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Kaiser Permanente: $1M grant to AHA’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org.

The late Kaiser Permanente CEO’s commitment to health equity and social good will continue in his memory.

In honor of the legacy of its late chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson, Kaiser Permanente is committing a $1 million grant to the American Heart Association’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund. This national fund, led by AHA and Tyson’s widow, Denise Bradley-Tyson, was created with the mission to reduce the social and economic barriers to health equity by investing in local social entrepreneurs and organizations. Tyson passed away unexpectedly on November 10, 2019.

“Bernard was on a determined mission to transform health care in America, and through his leadership helped bring issues of equity into the mainstream. He touched so many lives, and I know through his legacy he will continue to touch lives,” said Greg A. Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “As we have seen with COVID-19’s disproportionate health and social impacts on Black, Latinx, and other underserved communities, it’s clear that there is far more work to be done. We are proud to honor Bernard’s memory and help continue his life’s work with this contribution.”

Tyson’s leadership of Kaiser Permanente was anchored by his steadfast commitment to improving health in the most under-resourced communities, in part by going beyond the 4 walls of the hospital or doctor’s office to address factors such as economic opportunity and housing security.

His career with Kaiser Permanente spanned more than 30 years. Tyson was named CEO of Kaiser Permanente in 2013 and chairman of the board of directors in 2014. Over the course of his career, he successfully managed nearly every major part of Kaiser Permanente’s health plan and hospital organization, serving in roles from hospital administrator and division president to chief operating officer before assuming the top posts. He also served on the AHA’s board of directors and was a member of its CEO Roundtable.

“We are proud to honor Bernard’s memory and help continue his life’s work with this contribution.”

The Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund focuses on Tyson’s top priorities, investing — through grants or low-interest loans — in evidence-based, locally led solutions designed to break down the social and economic barriers to health equity.

“It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since the world lost a remarkable leader and I lost a dear friend, Bernard J. Tyson. Bernard spoke out against injustice and helped all people live their best life,” said Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association. “As a recipient of this Kaiser Permanente gift, the American Heart Association is honored and humbled to continue Bernard’s legacy of shattering barriers to affordable health care and shaking up social systems in communities across the nation to improve health for all.”

The $1 million grant will be distributed through the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation.

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