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Kaiser Permanente Approves $12 Million in Community Benefit Grants in Third Quarter of 2008
Date:10/28/2008

Focus on Education and Providing Quality Health Care to Disenfranchised

Communities

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today that it has approved more than 490 community benefit grants and donations totaling approximately $12 million in the third quarter of 2008. The not-for-profit organization is committed to supporting programs that enhance education and strengthen the quality of health care to underserved communities and the homeless.

"Kaiser Permanente is reinforcing its commitment to the communities we serve by supporting programs that focus on the importance of good preventive health and address the barriers to quality care for many Americans," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "Good health starts with a healthy local environment. By providing sustained support to local organizations, we are able to make a direct, positive impact on issues like the shortage of health care workers, homelessness, the uninsured and childhood obesity."

Key grants in each of the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit focus areas are included below.

Dissemination of Knowledge

Kaiser Permanente awarded $312,000 in funding for a Health Career Scholarship Program at the Oregon Health Career Center. The goal of the program is to award 115 scholarships to prepare high school seniors from underserved communities for careers in the health professions.

The University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine Post- Baccalaureate Program received $100,000 to support the program, which assists California residents from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain admission to medical school. Students will be selected based on evidence that they will likely return to serve their communities as future health care providers.

Safety Net Partnerships

Kaiser Permanente awarded $1 million to La Maestra Community Health Centers to help build a LEED(R) Gold Certified Community Clinic in San Diego County -- the first of its kind in the United States. The 34,660-square-foot medical facility will be constructed with state-of-the-art energy-efficient and environmentally responsible materials, fixtures and operations. The new facility will enable La Maestra to accommodate 60,000 patient visits per year. With the additional space and increased number of employees, the clinic will be able to expand its treatment areas and develop new programs and services.

Kaiser Permanente supports expanded access to health care beyond community health centers, through funding to safety net partners like Colorado's Mile High United Way. The Denver-based organization received $100,000 over three years to develop a plan to reduce homelessness by 75 percent in five years. Kaiser Permanente's funding over the next three years will be allocated toward medical, mental health and substance abuse services for almost 4,000 homeless in the City and County of Denver.

A $335.000 grant also was awarded to a unique collaboration for a pilot program in Los Angeles County that will place homeless individuals in an intensive mental illness/addiction treatment program that includes permanent housing and stabilization instead of serving a jail term. The pilot program is a collaboration with the Los Angeles Public Defender's Office, the Los Angeles City Attorney, Integrated Recovery Network and Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center, and is designed to support people who struggle to address the multiple challenges of homelessness, mental illness and addiction to achieve their goals of stability and independence.

Care and Coverage for Low-Income People

As part of its effort to provide uninsured families with ongoing access to comprehensive care, Kaiser Permanente awarded $200,000 to the Tides Center's State Enrollment Modernization Project in California. The project's mission is to examine and improve the complicated procedures that have become barriers to enrolling qualified residents into health insurance and entitlement programs such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.

Funding of $100,000 over the next two years will also go to the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County to establish a Medical Legal Community Partnership with community clinics and community health workers.

Community Health Initiatives

Kaiser Permanente has awarded almost $200,000 to the Vacaville Unified School District of Northern California for the Healthy Eating, Active Living Local Partnership Grant BMI (Body Mass Index) Intervention Study. The two- year study will examine whether parents with overweight children who understand their child's BMI results will respond by utilizing intervention resources to get their child to a healthy range.

Kaiser Permanente also is providing funding of $100,000 to the Walk San Diego organization for the Next Steps Project, which will expand outreach and advocacy to increase walkability in West Chula Vista and to promote walking as a mode of transportation and as sound physical activity.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, the program is headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente serves 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 164,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and 14,000 physicians representing all specialties. The organization's Labor Management Partnership is the largest such health care partnership in the United States. It governs how more than 130,000 workers, managers, physicians and dentists work together to make Kaiser Permanente the best place to receive care, and the best place to work. In 2007, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed an estimated $1 billion to support community benefit programs and services through research, community-based health partnerships, and direct health coverage for low-income families and collaboration with community clinics, health departments and public hospitals. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the Kaiser Permanente News Center at: http://xnet.kp.org/newscenter


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