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Kaiser Permanente Approves $43 Million in Community Benefit Grants in Fourth Quarter 2008

Efforts Reinforce Commitment to Safety Net Partnerships and Quality Health Care for Underserved Communities

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today that it approved 739 Community Benefit grants and donations totaling approximately $43 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The not-for-profit health care organization's Community Benefit grants in the fourth quarter focused on strengthening health in underserved communities by improving prevention, access to primary care and advancing education for health care professionals who will serve in these communities.

"In these tough economic times, communities are relying even more on community health centers and public hospitals to meet their health needs," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "These grants are a part of Kaiser Permanente's commitment to supporting prevention and improving the quality of care."

Key grants in the four Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit focus areas include:

Safety Net Partnerships

Kaiser Permanente has funded five organizations with $4.5 million via the Southern California Specialty Care Access Initiative. The grants will be administered as part of an initiative launched in 2007 to address the access of low-income and underserved populations to gastroenterology, orthopedics, neurology, ophthalmology and cardiology. These grants will be issued to the following agencies:

  • The Children's Clinic, to provide comprehensive health care to medically underserved, low-income and high-risk populations. Funding will be used by the Long Beach Coalition to foster professional and sustainable relationships with specialists and primary care providers, and to develop guidelines to make specialty care more accessible to the community.
  • The Council of Community Clinic Healthcare Network in San Diego, to promote access to referrals, reduce demand for referrals and increase the percentage of appropriate referrals for specialists.
  • The Ventura County Medical Center Health Care Agency, to implement access to specialty care through programs such as e-health strategies that include telemedicine, e-referrals and e-mail consults.
  • The Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers in South Los Angeles, to develop a referral process and referral guidelines for identified specialty areas.
  • Los Angeles County and the University of Southern California Health Care Network, to expand and implement specialty care models for gastroenterology, ophthalmology and orthopedics in Central and East Los Angeles.

Sharing Knowledge

Kaiser Permanente has pledged $2 million to the University of California, Los Angeles, to support the David Geffen School of Medicine. Funding will be used to expand the Hispanic International Medical Graduate Program aimed at increasing the number of Hispanic family physicians in California.

The University of Georgia Foundation has been awarded of a $150,000 grant to fund a Kaiser Permanente Health Disparities Graduate Fellowship through the College of Public Health. The fellowship will help public health professionals understand the social determinants of health disparities and translate that knowledge to policy and program development.

Care and Coverage for Low-Income People

Kaiser Permanente has pledged $2.5 million to the Center for Health Care Strategies for its Rethinking Care Program. This program is focused on improving quality and reducing expenditures for complex Medicaid patients in collaboration with state Medicaid agencies, health plans and funders.

A grant of $2 million was approved for the Center to Promote Healthcare Access, to establish a partnership between the Center and the Los Angeles Unified School District to expand programs to increase the number of children and families enrolled in health and social service programs.

Community Health Initiatives

Kaiser Permanente has awarded $250,000 to the California Food Policy Advocates of Southern California, for the Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Project. This project targets improving access to healthy food for low-income children under 5 years old -- a vulnerable population for which early intervention can have a long-term impact.

Kaiser Permanente has also provided a grant of $100,000 to fund Youth Radio, an Oakland-based program designed to promote the intellectual, creative and professional growth of youth ages 14 to 24. Funding will support a Mind-Body Health Center for youth access to healthy food, physical activity on site, mental health counseling, school and preparatory assistance, job training and career coaching.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta is the recipient of a $175,000 grant for the creation of LEANkids, an after-school program designed to lower obesity rates, increase physical activity, improve nutrition and improve the self image of Atlanta youth from ages 6 to 12.

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 8.6 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 $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:

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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