Becoming Bilingual in Health and Education is important for doctors, too

In a medical practice, what percentage of patients spend most of their days in schools? For Kaiser Permanente’s 9.5 million members, the number is about 20%, which is huge in terms of a significant place of influence for health.

August 14 started the epic healthy schools innovation week at the Center for Total Health (see: Teachers learning wellness best practices — for their students as well as themselves | Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health).

Alice Patty, MPH, Senior Program Manager, Community Health Initiatives (View on

I realized I don’t know much about school health – I am not bilingual in health and education, so asked for a quick brush-up on school health, and I got one, from Alice Patty, MPH (@alijag77). No better place than a Center for Total Health to get educated…

She covered a whole wall with organizational names, missions, and goals. There are a lot of them. I’m sure a doctor could cover just as much space with all the names, missions, and goals of the health organizations they know about. I know many physicians are engaged in their schools already and some are probably bilingual in health and education. More doctors should be, and not just to provide or arrange health services in schools.

I’ll actually just quote Loel Solomon, PhD, Vice President of Community Benefit for Kaiser Permanente, here:

— health care providers and health systems have so much to offer, as advocates for healthy policies, as experts, as agents for social norms change.

I agree! Thanks for offering us up. We accept, and as always, I am thankful for the teaching. If someone knows how to produce better health, I want to know about it.

Thanks to Kaiser Permanente’s partners Alliance for a Healthier Generation (@HealthierGen), Safe Routes to School National Partnership (@SafeRoutesNow), School Based Health Alliance (@sbh4all), and National Collaborative on Education + Health (@healthyschools).

Ted Eytan, MD