Kaiser Permanente Announces Over $460,000 in Grants for Greater Los Angeles Area

The Community Benefit grants will be given to 44 nonprofit organizations across Los Angeles County.

Continuing its strong commitment to support the communities it serves, the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center announced that it will award a total of $464,000 in Community Benefit grants to 44 nonprofit organizations across Los Angeles County in 2016.

The grants support community-based organizations and community health clinics that are dedicated to providing direct services that improve the health and well-being of the communities within the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center geographic service area.

"We believe that our support and collaboration with local partners is key to helping improve the overall health of our community," explained Mario Ceballos, community benefit manager at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. "This is just one of the many ways in which our medical center hopes to create the positive impact we all envision for our communities."

The Los Angeles Medical Center's grant funding is informed by Kaiser Permanente's (No. 1 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) annual Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Grants are awarded to organizations in one of four community health need categories: Access to Health Care, Prevention and Management of Pediatric Obesity/Diabetes Prevention, Prevention and Management of Adult Hypertension, Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease, and Early Detection, Prevention and Management of Mental Health Illness.

As listed in the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center 2016 CHNA report: "Good health for the entire community, which we call Total Health, requires equity and social and economic well-being."

Programs supported by Los Angeles Medical Center's community benefit help underserved individuals and families receive primary care, specialty, dental and mental health care. They also teach people how to manage chronic diseases, promote preventive care, provide healthy eating and active living education, and support basic needs such as employment training, food security, housing and transportation.

The 44 2016 Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Community Benefit grant recipients are:

  • A Community of Friends
  • A Place Called Home
  • A Window Between Worlds
  • Academia Avance Charter School
  • Alliance for Housing and Healing
  • Amanecer Community Counseling Service
  • Anderson Munger Family YMCA
  • APLA Health & Wellness
  • Asian Pacific Health Care Venture
  • Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood
  • City of Glendale, Community Services and Parks Department
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
  • Covenant House — Los Angeles
  • Five Acres
  • Foothill Family Service
  • Girls on the Run of Los Angeles County
  • Glendale Community Free Health Clinic
  • Glendale Healthy Kids
  • Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services
  • Homies Unidos
  • InnerCity Struggle
  • Jumpstart
  • Kids' Community Clinic of Burbank
  • Latino Equality Alliance
  • LAUSD STEM Academy of Hollywood
  • Leap
  • Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation
  • Los Angeles Christian Health Centers
  • Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • Los Angeles Youth Network
  • Maternal and Child Health Access
  • New Economics for Women
  • Optimist Boys Home & Ranch / Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services
  • Pacific Clinics
  • St. Anne's
  • St. Barnabas Senior Center
  • St. Francis Center
  • Step Up on Second Street Inc.
  • Stuart M. Ketchum Downtown YMCA
  • Students Run LA
  • Weingart Center Association
  • Worksite Wellness LA
  • YWCA Pasadena — Foothill Valley

Kaiser Permanente Researchers Develop New Models for Predicting Suicide Risk

Approach may offer value to health systems and clinicians in targeting interventions to prevent suicide

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Combining data from electronic health records with results from standardized depression questionnaires better predicts suicide risk in the 90 days following either mental health specialty or primary care outpatient visits, reports a team from the Mental Health Research Network, led by Kaiser Permanente research scientists.

The study, "Predicting Suicide Attempts and Suicide Death Following Outpatient Visits Using Electronic Health Records," conducted in five Kaiser Permanente regions (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, California and Washington), the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and the HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis, was published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Combining a variety of information from the past five years of people's electronic health records and answers to questionnaires, the new models predicted suicide risk more accurately than before, according to the authors. The strongest predictors include prior suicide attempts, mental health and substance use diagnoses, medical diagnoses, psychiatric medications dispensed, inpatient or emergency room care, and scores on a standardized depression questionnaire.

Dr. Simon shares what inspired him to study mental health.

"We demonstrated that we can use electronic health record data in combination with other tools to accurately identify people at high risk for suicide attempt or suicide death," said first author Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, a Kaiser Permanente psychiatrist in Washington and a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

In the 90 days following an office visit:

  • Suicide attempts and deaths among patients whose visits were in the highest 1 percent of predicted risk were 200 times more common than among those in the bottom half of predicted risk.
  • Patients with mental health specialty visits who had risk scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 43 percent of suicide attempts and 48 percent of suicide deaths.
  • Patients with primary care visits who had scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 48 percent of suicide attempts and 43 percent of suicide deaths.

This study builds on previous models in other health systems that used fewer potential predictors from patients' records. Using those models, people in the top 5 percent of risk accounted for only a quarter to a third of subsequent suicide attempts and deaths. More traditional suicide risk assessment, which relies on questionnaires or clinical interviews only, is even less accurate.

The new study involved seven large health systems serving a combined population of 8 million people in nine states. The research team examined almost 20 million visits by nearly 3 million people age 13 or older, including about 10.3 million mental health specialty visits and about 9.7 million primary care visits with mental health diagnoses. The researchers deleted information that could help identify individuals.

"It would be fair to say that the health systems in the Mental Health Research Network, which integrate care and coverage, are the best in the country for implementing suicide prevention programs," Dr. Simon said. "But we know we could do better. So several of our health systems, including Kaiser Permanente, are working to integrate prediction models into our existing processes for identifying and addressing suicide risk."

Suicide rates are increasing, with suicide accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in the United States in 2016; 25 percent more than in 2000, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Other health systems can replicate this approach to risk stratification, according to Dr. Simon. Better prediction of suicide risk can inform decisions by health care providers and health systems. Such decisions include how often to follow up with patients, refer them for intensive treatment, reach out to them after missed or canceled appointments — and whether to help them create a personal safety plan and counsel them about reducing access to means of self-harm.