Press Releases: Southern California
May 24, 2012
Kaiser Permanente Celebrating 45 Years in Watts
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — For the last 45 years, the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center has remained true to its motto, “Helping People Grow.” In 1967, the Center was opened by founding director Bill Coggins to bring much needed counseling and educational programs to the Watts community. What began with three people in one room in a prefabricated building has grown to a 30-member staff in a facility of more than 9,000 square feet, now located at the corner of 103rd and Success.
Among those who have benefitted from the services provided by the Center is Flora Sellers, now in her 80s. She came to the Center more than 30 years ago seeking educational help for her daughter. “This is the warmest and most loving place anyone could ask for. There’s love and affection and you don’t have to pay a penny, especially when you need the help,” said Sellers. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have been involved in several programs throughout the years. And now her great grandson, Jamarrea Sellers, is graduating from Clay Middle School. He and other Center participants will be recognized for reaching their educational goals at the anniversary celebration tonight.
In honor of Bill Coggins, every year a select number of high school students are recognized for outstanding leadership skills. This year, 17 college-bound students from Los Angeles are being awarded the Kaiser Permanente Bill Coggins Community Leadership Award for their dedication to community leadership. Awards range from $1,000–$2,000. In the last 15 years, the Center has awarded nearly $200,000 to students for their personal commitment to leadership.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center’s 45th anniversary. We remain passionate about the Center’s mission of “Helping People Grow,” which is at the core of all they do. We will continue to contribute to the personal growth and development of children, adults and families by providing accessible, community service programs that have made a big difference in their lives and ours. They make magic happen,” said Edward Ellison, MD, executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group.
“For 45 years, we have been “Helping People Grow.” This has been the guiding principle that has shaped our programs and touched the lives of thousands of children and families,” said Joanne A. Robinson, MEd, executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center.
For more than four decades, the Center has continually expanded and diversified its programs to cover a wide range of culturally relevant mental health, educational and youth outreach services to the greater Watts community. The Center is funded by Kaiser Permanente Southern California as a Community Benefit program and families need not be Kaiser Permanente members to utilize the Center’s services. Tonight’s celebration dinner will be at the LAX Marriott Hotel, 5855 West Century Blvd. in Los Angeles, from 5–9 p.m. Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino will be attending and offering his remarks.
About Kaiser Permanente Southern California
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 to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.5 million members in Southern California. 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.