Group of happy college students

The Community Health Careers initiative at Kaiser Permanente Northwest is an effort to improve community health by facilitating educational attainment and entrance to the health professions, especially for students from underrepresented and/or disadvantaged backgrounds.

We collaborate with both internal and external partners to create and/or support programs focused on helping individuals to aspire to attend college, persist to degree completion, and join the health care workforce. We are committed to positively impacting community health and promoting socioeconomic mobility by addressing education gaps and diversifying the health care workforce.

Health Care Career Scholarship Program

The Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program is the flagship program of the Community Health Careers initiative. Since 2008, Kaiser Permanente Northwest has provided nearly $3.1 million in scholarships to help students achieve their dreams of becoming health care professionals.

Scholarships in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 are awarded to at least one qualified senior at each of 133 approved high schools in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest service area, which spans from north of Longview, Washington, to Eugene, Oregon.

Students who receive the scholarship as high school seniors are eligible in their second year of college to apply for an additional scholarship to be applied toward their third year of college.

Paid Summer Internships

Recipients of the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship (Kaiser Scholars) are strongly encouraged to apply for positions offered through the Kaiser Permanente Paid Summer Internship Program. These ten-week internships may take place in clinical settings, though intern duties are non-clinical in nature.

Many of the internships are for undergraduates, some are for graduate students, and a few are for high school students. Students interested in the undergraduate internships must have college sophomore status or higher (have earned 31 or more semester credits or equivalent).

Kaiser Scholars are considered a key talent pool for summer internship positions and are encouraged to apply for all positions that they find interesting and for which they are eligible. When departments select a Kaiser Scholar to fill their undergraduate internship position, a portion of the cost of the internship is paid by Community Benefit through the Community Health Careers initiative. The goal is to support Kaiser Scholars’ access to relevant social connections and experiences that are critical to their college and career success.

The internship program is open to all students – not just Kaiser Scholars – and the application process is competitive; not all applicants will secure positions.

For questions about the Kaiser Permanente Paid Summer Internship Program, please contact LaTasha Brumfield in Talent Acquisition.

Recipients of the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship who are pre-medical students (planning to become physicians) are also eligible to apply for a small group of paid summer internships offered by Northwest Permanente, Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s physician group. These internships are available exclusively to pre-med Kaiser Scholars and include clinically relevant administrative work and one day/week of shadowing with a physician. The contact for the Kaiser Permanente Pre-Med Internships for Kaiser Scholars is Tiffany Pitre, Recruiter, Northwest Permanente.

Educational Outreach

In recognition of the role that K-12 experiences play in the development of academic and career aspirations, Community Benefit works with local schools, non-profits, and Kaiser Permanente departments to provide programs that expose diverse and disadvantaged students to a broad array of health care professions. Students learn about various roles in the field and the educational pathways and skills required to succeed in each. Click here to learn more about Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s career learning programs.

Grants & Sponsorships

In 2016, special initiative grants totaling $100,000 were awarded to five community organizations to support programs designed to promote the academic and career development of diverse and/or economically disadvantaged students in the Northwest region. Read more about the programs that received funding in 2016 as well as those that received funding in 2015 here.

There are currently no open requests for proposals in the area of Community Health Careers. Should opportunities arise in the future, they will be posted at the Request for Proposals page. Sponsorship information can be found at the Grants & Sponsorships page.

Educational Attainment & the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund

The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at the Northwest Health Foundation included “educational attainment” as one of three social determinants of health on which the fund was focused. In this area, the Fund supported initiatives focused on ensuring that 100 percent of youth will graduate from high school and will be ready for college and careers. Although 2016 was the Fund’s last year of grantmaking, we will continue to offer technical assistance and create opportunities for KPCF funded partners to connect with each other and systems leaders through 2020. Learn more about the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at the Northwest Health Foundation.

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