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District nurse named to Kaiser’s Thriving Schools Honor Roll

District nurse named to Kaiser’s Thriving Schools Honor Roll
Posted on 01/03/2017

San Diego Unified School District

Entry courtesy of Kaiser Permanente

Every day in our schools there are ordinary people doing extraordinary work to build a healthier future for the students, staff and teachers. These are the folks, who when faced with obstacles, look beyond them and see possibilities. They are collaborators, caregivers, coaches, instructors, advocates and all-around superstars.

The Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools Honor Roll awards program recognizes those individuals who are championing sustainable, healthy school environments. The program celebrates successes, recognizes innovation and elevates best practices so that we can all be inspired.

This year's cadre of award winners serve as staff, teachers, youth, parents, school or community leaders, and union leaders who:

  • Engage in promoting healthy school communities for students and staff through strategies such as:
  • Creating school systems and environments that promote and support healthy eating and physical activity
  • Creating school systems and environments that promote and support social and emotional health and wellness
  • Leading policy change to support student and staff wellness
  • Improving school climate
  • Demonstrate vision, creativity and a collaborative spirit in championing sustainable changes at schools
  • Inspire other school community members to take action

Honor Roll Champion: Martha Bajet

Region: Southern California

Title/Role: School nurse

Organization/School District: Rosa Parks Elementary School

School nurses know better than anyone just how important a prevention approach to health can be. So it's no surprise that Martha Bajet is a fierce advocate for health policies in her school that can prevent illness even before it starts.

Martha is involved in a variety of activities that have made tremendous improvements in staff and student wellness. She is known for being skilled at connecting people to the resources that they need, particularly as it relates to utilizing the services of the school's health center. She regularly educates parents, staff, and teachers about the connection between healthy eating and obesity prevention and leads efforts to ensure only healthy treats and snacks are served in classrooms. She was a catalyst for gaining staff buy-in to update the staff lounge and secure resources to support their well-being. She provides a welcoming health office where people can feel comfortable meeting with her, and she goes out of her way to create a strong sense of community within the school.

In the past three years, Martha has built a very strong wellness council and facilitates meetings and motivates members to work together for a common goal. Martha's influence also extends beyond her school. She provides support to other school site wellness coordinators and nurses in a highly accessible and culturally sensitive way.