly address health disparities faced by residents of South Los Angeles. HCSY is a public health education and career pipeline program exposing youth to a culture of upstream preventative thinking. The program model provides an opportunity for students to receive mentorship and experience within the public health field as they build and conduct community health programming with professionals. Students and professionals will be collaborating on three programs focused on improving skills around nutrition, fitness and mindfulness.

Participants of these youth led programs are patients that have been identified by their primary care physician as having barriers to nutrition and fitness. These patients receive a written prescription from their physicians that we call park prescriptions. A patient participating in the park prescription program will partake in a 10-week program that provides personalized fitness instruction, nutrition education via grocery store tours and a gardening and mindfulness workshop.

Undergraduate students leading the workshops will receive mentorship and public health career exposure from graduate students as well as professionals in the field. Undergraduate students will in-turn mentor high school students and expose them to the paths of higher education.

The final phase of the program will include a train-the-trainer component for representatives of Community Based Organizations to conduct this programming in their own communities, spreading and sharing the effectiveness of this program to communities beyond.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to LIVE​

HCSY vision is to make a healthy lifestyle possible for all Angelenos by translating the best practices known in the science of public health demonstrated by youth and adults in their communities. HCSY will realize this vision by collaborating with physicians as well as public health and community professionals to mentor and teach youth. Youth-led public health programming will be deployed via park prescriptions. Park prescriptions are an evidence based strategy that encourages patients to use parks and open spaces for the purpose of improving their health. Success stories in Washington DC, San Francisco and Tuscon have shown to have physical, mental and even social health benefits. HCSY is collaborating with MLK Outpatient center, UCLA Fitted Fitness Program and Netiya Gardens to train students to conduct 10-week nutrition and fitness workshops. The Program is supported by UCLA Clinical Translational Science Institute-Community Engagement Research Program (CTSI-CERP) which will manage the programs evaluation process.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

UCLA CTSI-CERP will manage the programs evaluation process. Measurement tools include a community based needs assessment, a pre and post patient reported outcomes survey (PROS), and pre and post health screenings (reported from the participants primary care physicians).


- Improve the health outcomes of patients suffering from or at high risk for metabolic diseases specifically (obesity; diabetes; heart disease; and hypertension).

- Provide exposure to hands on fitness and nutrition education via physician referred park prescriptions.

- Expose youth to public health practices

Measurable Objectives:

- 80% of participants report increase in produce consumption

- 100% of participants who report increase in produce consumption will show corresponding health improvements (controlled A1c levels, BMI, and blood pressure)

- 90% of participants demonstrate understanding of how to shop and eat healthier.

- 90% of patients report increase in physical activity

- 80% of patients report higher confidence in their ability to maintain healthy lifestyle practices demonstrated in the park prescription program.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

We hope to see the Healthier Community Starts with YOUth vision realized, which is to translate the best practices known in the science of public health demonstrated by youth and adults in their communities. Promoting a culture of healthy practices in even the most under-resourced communities.