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Kaiser Permanente Opens in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz area members can now receive care at three new medical offices and at Watsonville Community Hospital. (Pictured here, the Santa Cruz Medical Office lobby is decorated with three colorful surfboards created by a local designer.)

Kaiser Permanente opened its doors and began caring for members at three new medical offices in Santa Cruz County today.

The opening of the new offices in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville means Santa Cruz County residents now have convenient access to Kaiser Permanente’s unique blend of high-quality, affordable health care and coverage. The organization first announced its plans to provide health care in the county in April 2016.

The Scott’s Valley Medical Office features large windows, which bring natural light and views of the outdoors inside.

“Improving the total health of our members and the communities we serve is a core part of our mission,” explained Janet Liang, president of Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “We are so pleased to begin providing our award-winning care and coverage in Santa Cruz County and look forward to being actively involved in these wonderful communities.”

“Our physicians are nationally recognized for their expertise in prevention, chronic disease management, and treatment of the most complex medical problems,” said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. “Trained at the leading programs in the United States, they will provide superior quality and personalized service to their patients in Santa Cruz County.”

“These medical offices are designed to enhance our members’ care experience by using technology and space to make receiving medical care easier, more convenient, and focused on choice,” said Irene Chavez, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente San Jose. “For example, our exam rooms feature 40-inch screens to facilitate real-time video conferences with specialists, translation services, and health education.”

Kaiser Permanente’s medical office in Santa Cruz features a decorative tribute to “surf city” with four beautiful surfboards created by a local designer. In Watsonville, the 19,000 square-foot facility includes local artwork and an eye-popping entrance mural.  The two-story, 20,000 square-foot Scotts Valley Medical Office features treetop views through large windows, bringing the outdoors inside.

Exam rooms, such as this one in Watsonville, feature 40-inch screens for real-time video conferences with specialists, translation services, and health education.

All three locations offer primary care services, including internal/family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics, as well as psychiatry and other mental health and wellness services. The medical offices at Watsonville and Scotts Valley include laboratory, pharmacy, general radiology, and mammography services. Members have access to specialists either in person, by phone appointments, or through video visits. Initially, there are more than 40 Kaiser Permanente specialty and primary care physicians serving Santa Cruz County and more will be added as membership grows.

“The majority of the Kaiser Permanente primary care physicians practicing in Santa Cruz County actually already live in the community,” explained Raj Bhandari, MD, physician in chief for Kaiser Permanente San Jose. “They know this area well and are looking forward to working in the same community where they live.”

Coverage for new Santa Cruz County members started on Jan. 1. Local hospital services and inpatient care, including labor and delivery, are being provided by Watsonville Community Hospital and at nearby Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Santa Clara and San Jose.

For more information about Kaiser Permanente in Santa Cruz County, visit kp.org/santacruz.