Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit | 2016 Annual Report

Leadership Message     |    Kaiser Permanente Community Fund     |     Financials     |     Community Engagement


Leadership Message

At Kaiser Permanente Northwest, we dedicate a portion of our revenue each year to improving the health of the communities we serve. Providing care and coverage to low-income people, which represents four-fifths of our financial commitment, is a solid foundation of this work. We also know that research, education, and strategic programs aimed at community health needs are critical to our effectiveness and impact for the whole community over the long term.

In 2016, we took a fresh look at the health needs of our communities. Through community surveys, listening sessions, and publicly available data, we determined the highest priority health needs of our communities. These 5 priority health needs will serve as the foundation for our community benefit efforts for the next 3 years: access to care, economic opportunity, chronic disease prevention and treatment, mental health and wellness, and oral health.

In our annual report, we say more about these focus areas and share stories and accomplishments of current programs and our community partners. At a time when commitments to supporting the most vulnerable in our community are being questioned, we are proud and honored to be working with people throughout this region who are passionate, dedicated, and effectively addressing the complex needs in our community.

What we have learned from our recent reassessment continues to inform collaboration and program development in 2017. We look forward to sharing more stories, particularly in the areas of mental health and economic opportunity, in the months to come.


Andrew McCulloch

President, Northwest
Kaiser Foundation Health
Plan and Hospitals

Dr. Dacones

Imelda Dacones, MD

President and CEO
Northwest Permanente, P.C.

Dr. Snyder

John Snyder, DMD

CEO and Dental Director
Permanente Dental Associates


Joining Forces for Total Health

Joining Forces for Total Health

Kaiser Permanente and 5 other health care organizations took a major step to address homelessness in the Portland region. We know that excellent medical care must be supported with sensible steps outside our clinics. Having a safe and stable home is one of the greatest challenges to maintaining health.

Together with Adventist Health, CareOregon, Legacy Health, Oregon Health & Science University, and Providence Health & Services, we are investing a combined $21.5 million in the Housing Is Health initiative, a unique partnership with Central City Concern that will provide expanded health care and affordable housing through the development of 382 new housing units and a new health center in Southeast Portland. This investment leveraged an overall investment of more than $80 million.

Our $4 million contribution toward this initiative is the largest single grant investment in the history of Kaiser Permanente Northwest. We expect this investment to have an impact on all our identified community health needs detailed further in this annual report.

We look forward to working with our collaborators and bringing more individuals, more institutions, and more companies together to make Portland, Multnomah County, and the metro area a truly exemplary community.

Rendering of the new Eastside Health Center, a cornerstone of the Housing Is Health project that will provide housing for 175 people and include a medical clinic.


Access to Health Care icon

Access to Health Care

Access to high-quality, affordable, holistic, and culturally specific health care is critical in times of illness. It is also an important means of laying a foundation for good health for years to come.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to increasing the ability of low-income and underserved individuals in our communities to receive the right care, at the right times, in the right settings, from a diverse workforce that meets their needs.

Community Supported Clinics Initiative

Despite efforts on a national and local level, some people in our local communities still don’t have access to health care coverage. Community-supported clinics help fill that gap. These clinics provide a variety of primary care services, often through physician and nurse volunteers at evening clinics, and serve very low-income and uninsured people. While each clinic is unique, they all have one thing in common — they exist because of the support they get from the local community.

Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with Providence Health & Services on the Community Supported Clinics Initiative. Nine community clinics are receiving $40,000 over 2 years to increase access to care for members of the local community. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and Providence are funding technical assistance for these clinics and bringing them together in learning communities to share best practices so that they can improve their systems of care for low-income people.

A patient receives care from the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine community-supported clinic.

“Kaiser Permanente has given Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine Clinic invaluable training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities to work and learn from our peers and innovate in new ways to serve our patients.”
—Karen Shimada, Executive Director, Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine Clinic

Other ways Kaiser Permanente increased access to health care in 2016:

747 women provided with mammography services through the Susan G. Komen of Oregon and SW Washington Poder y Vida Latina Initiative

40,588 people served as members through Kaiser Permanente Medicaid

3,687 kids covered under the Child Health Program Plus, our charitable health insurance program

$21,876,533 given in medical financial assistance to people who could not afford care

120 people provided with eye exams and custom-fit eyeglasses as part of our annual MLK Days of Service


Economic opportunity icon

Economic Opportunity

Our health and well-being as individuals and as a community are shaped by many forces, including our ability to access basic resources such as food, stable housing, and employment. Strong schools and career pathways can support us in gaining the skills and education needed to find and maintain jobs that can enrich us and help us achieve economic security.

Through Kaiser Permanente’s work in schools and our support for college and career readiness, we are supporting economic opportunity in our communities by giving people the skills, knowledge, and access to higher education that will sustain them throughout their lives.

Community Health Careers Initiative

Investing in the academic success of students, particularly those from diverse and low-income backgrounds, is an investment in the future health of communities. Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Careers Initiative aims to improve community health by promoting educational attainment among these students to help diversify the health care workforce.

We work with local schools and nonprofits to provide programs that expose diverse and disadvantaged students to a broad array of health care professions. At David Douglas High School, our Health Career Learning Crew takes students on tours of the hospital, engages them in hands-on activities, and introduces them to Kaiser Permanente caregivers who share insights about their jobs and educational pathways.

At Faubion and Ron Russell middle schools, we launched the Hippocrates Circle, a program designed to encourage diverse and low-income middle school students to pursue careers as physicians. We brought together 30 seventh- and eighth-graders in 5 interactive venues designed to help inspire their interest in the practice of medicine and develop a pathway for career readiness.

Health Career Learning Crew Suturing Workshop

“The Hippocrates Circle has been an amazing experience for our seventh- and eighth-grade students. Many of our students are interested in the medical field, but they don't know what it takes to become a doctor or other health professional. Having this partnership gave students the lens to see that their background, culture, and experiences can be an important part of their professional life.”
—Caitlin Ludlow and Melissa Johnson, School Counselors, Ron Russell Middle School


Other ways Kaiser Permanente has supported economic opportunity in 2016:

$4 million for homeless housing as part of the Housing Is Health project, a collaborative investment of $21.5 million supporting 382 new housing units and a new health center in Southeast Portland

400+ students inspired about careers in health care through our career learning programs

$520,000 awarded to 160+ high school and college students through the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program

$100,000 awarded to 5 community-based organizations to help diverse and low-income youth become college- and career-ready

450 individuals received job training and professional skills to assist them in gaining and maintaining employment



Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment icon

Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment

Chronic and persistent health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and cancer prevent us from living out our lives in the fullness and vibrancy we are meant for. Such conditions often lead to preventable diseases that are exacerbated by racial and economic inequalities and the unhealthy conditions that some populations are exposed to more than others.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving health and preventing chronic disease through strategies that create healthy places and policies and empower individuals and families to prevent, manage, and treat their chronic illness.

Active Living in the Fourth Plain Corridor

Bicycling, walking, and moving about in safe, healthy environments — we may take such activities for granted, but they often represent important opportunities to prevent the rise of chronic disease in our communities. In the Fourth Plain Corridor neighborhood, leaders from the City of Vancouver, the county health department, and many community organizations and residents are working together to make the neighborhood safer and get people outdoors and active. Bike Clark County, a community nonprofit, created a leadership development program for high school students centered around bicycling and graduated its first class of 9 Bike to Leadership students from Hudson’s Bay High School.

Bike Clark County Bike to Leadership Program


“I learned a lot. Whatever someone plants in you, it grows and then the seeds that come from you grow in someone else’s heart and they want to help the community too.”
—Bike to Leadership Student and Graduate

Other ways Kaiser Permanente has addressed chronic disease prevention and treatment in 2016:

3 communities made safer by improving transit access, sidewalks, and crossings at high-traffic intersections and supporting opportunities for physical activity as part of our Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Communities Initiative

38 cities across Oregon actively promoting the health of residents and city employees through community improvements initiated as part of the HEAL Cities Campaign for the Northwest

Nearly 13,000 students, family members, and staff stepped up their physical activity through Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools’ Fire Up Your Feet Challenge in fall 2016

250 community groups and 84,000 residents participated in Portland Sunday Parkways as the city hosted 5 events in its ninth season of opening streets and connecting communities

63 schools in 4 districts made healthier during the school day through partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to give students and staff access to healthy food and physical activity


Mental health and wellness icon

Mental health and wellness

Life can throw a lot at us sometimes. So it’s important that we not only protect our physical health and well-being but also find strength and resilience to meet life’s challenges and opportunities in body, mind, and spirit.

Kaiser Permanente understands that good health care requires that we recognize the social and emotional challenges individuals and communities are experiencing. We are working to improve the mental health and resilience of our communities through trauma-sensitive systems of care and prevention efforts and the integration of physical and mental health care in clinical and community settings.

Housing Is Health Initiative

For people experiencing mental health challenges or struggling with addictions, sometimes paying the rent or even finding a safe place to live can be out of reach. Sadly, too many of our community members end up homeless or at risk of losing their housing.

Many organizations in our communities know how to help, and with support from Kaiser Permanente, they can reach out to more people, get them the health care and social services they need, and help them find and keep permanent housing. In 2016, Kaiser Permanente awarded nearly $2.3 million to 7 nonprofit organizations to do just that. By employing peers and community health workers, bringing together housing and health care providers, and advocating for increased funding and services, these community organizations will make a difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our region.

One of 7 grant recipients, Love Overwhelming provides services, including peer support case managers, to help homeless people find and sustain housing in Cowlitz County, Washington.

“Thanks to support from Kaiser Permanente, we have been able to get more people off the street, out of the shelter, and into permanent housing. The grant could not have come at a better time!”
—Chuck Hendrickson, Executive Director, Love Overwhelming, Longview, Washington


Other ways Kaiser Permanente improved mental health and wellness in our communities in 2016:

588 school teachers and staff engaged through Laughaceuticals, a theater-based professional development and stress management program

23,000 students benefited from positive, inclusive play through Playworks programming at their school

Unity Center for Behavioral Health opened in early 2017 after years of planning and significant contributions by Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Adventist Health, and Oregon Health & Science University

Multiple new behavioral health services provided to kids at risk of falling through the cracks as part of our 3-year school-based health center behavioral health initiative



Oral health icon

Oral Health

Oral health is an often neglected aspect of our general state of health and well-being. Conditions of the mouth, teeth, gums, and throat — from dental caries to cancer — cause pain and disability that have been shown to lead to a whole array of other health problems.

Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to improving the quality of and access to affordable oral health care and ensuring that attention to oral health is an integrated component of primary care in all our community and clinical settings.

Children’s Dental Health Initiative

Oregon has one of the country’s highest rates of childhood dental disease. At least 1 in 5 children in elementary school (first-graders to third-graders) has untreated tooth decay. To address this need, Kaiser Permanente has partnered with Oregon Community Foundation and 6 other funders to fund the Oregon Children’s Dental Health Initiative. Funding supports school-based dental programs across the state that provide education, screening, and sealants to children in schools, along with help finding follow-up care for kids who need urgent care. Kaiser Permanente has contributed more than $350,000 to this initiative over 5 years.

White Bird Clinic provides dental care at Bethel School-Based Health Center in Eugene.

“White Bird Dental serves some of the most vulnerable people in Lane County with life-changing oral health care services. We are proud of our partnership with Kaiser Permanente and the other members of the Oral Health Funders Collaborative, which allows us to serve more kids through the Bethel School-Based Health Center.”
—Kim Freuen, White Bird Dental Clinic Coordinator


Other ways Kaiser Permanente supported greater oral health in 2016:


14,718 oral health screenings conducted in 194 schools as part of the Children’s Dental Health Initiative

3,824 students received dental sealants to address the 23% of oral screenings that found untreated decay

32,794 students and 1528 educators reached through “The Adventures of Tartar Patrol,” a production of Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program through Oregon Children’s Theatre

$153,000 in free dental care provided at our dental offices across the region on 8 separate free dental care events

70 Permanente Dental Associates volunteers participated in 98 community events supporting free dental care

12 scholarships provided to students studying for dental careers through our Community Health Careers Initiative



Kaiser Permanente Community Fund icon

Kaiser Permanente Community Fund

We know that it is often the social, political, and economic conditions in communities that have the potential to create or inhibit health. These systems have to be aligned in such a way that they maximize opportunity for people if they are to contribute to long-term health.

The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at Northwest Health Foundation (KPCF), begun in 2004, was created with this in mind. The fund’s mission is to grow and support inclusive and collaborative efforts to improve health throughout Kaiser Permanente Northwest. The fund will have invested $32 million into these communities over its 15-year history and has specifically focused on 3 areas of support:

  • Early life: Supports prenatal to early childhood policies to ensure that children, families, and communities have the best opportunities to thrive
  • Educational attainment: Removes institutional and system barriers to education to ensure that all youth graduate from high school and are ready for college and careers
  • Economic opportunity: Supports living-wage jobs and entrepreneurship for populations disproportionately affected by poverty


Although 2016 was the fund’s last year of grant-making, we will continue to offer technical assistance and create opportunities for KPCF-funded partners to further grow their work through 2020.

Forging New Paths in Health Care and Education

The work of strengthening community health never stops. With the sunsetting of KPCF in 2016, Kaiser Permanente is exploring a new partnership that will work at the intersection of health care and education.

Kaiser Permanente and the Northwest Health Foundation believe that health care and health-promoting efforts delivered in the educational environment benefit students, families, teachers, and school staff. When students are supported in their health, they experience an overall readiness to learn and a chance for greater educational success, which in turn support their long-term health.

Both Kaiser Permanente and the Northwest Health Foundation believe in the power of health care and education to support community health and have partnered with like-minded private and public sector organizations to join their new partnership. CareOregon, Oregon Community Foundation, and Meyer Memorial Trust have already joined the leadership of this fund.


Community Engagement icon

Community Engagement

Kaiser Permanente works in close collaboration with our community partners to identify opportunities for advancing positive, sustainable change in the environments where people live, learn, work, and play. We value our partnerships with local safety net clinics and community nonprofit organizations, nonprofit board service, and employee volunteerism as vital ways of supporting health in the community.

We believe that the process of building healthy communities works best when all community stakeholders are invited to the table. Kaiser Permanente is intentional about creating opportunities for listening and open conversation with community partners. Our community engagement process is key to how we determine our community benefit investments and initiatives.


Other ways our clinicians and employees give back to the community:

$1.1 million donated to community organizations through our annual workplace giving campaign

30% of our employees registered and signed up to volunteer in the community

700+ individuals across 45 community service sites volunteered during our Annual MLK Days of Service event

$450,000 in grants given to community-based organizations where Kaiser Permanente volunteers spend their time


Community investment icon



More than $123,800,000

in total community investments

  • $98,551,861 in care for low-income people
    • Medical Financial Assistance program
    • Medicaid program
    • Child Health Program
    • Grants and donations for care and coverage
  • $7,961,095 in safety net partnerships
    • Safety net programs and services
    • Grants and donations for community clinics and other safety net providers
  • $2,044,809 in community health initiatives
    • Community Health Initiatives programs and services
    • Thriving Schools Initiative
    • Grants and donations for community-based prevention
  • $12,231,737 in research and education
    • Educational Theatre Program through Oregon Children’s Theatre
    • Community Health Careers Initiative
    • Graduate Medical Program
    • Center for Health Research support
    • Grants and donations for health care professional training and education
  • $3,108,182 in community engagement
    • Employee engagement programs
    • Nonprofit organization capacity-building
    • Strategic partnerships with nonprofit organizations
    • Community Benefit activities
    • Grants and donations for access, education, and economic opportunity