Kaiser Permanente Ecosystem
Born from Dr. Sydney Garfield's failing 12-bed Contractor's General Hospital in the Mojave Dessert during the height of the Great Depression, Kaiser Permanente is now one of the largest, not for profit hospital organizations in America. Through a sequence of unforeseen events and the development of the prepaid health plan system, it grew from a simple 12-bed facility in the Mojave Desert to 38 hospitals and 622 medical offices stretching from Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, Georgia and Washington, D.C. and its suburbs. (Press Release, 2015)
World War II is the historic event that really impacted the growth of Kaiser Permanente. As the Grand Coulee ...view middle of the document...
On July 21, 1945, the Permanente Health Plan officially opened to the public. Enrollment surpassed 300,000 members in Northern California within 10 years largely due to the support of the unions. In 1953, the name of the Health Plan and the Hospitals was changed from Permanente, which some felt had little meaning outside the organization, to Kaiser, which had high recognition nationally because of Kaiser Industries and Henry J. Kaiser himself. The medical group chose to keep the Permanente name, in part to clarify that they were not employees of Henry J. Kaiser. (Kaiser Permanente Share, 2015)
Kaiser Permanente's vision is that “We are trusted partners in total health, collaborating with people to help them thrive and creating communities that are among the healthiest in the nation.” (About Kaiser Permanente, n.d.)
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. One of the hardest hit areas was New Orleans, Louisiana. For the past 10 years, as a service provided to the community, Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians have been involved with rebuilding the community through projects to improve the health and well being of its citizens by volunteering to help. With the hard work being directed by HandsOn New Orleans, Kaiser Permanente volunteers are helping the community thrive once again. (Kaiser Permanente Share, 2014).
For two full days the Einstein Charter School was the focus of the Kaiser Permanente volunteer team. The team renovated the Welcome Trailer, created an edible school yard, a teaching garden and a teaching kitchen with the aim of getting students involved in growing their own food and learning about healthy eating. The teaching garden now includes kale, herbs and citrus trees, with more produce to come. All of the Kaiser Permanente projects associated with the Einstein Charter School are part of the continued improvement to provide opportunities for the school to encourage healthy eating and physical activity among the students. (Brozina, 2014)
Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools is a collaboration between Kaiser Permanente, schools in the community, school staff, teachers and students in kindergarten through 12th grade. One quality improvement initiative that they are involved with is providing safe walking and bike paths. (Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools, [PDF], n.d.)
When walking or biking to school, there are areas that are not safe to do either activity. Kaiser Permanente is involved in the Safe Route to School National Sponsorship and the Fire Up Your Feet Challenge which is open to any elementary and middle school in grades K – 8th. This challenge is used to increase physical activity before, during and after school for students, parents, school staff and teachers. (Venturino, 2015)
This partnership between Kaiser Permanente and the communities is a great example of the vision statement. This shows that Kaiser Permanente is involved and working with local schools to encourage a healthier way of life...