Kaiser Permanente Renews Commitment to Safe Routes

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is pleased to announce that Kaiser Permanente is awarding a two-year grant of $1.26 million to advance Safe Routes to School initiatives and policy nationwide and in specific regions.

Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health system, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership share a commitment to increase rates of walking and biking, knowing that physical activity helps ensure good health throughout people’s lifespans. A critical strategy to increasing levels of walking and biking is to add sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths, and other transportation infrastructure so that people feel safe utilizing active forms of transportation in daily life to and from work, school, doctor’s appointments, and other destinations.

Through the Regional Network Project, we increase opportunities for people to walk and bike by advancing healthy transportation options at the metropolitan level in California and the Northwest.  Across these regions, we engage partners in coalitions to increase support for Safe Routes to School, active transportation and healthy communities.  This can take the form of increased funding, more supportive policies, and strengthening local knowledge around effective implementation of active transportation in the region and statewide. Thanks to the new award from not-for-profit Kaiser Permanente, the National Partnership will work in the following counties and with the metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for those counties:

  • Northern California:  Three Central Valley counties (San Joaquin, Fresno, and Stanislaus) and the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area; support provided by Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
  • Southern California: Three Southern California counties (San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange); support provided by Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.
  • Pacific Northwest: Three metropolitan areas in Oregon (Portland, Salem-Keizer, and Central Lane) plus Southwest Washington; support provided by Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

The grant from Kaiser Permanente will also allow the National Partnership to produce action-oriented engagement materials, training webinars, toolkits, and other resources to help both new and experienced practitioners start and run thriving Safe Routes to School programs. The National Partnership aims to ignite parents and school staff to take action to start or expand Safe Routes to School programs in their communities and to use new tools and resources to maximize their impact and sustainability. These resources will be shared extensively through social media campaigns and traditional channels to increase awareness and engagement among parents, school leaders, and school administrators, thus increasing recognition of Safe Routes to School as a viable physical activity. Stay tuned for the first new resources in this project this month.

Please join the Safe Routes to School National Partnership in thanking Kaiser Permanente for their investment in advancing Safe Routes to School nationwide!