Our Work

Innovators in providing health education to students, their families, communities and the Kaiser Permanente workforce.

Kaiser Permanente’s ETP departments are committed to working with schools and nonprofit organizations to pinpoint issues and customize services specific to their needs. Additionally, we value the partnerships we create that utilize multiple intervention models and employ pre-existing resources in the community.

Each of Kaiser Permanente’s eight regions has its own ETP program which provides multiple interventions into the community. Below is a highlight of areas of our work:

School productions

Our largest area of work is our performance for public, private, and institutional schools from early elementary to high school students. Some of our performances also include question and answer sessions, teacher curriculum guides, parent resource guides and student guides/activities. 

Kaiser Permanente is committed to working with schools and nonprofit organizations to pinpoint issues and customize services specific to students’ needs.

We routinely assess our programs impact with evaluations on educational value, relevancy and accuracy of content, retention of information, how content affects student behavior, and suggestions for improvement.

Internships and Residency programs

Our Colorado region developed a six-week residency program empowering high school students to become advocates and peer-educators for healthy eating and active living. Under the guidance of ETP’s professionally trained actor/educators, teens learn the importance of nutrition and physical activity. In turn, the teens educate their peers about what they have learned through a presentation that includes short, student-made films. When creating the presentation, students partner with health experts, school officials, and community health organizations.

The Colorado region also partnered with a local college, engaging theatre students as actor/interns to present an ETP production. This partnership allows Metro State Theatre students to serve as peer educators and role models for healthy behaviors. The college students also inspire elementary students to think about opportunities for higher education.

The Northwest region commissioned artists Michael Rohd and Rodolfo Ortega to write and compose the original musical “IF” for middle schools.  Students audition, rehearse, and perform the production for both their student body and the community. 

Additionally, in 2009 the Northwest region sent a team of teaching artists from their ETP department and Kaiser Permanente health experts to spend a semester at Roosevelt High School to facilitate a class focusing on the issues of body and self image.  At the end of the term students performed a showcase of their work for their fellow students, and then for the community. Students explored their own ideas of identity and image through a variety of artistic disciplines, including movement and dance, improvisation, rap, collage, musical theatre, and more.

The Southern California region provides MPOWR, a summer youth enrichment program to middle school students at three sites. ETP actor/educators provide sixty hours of curriculum over three weeks to give students the opportunity to explore self-expression and healthy living through visual art, writing, music, theatre and movement. The program emphasizes growth through process-based activities. Students learn the importance of collaboration and are introduced to the idea that they can affect change in their lives and communities.

Internal theatre productions

Our educational theatre productions aren’t for external audiences only. A number of our ETP departments have programs specific for the Kaiser Permanente workforce. For example, in Southern California an internal communication training component called “Care Actors” is created for Kaiser Permanente clinicians. And in the Northwest, a production was customized for Community Benefit Northwest’s interactive luncheon, offering employees, physicians, and partners an opportunity to learn more about the spectrum of work in the community.

Community programs

Our community programs were created in order to enhance communications in a variety of settings throughout the communities that Kaiser Permanente serves. Through the creative use of multimedia tools and the theatrical arts, our goal is to promote discussion, increase understanding, and improve relationships. For example, our production “It’s Your Health” developed in Colorado, is an interactive game designed to be presented where large crowds are gathered (such as fairs, festivals and other community events). Participants participate in fun, energetic, physical challenges and learn simple messages they can use to improve their health.

In the Northwest region, “Smarty Pants” was developed to serve city-wide gatherings like Portland Sunday Parkways, monthly events designed to promote physical activity and alternative transportation. Smarty Pants offers participants an opportunity to test their knowledge on health-related subject matter, from healthy food choices to bike safety, to sustainable living.  ETP Northwest worked with Portland Parks and Recreation sending “Smarty Pants” on the road to perform for the summer Meals in the Parks program, providing interactive entertainment to families gathered for affordable meals.

Adult programs

Some of our regions offer productions to our adult and senior populations on issues including aging, domestic violence and depression. For example, our Georgia region developed “Acting on Stress" a production for adults, which focuses on stress reduction and the health complications brought on by stress.

Teaching materials

Depending on the program, we provide educator guides and lessons, student activity books, wallet cards with health information and hotline numbers, and parent guides. These materials support some of our programs’ messages and can help you facilitate a dialogue.

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