A large part of Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. As part of that commitment, Kaiser Permanente recently helped open a wellness center for more than 70 teachers and employees at Carole Highlands Elementary School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The new wellness center includes exercise equipment and a meditation area.
The teachers have named the lounge the WOW Center, which stands for Working On Wellness.
“Teaching is a very important job, but it can also be very stressful,” said Carole Highlands Elementary School principal JeVivvien Ray. “Everyone at our school would like to thank Kaiser Permanente for helping us create a space where we can relax and rejuvenate so that we can be the best we can be for all of our students.”
The WOW Center is made possible by Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools Minigrant program, which has contributed more than $60,000 in grants to support teacher, administrator, and staff health in 25 Prince George’s County Public Schools during its first year.
During the ribbon cutting for the WOW Center, second grade teacher Brooke Henderson presented Janine Ziegler, Kaiser Permanente’s Executive Account Manager for DC/Suburban Maryland, with a beautiful painting in appreciation of the support Kaiser Permanente has provided the Carole Highland Elementary School.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we are honored to partner with Prince George’s County and the Prince George’s County Public School System,” Ziegler said, while thanking the teachers and school employees for the award. “We are committed to improving the health of our members and the communities we serve, and we know that the health of teachers is vital to the overall wellbeing and success of the students, school district, and community as a whole.”
Wellness resources for schools and busy staff
Last fall, a partnership between several Kaiser Permanente departments launched this new Thriving Schools program in Prince George’s County Public Schools to provide fitness equipment, healthy eating and active lifestyle programs, and other resources to local schools to make healthy choices easier for busy school staff. Healthy teachers and staff are great role models for the students, helping to ensure the next generation is healthy too.
The 25 projects that were selected will reach more than 1.900 teachers, administrators, and staff. These grants will increase access to healthy foods and beverages and provide ways for staff to incorporate physical activity into their day. Many of these grant-funded projects will also support behavioral health through stress management and relaxation tools.
In 2017, Kaiser Permanente welcomed Prince George’s County Public Schools back to the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States family for the first time in more than 20 years. Teachers and school employees once again have access to our award-winning, integrated care model, which combines health care and health coverage in one convenient package.
Teachers and school employees are very important to Kaiser Permanente. We work to create a culture of health in local schools where teachers, students, staff and parents can benefit. Kaiser Permanente supports a range of initiatives, including wellness programs and changes to school-wide policies.