Company : Northgate Gonzalez Market
Program category : 2014 2014


Northgate Gonzalez Market created Viva La Salud Program in 2009 in efforts of becoming the recognized and trusted Supermarket Champion of Health & Wellness to the communities we serve. The Viva La Salud(VLS) department works on providing affordable, quality and healthier on-trend products, by providing tools and communicating with customers in new and different ways (relevant to them). We do so by maintaining connections with educational health and nonprofit partners by facilitating a monthly wellness themed calendar for all stores. In addition the program’s department has a registered dietitian and two chef’s helping direct VLS events in the stores. With combined efforts this 2014 year the stores will host over 700 store events for LA, OC and SD counties. Within our monthly themes we were able to start a partnership with Susan G Komen for May (women’s health month) and October (breast cancer awareness month) in 2010. “First, we just wanted a space to do outreach and sign up the women for free mammograms but then we realized what a concept to provide onsite mammography at the stores. We would eliminate the transportation barriers and the customers would come if Northgate helped us promote and they did on their weekly mailer which reached thousands of households” Ambrocia Lopez, Community Outreach and Education Manager. Northgate hosted 10 onsite breast exam and mammogram events inside our stores and in mobile units parked in front of our stores in 2014 alone. Read our Antioxidant Blog including Chef Pablo’s Delicious Antioxidant-Rich Recipes Here!


Northgate meets with SGK affiliates at store level months before actual onsite event dates to introduce the store management to SGK and secure store support, supplies and set up location. We are also able to create weekly ads that give educational informational and event details. In October 2014, we decided to sell our VLS Race for the Cure shirts to store employees as a SGK fundraiser and gave opportunities to employees to wear the team shirts and or pink on Fridays during the month of October and have educational material to give the community. VLS piloted with the Tortilleria Department on “Pink Bag NG Private Label Tortilla Bag” to donate 25 cents per bag sold during a certain time frame in October 2014, it was a true success with making the Tortilla department employees our “champions” and giving them facts and educational material to give customers. A VLS employee always attends onsite events at store level to help customers fill out the forms needed for the screenings and be the store rep. VLS Chef created 4 antioxidant vegan recipes to go along with theme, hosted recipe demos at our stores and gave out educational material. Through our social media we were able to post on our FB, Instagram and blog making awareness of store events with SGK, chef recipes and demos.


Northgate’s objective with Viva La Salud is to become a part of the community, not only as a local trusted grocery store, more as a “health portal”. Empower our employees and customers to get educated on health and wellness, bring resources overall that will help with prevention of chronic disease, help offer healthy lifestyle choices and encourage regular exercise, are key elements in reducing many health risks, including breast cancer and partnership with Susan G Komen affiliates from San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles.


Northgate’s VLS program has hosted over 140 events in partnership with SGK on education, prevention, early detection through our onsite breast exams and mammograms for employees/customers to date. With this partnership we have been able to reach and educate thousands and have provided hundreds of mammograms. Our commitment with our VLS program has been a great benefit to our staff and community, empowering individuals through education and ensuring equal access to care. Our VLS Race for the Cure shirts – employees bought over 2500 shirts out of 5500 employees and helped us fundraiser over $5,000 in donation for our Northgate Race for the Cure 5K team. Through our social media we were able to reach over 3,250 individuals. Most rewarding part of the evaluation is helping connect women to free and or low cost medical screenings and resources to help with prevention and or early detection of diseases which helps save lives.


"At Northgate Gonzalez Market we are guided by our pillars of Faith, Education and Health. They are the cornerstone of our relationship with our customers, co-workers and the communities in which we live and work.  We take pride in our Viva La Salud Program efforts that are unique.  It’s our duty as part of the community to provide resources on health and wellness, empowering individuals through education and ensuring equal access to care. Our Viva La Salud partnerships have been able to help us become a trusted “health portal”, improving health outcomes and prevention. We are proud to support the efforts in breast cancer education and onsite events that are helping save lives in our communities." -  Oscar Gonzalez, CEO

Support Statement:

Social-economic and cultural barriers attribute to the disparities and when SGK was identifying potential partners they looked at Northgate because they have markets in the cities with the highest incidence of late stage diagnosis and they are a trusted brand in the Latino community. Ambrocia Lopez, Community Outreach and Education Manager, SGK OC Thanks to our partnership with Northgate, thousands of women have been educated about breast cancer, had an opportunity to ask doctors one-on-one breast health questions, and received free clinical breast exams and mammograms. Komen San Diego is proud to partner with an organization that not only shares our mission of empowering individuals through education and ensuring equal access to care for all, but is also willing to act upon those shared beliefs. Laura Farmer Sherman, Executive Director, SGK SD In our continued work to address the breast health needs of all Los Angelenos, Viva la Salud has been an invaluable channel for reaching underserved women and enacting change on a community level. The program has allowed our organization to work with key store locations to reach women who have rarely (or never) undergone a mammogram. Viva la Salud enables us to provide breast cancer screening services and direct education in a trusted community setting. Through Northgate Gonzalez Markets’ support, Viva la Salud is helping our organization improve breast health outcomes while overcoming financial, social and cultural hurdles. Mark K. Pilon, Executive Director, SGK LA