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Thousands of Kaiser Permanente Employees and Physicians to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Jan. 16, 2012 – OAKLAND, Calif. – Eight years ago, Kaiser Permanente established an annual day of service on Martin Luther King Day to honor and recognize Dr. King and his advancement of civil and human rights. This has enabled thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians to provide valuable services to their communities and to further advance the Kaiser Permanente legacy that parallels Dr. King’s values.>

Last year, on Martin Luther King Day, more than 6,400 Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians worked on projects in close to 100 community sites across the country, serving approximately 17,925 people. Captured in this video, Kaiser Permanente volunteers provided valuable services throughout the nation in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.

On Martin Luther King Day this year, as in years past, Kaiser Permanente’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, George Halvorson, along with Bernard Tyson, president and chief operating officer, and Jack Cochran, MD, executive director of The Permanente Federation, are distributing hundreds of coats to people in need at City Team Ministries in Oakland. City Team Ministries provides hot meals and safe shelter to Oakland’s underserved populations. The organization also provides medical care to the needy, operates a recovery program, provides clothing for disadvantaged families, and offers recreational and spiritual programs for children.

“For more than 65 years, Kaiser Permanente has had a rich history of service that is at the heart of our mission to improve the lives of our members and the communities we serve,” said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Healthy Policy for Kaiser Permanente. “Today, one of the biggest challenges facing the nation is the economy. By committing to a day of service, Kaiser Permanente will help serve thousands of people who are in need. The most important part of this work is remembering to serve our communities throughout the year, not just on this National Day of Service.”

In addition to the coat drive in Oakland, Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians will volunteer at service sites in communities throughout the nine states, and the District of Columbia, that Kaiser Permanente serves. Among the projects are:

.    In San Jose, Calif., Kaiser Permanente volunteers will help Ocala Middle School create a new and improved school culture with anti-bullying, health and fitness messages. Volunteers will work on various projects including interior painting in the locker rooms, cafeteria and library, exterior painting of the school building, painting a mural, building new planter beds in the school’s educational garden, and planting native California plants around the school.

.    In Oregon, Kaiser Permanente employees are teaming up with the Oregon Food Bank to sort and repackage food. The Oregon Food Bank recovers food from farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, individuals and government sources and distributes it to 20 regional food banks across Oregon.

.    Kaiser Permanente employees in Colorado are working with the PROJECT for Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment to sort medical supplies, paint warehouse walls, build shelving and organize biomedical equipment.


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.    In Southern California, Kaiser Permanente employees are providing health screenings during the San Gabriel Valley NAACP’s Martin Luther King Day Informational Fair held at the West Covina Civic Center.

.    Kaiser Permanente employees in Hawaii are teaming up with Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc., a homeless shelter founded in 1986, to paint the exterior of the emergency and transitional shelters and housing units throughout the center’s 5-acre campus.

.    In Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Kaiser Permanente employees in partnership with the United Way of the National Capital Area, are teaming up to provide free health screenings.

.    In Ohio, Kaiser Permanente employees are partnering with Haven of Rest, an organization dedicated to providing palliative care, caregiver support and bereavement services throughout Northern Ohio. Volunteers will sort donated clothing and help serve meals to shelter residents.

.    Employees in Georgia are teaming up with Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless, founded in 1971. An international aid organization, Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless aims to rescue, restore and re-stabilize at-risk and homeless individuals and families so they can thrive and become self-sufficient. Kaiser Permanente employees will be hosting a dinner at the Georgia International Convention Center.

For more about Kaiser Permanente’s efforts in the community year-round, visit: kp.org/communitybenefit.     

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.

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