One in five Kaiser Permanente members — some 2 million people — spend the majority of their day in school. “If that’s not a healthy place, then they’re not likely to be healthy,” said Ray Baxter, senior vice president of Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy.
That reality was the driving force behind the creation of Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools in 2013, a comprehensive effort to create a culture of health and wellness in K-12 schools by encouraging healthy eating, active living and positive school climates.
While students, staff and teachers are the primary audience for Thriving Schools, its influence extends well beyond school walls. “It has a ripple effect that can have a positive impact on everyone in a community,” said Artie Southam, executive vice president of Health Plan Operations.
In this video, Baxter and Southam share their perspectives on Thriving Schools — and why they believe healthy schools are a cornerstone of healthy communities.