A Kaiser Permanente grant is aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment for low-income and underserved communities in the East Bay.
Kaiser Permanente’s community investments have made possible a $6-million grant that will go toward the purchase of a state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner at Oakland’s Highland Hospital. Highland is the largest campus of the Alameda Health System (AHS), a public health care organization that operates several hospitals and clinics in the East Bay and provides health care to an overwhelmingly low-income and underserved community.
“Supporting organizations that share our commitment to expanding and improving access to health care for all people is an important part of our work to eliminate health disparities,” said Yvette Radford, vice president of Kaiser Permanente’s External and Community Affairs. “We are proud to make this investment in AHS, knowing that the equipment will address significant community needs.”
The grant for the equipment was made to the Alameda Health System Foundation (AHSF) through a fund Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit established at the East Bay Community Foundation. AHSF is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for AHS.
“This important gift expands our ability to serve more patients and improves our efforts to remove barriers to better health for all,” said Delvecchio Finley, Alameda Health System CEO. “We applaud Kaiser Permanente and the health system’s Foundation for supporting our fight for health equity to ensure all patients have access to optimal care.”
Powerful Scanner, Improved Patient Care
MRI scanners produce detailed three-dimensional images that help health care teams diagnose diseases and monitor treatments. The new 3T MRI at Highland Hospital will offer double the power of Highland’s existing high-field scanner, providing faster and more precise images and expanding access to services for patients.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in Oakland and Redwood City have been using 3T MRI scanners since 2014. In Redwood City, the equipment is part of the medical center’s Neuroscience Center, where Kaiser Permanente patients from throughout Northern California can receive specialized neurological care.
The medical center’s Radiology Subchief for MRI, Cam Tran, MD, said the exceptional image quality of the 3T MRI has made a difference when it comes to diagnosing disease.
“The technology has improved our ability to make more accurate diagnoses, particularly with neurological diseases, which has led to improved patient care,” Dr. Tran explained.
Highland Hospital’s new 3T MRI is scheduled to go live in early 2018 as part of the Diagnostic Interventional Services Center in its Acute Care Tower that opened earlier this year.
The Kaiser Permanente investment that provided funding for the technology-focused grant is the largest contribution awarded to AHSF for medical equipment in its 26-year history. It follows a series of Kaiser Permanente grants over the years that have supported essential programs and equipment for the Alameda Health System.
These grants help support Kaiser Permanente’s mission as a nonprofit to improve the health of the communities it serves.
Debra Barnes, AHSF president, said she is grateful to Kaiser Permanente for its leadership.
“Kaiser Permanente is a valued partner that has continually demonstrated a shared commitment to community health.”