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Press Release

Kaiser Permanente Northwest Employees, Physicians and Dentists Answer Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Call to Serve

“Everybody can be great … because anyone can serve” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 21, 2014

Three employees in bright green shirts holding bags of oranges

Today marked Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s 10th annual day of service to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of compassion and dignity for the most vulnerable members of our community. Hundreds of Kaiser Permanente employees, doctors and dentists fanned out across Northwest communities to support service organizations and families in need, with a focus on serving our neighbors, especially children and the medically underserved.

More than 700 employees, friends and family members volunteered at sites across the region, including the Metropolitan Portland area, Salem, Vancouver and Longview. They packaged meals for the hungry, repaired school buildings, organized children’s books donations and planted hundreds of trees. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente doctors, dentists and other clinicians provided free care for the uninsured.

“Our annual day of service is an extension of the passionate care we provide to our members every day. This year, Kaiser Permanente is proud to sponsor more than 20 volunteer sites throughout the community,” said Rich Smith, vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Permanente Northwest. Volunteers will earn their regular pay as they participate in this important community outreach.

As part of the day’s events, Kaiser Permanente has awarded seven Safety Net Partnership clinics with checks for $8,000 each in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. These funds will help the clinics improve care and expand their capacity to treat vulnerable populations.

“Our MLK day of service is an important tradition for Kaiser Permanente,” said Smith. “It’s a living tribute to the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and an excellent opportunity for us to help improve the health of the communities we serve.”

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. Founded in 1945, the organization serves the health needs of 9.1 million people nationwide. More than 496,000 people in Oregon and Southwest Washington receive their health care from Kaiser Permanente. For more information, go to