Top Row: Photo 1: 3 Kaiser Permanente
                physicians conferring over documents. Photo 2: Five young theater people in colorful clothes
                displaying large letters that spell out the word Breathe. Bottom Row: Photo 3: Boy and girl
                around the ages 6 and 8 smile and carry chopped fruit. Photo 4: Young African American
                businesswoman working in her office at a laptop. Photo 5: M-aged Latino man with arm
                tattoos draws a colorful illustration. 3 Kaiser Permanente
                physicians conferring over documents.

Kaiser Permanente exists to provide high-quality, affordable health care and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.

We believe that good health requires good health care, and more. We recognize that the conditions in our communities have a profound and pervasive impact on the health of the people who live in them. That’s why we are leveraging our assets and collaborating with community partners to help communities thrive beyond health care, to improve housing, food security, economic opportunity, education, and address climate change.

This Community Health report is one snapshot of a broad portfolio of initiatives and numerous collaborations to enhance quality of life and community health.

Boy and girl
                around the ages 6 and 8 smile and carry chopped fruit.

LEADERSHIP MESSAGE

Kaiser Permanente is committed to Total Health — mind, body, and community.

Going into our 75th year, after decades of innovation and growth, our social mission endures. Kaiser Permanente exists to provide high-quality, affordable health care and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.

We believe that good health requires good health care, and more.

We are committed to improving the health of our communities by providing evidence-based, integrated health care delivered by talented, compassionate professionals in world-class hospitals and medical offices, through telehealth and virtual care, and in the comfort of home.

We are elevating social health by collaborating with other health systems and community-based organizations to help people connect with resources to meet their health-impacting social, nonmedical needs.

Blue triangle pointing up

We recognize that the conditions in our communities—social, economic, environmental, equity, inclusion, justice— have a profound and pervasive impact on the health of the people who live, work, and play in them.

We recognize that the conditions in our communities—social, economic, environmental, equity, inclusion, justice—have a profound and pervasive impact on the health of the people who live, work, and play in them. That’s why we are leveraging our assets and collaborating with community partners to help communities thrive beyond health care, to improve housing, food security, economic opportunity, education, and address climate change.

We believe that addressing the upstream influencers of health and equity in our communities will yield long-term improvement in downstream health status and affordability of care. This Community Health report is one snapshot of a broad portfolio of initiatives and numerous collaborations. We are grateful to our many community partners, and we are grateful to the people of Kaiser Permanente who join in common purpose to make lives better and improve the health of the communities we serve.

And as Bill Coggins, the founder of the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center, is fond of saying, “the best is yet to come.”

Profile photo of Edward Ellison, MD
Profile photo of Julie Miller-Phipps
Profile photo of John Yamamoto
Profile photo of Edward Ellison, MD
Profile photo of Julie Miller-Phipps
Profile photo of John Yamamoto
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BY THE NUMBERS

Ensure Health Access

Photo of a Kaiser Permanente physician lets preschool-aged boy touch a stethoscope

To be healthy, people need access to both affordable, high-quality health care, and to vital resources and services that help them live healthier lives.

Weaving a Stronger Safety Net for Access to Care and Coverage

Kaiser Permanente provides comprehensive health coverage to nearly 1 in 5 Southern Californians. As a community hospital system, we support and are part of the medical safety net. Additionally, every year we serve more than half a million, low-income individuals and families by:

  • Delivering high-quality care to more than 420,000 people through the Medi-Cal program.
  • Providing care through our Medical Financial Assistance Program to more than 100,000 patients who lack the financial means or insurance to fully afford their care.
Photo of a Kaiser Permanente physician examines
                                    older, African American male patient

Over the past decade, we have also provided $96.5 million in grants and sharing best practices to support our clinic consortia, federally qualified health care center, free clinic, and public hospital partners to ensure the safety net remains strong. Together, we are working to build their capacity to improve the quality of care, advance health care connectivity, and increase health equity for the more than 6.5 million low-income individuals served by California’s community clinics and public hospitals.

Addressing Social Needs for Better Health

Through our Thrive Local initiative, we will connect Kaiser Permanente patients and members to community-based organizations that offer social services such as food, transportation, employment, and stable housing. Using a new online platform starting in 2020, these organizations, other health care systems, and Kaiser Permanente will form connected community networks to better meet the social needs of Southern Californians.

Blue triangle pointing up

“Our goal is to build a true community network to help meet people’s basic needs beyond the medical setting. This connection is essential to foster health equity and ensure lifelong good health for everyone in the communities we serve.”

—Nancy Gin, MD, EVP of Quality, The Permanente Federation; and Medical Director of Quality & Clinical Analysis, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

Photo of a Latina mother and her young son shop for
                                fruit in the market.

Unmet Social Needs: A Barrier to Good Health

1 in 3 unmet social needs people living in Southern California says it was a barrier to health in the past year.;17% Lacked Transportation of residents living in this region missed or didn’t schedule a medical appointment because of it.; Help 17% of residents living in this region who were sick had no one they could ask for help. 1 in 3 unmet social needs people living in Southern California says it was a barrier to health in the past year.;17% Lacked Transportation of residents living in this region missed or didn’t schedule a medical appointment because of it.; Help 17% of residents living in this region who were sick had no one they could ask for help.
Photo of two little girls about age 7 eat a healthy meal.

Photo of two little girls about age 7 eat a healthy meal. Through our Food for Life effort, we’re creating new strategies to make healthy food accessible to everyone, while fostering the important social and cultural connections that food provides. For example, this fall we launched a texting campaign reaching hundreds of thousands of members to identify and enroll members who qualify for CalFresh—California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—to enable them to overcome financial barriers to healthy, nutritious food. Looking forward, we seek to influence the food economy by using Kaiser Permanente’s purchasing power to support local and sustainable food sourcing.

Blue triangle pointing up

“Good nutrition is an important component of health. Helping our members get access to food assistance through CalFresh makes a significant difference in their diet and their health.”

—Jane Finley, SVP and area manager, Kaiser Permanente San Diego service area

Boosting Mental Health Care

We are committed to removing barriers to quality mental health care. Through our Community Mental Health and Wellness initiative, we are investing $6 million in community-based strategies to grow the mental health care workforce in the community, spread culturally competent best clinical practices, and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

WORK IN ACTION

Color rendering of a planned building.

Community Health Requires Collective Action

Color rendering of a planned building. Kaiser Permanente Southern California joined the Be Well Orange County coalition of health systems, the County of Orange, the Medi-Cal plan CalOptima, and other key leaders who came together to confront a growing need for more capacity for mental health services and substance abuse treatment. Be Well Orange County envisions a comprehensive mental health “system of care,” featuring 3 Regional Wellness Hubs. The initial Wellness Hub in the city of Orange, which broke ground this fall, will provide a range of crisis stabilization, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and residential care, as well as a mobile crisis response team, transportation, social services, employment, education, and legal aid to anyone in need, regardless of ability to pay.

Blue triangle pointing up

“Be Well Orange County illustrates how together we can accomplish what no one entity can alone. As an organization committed to health, it’s a responsibility and a privilege to be part of this public-private partnership. We can change lives, improve health, and reduce homelessness.”

—Mark Costa, SVP and area manager, Kaiser Permanente Orange County service area

Photo of a woman comforts a young African American woman by putting her arm around her shoulders.

Improve Conditions for Health and Equity

Although health care is vitally important, the economic, social, and environmental conditions in our communities have a far more significant impact on how long we live and how well we live. On average, people who experience higher poverty and higher unemployment have a shorter lifespan and worse health outcomes than those who live in economically vibrant areas.

Therefore, to advance our mission to improve the health of our communities, we’re tackling the root causes of poor health. We’re trying to increase economic opportunity and create good-paying jobs. We’re strengthening the supply of affordable housing and services to reduce homelessness and alleviate housing insecurity. We’re supporting schools as the “heart of health” in communities because educational attainment is a powerful predictor of lifelong health. And we’re actively committed to environmental stewardship by supporting sustainable livable communities.

We see Kaiser Permanente as more than an integrated health care organization. We are an anchor institution within our communities with the potential to leverage all our assets to have a positive impact on the upstream conditions for health and equity in our communities.

Advancing Economic Opportunity by Creating Jobs, Economic Growth

Photo of a young African American man in a tie holds a small sign that reads “I got the offer!” in front of a job fair banner.

High Impact Hiring is a talent sourcing strategy designed to offer Kaiser Permanente job opportunities to people who’ve experienced significant barriers to employment, such as education gaps, homelessness, and disability. All our medical centers are partnering with community- based organizations focused on workforce preparedness and social support. While offering career paths and spreading economic opportunity to vulnerable people in our community, Kaiser Permanente gains highly engaged, valuable employees who help us advance our mission. Since its inception in 2018, we’ve hired more than 200 people through this program.

Photo of a young African American man in a tie holds a small sign that reads “I got the offer!” in front of a job fair banner. High Impact Hiring is a talent sourcing strategy designed to offer Kaiser Permanente job opportunities to people who’ve experienced significant barriers to employment, such as education gaps, homelessness, and disability. All our medical centers are partnering with community- based organizations focused on workforce preparedness and social support. While offering career paths and spreading economic opportunity to vulnerable people in our community, Kaiser Permanente gains highly engaged, valuable employees who help us advance our mission. Since its inception in 2018, we’ve hired more than 200 people through this program.

Blue triangle pointing up

“Our High Impact Hiring strategy helps us fill high-demand positions and increase career opportunities for those who need it. Our team is proud of the people we’ve hired through our partnerships to date. Providing good jobs is central to our mission improving the health of our members and the communities we serve.”

—Frank Hurtarte, SVP, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals

WORK IN ACTION

High Impact Hiring in Action

Photo of a smiling young African American woman in a work uniform. Our Fontana, Ontario, and Riverside medical centers have partnered with Goodwill Southern California to help create a pipeline of job candidates for Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition Services, and the Appointment Center. Believing in the transformative power of work, both Kaiser Permanente and Goodwill are deeply committed to helping individuals with barriers to employment succeed. To date, the partnership has resulted in over 100 new employees with a 90% retention rate.

High Impact Hiring in Action

Our Fontana, Ontario, and Riverside medical centers have partnered with Goodwill Southern California to help create a pipeline of job candidates for Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition Services, and the Appointment Center. Believing in the transformative power of work, both Kaiser Permanente and Goodwill are deeply committed to helping individuals with barriers to employment succeed. To date, the partnership has resulted in over 100 new employees with a 90% retention rate.

Photo of a smiling young African American woman in a work uniform.
Blue triangle pointing up

“Sometimes you have to struggle to learn how to move forward. I was given the opportunity to obtain employment with a super organization.”

—Tatiana Martin, EVS attendant, Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center

Photo of two women in business attire smiling in front of a banner at a seminar.

Photo of two women in business attire smiling in front of a banner at a seminar. Another way to build community health is to promote community wealth in the neighborhoods where health and income disparities overlap. Enhancing small business capacity in under-resourced communities creates jobs and improves local economic vitality. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City since 2016 to provide free business education and coaching to more than 490 small businesses in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Inland Empire to enhance their ability to attract capital, expand, and provide good jobs.

Kaiser Permanente is leveraging its buying power as one of the nation’s largest, integrated, health care systems to improve the vitality and economic health of our communities. Using this impact spending approach, we’re targeting our spend to purchase from more diverse and local businesses to create jobs, bolster economic growth, and have a positive effect on the environment.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner Cty;492 businesses completed  the program; 57% of them were women-owned; 65% of them were minority-owned
Photo of a young mother hugging her preschool aged daughter

Creating More Housing for Better Health

We believe housing and homelessness are health issues. Being chronically homeless reduces a person’s life expectancy by an average of 27 years. Southern California has among the highest rates of homelessness in our nation.

Leveraging our impact investments and grantmaking, we’re working to increase the supply of affordable housing, improve health care and supportive services for the housing insecure, and reduce homelessness in the communities we serve.

In 2019, Kaiser Permanente established the Thriving Communities social impact investing fund and in collaboration with Enterprise Community Partners, created the RxHome Fund to make impact investments to promote the preservation and production of affordable and permanent supportive housing.

WORK IN ACTION

Initial Investments in Affordable Housing for Healthier Communities

Photo of an apartment building The Kaiser Permanente RxHome Fund made an initial impact investment to support Los Angeles Family Housing’s project to convert commercial property into 53 units of permanent supportive housing in the San Fernando Valley. The Fund made another investment to support the Housing Innovation Project’s acquisition and preservation of 22 units of affordable housing in the City Heights area of San Diego.

Photo of an apartment building
Blue triangle pointing up

“Stable, affordable housing is essential to a person’s health. Yet, many of the communities we serve are grappling with rapidly rising housing costs, and high rates of housing insecurity and homelessness. As a health organization, we are joining the effort to change that.”

—John Yamamoto, VP, Community Health & Govt. Relations, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals

Education Matters for Good Health

Kaiser Permanente is an educator, from preschool in Watts to our new School of Medicine opening in 2020, and we promote healthier learning environments and educational attainment in hundreds of schools across Southern California.

Kaiser Permanente helps schools foster a culture of wellness for students, teachers, and school staff through our Thriving Schools partnerships with 297 schools in 21 districts.

Photo of a woman in a Kaiser Permanente tee-shirt hugging a little boy holding a new backpack. Two other little boys hold new backpacks

Working together, we’re making schools a place where good health bolsters learning, using strategies like implementing meaningful physical education curricula, active recess, and healthy food policies.

Since 1967, our Watts Counseling and Learning Center has provided free and low-cost mental health counseling, educational therapy, academic support, and early childhood education to children and families in the greater Watts area.

Early childhood literacy. Healthy eating. Bullying. Conflict management. Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Through the medium of theatre arts, these are some of the topics taught by Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre’s actor-educators. For more than 30 years, Educational Theatre has helped children, teens, and adults make healthy decisions and build strong communities. In 2018, our Educational Theatre program reached more than 220,000 students across nearly 500 schools.

WORK IN ACTION

What Goes Around...

Photo of 4 teen actors on stage, 3 of which wear tee-shirts spelling out S T D. Young woman looks alarmed. In 2017, Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre entered into a partnership with the Kern High School District and the Kern County Public Health Services to address the alarming rates of sexually transmitted diseases among high school students and young adults. Between 2017 and 2019, ET’s play, “What Goes Around,” was featured in every high school across the district for the first time. Hip and entertaining, the performance frankly addresses the facts and myths about STDs, teaches prevention, and helps students see how the choices they make have a lasting impact on their lives and the lives of other people.

Photo of 4 teen actors on stage, 3 of which wear tee-shirts spelling out S T D. Young woman looks alarmed.
Blue triangle pointing up

“‘What Goes Around’ is in line with the world our kids are living in right now. You have to make things fun and entertaining to keep them interested. This production brings its curriculum to life.”

—Ryan Geivet, Director of Instruction, Kern High School District

Photo of 8 Kaiser Permanente cafeteria employees gathered around a cart displaying food to be donated.

Fostering Environmental Sustainability

We’re committed to reducing our environmental footprint. We have ambitious goals to become carbon neutral, reduce waste, and conserve water because a healthier environment means better health for all. Our Food and Nutrition Services teams have gone green by partnering with local nonprofits to donate unserved food. In 2018 alone, our region diverted 75,000 pounds of unused food from landfills, creating 62,000 meals for those in need and avoiding the production of greenhouse gas emissions. Small changes in the way we do business can profoundly impact the communities we serve.

Fostering Environmental Sustainability

We’re committed to reducing our environmental footprint. We have ambitious goals to become carbon neutral, reduce waste, and conserve water because a healthier environment means better health for all. Our Food and Nutrition Services teams have gone green by partnering with local nonprofits to donate unserved food. In 2018 alone, our region diverted 75,000 pounds of unused food from landfills, creating 62,000 meals for those in need and avoiding the production of greenhouse gas emissions. Small changes in the way we do business can profoundly impact the communities we serve.

Photo of 8 Kaiser Permanente cafeteria employees gathered around a cart displaying food to be donated.

“We are transforming our approach to Community Health. We seek to improve health upstream to reduce preventable demand on the health care system. This will, in turn, contribute to lower costs and make care more affordable for all, while creating healthier and more equitable communities.”

—George DiSalvo, CFO, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals

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