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Kaiser Permanente Approves $170 Million in Community Benefit Grants in 2009
Date:2/11/2010

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente, one of America's leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans, announced today it approved 500 grants and donations nationwide totaling $90 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. In total, Kaiser Permanente approved $170 million in grants and donations to support efforts to keep people healthy during these tough economic times.  

"We are committed to reducing health disparities, particularly in these tough times, by ensuring access to high-quality health care, healthy food and safe places to be active," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy, Kaiser Permanente. "Our commitment to our communities is to help them meet the urgent health and human needs brought on by the recession, while we continue to work on solutions to the critical public health challenges we all face together."

Kaiser Permanente's contributions nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2009 included, but were not limited to, grants in the categories below:

Healthy Eating In Hard Times

Kaiser Permanente approved $150,000 to the Manna Food Center for the "Smart Snacks" and "Fresh Food for Families Farm Share" programs to provide "nutritious, kid-friendly" food to children in Montgomery County, Maryland.  The "Smart Snacks" program pairs a business or organization with a nearby elementary school to provide a bag of food to more than 800 elementary school children each week.  Through the "Fresh Food for Families Farm Share" program, Manna will purchase shares of farmland on which fruits and vegetables will be grown for 3,000 families every month.

Senior Connections is the recipient of $150,000 for the "Eliminating Hunger Waitlists:  Feeding Low-Income Seniors" program in DeKalb County, Georgia. This grant will provide 37,500 meals to 150 senior citizens currently on the waiting list for meals.

The Food Research Action Center has been awarded $180,000 for the "Afterschool Meal Program and Farmers' Markets Collaborative" to increase access to healthy and affordable foods in Washington, D.C., and Maryland's Montgomery County, Prince George's County and Baltimore. This program strives to ensure that children and teens get enough food to continue learning through the afternoon and that the educational and enrichment activities keep them safely occupied during the after school hours.

Promoting Healthy Communities

CommonHealth ACTION in Washington, D.C., is the recipient of a $499,750 grant to establish the Mid-Atlantic Public Health Institute, to incorporate lessons learned from public health institute development across the country and to engage the assistance they provide to emerging Institutes.

Kaiser Permanente awarded $597,750 over two years to the Bikes Belong Foundation for the "Safe Routes to School State Network Project."  The project brings together diverse organizations in California, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., including the state Departments of Transportation to remove barriers to students walking and bicycling to school.

The City of Portland, Ore., is the recipient of a $100,000 grant for the "Office of Transportation Sunday Parkways Program."  In 2009, 62,000 area residents biked, walked, jogged and rolled at three Sunday Parkways events.  The Office of Transportation's goal in 2010 is to host five similar events, which will be free to the public and highlight activities along the routes.

Los Angeles County is the recipient of a $200,000 two-year grant for the "Department of Public Health Child Obesity Prevention Project."  This project will focus on 10 cities in Los Angeles County that have among the highest rates of childhood obesity.  The effort will include outreach to city and school officials and community stakeholders to focus on policy and/or environmental changes to promote healthy eating and active living.  

Denver Botanic Gardens is the recipient of a $509,000 grant over three years for its "Community Supported Agriculture" program.  The goal of the program is to create a new source of local produce for consumers, enhance current school and community education programs, and build upon existing and future farm-to-table, farm-to-school or farm-to-hospital efforts.

Careers in Health Care

Kaiser Permanente funded for four grants totaling $745,750 to colleges and universities in Colorado for scholarships supporting careers in nursing and allied health.  Recipients include foundations at Colorado State University, Pikes Peak Community College, Pueblo Community College and University of Colorado.

Safety Net Partnerships

Kaiser Permanente awarded $346,000 to the National Association of Community Health Centers' "Medical Home Initiative for America's Safety Net." The purpose of the Medical Home Initiative is to incorporate the patient-centered health model into community clinics in order to improve efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness; generate patient and community engagement in health, and to emphasize equity and eliminate health disparities.

Kaiser Permanente approved 15 grants totaling $960,000 for community clinic consortia and other organizations in Northern California helping low-income people enroll and stay enrolled in public health insurance programs such as Healthy Families and Medi-Cal.  These grants will help more people get the health coverage they need and a medical home where they can receive ongoing, preventive care.

The $170 million in grants and donations are part of Kaiser Permanente's $1.7 billion community benefit investment in 2009. The additional $1.5 billion supported a wide-range of community benefit programs including charitable care and coverage programs, research, Educational Theater Program, and training for health care workers. These community benefit programs are a part of Kaiser Permanente's ongoing commitment to improve the health and well-being of the communities in which it serves. To learn more, visit kp.org/communitybenefit.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and 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. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente

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