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Kaiser Permanente to Host 30th Annual Diversity Conference

Event Underscores Commitment to Diverse Workforce

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking its longstanding commitment to diversity in the workplace, Kaiser Permanente today opened its 30th annual National Diversity conference in San Francisco.

This year's conference will focus on Kaiser Permanente's sustained efforts over the past three decades to integrate diversity into every aspect of daily business operations. These efforts have distinguished Kaiser Permanente as an inclusive, socially conscious organization focused on its members, patients and communities.

"The conference represents Kaiser Permanente's long tradition of diversity commitment and the important placement of diversity among the organization's core values," said Ron Knox, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.

Kaiser Permanente is a national leader in diversity programs and has successfully translated its diversity into better quality for patients through its culturally competent care and linguistics programs, as well as effective marketing, workforce diversity, and community outreach.

The organization was named one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc magazine in 2007 and 2006. It has received a 100 percent rating on the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign for the past three years, and it was awarded the Recognizing Innovation in Multicultural Health Care Award by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Most recently, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George Halvorson was among seven chief executives who received the CEO Diversity Leadership Award from the Diversity Best Practices organization on November 1, 2007.

Presentations planned at this year's conference include a forum entitled: "Affirmative Action: Past, Present and Future," moderated by Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School, and featuring Los Angeles attorney Connie Rice; Ward Connerly, chairman of the California Civil Rights Initiative campaign; Linda Chavez, chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity; and other leading experts in the ongoing debate over national public policy in employment.

Other notable authorities on diversity scheduled to present at the conference include:

-- George Halvorson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser

Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals

-- Ruth Liu, associate secretary for health policy, California Health &

Human Services Agency

-- Elliott Lewis, journalist and author of "Fade: My Journeys in

Multiracial America"

-- Romana Hasnain Wynia, vice president, Health Research & Educational


Also during the conference, Kaiser Permanente is announcing the winners of the 2007 R.J. Erickson Diversity Achievement Awards. The R.J. Erickson Awards are presented to individuals, groups, and facilities across Kaiser Permanente that champion outstanding diversity initiatives. Named in honor of Robert J. Erickson, former general counsel and lifelong advocate and champion of diversity, the awards are recognition of meritorious achievement in the field of cultural competence, work force diversity, member satisfaction, and community service.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a not-for-profit; group practice prepayment program headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of more than 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses the not-for-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 156,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 13, 000 physicians representing all specialties. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the KP News Center at:

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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