Kaiser Permanente is committed to building partnerships with the institutions that serve on the front lines of health care for the uninsured and underserved. Together with community health centers, public health departments, and community-based health organizations, we address health disparities, expand access, and deliver high quality health care to the people in our communities.
Who is the safety net?
- Federally Qualified Health Centers
- Public health departments
- Community health centers
- Free clinics
- School-Based Health Centers
- Community based nonprofits providing health services
Our work in safety net partnerships falls into the following categories:
- Quality improvement and population health
- Leadership development
- Transforming care and improving access
Community Health Workers
We support the development of new models of integrating Community Health Workers into community and clinical settings. We collaborate with the Oregon Community Health Workers Association and other local partners to strengthen the CHW workforce and infrastructure.
Learn about one example of our work, the Warriors of Wellness project in this video.
Familias en Acción is one of our community partners that employs bilingual/bicultural Community Health Workers who are working with Kaiser Permanente Spanish-speaking members. Read about our work with them in the Community Partnership Model Guide.
Some other examples of current safety net partnership work within our Northwest Region:
- Oral Health : We support community efforts to improve oral health, including the integration of oral health services within primary care, oral health education and prevention services, and school-based oral health services for children. We currently participate in the Oregon Children’s Dental Health Initiative as one of several funders.
- Behavioral Health: We support efforts to increase access to behavioral health services, the integration of behavioral health and primary care services, and other efforts to improve the emotional, social and behavioral well-being of our communities. In 2016, we conducted an environmental scan of behavioral health needs and efforts underway in our region. In response, we launched a new funding initiative focused on peer supports and supportive housing. The Housing for Health Initiative involves 7 funded projects across our Northwest region.
- Leadership Development: We provide scholarships and training resources for safety net clinicians and leaders, including access to Kaiser Permanente clinical programs and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Safety Net Endowment. You can see the results of our 2016 survey of scholarship recipients here.
- Community Supported Clinics: We partner with community clinics to increase their capacity to serve more people and strengthen their sustainability so that they can continue their work for the long-term. In 2015 we joined forced with Providence Health & Services to fund 9 community-supported clinics in our region. Community-supported clinics provide vital services to our local communities including the uninsured.
- School-Based Health Centers: School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) provide comprehensive health services to young people in a trusted and familiar environment – their schools. SBHCs can be a one-stop location for primary care, mental health, oral health and health prevention services. In 2014 we launched a three-year grant initiative focused on the development of new SBHCs and behavioral health services within existing SBHCs.