SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- As health care reform takes the national stage and Kaiser Permanente is being hailed as a care delivery model, renowned entrepreneur Henry J. Kaiser will be inducted today into The California Hall of Fame. Kaiser's eldest granddaughter, Carlyn Kaiser Stark, will accept the Spirit of California medal on his behalf during a formal, private state ceremony in Sacramento this evening.
Kaiser's greatest legacy is Kaiser Permanente, one of the world's first prepaid health plans, which he co-founded with Dr. Sidney R. Garfield in 1938. Today, Kaiser Permanente is the nation's largest not-for-profit health plan. In addition, Kaiser was noted for his innovations in shipbuilding and engineering.
"Henry J. Kaiser was a true California innovator, so it is very fitting that he is receiving this honor," said Tom Debley, historian and director of heritage resources for Kaiser Permanente. "Kaiser wasn't afraid to take risks and plunge headlong into uncharted territory to improve the strength and vitality of American industry, as well as individual health. That's really what the Golden State is all about: driving for a better quality of life."
Kaiser was an entrepreneur who quite literally arrived in California by jumping off a moving train in 1921 to meet the deadline to place what became the winning bid for a section of historic Highway 99 near Redding. He became known for turning lost opportunities into new prospects. After losing a bid to construct the Shasta Dam, for example, he founded Permanente Cement and won the $6.9 million contract to supply the 5.8 million barrels of cement needed for the job. In 1931, Kaiser helped organize the Six Companies, Inc., consortium, which had a part in building some of the largest infrastructure projects of the 20th century, including the Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam and the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.
Kaiser's health plan was created
|SOURCE Kaiser Permanente|
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