Bright Spot Visits

San Gabriel Valley Healthy Cities Collaborative 

Our coalition is comprised of four partners – Neighbors Acting Together helping All (NATHA), Duarte Unified School District (DUSD), and City of Duarte Parks and Recreation, and Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education (CCARE) at City of Hope. Our main goal as a coalition is to further evaluate, enhance, and scale up the Teen Nutrition Council to Increase students' awareness and responsible decision-making regarding health and wellness by incorporating leadership skills in research, advocacy, and social determinants of health. Our objective is to empower teens to be active community members and gain confidence in engaging policy makers and community stakeholders to enable policy and systemic change. The Teen Nutrition Council program was designed to help improve the health of the Duarte and Pasadena communities using the Participatory Research Approach (YPAR). We trained peer health educators with the knowledge and skills needed to increase consumption of healthy food and physical activity in their community.

City of Hope Bright Spot Visit 

On December 15th, 2016 City of Hope, in Duarte California, hosted a bright spot visit to share some of the San Gabriel Valley Healthy Cities Collaborative community work. We had two SCALE communities come visit our site, Provision Partners for Health (PP4H) from Chicago, Illinois and YMCA of the Triangle from Southeast Raleigh, North Carolina. We gave them a tour of the Duarte Teen Center and a tour of the City of Hope (COH) campus. At the end of the campus tour, they received a short presentation on the High School STEM initiative and all the work being done here at City of Hope with the youth.

SCALE Community members participating at our City of Hope Campus Tour

Teen Nutrition Council Presentation

Hosting a SCALE bright spot visit was a great experience for us at City of Hope. We welcomed our guest to the Duarte Teen Center where we all gave a background of the community work we do to empower youth. It was really nice to share the wonderful work we are doing here in the San Gabriel Valley, California and to see how other SCALE communities are doing similar work with youth empowerment across the country. 

The last stop was going back to the Duarte Teen Center to meet and greet the Teen Nutrition Council and have the youth share their personal experience and work they have done for the community.


We really enjoyed sharing our coalition community work and receiving amazing feedback from the other two SCALE communities.

SCALE Bright Spot Visit: Downtown Women’s Center  

On Friday, December 16th, a few members of the San Gabriel Valley Healthy Cities Collaborative got the opportunity to visit the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, California. The Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) is part of the Skid Row Chronic Disease Learning Collaborative that focuses on working with women in the community to secure permanent housing and other services. A few of the services they provide are housing, medical and mental health, social networks, and financial security in order to end homelessness in the community. They have a Women’s Health Center which is an on-site clinic that provides basic medical care, screenings and assessments. In addition, the DWC’s learning center provide these women with educational classes and provides support for employment placement services to help overcome homelessness.


During the bright spot visit at the DWC we learned about their SCALE community based initiative which aims to improve the health of women with or at risk for diabetes in the Skid Row community. The overall focus of their program is to increase equity, and improve self-worth and motivation amongst the women in the community. Their 8-week diabetes program is very similar to a program we run therefore we hope to continue our collaborative efforts by sharing our educational workshops and resources to their clients and staff.

In addition, they shared a brief presentation on all the unique aspects of the programs they have implemented; the Women for Wellness Program and a walking group program called diaBEATit! We were very impressed by the duration of the program and how they engaged participants to continue with the program by providing them with useful incremental incentives.A great tool we hope to implement with our own program is the community asset mapping conducted through the walking group program. They were able to map out locations and resources available for the skid row community as they engaged the participants through insightful and educational activities as they walked throughout the community.

Overall the bright spot visit was a great experience for our coalition members since we have a lot in common in the type of programs that were implemented. We were also able to share ideas and discuss common challenges both of our teams faced during implementation of the programs and how we were able to fail forward and adapt to unexpected changes.