Student Sam Stemmer leads the through a daily yoga routine as part of the curriculum in the Indio High Wellness Academy.

Student Sam Stemmer leads the class through a daily yoga routine as part of the curriculum in the Indio High Wellness Academy.

Wellness can be defined as an approach to health care that emphasizes illness prevention and prolonging life, rather than emphasizing the treatment of disease.

This viewpoint, as well as the current condition of health among humans, has inspired a new career academy at Indio High School under the leadership of Jason Tate, a biologist and student of human nutrition. Mr. Tate was also inspired by the World Health Organization definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

As wellness institutes become more prevalent in our health care system and medical communities, it becomes abundantly clear that this is a profoundly powerful way to approach the definition of human health.

At Indio High School, sophomores learn the history of disease, human pathology and medical terminology, and research various health careers. Junior health academy students spend the entire school year learning about the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the digestive, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. Seniors refine their knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and begin to define a career pursuit while focusing on internships.

All levels experience dimensions of wellness with units on mental health, nutrition, and physical activity. Daily yoga breaks during class led by the teacher, and sometimes students, enable the students to experience the healing potential of focused breathing and movement. It’s quite a sight to see a class of 45 or more students doing the warrior three or crescent poses.

The Health and Nutritional Sciences (HANS) Academy at Indio High School is seeking business, industry, and community partners to help continue the development of the program and curriculum. The academy always welcomes guest speakers, and we encourage speakers to contact Mr. Tate to schedule an engagement.

The academy’s mission is to produce organized, disciplined, and well-rounded health career professionals. All careers in the health-related fields are encouraged, based on the student’s passion and interest. In addition to specialized education in their chosen field, all students in the HANS Academy receive extensive training in nutrition and physical fitness to foster and encourage total health. The goal is to cultivate health career professionals who possess the skills and experience to inspire their patients and colleagues to achieve optimum wellness.

From all of us at Indio High School, we wish you well.

For information contact Steve Biller at Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) at (760) 340.1575.

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    We live in both a natural world and a spiritual world. There many dimensions of wellness, such as physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, financial, social and creative, that when combined make each of us special and unique individual spirits.


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