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Kaiser Permanente Approves $13 Million in Community Benefit Grants in First Quarter of 2009

Funding Focuses on the Safety Net and Elderly Care in Underserved Communities

OAKLAND, Calif., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today that it has approved more than 400 grants and donations totaling approximately $13 million in the first quarter of 2009. The not-for-profit health care organization's grants focused this quarter on expanding access to specialty care in the safety net and improving care for the elderly.

"In these times of great need, we must strengthen support for the most vulnerable people in our communities, such as the uninsured and the elderly," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "When specialty care is deferred due to lack of access, individuals and communities experience unnecessary hardships. Kaiser Permanente's grants are helping communities come together to address this access challenge."

Kaiser Permanente's grants nationwide included, but were not limited to, the following:

Strengthening the Safety Net

Kaiser Permanente has awarded five Southern California coalitions $900,000 each, totaling $4.5 million, through the California Specialty Care Access Initiative. These grants are part of a coordinated, statewide program initiated and led by Kaiser Permanente and launched in 2007 to increase access and reduce demand for specialty care among uninsured and underinsured populations. The initiative targets access to care in various specialties such as gastroenterology, orthopedics, neurology, ophthalmology, and cardiology. The following lead agencies are recipients of the Specialty Care grants this quarter:

  • The East Valley Community Health Center
  • The Kern Medical Center
  • The Latino Health Collaborative
  • The Valley Care Community Consortium
  • The Venice Family Clinic

Other Kaiser Permanente grants to strengthen the safety net include a $250,000 grant to the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center for implementing electronic health records at the Hillsboro, Ore., clinic. The Center plans to implement EHRs at all of its clinics, with the goals of improving the quality of patient care, reducing health disparities, increasing efficiency in the clinic's care delivery systems, increasing patient safety, and decreasing medical errors.

Clinica Campesina Family Health Services of Lafayette, Colo., is the recipient of a $127,800 grant for the "A-L-L Evidence-Based Model to Address Disparities in Diabetes." A-L-L is a Kaiser Permanente-derived pharmaceutical treatment proven to be effective in reducing cerebrovascular and coronary death in diabetics using the drugs Aspirin, Lovastatin, and Lisinopril. The agency is receiving funding and technical support to translate this treatment into practice with its diabetic population.

Improving the Quality of Care for the Elderly

The South Asian Network's Elder Caregivers Program, of Los Angeles and Orange counties, is the recipient of a $100,000 grant to support programs for the elderly by training 100 South Asian caregivers. Funding will increase education for caregivers on aging issues, provide monthly culturally sensitive workshops, and provide peer support group activities for caregivers.

Kaiser Permanente also has funded two grants totaling $275,000 to the University of California, Irvine Center for Excellence in Elder Abuse and Neglect. Of this amount, a $125,000 grant will support the university's Pharmacy Training Program to develop, pilot, and evaluate a curriculum on elder abuse. Pharmacists and pharmacy staff also will be trained as "gatekeepers" for identifying and reporting elders at risk for abuse, neglect, and self-neglect. The remaining $150,000 will support the establishment of a statewide Elder Abuse Policy Council, whose duties will include educating policymakers on elder mistreatment issues.

The University of Southern California will receive $240,000 for the Andrus Gerontology Center's Fall Prevention Center of Excellence Coalition. The grant will focus on building a sustainable Fall Prevention Coalition and strategic plan to provide services, help reduce injuries from falls, and provide training and advocacy for culturally diverse, underserved communities.

Addressing the Social, Economic and Environmental Determinants of Health

The Hacienda Community Development Corporation of Portland, Ore., is the recipient of $150,000 to support the development of the Micro Mercantes Cooperative, an initiative promoting the sale of prepared food at local farmers markets. In addition to making fresh and nutritious food easily available to the community, funding will train entrepreneurial residents of the area in management, finance, and marketing, with the goal of developing a business plan and building an independent, self-sustaining cooperative.

Mercy Corps of Portland received $244,824 to develop the "Building Freedom through Lifelong Information For Entrepreneurs" program. Through skills training, employment opportunities and matched savings accounts, the LIFE program is designed to help women, who were formerly incarcerated at the Coffee Creek Correctional Institution, to achieve economic stability.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is shaping the future of health care. We are America's leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. In 2008, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed approximately $1.17 billion to support community benefit programs and services through research, community-based health partnerships, and direct health coverage for low-income families and individuals, in collaboration with community clinics, health departments and public hospitals. For more information, go to

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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