News & Views

Letter from Ray Baxter

May 8, 2013


Ray Baxter


On this website you’ll discover the work Kaiser Permanente does day in and day out to improve the health of our communities. Our work is driven by our conviction that good health is a fundamental right shared by all, and by our heritage of prevention and health promotion. To that end, we share our assets – our financial resources, research, physicians, and clinical practices. But more important, we share ourselves. Kaiser Permanente employees generously give their time, talents, and passions for the benefit of others. Every day, I’m inspired by their actions.

Why do we do this? Because at Kaiser Permanente, we understand that good health extends beyond the doctor’s office and the hospital. It begins with healthy environments: fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhood stores, successful schools, clean air, accessible parks, and safe playgrounds. These are the vital signs of healthy communities. Good health for the entire community – which we call Total Community Health – requires equity and social and economic well-being.

We are also devoted to high-quality, affordable, integrated care. So we work closely with community health centers, public hospitals, and health departments, supporting their efforts to provide care for the uninsured and underserved with infrastructure, training, grants, and equipment. But our partnership with these critical safety net organizations is not enough. Our own programs also lower financial barriers, providing free and discounted care for the uninsured, because patients’ medical treatment should never depend on the size of their wallets.

Delivering real benefits to the community also requires accountability. This means we not only need to share our resources, but also learn from our community partners, deliver on our promises, measure what we are doing, identify what is working, and report regularly to our communities.

For sixty years, this work has been part of our mission. I invite you to make it your own as well. The first step is to explore this website. Read the inspiring stories, tap into the many resources, apply for grants, discover our Educational Theatre Program, learn about our community health initiatives, and so much more.

May our work inspire you to begin your own endeavors in Total Community Health. Together, we can make healthy communities happen.

Raymond J. Baxter, PhD
Senior Vice President
Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy