by JENNIFER FRAKES
photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

The Bjork Family
Keeps Busy in the
Local Community

For Robert and Elise Bjork and their four children, life in 92129 is busy, but they love every minute of it. “We have lived in Torrey Highlands for 11 years, and we love the friendly community with lots of families that have schoolchildren like we do. All [of the children’s schools] are high quality Poway Unified School District Schools and are within walking distance from our house,” related Robert. Currently, two of the Bjork children, Carlton and Claire, attend Westview High and Victoria is a sixth grader at Mesa Verde Middle School. The eldest of the Bjork children, Robert, recently graduated from Westview and is now a freshman at Cal State San Marcos.
Robert and Elise both balance their family responsibilities with careers in the healthcare industry. Robert is a pediatrician and the owner of Sea Breeze Pediatrics in Carmel Valley, and Elise is a dental hygienist in the La Jolla/UTC area. Robert is also co-chair of the Scripps Health Human Subject Protection Committee for Clinical Research. “This committee reviews all studies throughout the five Scripps hospitals to assure that they are scientifically sound, ethical, reasonably safe and well described to participants prior to enrollment into clinical trials,” explained Robert, who also holds a patent for a new approach to treating cancer through an intervention in the human immune system. Robert has been involved in promoting a method of screening 12-month-old babies for autism, in collaboration with the Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) in La Jolla. This led to a 2011 publication in the Journal of Pediatrics, and a proposal for a nationwide application of this type of autism screening.
The family is also committed to volunteering in the local community. The Bjorks are active boosters of the Westview High football program, and Robert manages the local Colt League fall baseball program. “We also support the Rancho Peñasquitos Family YMCA, where our eldest son works part-time and where our girls are on the competitive gymnastics team. Both of our sons have also been involved in volunteer work at Scripps Memorial Hospital,” stated Robert.
According to Robert, even with their busy schedules, the family manages to spend time together enjoying the San Diego lifestyle. “We have many hobbies, including surfing, swimming, hiking and bike riding. All of the children participated in ‘Ride Across California’ when they were in fifth grade,” revealed Robert. They also incorporate their love for the outdoors into family traditions, such as an annual Mother’s Day bike ride from the San Diego Convention Center to Coronado and a Father’s Day family golf game. And throughout the year, the family can be seen playing around at local parks, including Views West Park and Canyonside Parks and Recreation Center.

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Parents: Robert Lamar Bjork, Jr., MD (58) and Connie Elise Bjork, RDH (53)
Neighborhood: Torrey Highlands in Rancho Peñasquitos since 2002
Hometown: Robert – Los Angeles, California; Elise – Toccoa, Georgia
Profesion: Robert – Physician (Pediatrics) and Scientist (Cancer Immunology);
Elise – Dental Hygienist
Children: Robert Lamar Bjork, III (18) is a college freshman at Cal State San Marcos, Carlton Paul Bjork (16) is a junior at Westview High,
Claire Elise Bjork (14) is a freshman at Westview High
Victoria Nicole Bjork (11) is a 6th grader at Mesa Verde Middle School.
Pets: Two dogs (both Labrador/German Shepard mix), Lily (3) and Shadow (1)

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