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Kaiser Permanente Approves $29 Million in Community Benefit Grants

Efforts Reinforce Commitment to Healthy Eating, Active Living and Safety

Net Partnerships

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the fourth quarter of 2007, Kaiser Permanente approved 778 community benefit grants, totaling more than $29 million. The charitable contributions underscore the organization's commitment to improve the health of the communities that it serves. Funds were pledged or paid in each of Kaiser Permanente's eight geographic regions, with key grants being made to aid the fight against obesity in Colorado and strengthen the quality of care to underserved populations through safety net partnerships in California.

"Kaiser Permanente recognizes that good health requires more than exceptional health care at the doctor's office or hospital. Our members, neighbors, employees, physicians, families, and friends cannot be healthy if they live in unhealthy community environments or do not have access to quality care in their communities," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., senior vice president, Community Benefit. "With the guiding vision of making total health a reality for everyone, we look to offer assistance to organizations that share this goal and remain committed to expanding our impact beyond our walls."

LiveWell Colorado

In December, Kaiser Permanente pledged $16 million to allow LiveWell Colorado, a program that supports community-based initiatives to fight obesity, to become its own non-profit entity charged with coordinating obesity prevention and wellness efforts statewide. The umbrella organization, confounded by The Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Kaiser Permanente, will be one of the first of its kind in the United States to serve as a central hub for overseeing and optimizing healthy eating and active living programs throughout a state.

LiveWell Colorado will support a range of community-based efforts to transform playgrounds, schools, businesses and neighborhoods so that Coloradans have access to healthy, affordable food and safe physical activity as part of everyday life. The new entity will be able to leverage resources, build support for policy change, coordinate strategies, promote self-efficiency and help stakeholders from all sectors work collaboratively to reduce obesity rates and trends in Colorado. This type of convergence work is hailed by public health experts as a crucial step toward making meaningful impacts on the nation's obesity epidemic.

Strengthening Quality in the Safety Net

With more than 18 percent of Californians uninsured or underinsured, many of the state's residents receive care from "safety net" organizations. In an ongoing effort to improve the quality of care provided to these most vulnerable members of the population, Kaiser Permanente approved 39 grants totaling more than $7.5 million for safety net hospitals and partners in the last quarter of 2007.

The funding from these grants will go to programs that seek to foster a more coordinated and more effective system of care for everyone in our communities. These include developing interventions to better manage patients with chronic conditions, promoting preventative programs, healthy lifestyle choices and medication adherence among patients. Many grants will assist with data collection and maintenance, leveraging technology to improve efficiency and quality.

Kaiser Permanente has been partnering with the community for 60 years to improve public health, by providing care and coverage to vulnerable populations, and encouraging healthy eating and active living in the communities it serves.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a not-for-profit; group practice program headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente serves 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 13,000 physicians representing all specialties. In 2006, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed $808 million in health services, technology, and funding to Community Benefit-toward total community health. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the KP News Center at:

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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