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Globalization of Health Issues Tackled at Kaiser Permanente Meeting on Diversity

AIDS, Immigration, Religion, Racial Conflict and Hip-Hop Converge

October 13, 2006



OAKLAND, Calif. – The implications of globalization for health care in the United States and abroad will be the focus of Kaiser Permanente’s 29th annual Diversity Conference, Global Diversity: A Call to Action. The impact of global trends on American health care will be front and center – trends that range from undocumented workers in the U. S. without access to health care to call centers in India, international medical tourism, and medications from Canada. The meeting will take place October 18-20 at Universal City. As a special highlight, Tony Award winning actor, Sarah Jones, will appear in a special performance created especially for this conference.

AIDS at 25 will examine the state of the AIDS Pandemic in developing nations. Despite the grim numbers on the African continent there are success stories: Kabelo Ebineng, chairman, Botswana Business Coalition on AIDS (BBCA), will present successful examples of two health plans in Botswana that are addressing the pandemic yielding extraordinary results. José M. Zuniga, MSPH, PhD, president and chief executive officer, International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) will offer an overview of the world-wide impact and challenge of HIV/AIDS. Others assessing 25 years of the AIDS Pandemic in the United States will be:

  • Phill Wilson, founder and executive director, Black AIDS Institute, will discuss the “browning” of AIDS and its dramatic migration to populations of color.
  • Debra Fraser-Howze, president and CEO, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, will discuss a leadership model on HIV/AIDS that includes commitment and involvement of multiple levels of the community.
  • David A. Walton, MD, Partners in Health, will share the culturally sensitive model established in Haiti for AIDS care.

Additional issues to be addressed include:

  • “The Great Immigration Debate”: differing points of view of the wave of undocumented workers and their impact on American health care.
  • “Wedding Rings to Nose Rings” looks at generational diversity in nursing.
  • The burden of stress in the face of inequality: can discrimination make you sick?
  • How do we respect people’s religion and spirituality in the work place?
  • “A Soldier’s Story: Who Will Protect & Serve Them When They Come Home?” will highlight a developing class of individuals with disabilities.

This highly popular event, Kaiser Permanente’s premier celebration of diversity as a core value and key business strategy, is the organization’s longest-running conference. The annual 2½ day event hosts an impressive array of experts on leading-edge diversity issues, culturally competent care, workforce diversity, and marketing to diverse populations.

“Kaiser Permanente is committed to making diversity a reality in health care through the development of culturally competent care and linguistic proficiency programs,” said Ronald Knox, vice president and chief diversity officer. “This year’s conference offers an extraordinary opportunity to address global trends by understanding our connection to them.”

Kaiser Permanente’s Diversity program has been awarded the 2006 National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) “Recognizing Innovation in Multicultural Health Care Award” for two acclaimed programs, the Qualified Bilingual Staff Model (QBS), and the Health Care Interpreter Certificate Program (HCICP). Both programs address the dearth of qualified, professional health care interpreters providing linguistically and culturally appropriate health care assistance in the United States. In addition, Kaiser Permanente is the only health care provider in the nation to score 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2006 Corporate Equity Index that evaluates corporate policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.


About Kaiser Permanente

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.