Placer Land Trust is pleased to announce the addition of Loomis resident Gina M. Giambruno to its Board of Directors. Gina is a Health Education Instructor II for Kaiser Permanente and will graduate with a Master’s Degree in Public Health in August. For more than a year, Gina worked with PLT and San Jose State University to study and promote the health benefits of conservation and outdoor recreation. In her role as PLT’s Public Health Intern, she supported the trust in the promotion of its trails campaign, working with private-sector partners such as Kaiser Permanente and NorCal Ultras, campaigning at Hidden Falls, and creating a video and brochure that depict the health benefits of spending time in nature.
As Gina’s internship with PLT was ending, she realized she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to PLT. As a board member, she will be able to continue to promote the trails campaign, and she hopes to use her knowledge and connections as a trail running coach for Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive employee wellness program to bring organized trail runs, similar to the Way Too Cool 50k marathon, to PLT’s preserves.
“I really believe in what PLT is doing, and the staff is amazing,” she said, “so I thought I would stay on a while longer.”
Gina first became interested in health education when her father had a triple bypass at the age of 49, and it became clear that her family had a history of diabetes. She was determined to prove to her family that personal choices are more of a factor in a person’s health than genetics. As it turns out, she said, genetics are responsible for only 25% of our physical health, while our behavior is responsible for 50% of our health. Finally, 25% of our health is impacted by our environment, which is why it’s so important to spend time outdoors. With a healthy diet and exercise, Gina has kicked her family’s health history to the curb, and now she’s ready to take that message to the masses.
“There’s a strong tie between our environmental health and our mental and physical health,” Gina said. “The more I learn about it, the more I understand how much our bodies need clean air, clean water, and open space.”