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Kern County Service Area

Community Benefit is central to our mission. We believe good health is a fundamental aspiration of all people. We recognize that promotion of good health extends beyond the doctor’s office and the hospital. Like our approach to medicine, our work in the community takes a prevention-focused, evidence-based approach. To be healthy, people need access to care including access to healthy and nutritious food in their neighborhood, safe parks, walking paths, and playgrounds, improved school meal nutrition and increased opportunities for physical activity. Good health for the entire community also requires a focus on social and economic well-being.

We focus our work on three broad areas:

  • Providing access to high-quality care for low-income, underserved people
  • Creating safe, healthy communities and environments where people live, work, and play
  • Sharing medical expertise and disseminating health related resources and sharing it widely with community based organizations, schools, cities, leagues, etc.

Across these areas, we work to inspire and support people to be healthier in all aspects of their lives, and build stronger, healthier communities.

In pursuit of our mission we go beyond traditional corporate philanthropy and grant-making to leverage our internal resources with our physician expertise, clinical practices, health education expertise, and technical assistance. In addition to dedicating resources through Community Benefit, we also leverage substantial additional assets that improve community health, including our workforce volunteerism.

For many years, we have worked collaboratively with other organizations to address serious public health issues such as obesity, access to care, and education. We have conducted Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) to better understand each community’s unique needs and resources. The CHNA process informs our community investments and helps us develop strategies aimed at making long-term, sustainable change—and it allows us to deepen the strong relationships we have with other organizations that are working to improve community health.

Kern County Service Area Grants Program

Grantmaking is by invite only

The grant information below is for historical information only. As part of a pilot strategy, the Kaiser Permanente Kern County 2019 Community Benefit Grants were awarded through a “By Invitation Only” grant process conducted in November 2018.

Kaiser Permanente Kern provides grants to local nonprofit health and human service organizations that address the priority health needs for its community service area. The current funding priorities, funding timeline, and guidelines on how to apply are provided below.

If you would like to apply for Grant or Sponsorship Funding for a broader service area in Southern California or Nationally, visit this site for more information and to apply.

If you would like to apply for a local event sponsorship, such as: special fund raising events (luncheons, recognition dinners); conferences; symposia; public policy briefings; and health education forums; visit this site for more information and to apply. 

Current Grant Funding Priorities

Kaiser Permanente Kern County is currently focused on supporting the following health needs and related strategic priorities. Reviewing this area will help to ensure that your proposed grant project is aligned with these priorities.

Access to Health Care

  • Increase coverage and access to comprehensive, quality health care services for low-income and uninsured populations. Priority consideration will be given to projects or programs that: a) Include targeted outreach, enrollment, and retention efforts to increase access to health care coverage, particularly among communities of color and immigrant populations or where disparities in both access to care and health care coverage is greatest and/or b) the provision of high quality health care (including preventive services and specialty care) for underserved populations.
  • Improve the capacity of health care systems to provide quality health care services, including the social and non-medical needs of their patients. Priority consideration will be given to projects or programs that: a) include infrastructure improvements that can sustain the integration of clinical care with mental/behavioral health, oral health, vision care and other health services and/or b) include the provision of training for medical providers to deliver culturally competent care to diverse populations.

Mental and Behavioral Health

  • Improve the knowledge, capacity and infrastructure of health care, organizations and communities to address mental and behavioral health. Priority consideration will be given to projects or programs that:  a) include prevention efforts to increase community awareness and educate youth and adults about the dangers of prescription drugs and/or b) include the integration of health care with community-based mental health services, such as training of health care providers to identify mental and behavioral health needs, patient navigators who can help patients access services, strengthening of referral networks, training for teachers and parents, and/or co-location of services between primary care and mental health providers.
  • Promote positive mental health by fostering community cohesion and social and emotional support. Priority consideration will be given to projects or programs that include the implementation of policies and programs that address early child development and toxic stress.

Obesity, Overweight and/or Diabetes (including Healthy Eating Active Living)

  • Improve access to healthy food options in the community. Priority consideration will be given to local governments, schools and/or community based organizations to provide healthy food options (including accessible drinking water) and to adopt healthy food policies, including procurement practices.
  • Improve linkages between health care services and community-level services. Priority consideration will be given to multi-level, multi-component initiatives in community settings to support access to healthy, affordable food and activity-promoting environments
  • Improve access to opportunities for physical activity in the community. Priority consideration will be given to programs or projects that:  a) include development of joint use agreements among local governments, school districts and community based organizations to allow for use of play grounds after school hours and/or expand use of city owned recreational facilities, and/or b) implement or create policies that prioritize underserved neighborhoods for park investments and encourage communities to use parks to their full potential.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

  • Improve patient access to STI preventive services including affordable medications and behavioral counseling and support. Priority consideration will be given to projects and programs that:  a) improve referral of patients to evidence-based health promotion programs that teach self-management and empowerment techniques for STI management and prevention and/or b) programs that develop community-based organizations, leaders, and networks, and build their capacity to advance equity and reduce stigma surrounding STI. 

Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible for a Kaiser Permanente Kern County Service Area Community Health grant, an applicant organization (or fiscal agent), must have operations in California and be one of the following types of nonprofit organizations:

  • 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization with a 509 (a) designation indicating that the organization is not a private foundation
  • A local, state or federal government agency, including any of its subdivisions that perform substantial government functions.

In addition, organizations must:

Kaiser Permanente Kern County Service Area Community Health does not consider funding requests from international, social, recreational clubs, or for the following:

  • Sports teams and tournaments (e.g., golf tournaments, tennis events, walks, and runs)
  • Individuals
  • Religious purposes
  • Partisan political activities
  • Endowments or memorials
  • Re-granting purposes to other organizations

Kaiser Permanente Kern County Service Area will not consider requests from organizations that discriminate based on gender, age, economic status, educational background, race, color, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or marital status in your programs, services, policies and administration. In addition, Community Health grants will not be awarded for activities, events, or programs organized or solely sponsored by alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical companies, or companies that produce firearms.

We generally do not provide grants for academic research, capital campaigns, event sponsorships (including community health fairs), or political campaigns.

Grant Award Parameters and Considerations

Kaiser Permanente Kern County considers one year grants ranging from $5,000-$30,000. The average grant made is $10,000. Kaiser Permanente Kern County highly encourages grant requests submitted by two or more nonprofit organizations partnering to address the same priority need and to provide direct complementary services to the target population. The partnership should identify a single organization to function as the Lead Agency through established Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements. Organizations applying as part of a Partnership Grant cannot submit a separate application as an individual organization.

To view your sbumitted applications click here.

NOTE: Only one (1) application will be accepted per organization per cycle

Grantmaking Contact

Kristin Weber
Senior Community Benefit Manager
(661) 334.2033

By the Numbers

Total Grants Awarded in 2018

Looking for CHNA Reports?

You can find all the CHNA Reports organized by Year and Medical Center in the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Section of the Service Areas Page.