When you work for Kaiser Permanente—one of the nation’s leading health care organizations—inspiration is easily found in every medical facility where physicians and medical teams provide high-quality care that ranks the orgzanization as a leader in consumer satisfaction. Also inspiring are the lives touched by Kaiser Permanente’s community investments—more than $812 million in 2013.
“People are often surprised when they learn about the magnitude of our community investments,” said Sherry Novick, managing director for Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s Community Benefit programs. “What really makes us stand apart from other funders and traditional corporate philanthropy is the combination of financial support and expertise Kaiser Permanente is able to share—and the way we truly partner with other organizations to address some of the greatest needs in our communities.”
A sampling of those investments and partnerships are highlighted in the new report, which provides tangible examples of the impact of Kaiser Permanente’s work in the community.
One example is stroke survivor Cheri Crandon, who says “her life started” when she found Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI), a longtime partner and grant recipient of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit program. Each year CEI care teams provide a range of integrated preventive care services to hundreds of fragile seniors—helping them manage complex health issues and recover from health crises, like the stroke Crandon experienced. Last year KP provided more than $8 million to safety net organizations, like CEI, to help low-income people get access to high-quality care and services they might not otherwise receive.
For gunshot victim “Michiko,” Kaiser Permanente’s community partnership with WellSpace and the Sacramento Violence Intervention Program (SVIP) meant a new beginning. Michiko grew up on the streets in a neighborhood plagued by gangs and violence. After being assaulted, she was admitted to KP Sacramento’s Emergency Department. Within an hour, a counselor from WellSpace was at her bedside to tell her about the support she could get through the SVIP. The program has helped hundreds of youth turn away from community violence with counseling, education, and job training. In 2013 Kaiser Permanente invested more than $4 million in violence prevention programs as part of its commitment to building healthy, safe communities.
With investments in schools, career day events, and Summer Youth Internship Programs, KP helps students boost their academic performance, stay in school, and explore careers in health. After taking part in an Operating Room simulation at Kaiser Permanente’s Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro, high-school student Jasmine Flores said, “I feel like my dreams aren’t that far…I can see myself there.”
“Our community investments are really backed by the organization’s founding belief in health equity,” said Novick. “All people deserve a chance to live in communities that support health and well-being, and that’s what we’re working to achieve.”
For more information on these stories and to see other examples of Kaiser Permanente’s work in the community, visit the report.