David Lawrence Community Service Awards: Alexis Goudeau Philius, RN
For more than a decade, the David Lawrence Community Service Awards have recognized outstanding Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians who support volunteer activities and initiatives that improve the health of communities. The annual award is named for David M. Lawrence, MD, former chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals and a lifelong advocate for that cause.
Up to 2 awardees are selected in each region based on their contribution to improving the overall health of a specific community or population. Their commitments focus on health and social issues such as increasing access to health care for the underserved, eliminating disparities in health outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities, and addressing the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that can affect their health.
The 2019 Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region winners are Alexis Goudeau Philius, RN, and Terry Shibuya, MD. Each will receive a $10,000 charitable contribution from Kaiser Permanente to the nonprofit organization of their choice.
Alexis Goudeau Philius, RN, is a compassionate nurse who is making a difference for homeless individuals most in need in Los Angeles County by providing them with essential supplies, food, and warm clothing.
Alexis Goudeau Philius is a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC). Several years ago, when Alexis started her job at LAMC, she began noticing the homeless people living on Los Angeles streets, whether on her commute to or from work, on her lunch break, or outside of grocery stores. She was inspired to make a difference. “I wanted to come up with a way to help as many people as possible”, she says. Although nurses are known for being compassionate, in Alexis’ words, “Compassion doesn’t stop after clocking out of work.” Alexis is the founder and CEO of “Highly Favored: A Blessing to Others”, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for impoverished people by providing them with the essential items needed for daily living. She oversees planning, fundraising, grant writing, and logistics, among many other duties.
“Highly Favored: A Blessing to Others” raises money throughout the year to purchase essential hygiene items for inclusion in care packages that are delivered to homeless individuals living on the streets. The Highly Favored team distributes food, toiletries, supplies, and warm clothing and blankets to homeless people across Los Angeles County.
Recently, the organization held its 5th annual backpack supply drive and distribution effort for the day after Thanksgiving. The team hand delivered 1,000 backpacks to homeless children, women, and men living on skid row in Downtown Los Angeles. Each person received a backpack filled with a blanket, warm hat, socks, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush, hand sanitizer, and baby wipes. The team also served them a hot meal. Instead of participating in a Black Friday shopping spree like many Americans, the group of more than 100 Highly Favored volunteers distributed both material and emotional support to people in need.
According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly 60,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County. “Imagine if you were among the forgotten,” says Alexis. “Sleeping on street corners, park benches, or bus stops…not having a reliable source of food, water, and basic human necessities.” “Highly Favored” promotes homelessness awareness and provides various volunteer opportunities for people to get involved and give back to surrounding communities.
“I believe the things we often take for granted, others pray for” says Goudeau Philius. “My vision is to be a part of the change I wish to view in the world. By influencing others and connecting with the like-minded organizations, we can touch more lives. I want to show my co-workers, family, friends, and sponsors that no effort is too small.”
Alexis’ tie to Kaiser Permanente extends further than her current employment. She was born at LAMC 34 years ago and gave birth to her daughter at KP West Los Angeles. Alexis’ mother, Camille Davis, RN, has worked for Kaiser Permanente for over 30 years.
“Kaiser Permanente is our home and family,” Alexis says. “We are forever grateful for being members and employees of an amazing organization that supports our communities.”
We congratulate Alexis for using her influence, leadership, and compassion to impact the lives of thousands of people in Los Angeles communities.
Read the story of the other 2019 awardee: Terry Shibuya, MD.