Kaiser Permanente Approves $19 Million in Community Benefit Grants
Funding for Quality Improvement Programs at Safety Net Hospitals and Clinics, Care to the Homeless, and Healthy Eating in Hard Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans, announced today that it has approved $19 million in grants and donations to 465 nonprofit organizations nationwide in the third quarter of 2009. The health care organization’s grants this quarter focused on improving the quality of care in public hospitals and community clinics, creating respite care programs for the homeless, providing communities with access to healthy foods during hard economic times, and awarding scholarships to children interested in careers in health care.
Kaiser Permanente Approves $19 Million in Community Benefit Grants
“We are continuing our long-term commitment to improving the quality of care at public hospitals and community clinics and to support innovative programs that prevent chronic illnesses for the uninsured and underserved" said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy, Kaiser Permanente. “As part of our strategic partnership with our communities, we are addressing the immediate needs of people who are struggling to put food on the table coupled with our long-term goal to ensure access to healthy foods. In both hard times and good times, healthy foods are always the right choice, and we are committed to ensuring access to healthy options.”
Kaiser Permanente’s grants nationwide included, but were not limited to, the following:
Quality Improvement Initiative in the Safety Net
About $5.7 million was approved this quarter for projects focused on improving the quality of care at safety net organizations in California. These grants support needed staffing, processes, tools and infrastructure that enable organizations, such as community clinics, public hospitals and health systems, to improve both access and quality of care provided to disadvantaged patients. With this funding these safety net organizations will expand services to existing patients and increase access to quality care to additional patients who are at a high risk due to racial/ethnic disparities and chronic conditions.
Safety Net Partnership Grants
Kaiser Permanente awarded $300,000 to the Health Care Interpreters Network to develop the “Statewide Video Network for Public Hospitals to Link with Health Care Interpreters” program, which will be implemented in public hospitals throughout California. This program will deliver training and continuing education programs for medical interpreters, and test how the this program can be leveraged to provide telemedicine services to patients who have limited English proficiency.
The National Association of Community Health Centers was awarded $108,646 to create programs to develop “medical homes” among the nation’s community health centers. Studies show that having a medical home — a regular provider or place of care — ensures that patients get the care they need when they need it, but one in eight uninsured Americans do not have it. The NACHC will assess the status and capacity of community health centers to assure the development of medical homes.
Seven San Francisco Bay Area public hospitals and community clinics will receive Kaiser Permanente grants of $300,000 each to implement the “Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday,” or PHASE program. PHASE is a therapeutic program that provides a bundle of medications including low-dose aspirin, lisinopril, and lipid-lowering medication to reduce heart attacks and strokes in patients with heart disease or patients over 55 with diabetes.
Homeless Respite Initiative
Kaiser Permanente grants were issued to three organizations in Northern California to develop, create and improve respite care for the homeless. The programs include:
* Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, which will use the $150,000 funding to expand existing respite services for medically discharged homeless patients.
* Contra Costa Health Services, which will use $150,000 to construct an 8,100-square-foot, 24-bed respite facility providing services such as medical and psychiatric services, case management, benefits and housing search assistance.
* Health Care Foundation of Northern and Central California, which will use $149,863 to develop a program plan to launch the first medical respite program in the Fresno region, called the Fresno Medical Respite Care Center — estimated to serve 360 – 400 people when it opens in 2010.
Healthy Eating In Hard Times
Kaiser Permanente is at the forefront of national efforts to promote access to healthy foods. In continuing to fund this initiative, Kaiser Permanente awarded the California Association of Food Banks and California Food Policy Advocates $200,000 each toward statewide programs to support “Healthy Eating in Hard Times.” Programs include providing better access to food for Californians who are experiencing economic difficulty; supporting changes to improve the nutritional quality of food distributed through food banks and pantries; improving access to food stamps, and increasing participation in school breakfast and other meal programs.
Kaiser Permanente gave United Way of the Washington D.C. National Capital Area $225,000 for the Child Wellness Initiative. The funds will be used to develop programs and support community strategies focusing on childhood education and engaging families in healthy eating and active living.
Kaiser Permanente has given the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta $325,000 for its “Lifetime Health and Wellness for Today’s Youth” program. The initiative will support a multi-year study that assesses the effect of various interventions on identified health risks; make available scholarships for a 12-week youth exercise and nutrition program; and provide grants to support physical activity and healthy eating programs.
Careers in Health Care
Kaiser Permanente funded the Oregon Health Career Center $309,000 to develop the “Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program” to assist families of high school seniors who are interested in health care and dental careers, but would not otherwise afford the college tuition. Up to 128 high school students will receive $2,000 college scholarships in 2010 toward their careers in health care.
Kaiser Permanente’s grants approved this quarter are in addition to 1,100 grants totaling $24 million approved in the first half of 2009. These grants are a part of Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing commitment to improve the health and well-being of the communities in which it serves.
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