CA4Health works in rural and small California counties to reduce chronic disease and illness by helping bring about changes in the community that make it easier for people to make healthier choices in their daily lives. In Humboldt County, the local health department partnered with students and staff at Eureka High School to implement Hydration Nation, an effort that increased the access and appeal of fresh drinking water as a healthy alternative to the sugary beverages that are helping fuel the nation’s obesity epidemic. At Eureka High School, there were 11 older-style water fountains available to the 1,200 students and 80 staff members, none of which allowed easy filling of the reusable water bottles which were gaining popularity. Stephanie Jackson, a Eureka High teacher, had a vision of modernizing the school’s water delivery system and gathered a group of like-minded students to form Hydration Nation. The Hydration Nation Project had three goals: encourage staff and students to drink more water, educate them about the environmental consequences of single-use plastic bottles of water, and to purchase five modern hydration stations to provide access to fresh water that was easy to refill their reusable water bottles with. The students hit the ground running and secured funding to install hydration stations at their school. In addition, CA4Health/Humboldt County donated 1,200 reusable water bottles to the EHS students.

CA4Health is a project of the Public Health Institute, in partnership with local health departments, community partners and statewide technical assistance providers, and is made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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