Kaiser Permanente Promotes Health with 2014 Rose Parade Float Entry 'First Steps to Total Health'

Kaiser Permanente Promotes Health with 2014 Rose Parade Float Entry 'First Steps to Total Health'

"First Steps to Total Health," the title of Kaiser Permanente's 2014 Rose Parade float entry, helps promote what we can all do to ensure our overall health at every stage of our life. Kaiser Permanente believes that babies who have a healthy first year will grow up to be healthy children, teens, adults and eventually become thriving seniors.

Featuring Mr. Stork and a bundle of babies, the float reminds us that, when we instill and promote healthy habits from the beginning, we are more likely to maintain them into adulthood.

And one of the most important first steps a mother can make to promote the health of her family is to choose to breastfeed. That is why twelve Kaiser Permanente Southern California hospitals are recognized as Baby-Friendly Hospitals by Baby-Friendly USA, the authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global effort to ensure hospital maternity services support breastfeeding. Kaiser Permanente hospitals have some of the highest rates of exclusive breastfeeding at time of discharge in the state.

"At Kaiser Permanente, we are committed to giving every baby the healthiest start possible," said Edward Ellison, MD, executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. "Kaiser Permanente Southern California delivers an average of 35,000 babies per year. We believe in making the healthy choice the easy choice for mothers and families, so we support breastfeeding in our hospitals and in our pediatric care. We also promote and support breastfeeding as a key component of our comprehensive strategy to prevent childhood obesity."

Riding on the float this year will be two Kaiser Permanente members with remarkable stories of how they took their First Steps to Total Health and how they are thriving today. Nadia Ruiz Gonzales, a Kaiser Permanente baby born at the Bellflower Medical Center, is among the youngest and fastest Latina runners in the world to complete 100 marathons. Joining Nadia is Precious Malumfashi, a miracle baby who weighed just 1 pound, 4 ounces, when she was born 15 weeks early at the Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. She is now a healthy and thriving young woman who volunteers at the very same NICU where she was born.

Also riding the float will be three Kaiser Permanente physicians who are dedicated to helping their patients thrive, one step at a time. Myra Bastidas, MD is a "Kaiser Permanente Baby" now taking care of a new generation of Kaiser Permanente babies in her role as a pediatrician at the North Hollywood Medical Offices; Sean Hashmi, MD is an internal medicine specialist who has become a health and fitness champion and an advocate for that 'First Step'; and Michael Tabak, MD is a neonatologist who has delivered over 9,000 babies and spent close to 12,000 hours in night shifts caring for babies in the NICU.

"Dreams Come True," the title of the 125th Rose Parade, marks Kaiser Permanente's ninth float entry. Designed and built once again by Raul Rodriguez and Fiesta Parade Floats, the Kaiser Permanente entry has received an award every year, including: 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 (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 2014 Rose Parade, please visit the Tournament of Roses website. For more information about the Kaiser Permanente Rose Parade Float, "First Steps to Total Health," please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Kaiser Permanente Southern California

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 to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 3.6 million members in Southern California. 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/share.

SOURCE: BUSINESS WIRE ©2015 Business Wire