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Kaiser Permanente: California Leaders Address Shortage of Mental Health Workers

"We — health care leaders, lawmakers, citizens, and educators — need to come together to tackle this issue, as the commission recommends, to put us on the right path to recruit, train, and retain more psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health workers who reflect the populations we serve."

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

The California Future Health Workforce Commission issued its findings on the growing shortage of health care workers in California, including mental health professionals, in the face of steadily increasing demands for health care services throughout the state.

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Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Expands Programs in South LA Schools

The schools, which make up the district's Jordan-Locke Network of schools, will receive Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre's elementary programs by 2020.

(Originally published on Kaiserpermanente.org)

Thanks to a partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District and Kaiser Permanente, 16 elementary schools in South LA are receiving enhanced education, family support, and community resources from an innovative source — live theatre.

The schools, which make up the district's Jordan-Locke Network of schools, will receive Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre's elementary programs by 2020, potentially reaching more than 9,500 students and their families.

These interactive programs strive to help children and adults make informed decisions about their health and boost their social skills, both of which help build stronger communities. Each production includes a school assembly performance, followed by student and parent workshops.

"This is such an exciting opportunity to continue to strengthen our partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District to inspire students and families living in South Los Angeles to make healthy choices," said Gerry Farrell, director, Educational Theatre.

Educational Theatre partners and consults with Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center therapists on its family programs. Students and parents also receive follow-up educational and community resources from the center. Kaiser Permanente offers individual and family counseling, educational therapy, and college preparation courses at the center, which has provided a unique community service and commitment to South Los Angeles for more than 50 years.

"All our Jordan-Locke Network schools are heavily impacted and don't have many resources," said Luis Heckmuller, instructional director, Local South District. "This partnership brings resources and overall awareness about health and social issues to our community, reaching both parents and students."

Enhancing children's lives

Kaiser Permanente collaborates with Los Angeles's school district to enhance children's lives in the Jordan-Locke Network in other ways. As a follow-up to the conflict management program, Educational Theatre returned to Weigand Avenue Elementary with its "Beat the Odds" program for students and teachers. This program uses drumming to build social and emotional skills.

Educational Theatre also provided the 10-week program, "Eat. Play. Live.," for parents and guardians at Barrett Elementary to provide them with tools and information to create healthier households and families.

A day of service

Additionally, Educational Theatre and Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center staff volunteers helped to complete Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service beautification projects in recent years at Jordan-Locke Network campuses. These projects included creating murals at Weigand Elementary and a library at BarrettElementary.

This year's MLK Day on January 21, 2019, featured something just as ambitious at 109th Street Elementary School: transforming a classroom into a new S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) lab, and creating an outdoor garden with murals.

"The MLK Day projects are so uplifting," Heckmuller said. "Kaiser Permanente is making it a priority to go to our underserved schools to provide services we otherwise would not have. Their ongoing commitment helps us create a more equitable community — and for that we are very thankful."

Check out this video for highlights of the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at Barrett Elementary School.

Educational Theatre is a free Kaiser Permanente Community Health program that helps grades K through 12 students and their families in at-risk communities develop healthy, lifelong habits.

Visit Community Health to learn more about Kaiser Permanente's work in the community.

Kaiser Permanente: Improving Health Through Stable Housing

Kaiser Permanente initiatives strengthen affordable housing and health in the community.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Three miles from Kaiser Permanente's national headquarters, an apartment building in a diverse neighborhood has provided affordable housing to residents of Oakland's San Antonio neighborhood for years.

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Kaiser Permanente Announces Three Initiatives to Improve Community Health by Tackling Housing Insecurity

Initiatives include preserving affordable housing in the Bay Area, anchoring a $100 million loan fund to protect affordable housing across Kaiser Permanente's footprint and an effort to house 500+ homeless in Oakland.

Originally Published by Kasier Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente today unveiled several major initiatives that will improve health outcomes by creating stable housing for vulnerable populations. The initiatives — including seeding a real estate investment in Oakland, anchoring a $100 million national loan fund for affordable housing and kicking off a plan to end homelessness for more than 500 Oakland-area residents — are part of a comprehensive strategy to advance the economic, social and environmental conditions for health in the communities that Kaiser Permanente serves.

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Kaiser Permanente: Basketball Dad Gets an Assist From Mechanical Heart Pump

Keith Childs is back in the game thanks to his Kaiser Permanente cardiac care team.

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Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Keith Childs' condition was touch and go when he first met Barbara Amos, RN.

"He was probably about a month away from the end of his life, in a chair in the ICU attached to multiple pumps," said the clinical nurse specialist, who manages the Ventricular Assist Device Program for Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Southern Washington.

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Kaiser Permanente: Improving Depression Through ‘Mindful Beauty’

"Many Black women don't seek professional treatment for mental health issues."

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Beauty shops have long served as neighborhood hubs where clients often feel comfortable sharing their personal stories with their hairstylists. An innovative program spearheaded by the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science will leverage those special bonds to help improve mental health and health equity in South Los Angeles.

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Kaiser Permanente: Loss and Renewal After AIDS: Why I Care

After losing his partner to AIDS, Rusty Myers, a palliative care social worker at Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, Oregon, channeled his growing passion to care for patients facing terminal illness.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

For many of us, our journeys have taken circuitous routes that have eventually brought us to the work we do at Kaiser Permanente. My story began with significant loss and pain, which led to resiliency, and brought me to the work of hospice and palliative care.

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Kaiser Permanente Helps Oakland International Airport Passengers Reduce Stress and Maintain Good Mental Health

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, transformation of OAK Terminal 2 security checkpoint encourages passengers to breathe, relax and thrive.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest integrated health care system, has introduced some practical and whimsical ways for passengers departing Terminal 2 at the Oakland International Airport to reduce the stress of air travel and encourage them to stay healthy this busy holiday travel season and beyond. This effort is part of nonprofit Kaiser Permanente's commitment to the total health of body, mind and spirit of the communities it serves.

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Kaiser Permanente's Overall Quality of Medical Care Earns Highest Rating from the Office of Patient Advocate

Top score was also earned for providing quality behavioral and mental health care.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California health plans are the only plans in the state to receive 5 stars — the highest possible rating — for overall quality of medical care in the annual Healthcare Quality Report Card from California's Office of the Patient Advocate.

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Anthony B. Coleman: Veterans Should Discover Their Passion and Allow it to Lead to a Profession

Coleman, talks with DiversityInc about his journey transitioning from life in the U.S. Navy to working for Kaiser Permanente as an Assistant Hospital Administrator.

Anthony B. Coleman, DHA, is the Assistant Hospital Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente, Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

He was born at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Ardent (MCM 12). After completing a full sea tour he was transferred to shore duty, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Workforce, Education and Development, as well as a Master of Health Administration. He later earned a commissioned as a Naval Officer serving in various roles overseas and afloat, including Chief Financial Officer at U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort SC, Human Resources Director at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and Medical Operations Officer onboard the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

Anthony retired in 2016 with 20 years of honorable service and holds a Doctor of Health Administration Degree and currently serves as the Assistant Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

DI: What was the initial transition like going from the armed services to a civilian career?

My initial thoughts on transition brought unnecessary anxiety. However, when I learned that my preceptor was a retired Air Force Colonel, it helped put me at ease about the transition. On my first day at Kaiser Permanente, the staff and physicians welcomed me and ensured that I had the support I needed to make a successful transition.

DI: What are some skills or habits you developed while serving in the military that have helped you in your current role?

Two things stick out in my mind as important.

The first is transitioning mindset from duty to desire. I joined the navy at 17, and during the first 3-5 years of my military career I didn't realize I was part of something bigger than myself so I competed tasks out of obligation (duty). After completing my first full sea tour, I realized how my efforts contributed to the overall mission of the U.S. Navy and the duties I carried out started to come from a desire to do so. This realization helped shape my leadership style and how I groomed young sailors early on in their enlistments. I wanted them to realize their very important part in the overall U.S. Navy mission and motivate them to bring their "A" game every day.

This has helped in my current role overseeing nine non-clinical departments (Housekeeping, Food and Nutrition, Engineering, Construction, Parking, Safety, Property Management, Telecommunications, Security and Supply Chain Management) where the majority of the employees I oversee are entry-level and can feel disconnected to health care because they are not physicians or nurses. However, I stress to them as often as possible that whether their job is to nourish the patient, clean and disinfect a patient room, make sure life-saving equipment is in working order, or any other of the hundreds of non-clinical functions they perform day in and day out, they too are vital to a patient's health and healing.

The second is attention to detail. Most times, my staff are the first and/or last interaction our members have with Kaiser Permanente. It is crucial for them to pay attention to every detail about the patient they encounter because each and every detail about the patient, large or small can help us do a better job in serving them. Sometimes, it may be as simple as a smile or word of encouragement that could make all the difference in the patient experience.

DI: What career advice can you offer to veterans or current military folks who are looking to pivot, and what types of jobs should they be looking for?

Stay current in world health affairs, as well as the political climate in the US. Now more than ever, politics are shaping our approach to health care and vice versa. Veterans and current military members should make sure they have an idea of where civilian health care is, as well as where it's going in the future, so they can demonstrate their value to potential health care employers.

Devote time to discovering their passion and allow it to lead them to a profession. So often, when military members plan to transition to civilian life, they tend to focus on their ability to continue providing for their families beyond military service. This can cause us to accept positions for the sake of securing post military employment, or accept positions that are not aligned with our core beliefs, or passion.

DI: Did you always have an idea of the type of career you wanted to pursue after the military?

Yes. As a matter of fact, I began planning my exit from the military in 2005 when I discovered my passion for eliminating health disparities however, because I was a single father of a 5 year old girl, my mom convinced me to complete a full career first.

In 2004, the Navy sent me to graduate school to learn how to be a health administrator. During the summer of 2005, I interned at Wallace Thomson Hospital in rural Union County, South Carolina. While there I met a kitchen worker who impressed me with her skill in preparing meals for all of the sick patients at the hospital, specific to their individual needs. Her name was Pee Wee and even though she never finished high school, and worked a second job to make ends meet she somehow found a way to show compassion for each patient while contributing to the healing environment.

After the rotation was complete, I went back to finish graduate school and learned that Pee Wee died of a stroke. She was 52. Her death really affected me and a began to look at how a person in America could die so young of a preventable health issue. That's when I learned about health disparities and discovered my passion for eliminating them. I understand that I may not be able to complete this task in my lifetime however, I am completely comfortable with making it my life's work at Kaiser Permanente.

Anthony B. Coleman: Veterans Should Discover Their Passion and Allow it to Lead to a Profession

Coleman, talks with DiversityInc about his journey transitioning from life in the U.S. Navy to working for Kaiser Permanente as an Assistant Hospital Administrator.

Anthony B. Coleman, DHA, is the Assistant Hospital Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente, Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

He was born at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Ardent (MCM 12). After completing a full sea tour he was transferred to shore duty, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Workforce, Education and Development, as well as a Master of Health Administration.

He later earned a commissioned as a Naval Officer serving in various roles overseas and afloat, including Chief Financial Officer at U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort SC, Human Resources Director at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and Medical Operations Officer onboard the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

Anthony retired in 2016 with 20 years of honorable service and holds a Doctor of Health Administration Degree and currently serves as the Assistant Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

DI: What was the initial transition like going from the armed services to a civilian career?

My initial thoughts on transition brought unnecessary anxiety. However, when I learned that my preceptor was a retired Air Force Colonel, it helped put me at ease about the transition. On my first day at Kaiser Permanente, the staff and physicians welcomed me and ensured that I had the support I needed to make a successful transition.

DI: What are some skills or habits you developed while serving in the military that have helped you in your current role?

Two things stick out in my mind as important.

The first is transitioning mindset from duty to desire. I joined the navy at 17, and during the first 3-5 years of my military career I didn't realize I was part of something bigger than myself so I competed tasks out of obligation (duty). After completing my first full sea tour, I realized how my efforts contributed to the overall mission of the U.S. Navy and the duties I carried out started to come from a desire to do so. This realization helped shape my leadership style and how I groomed young sailors early on in their enlistments. I wanted them to realize their very important part in the overall U.S. Navy mission and motivate them to bring their "A" game every day.

This has helped in my current role overseeing nine non-clinical departments (Housekeeping, Food and Nutrition, Engineering, Construction, Parking, Safety, Property Management, Telecommunications, Security and Supply Chain Management) where the majority of the employees I oversee are entry-level and can feel disconnected to health care because they are not physicians or nurses. However, I stress to them as often as possible that whether their job is to nourish the patient, clean and disinfect a patient room, make sure life-saving equipment is in working order, or any other of the hundreds of non-clinical functions they perform day in and day out, they too are vital to a patient's health and healing.

The second is attention to detail. Most times, my staff are the first and/or last interaction our members have with Kaiser Permanente. It is crucial for them to pay attention to every detail about the patient they encounter because each and every detail about the patient, large or small can help us do a better job in serving them. Sometimes, it may be as simple as a smile or word of encouragement that could make all the difference in the patient experience.

DI: What career advice can you offer to veterans or current military folks who are looking to pivot, and what types of jobs should they be looking for?

Stay current in world health affairs, as well as the political climate in the US. Now more than ever, politics are shaping our approach to health care and vice versa. Veterans and current military members should make sure they have an idea of where civilian health care is, as well as where it's going in the future, so they can demonstrate their value to potential health care employers.

Devote time to discovering their passion and allow it to lead them to a profession. So often, when military members plan to transition to civilian life, they tend to focus on their ability to continue providing for their families beyond military service. This can cause us to accept positions for the sake of securing post military employment, or accept positions that are not aligned with our core beliefs, or passion.

DI: Did you always have an idea of the type of career you wanted to pursue after the military?

Yes. As a matter of fact, I began planning my exit from the military in 2005 when I discovered my passion for eliminating health disparities however, because I was a single father of a 5 year old girl, my mom convinced me to complete a full career first.

In 2004, the Navy sent me to graduate school to learn how to be a health administrator. During the summer of 2005, I interned at Wallace Thomson Hospital in rural Union County, South Carolina. While there I met a kitchen worker who impressed me with her skill in preparing meals for all of the sick patients at the hospital, specific to their individual needs. Her name was Pee Wee and even though she never finished high school, and worked a second job to make ends meet she somehow found a way to show compassion for each patient while contributing to the healing environment.

After the rotation was complete, I went back to finish graduate school and learned that Pee Wee died of a stroke. She was 52. Her death really affected me and a began to look at how a person in America could die so young of a preventable health issue. That's when I learned about health disparities and discovered my passion for eliminating them. I understand that I may not be able to complete this task in my lifetime however, I am completely comfortable with making it my life's work at Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente: An Appetite for Sustainable Food: Making the Climate Connection

Our food goal is an important part of Kaiser Permanente's set of broad environmental goals.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

When we think about ways to combat climate change, food may not immediately spring to mind. However, the production, processing, packaging, distribution, consumption and waste of food contribute to our overall carbon footprint. We recently chatted with Skip Skivington, leader of Kaiser Permanente's National Food Strategy Committee and vice president of Health Care Continuity Management and Support Services, about how Kaiser Permanente is engaging in sustainable food practices.

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