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Safety Net Leader Begins Fellowship at Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Fellowship sponsored by Kaiser Permanente provides opportunity for a new set of leaders for challenges ahead

August 21, 2013

TOPICS: Community Benefit | REGIONS: National, Southern California | KEYWORDS: MD Mentions

For decades, safety-net institutions have stood at the forefront in maintaining access to quality health care for those who can’t afford it.

IHI Safety Net Fellowships

Yet with the upcoming changes due to health care reform, safety-net organizations will take on the challenge of converting historically under-resourced settings into organizations capable of attracting and retaining patients who will have choices in the new health marketplace.

“And they will need to continue to do this while sustaining a commitment to the underserved,” said Winston Wong, MD, medical director, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives. “A new set of safety-net leaders will be needed to be able to handle the challenges ahead.”

The Institute of Healthcare Improvement Fellowship Program, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, aims to develop health care leaders with the drive, skills and experience to spread improvement in the United States and globally, and to build capability within health care organizations to reach dramatically higher levels of performance.

Gilbert Salinas, MPA, director of Patient and Community Relations at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center near Los Angeles has been chosen as a 2013 IHI fellow . Salinas will spend a year in Boston at IHI, in an immersion program designed to develop health care leaders.

“The individual best suited for this fellowship has a deep commitment to the unique role of safety-net organizations in the U.S. and knowledge of the skills necessary to bring about innovative, systems-level change in health care, guided by the best improvement science,” said Maureen Bisognano, IHI President and CEO.

“Gilbert is the first IHI fellow whose improvement work and leadership skills stem from his experiences as a patient and patient advocate and we know his invaluable perspective will assist IHI’s efforts to ensure the patient’s voice is built into all improvement projects globally,” she added.

Salinas has done extensive work in the field of violence prevention, youth advocacy, patient advocacy and gun violence prevention.
Among his many accomplishments, he was part of the planning and review committee for former surgeon general, David Satcher, MD, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “Report on Youth Violence,” and is a former chairman of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” Salinas said. “I’ve been given the chance to learn from the best and to go back to empower my own community and be a catalyst for change.”

Kaiser Permanente and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement have a longstanding relationship. Kaiser Permanente has granted over 1,100 scholarships to IHI trainings and seminars, made possible by a Kaiser Permanente endowment established in partnership with IHI in 2004. As a result of this partnership, hundreds of the organization’s safety-net partners have received scholarships for continuing education and quality-improvement training opportunities offered by IHI.

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 more than 9 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