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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.

Moments like these happen all the time throughout our programs and countless others like them. If you come across one of these moments, please share it here. It may just be the spark that inspires one more person to get involved.

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  1. Slide 1

Sharing Warmth A World Away

In a small hospital in Uganda a mother wraps her newborn baby boy in a blanket for the long journey home. A creature comfort to most of us, the blanket is a luxury beyond the new mother’s imagining. It is a special gift from someone on the other side of the world named Valerie Hammel.

“It broke my heart to hear about these babies going home with absolutely nothing,” says Valerie, who learned of the situation from a (now retired) coworker who made annual trips to the country to provide care for critically ill newborns. “I couldn’t accept that.” Valerie works in the pediatric clinic at Kaiser Permanente’s Upland Medical Offices.

In this impoverished region of Africa, newborns often share beds and even equipment, and leave the hospital unswaddled and exposed. Valerie saw that the simple act of providing a blanket to these infants would do such good.

Inspired, she turned her home into a makeshift blanket factory, spending her weekends handsewing baby blankets until she has enough to send to the hospital in Uganda. She usually ships a large batch once a year, enough so that each newborn child goes home with at least this tiny bit of warmth. It will be their first – and perhaps only – blanket.

Valerie often receives thank you notes from the hospital, along with photos of the newborns, cozy inside their new blankets. “They’re so adorable!” she says with a grin.

“Valerie is a tireless worker for children’s healthcare, and this extends to the far reaches of Africa,” says co-worker Chris Malcor, RN. “These blankets are truly made with a lot of love.”