For more than 70 years, Kaiser Permanente has had the same mission: to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and our communities. We’ve always known that health goes beyond health care. Our strategy for addressing the root causes of poor health is now evolving at a faster pace.
Integrating care, affordability and community health is vital to meeting our mission for our 12 million members and the 68 million people who live in the communities we serve — because healthy individuals need healthy communities and healthy communities need healthy people.
Last year, we made a transition from Community Benefit to Community Health to better reflect our broader strategic approach to improving the health and well-being of our communities. This shift recognizes the importance of the social determinants of total health. It engages everyone in our organization and utilizes all assets to contribute to the effort and to be part of the solution.
We set a new strategy to guide our community health efforts, centered around 3 areas of focus. To improve community health, we must:
Ensure health access by providing individuals served by Kaiser Permanente or our safety-net partners with integrated clinical and social services. First and foremost, we serve those most in need through Medicaid, charitable care and medical financial assistance. However, improving access to health also means connecting people with wrap-around social services, healthy meals, affordable homes, safe playgrounds and supportive schools.
Improve conditions for health and equity by engaging members, communities, our sizeable workforce and all of our organization’s considerable assets. These improvements must grow from collaboration with each community, because solutions that are co-designed and co-created are the ones that can truly make a positive impact.
Advance the future of community health by innovating with technology and social solutions. We need to increase our speed and capacity to respond to community needs and achieve equitable health outcomes. Innovation will increase our ability to identify, incubate and implement solutions to difficult community health problems.
Our work has always been about improving health outside the walls of our hospitals and medical offices, and our strategy aims to take community health impacts even further for our communities, the nation and the world. By looking at the full picture of health, we’re not just providing health care — we’re tackling real-world challenges and advancing health in the places we live, work, learn and play.
One of the best ways to improve the health of all 68 million people in our communities is to improve the conditions for health through the people and places we interact with every day.
When it comes to health in this country, many people are worried. The needs of our communities are significant, particularly for people in chronically under-resourced communities. Fortunately, each of our communities has a wealth of knowledge, ideas and resolve to improve health and well-being.
We are uniquely positioned to lead in this moment. We have been working on the root causes of poor health for decades. We have strong, long-standing partnerships; our workforce and facilities are deeply rooted in community; our integrated model promotes prevention; and our mission requires a focus on community health.
Our humanity is best defined by service to others in our families, workplaces and communities. We are all part of the social fabric and must assume responsibility for each other. Better health outcomes begin where health starts in the community.
Bechara Choucair, MD
SVP and Chief Community Health Officer
Cynthia Telles, PhD
Board Chair, Community Health Committee
How we advance community health
We partner with our communities in many ways to create better health outcomes for more people, from our community benefit spending to our investments in supplier diversity, environmental stewardship and other strategies that help us achieve our mission to improve the health of our communities.
- What we do
In 2017, we spent more than $2.3 billion to provide health services to those most in need. We did this through:
- Service through Medicaid and CHIP
- Service through charitable health coverage and medical financial assistance
We also support safety-net and other community health providers through grants, training and technical assistance.
- Our impact
More than 960,000 people served through Medicaid and CHIP
Nearly 270,000 people served through our own charitable health coverage and medical financial assistance programs
- What we do
Where community needs are greatest, we make direct investments — more than $240 million in 2017 — to create the conditions for health and equity.
Our strategy addresses the root causes of poor health through efforts that support:
- Our impact
More than 2,000 grants awarded to promote health and equity in our communities
Since 2008, we’ve achieved a 29 percent reduction in operational greenhouse gas emissions
- What we do
We work in partnership with our communities, using our collective knowledge to identify and implement creative solutions to difficult community health problems.
- Our impact
More than 1,600 papers published
Total Community Benefit Investment
Kaiser Permanente spent more than $2.8 billion on community benefit in 2017. When we invest and build health in the places where we live, work and play, we can help people live the lives they want to live.
COVERAGE & CARE
The LAEDC is grateful that Kaiser Permanente uses all the tools at its disposal to advance more inclusive economic growth in its hiring, its procurement, in its construction of facilities that become anchors for not only community health, but community prosperity.
Bill Allen, CEO Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation
Community Health Committee of the Boards of Directors
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
Community Health National Leader
Chief Community Health Officer
Community Health Regional Leaders
To find out more about how we are shaping the future of health, visit share.kp.org