Press Releases: National
December 27, 2011
Kaiser Permanente’s ‘Every Body Walk!’ Rose Parade Caterpillar Leads the Way to a Healthier New Year
Nine teenagers who overcame life-threatening illnesses also ride as inspiring health heroes
PASADENA, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente spreads the word about the health benefits of walking and maintaining an active lifestyle with its 2012 Rose Parade float featuring a whimsical, 28-foot caterpillar with all 10 animated “feet” in motion.
Rendering of the Kaiser Permanente 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade float entry. Download 300 dpi rendering for printing >
The entry, entitled “Every Body Walk!,” illustrates Kaiser Permanente’s public awareness campaign aimed at getting people up and moving — 30 minutes a day, five days a week — for better health and disease prevention. The float theme further underscores Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to total health. Twenty-four Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff members will walk alongside the float and exemplify the positive results achieved through daily physical activities. They have actively participated in employee walking, fitness and health programs organized at every Kaiser Permanente medical center in Southern California. One walker is Jesse Lopez, a Kaiser Permanente administrator who helped recruit 700 participants for an American Heart Association walk in Fontana, and recently received the Overall Lifestyle Change Award from the AHA Inland Empire. Jesse has lost 50 pounds by walking.
In addition, the Kaiser Permanente float riders are nine inspiring teenagers, each selected for their courage in the face of critical health challenges, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Down syndrome and brain tumors. For example, 13-year-old Mikayla Minnig, who is sometimes immobilized by the severe pain of juvenile arthritis, has become an advocate for the nearly 300,000 children in the United States with the condition. At age 9, she testified before Congress for the Arthritis Foundation. Mikayla has made six lobbying visits to Washington D.C., and organized and led a fundraising walk team. Her parents’ pet name for her is “Boots.”
PAST ROSE PARADE FLOATS
Each rider has a compelling story and was nominated by physicians and staff members from Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Orange County, Panorama City, Woodland Hills and Baldwin Park.
“We have seen dramatic benefits from our Every Body Walk! campaign and we wanted to underscore that message with our Rose Parade float,” says Benjamin K. Chu, MD, president of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California region. “As Mikayla, Jesse and our walkers have shown, whatever your age, activity level or health challenge, give walking a try. It works."
Kaiser Permanente physicians are available to be interviewed on how individuals can start off 2012 with 30 minutes of varied health activities daily and/or how companies can create employee programs that foster workplace activities and practices that can create a healthier workforce.
Kaiser Permanente’s “Every Body Walk!” message was brought to life by builders Tim Estes and Jim Hynd of Fiesta Parade Floats, and float designer Raul R. Rodriguez, who has won more awards than any other designer in the history of the Rose Parade. This is the seventh year Kaiser Permanente has used this team for its floats, which have won numerous trophies including last year’s Extraordinaire Trophy for the “most spectacular” float. Other awards include the Director’s Trophy (2011, 2008, 2006), the Tournament Special Trophy (2009) and the President’s Trophy (2007).
The team used green kermit button mums, yellow strawflower petals, hot pink carnations and purple dendrobium orchid florets to make up the caterpillar’s body. He wears a hat, shoes and gloves of white sweet rice and carries a walking stick fashioned from melaleuca bark. The butterflies are of orange marigold petals, yellow strawflower petals, blue sinuata statice and onion seed, and the ladybugs are made from hundreds of red carnations and black chive seed. The float features more than 40,000 hot pink Topaz roses to create gardens lined with bouquets and garlands of green Jade roses, green apples and limes, bells of Ireland and Hypericum.
Final touches on the float will be applied by volunteers 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 29. Fiesta Parade Floats is located at 16016 Avenida Padilla, in Irwindale.
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, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We serve approximately 8.9 million members in nine 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. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.