Kaiser Permanente is committed to health. That means not only delivering great health care but also creating communities where people can be healthy in all the places they live, learn, work, and play.
This is especially important in schools, where better health boosts educational success and educational success for students, leading to better lifelong health, employment, earning potential, and self-confidence.
Every day in our schools, teachers do extraordinary work to build a healthier future for their students and communities. As a way to say “Thank You!” Kaiser Permanente will highlight health and wellness tips for teachers and school system employees during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Good school health has always been a priority for Kaiser Permanente, and we help create a culture of health by promoting workforce health and student-focused interventions like improving school lunches and increasing opportunities for physical activity through our Thriving Schools program.
Thriving Schools is Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive effort to create a culture of health and wellness for students, staff and teachers in K-12 schools by leveraging resources from several of our departments including Marketing, Sales, and Business Development, Workforce Health, and Community Health. When it began, the program promoted healthy eating and active living in schools, and has since expanded to also support mental health and wellness for staff, teachers and students as well as career-college readiness for all students. As a national effort with partnerships extending across the country, Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools seeks to impact health in schools on a broad scale while addressing high priority health needs in the specific communities where we operate.
Evidence indicates that healthy students do better on all levels of academic achievement: academic performance, education, classroom behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes. A healthy school workplace also helps retain teachers and staff, reduces stress, boosts job satisfaction and supports employees to perform at their best.
Thriving Schools in the Mid-Atlantic States
Here are just a few of the other ways Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is taking action:
Thriving Germantown: Thriving Germantown, a pilot program, serves nearly 1,000 people through an innovative model of care coordination for low-income children and families at Daley Elementary School. Thriving Germantown provides coordinated, intensive, comprehensive support for these children in health care, mental health services and social services, with the aim of reducing adverse childhood experiences. The pilot was born out of multisector community stakeholder meetings that included local nonprofits, businesses, and community residents. Phase 2 of this program will create a non-profit shared office space for the delivery of health, social and workforce services for northern Montgomery County residents. The nonprofit social service organizations will co-locate in one Germantown location offering a range of clinical and social services, from mental health care to housing and food.
Thriving Schools Mini-Grants in Prince Georges County Public Schools: In the fall of 2017, Kaiser Permanente announced a pilot program in partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools offering “mini-grants” for projects to promote teacher and staff wellness. This innovative approach provided a total of more than $60,000 to 25 schools. These mini-grants funded programs to increase access to healthy foods and beverages, increase opportunity for physical activity and offer stress management and relaxation tools for more than 1,900 teachers, administrators, and staff.
Ready for Work: Kaiser Permanente is a strong supporter of the Ready for Work Program for Prince George’s County high school students. This program advances academic achievement by increasing ninth grade promotion rates, cultivating a college- and career-going culture and developing health student behaviors. By the year 2021, the Ready for Work initiative will help nearly 3,000 students in Prince George’s County gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workforce.