Working together to build a healthier community for all of us.

Kaiser Permanente believes when we collaborate and support each other, our work improves the quality of health and life in our communities.

We are dedicated to total health of body, mind, and spirit, and we pursue efforts that broaden access to the highest quality care for people when they need it. We believe all of us deserve to live healthy lives in our homes, our workplaces, and our neighborhoods. That’s why, for more than 70 years, we have worked to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.

We accomplish this work in countless ways, from funding knowledge and resource sharing programs that address health disparities to providing assistance with health care costs to people in need. Our commitment is exhibited in the many ways we reach out and work with others to build a healthy future for all.

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There are moments that inspire. Moments that touch your heart, open your eyes or inspire action. Often a single moment can achieve all three.

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Making Futures in Health Care a Reality

Over 450 middle and high school students spent a Saturday happily dissecting lambs’ hearts, learning the basics of CPR and emergency preparedness, attending a theatrical event, and talking with physicians and nurses about the real possibility of careers in health care. All this took place when Hippocrates Circle Program students, their parents, and medical center mentors converged on the Pasadena Convention Center for a day spent exploring a future rich with possibilities.

Hippocrates Circle is funded by Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit and helps youth from under-represented communities and diverse backgrounds realize they can attend college and pursue careers as physicians or medical professionals. Through the collaborative efforts of local school districts, medical schools, and doctors and staff from Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California region, Hippocrates Circle bolsters self-esteem in students and helps them chart a path to success.

All Kaiser Permanente Southern California service areas participate in the program, with sessions conducted in the spring and/or fall. The Pasadena event hosted students from the Baldwin Park, Downey, Fontana, Ontario, Los Angeles, Orange County, Panorama City, South Bay, and West Los Angeles Medical Centers.

The morning started out with a lively greeting from Maria Carrasco, MD, Regional Hippocrates Circle Physician Leader. She noted that the day was focused totally on the students. “We want to support you in your future as college students and future doctors. We are here to help you reach your dream,” she said.

The students were then treated to a presentation of Someone Like Me, performed by Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre. The play addresses the issues of bullying and cyber bullying, and is designed as a springboard for discussions between students, teachers, parents and other trusted adults. It also models ways for students to reach out for help, (for themselves or their friends), should they need it.

After the performance, students had the opportunity to dissect lamb’s hearts and learn more about the functions of the human heart under the careful direction of their medical center mentors. They also visited with representatives from local medical and nursing schools, learned about Emergency Medical Services training, consulted with college financial aid experts, and got tips about healthy eating.   

All of the participants were attentive and engaged throughout the day’s events. As one student exclaimed, “I couldn't wait to get here today. This is the best thing ever! I know I can become a doctor now," she said.