Press Releases: Mid-Atlantic States
May 14, 2010
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States Supports CommonHealth ACTION in the Creation of the Institute for Public Health Innovation, to Combat Health Inequities
ROCKVILLE, Md. — An individual’s ZIP code may be a more precise predictor of life expectancy than his or her genetic code. In the Mid-Atlantic region, that is especially true. In the District of Columbia, the average life expectancy for adult’s ranks below all fifty states at 72.0 years, Maryland at 76.3 years, and Virginia at 76.8 years — the nation’s average is 77.7 years.
The factors that create this inequity in health and wellness are known as social determinants of health: economic and social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.
CommonHealth ACTION, a non-profit public health organization based in the District of Columbia, has been a vocal leader in addressing the social determinants of health. Now, with a $500,000 capacity grant from Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States and funding from other organizations, CommonHealth ACTION has launched the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) — the region’s first public health institute serving the District of Columbia, Maryland, and many communities throughout Virginia.
IPHI will serve as a regional center to improve community health throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The Institute will bring together organizations, agencies, and groups from both public and private sectors involved in a wide range of activities — housing, nutrition, environmental protection, and more — to develop and implement innovative strategies to improve the health of the public.
“Our environment — where we live, work, learn, and recreate — has a greater impact on chronic disease than our genetics,” said Vincent Lafronza, EdD, MS, president and CEO of the IPHI. “Thanks to Kaiser Permanente’s support, the Institute will work to improve population health and health equity, playing a critical role in strengthening community health through trust-based partnerships across systems and jurisdictions.”
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States’ contribution to CommonHealth ACTION in support of the IPHI is part of its Community Health Initiatives. Our Community Health Initiatives strive to improve policy and community conditions that affect people's heath through sustainable programs in neighborhoods, schools, and worksites.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that a healthy community environment is critical to individual health and wellness,” said Maritha Gay, senior director of external affairs for Kaiser Permanente. “An important part of our mission is to help communities to leverage their strengths, become more powerful advocates for health, and bring sustainable improvements to health in their communities.”
The Institute for Public Health Innovation is one of five new members of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI). In collaboration with governmental public health, academia, public health partners, and stakeholders, institutes conduct public health work rapidly and efficiently. They provide value to the public health system by designing and managing programs, providing technical assistance, conducting research and evaluation, and gathering evidence to inform policy.
IPHI is a division of CommonHealth ACTION, a national, non-profit, public health organization that serves as a catalyst and intermediary for the development of community-generated solutions. CommonHealth ACTION guides its practice to invest in people and dedicate available resources to those most affected by inequities in health and well being.
For more information about CommonHealth ACTION and the Institute for Public Health Innovation, visit www.commonhealthaction.org. For more information about Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiatives, visit www.kp.org/communitybenefit.
About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for almost 500,000 members through 30 medical office buildings in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, founded in 1980, is a total health organization composed of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features approximately 900 physicians who provide or arrange care for patients throughout the area. The health plan is considered one of Maryland’s “Top HMOs” according to the Maryland Health Care Commission. U.S. News & World Report/NCQA’s “America’s Best Health Insurance Plans 2009 – 10” placed Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States in the nation’s 100 top commercial health plans, and our Medicare plan 15th overall in the nation and #1 for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. In addition, it was recently named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, visit www.kp.org
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 8.6 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: www.kp.org/newscenter.