Margaret DeKoven, a Kaiser Permanente pediatric physician assistant in Lakewood, Colorado, knows nature is a powerful medicine.
“Giving out prescriptions to spend time in nature sends a pretty powerful message that there is a strong connection between nature and health,” said DeKoven, an employee with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado for nearly 35 years.
An advocate for those who have less resources, DeKoven worked to bring the city of Lakewood’s Passport to the Parks program to her patients. Through this program, she provides pediatric members with little passports to get stamped with the names of the local parks and playgrounds they visit. Her work to prescribe the outdoors was recently featured in a national magazine called Land + People.
DeKoven’s commitment to making the outdoors fun for her patients is one of many reasons she’s been selected to represent the Colorado Region for Kaiser Permanente atop the organization’s “Inspiring Healthy Communities”-themed float at the 129 th Rose Parade® in Pasadena, California.
“I’ve been at Kaiser Permanente many years and have had many memorable experiences. I’ve never been on a float so this will definitely be another experience to remember,” said DeKoven. “I’m proud to support this parade, which is giving our organization a national platform to spread the message of health and the importance of the outdoors to more Americans.”
This year’s Rose Parade® theme, “Making a Difference,” is integral with Kaiser Permanente’s mission of making a lasting impact on the health of the communities in which we live, work and play. Kaiser Permanente’s “Inspiring Healthy Communities,” float celebrates those who are making lasting impacts on the health of individuals in communities across the United States.
Eight honorees, including DeKoven, will ride on Kaiser Permanente’s float this year, representing the regions where the nonprofit health care organization provides care to its 11.7 million members. The riders have all participated in local community partnerships or have demonstrated a passion for bringing total health to their communities.
The full list of honorees includes:
Learn more about the Rose Parade.