Letter From Ray Baxter
Welcome to Kaiser Permanente’s new Green Resource Center.
I invite you to read about how Kaiser Permanente is working to improve the environment, and to make the link between the health of our members, our communities and our planet.
Kaiser Permanente’s environmental roots can be traced to the beginning of the modern environmental movement. In 1963, the author and environmental crusader Rachel Carson spoke to Kaiser Permanente doctors at San Francisco Medical Center in one of her last speeches. Carson, author of the book "Silent Spring", warned us about the dangers of certain chemicals to human health and to the environment. We were concerned about the environment then, and we're concerned now. Forty-five years later, we are
working to curb our overall impact on the environment by building greener hospitals, reducing waste and looking at new ways to use less energy.
Striving to make our communities healthier requires a commitment to environmental health. Excellent care in our medical offices and hospitals isn’t enough; our members can’t be healthy if they live and work in unhealthy environments. Kaiser Permanente supports efforts to reduce pollutants, ensure safe areas for children to run and play, and provide access to local produce. We do this through grants and partnerships with local organizations and programs that promote healthy eating and active living.
Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiatives are building parks and bike paths to promote physical activity in communities across the country. Walking and biking will improve health for individuals and reduce greenhouse gases for us all.
At the same time, the people of Kaiser Permanente continuously look to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. We have made significant progress through sustainable design of our facilities, waste management, green purchasing, the establishment of our own farmers markets, and engaging employees and physicians in environmental stewardship. We have a far more sustainable operation today than ever before.
It's important to note that we’ve created both health benefits and cost savings. Environmental stewardship doesn’t have to cost more; rather, it supports our commitment to providing affordable health care. Kaiser Permanente aims to share these experiences and practices with others to raise the bar of environmental performance and, ultimately, to benefit the health of our communities and the environment.
We invite you to read our stories and send us your questions or comments. Together, all of our green endeavors will make a difference.