December 6, 2017

Our 2018 Rose Parade float: ‘Inspiring Healthy Communities’

Eight individuals who are ‘Making a Difference’ will ride atop the whimsical .garden float

PASADENA, Calif. — “Inspiring Healthy Communities,” Kaiser Permanente’s 2018 Rose Parade® float, celebrates those who are making lasting impacts on the health of individuals in communities across the United States. This year’s animated float promotes healthy eating and active living through its playful garden scene. Creating healthy communities is central to Kaiser Permanente’s mission to transform and improve the neighborhoods it serves — from coast to coast.

“Kaiser Permanente has long worked to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve by increasing access to healthy foods and active living opportunities,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief community health officer of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Inc. “We hope this float inspires everyone to find their passion to thrive wherever they live, work or play.”

“The Rose Parade is an opportunity for Southern California to play host to the world,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Inc. for the Southern California Region. “We’re proud to be a part of this historic tradition and to show everyone how Kaiser Permanente integrates healthy living into its internationally renowned patient-care system.”

Kaiser Permanente invested $2.8 billion in 2016 to promote healthy communities for people of all ages without regard to social or economic barriers.

The 8 honorees who will ride atop Kaiser Permanente’s float this year come from the regions where the organization provides care. The riders have all participated in local community partnerships or have demonstrated a passion for bringing total health to their communities.

The honorees include:

  • Chef Neal Fraser, a board member of the L.A.’s BEST afterschool program, who regularly mentors Southern California youth and teaches them how to cook healthy meals for themselves and their families.
  • Alice Rolls, the executive director of Georgia Organics, who pioneered “farm to school” programs in Georgia public schools.
  • Teresa Yamasaki, RN, a Kaiser Permanente registered nurse who helped rebuild communities in disaster zones across her native Hawaii and the world.
  • Margaret Dekoven, a Kaiser Permanente physician assistant who, through her partnership with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, has inspired pediatric patients to exercise outdoors and protect the natural environment.
  • Linda Watson, a production manager for the D.C. Central Kitchen, who has worked to eliminate food deserts in the nation’s capital and bring healthy, home-cooked meals to its public schools.
  • Linda Ginenthal, the Sunday Parkways program manager who brought safe bike and running trails to Portland’s most underserved communities.
  • Kenneth Lopez, DPM, a Kaiser Permanente physician who helped evacuate patients from the Santa Rosa Medical Center even while his own neighborhood was devastated by the Northern California wildfires.
  • Devon Adelman, the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Ambassador from Seattle who inspires developmentally disabled athletes to pursue their dreams — both on and off the field.

“All of these accomplished men and women epitomize this year’s Rose Parade theme of 'Making a Difference,'’’ said Dr. Choucair. “Through their dedication, hard work and inventiveness, they are making their communities better by encouraging those around them to live healthier lives.”

In addition to the float riders, 20 students, representatives from Hollywood High School, as well as physicians from the school’s onsite wellness center, run by Kaiser Permanente, will walk alongside the float as it makes its way along the parade route. Hollywood High has a longstanding partnership with Kaiser Permanente as a participant in its Thriving Schools program, which promotes health and wellness for students, staff and teachers in K-12 schools.

“Inspiring Healthy Communities,” Kaiser Permanente’s 13th Rose Parade float entry, was designed and built by Fiesta Parade Floats. Kaiser Permanente’s past float entries have received numerous awards, including the Grand Marshal’s Trophy (2016); Judge’s Special Trophy for the most spectacular in showmanship and dramatic impact (2015); Theme Trophy for excellence in presenting the parade theme (2013); Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the most beautiful float entry from a non-commercial sponsor (2014, 2012); Director's Trophy for most artistic merit in design and floral presentation (2011, 2008, 2006); Extraordinaire Trophy for the "most spectacular" float longer than 55 feet (2010); Tournament Special Trophy for exceptional merit in multiple classifications (2009); and President's Trophy for most effective floral use and presentation (2007).

For additional information about the 2018 Rose Parade, please visit the Tournament of Roses website. For more information about the Kaiser Permanente Rose Parade Float, “Inspiring Healthy Communities,” please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.7 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.