Press Releases: Northern California
November 15, 2011
Kaiser Permanente Invests $5.1 Million to Help Low-income and Uninsured Residents get Improved Access to Health Care
Kaiser Permanente support offers funding, expertise and best practices to safety-net organizations throughout Northern California
OAKLAND, Calif. — Increased access to chronic disease management, enhanced health screenings and improved prevention of heart disease and stroke are some of the expanded health-care services some of the state’s uninsured and low-income residents will receive through an investment of more than $5.1 million by Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Community Benefit program.
The financial support, often accompanied by clinical expertise and best practices from Kaiser Permanente clinicians, is intended to help improve the health of many Northern California residents who get their care through community clinics and public hospitals. The grants were awarded through a fund Kaiser Permanente established at the East Bay Community Foundation.
“Our commitment to preventing disease means Kaiser Permanente and the safety net share a common interest in building a system of care that works for all people” said David Shearn, MD, The Permanente Medical Group’s regional director of Physician Education and Development.
The grants will be used in a variety of ways. In Alameda County, for example, a $200,000 grant will allow four new clinics to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke for nearly 2,700 patients. Another $200,000 grant will allow the San Mateo Medical Center to expand intensive case-management services to 1,000 new Latino patients with poorly controlled diabetes. And in Fresno, a $150,000 grant aims to reduce hospitalization rates and emergency room visits by people with asthma.
Kaiser Permanente is partnering with community health centers, local health departments and public hospitals — collectively referred to as the “safety net” — to help these vital health care providers improve care and expand treatment to the communities they serve. The grants were distributed to communities across Northern California in the Bay Area, Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley.
The grants will enable 16 more community clinics and public hospitals to implement Kaiser Permanente’s successful Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday program. PHASE has reduced heart attacks and strokes by as much as 60 percent among high-risk patients who follow the simple, low-cost medication regimen. With funding and the expertise of its physicians, Kaiser Permanente has been sharing PHASE with community clinics since 2007 and public hospitals since 2008 — including San Francisco General Hospital, which received a $200,000 grant this year to expand its PHASE program to a seventh clinic reaching 1,300 more patients.
The funding also will make possible improved access to primary-care services by supporting community hospitals and clinics to enhance their operations and clinical quality. The School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County, for example, will use its $150,000 grant to identify youth at risk of being overweight and provide them with preventive education and treatment for associated chronic health problems.
“Kaiser Permanente remains committed to supporting these critical providers in their continuing efforts to provide quality care to the people they serve,” said Yvette Radford, Kaiser Permanente’s regional vice president, External and Community Affairs. “By providing funding and sharing our best practices with community clinics and county hospitals, we partner with the safety net to help people get the care they need — which makes our entire community healthier.”
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 serve approximately 8.9 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.